Agence France Presse — English
October 18, 2004 Monday
Jewish religious student apologies for spitting at Armenian
A Jewish religious student who spat at an Armenian archbishop during
a religious procession in Jerusalem’s Old City last week has
apologised for his behaviour, a police spokesman said Monday.
Natan Zvi Rosental, a student at the prestigious Har Hamor yeshiva,
or Jewish seminary, formally apologised to Archbishop Nourhan
Manougian at a meeting in a police station, spokesman Shmulik Ben
Ruby told AFP.
Manougian had said he accepted the apology as his faith taught
The incident took place during a religious procession when Rosental
spat at the archbishop’s feet, causing the priest to react
physically, according to Ben Ruby.
A brawl broke out, during which Rosental ripped the cross from around
the archbishop’s neck. The two were separated and police arrested the
Despite the apology, police were still likely to charge Rosental with
“insulting” the archbishop and could even add further charges for
attacking him, Ben Ruby said.
In defence of his actions, Rosental said he had been brought up to
see Christianity as idol worship, which is forbidden by the Torah,
the Jewish holy book, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Haaretz has said the student spat at the cross being carried during
the procession as well as at the archbishop, who reacted by slapping
“To approach in the middle of a religious procession and to spit on
the cross in front of all the priests of the sect is humiliation that
we are not prepared to accept,” Manougian said.
“The Israeli government … cries out in the face of any harm done to
Jews all over the world, but is simply not interested at all when we
(Christians) are humiliated on an almost daily basis,” he said,
quoted by Haaretz.
The 3,000-strong Armenian community live in the Armenian quarter of
the Old City and many Jews walk through it on their way from west
Jerusalem to the Wailing Wall.
Christian clergy at an emergency meeting of parliament’s interior and
environment committee called to discuss the abuse of Christians by
Orthodox Jews in the Old City said the practise was widespread but
Vandalism of church property has also been reported in recent months,
with Jewish graffiti scrawled on the Georgian-built Monastery of the
Cross in west Jerusalem.
Three months ago, an 11th-century fresco in the same church was
defaced by unknown assailants.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress