"Hitler" sprayed on Ben-Gurion grave
"Hitler" sprayed on Ben-Gurion grave
By YnetNews.com
By Roni Sofer and Miri Chason
March 30, 2005

Graves of founding fathers of Israel and Zionism, David Ben-Gurion and Theodor Herzl, vandalized with Nazi graffiti; many similar incidents reported since announcement of pullout plan

The memorials of the founding fathers of Israel and Zionism, David Ben-Gurion and Theodor Herzl , were desecrated with Nazi graffiti on Wednesday in the latest such incidents in a series of many launched since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unveiled his plan months ago to quit the Gaza Strip.

Ben-Gurion's memorial in the Negev desert was found with the word "Hitler" sprayed on it while the slogan "Neo-Nazis long live Beilin" was painted on Herzl's tomb on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Yossi Beilin is a leader of the left-wing Yahad party and has been accused by extreme right-wingers of being anti-Zionist.

Police said they have opened investigations into the incidents.

Adva Lloyd, a spokeswoman for the Negev regional council, said a gardener had discovered large, black graffiti on Ben-Gurion's grave in the Negev town of Sede Boker. "I've lived in the area for 15 years and I don't remember a case like this," she said. "I don’t know if the motive was criminal or national but either way it's shocking. We hope they catch the criminals. They're still not cleaning off the graffiti because a criminal investigation unit has to examine it for fingerprints."

Two weeks ago, several unidentified suspects vandalized a water pump in Sede Boker by spray-painting in orange, the official color of Gaza settlers: "The people of Israel will be tested in Gush Katif," referring to Gaza's largest settlement bloc.

Ben-Gurion, who helped establish the state of Israel in 1948, had coined the phrase: "The people of Israel will be tested in the Negev."

Similar incidents of vandalism have risen in recent months since Sharon first presented his plan to dismantle all 21 settlements from the Gaza Strip and four from the West Bank; the Shin Bet Security Service has beef up security around the prime minister due to increased assassination threats.

Several walls in Jerusalem were spray-painted a few months ago with slogans reading, "We killed Rabin, we'll take care of Sharon too."