With relations between Jews and Arabs increasingly strained by the recent chain of violence and contentious legislation, the latest victims of hostility are the few trying to coexist in Jerusalem, where vandals set fire to a Jewish-Arab school in the city and sprayed it with racist slogans.
Hateful scrawls were painted on walls inside the school complex.
One message read "death to Arabs." Another said, "there is no coexistence with cancer."
Teachers and parents arriving on the scene were appalled by the messages, but not deterred. Nadia Kinani, principal of the elementary school, called the act "despicable" but said it would not keep the school community from its work.
Living together, she said, is "the only solution."
High-school director Arik Saporta made similar remarks. "We believe in what we do…. Such incidents will not stop us."
The school is one of several around the country where Arabs and Jews study in a bilingual, mutually tolerant environment that extends to an after-hours community.
On Sunday, educators and parents discussed the situation quietly with the students, as supporters, politicians and media converged on the school.
The attack on the Jerusalem school, described by parents and teachers as "an island of sanity" and the "holy of holies," was widely condemned by politicians across the board.
Israeli Prime Minister