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Israeli right-wing activist documents herself vandalising EU Embassy: Reports

Activist Sheffi Paz heads group that backs deportation of asylum seekers from Israel and is known for her opposition to illegal migration from Africa
Spokesperson for EU delegation said no diplomats were present when incident occurred because office is closed on Sundays (AFP/File photo)

Israeli right-wing activist Sheffi Paz documented herself and another activist vandalising the European Union embassy in Israel on Sunday, according to Haaretz and other media.

Paz and the other activist spray-painted hateful English-language slogans in red paint, which read: “EU get out” and “German money kill (sic) Jews”, Haaretz reported.

Israeli police have begun an investigation into the incident. Paz admitted to vandalising the embassy premises and handed herself over to police.

Right-wing politicians and activists, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have often criticised EU financial aid to Israeli human rights organisations. Still, at the same time, the EU allocates sizeable funding to joint projects with the Israeli government.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the vandalism at the embassy, saying Israel was “appalled” by the incident, the Times of Israel reported. He said Israel is committed to upholding the security of diplomatic missions.

Activist Paz heads the South Tel Aviv Liberation Front, a group that backs the complete deportation of asylum seekers from Israel and in particular from their neighbourhoods. She is known in the country for her opposition to illegal African migrants, according to The Hill website.

The chairwoman of the right-wing political alliance Yamina, Ayelet Shaked, said last week that she had signed an agreement with Paz, according to which she would only enter a new government on the condition that tougher legislation be promoted against migrants.

Shaked also stipulated her entry into a coalition on the establishment of special courts that would handle migration issues and which would not accept appeals.

Elections loom

Israel is preparing to hold elections on Tuesday.

Former justice minister Shaked has yet to publicly comment on or condemn the incident involving Paz, Haaretz said.

Staffers from the embassy, formally known as the EU Delegation to Israel, gave the police footage from the building’s security cameras. They also filed an official complaint to the Foreign Ministry.

A spokesperson for the delegation said that no diplomats were present when the incident occurred because the office is closed on Sundays. “This incident aiming to intimidate the EU and its personnel is deplorable and should be condemned,” the spokesperson added.

Austrian ambassador to Israel Martin Weiss also responded to the incident, calling it “deplorable” and adding that “in spite of all innovation, the pill against bigotry & stupidity hasn’t been invented yet”, according to The Hill.