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Jul 18,2007
Israeli flag burned outside Texas church
by UPI

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Officials in Fort Worth, Texas, want to know who set an Israeli flag on fire outside of a Baptist church, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.

The three flags in front of Cornerstone Baptist Church had been lowered to half-staff in memory of the late Lady Bird Johnson.

On Tuesday morning, however, the Texas and U.S. flags were still flapping while the Israeli banner hung charred and tattered, its Star of David burned out of the fabric.

Beneath its flagpole was an overturned trash can that had been taken from a nearby playground.

The Rev. Bobby Herrel, the church's pastor, said Cornerstone Baptist began flying the Israeli flag last July to support the Israeli people during its conflict with Lebanon.

"Apparently there are some very anti-Semitic attitudes here in Fort Worth," he said. The incident will be investigated as criminal mischief, not a hate crime, because the Israeli flag is not a religious symbol, said Lt. Dean Sullivan, a police spokesman, adding they have no suspects.

In March, the tires on the church's trailer and two vans were slashed and, in September, vandals scrawled graffiti on the church.

Police have not found out who was responsible.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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