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Report: Ultra-Orthodox Jews spit on Israeli Christians

November 15, 2007

From The Telegraph:

Christians in Jerusalem have attacked what they say is the increasingly common phenomenon of ultra-orthodox Jews spitting on them.

The statement followed a brawl between an orthodox Jewish yeshiva (religious school) student and an Armenian archbishop.

They clashed in Jerusalem’s Old City after the student spat at a cross being carried by the clergyman during a procession near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

advertisementArchbishop Nourhan Manougian slapped the student and in the ensuing scuffle, his 17th century ceremonial medallion was broken.

Both were questioned by police and the student is facing charges. He has been banned from the Old City for 75 days. The Armenians say the action was inadequate.

Archbishop Manougian told an Israeli newspaper that Israeli leaders must speak out about the “daily” abuse. “When there is an attack against Jews anywhere, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” he asked.

His critique has encouraged other Christian leaders to speak out, including a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman who has disclosed that he was recently approached by an elderly man wearing a skullcap who spat in his face.

Daniel Rossing, the director of a Jerusalem centre for Christian-Jewish dialogue, said there had been an increase in such incidents recently as “part of a general lack of tolerance”.

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