Extremist Violence is Repudiated

October 6, 2010

JCPA Praises Gift of Korans by West Bank Jewish Residents, Condemns Attacks

NEW YORK – The replacing of Korans burned during an arson attack earlier this week lends hope that Jews, Palestinians and other Arab peoples in the Middle East will one day find a path to live side-by-side in peace, says a leading Jewish advocacy organization.

Dr. Conrad Giles and Rabbi Steve Gutow, respectively, the chair and president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, released the following statement praising the Jewish delegation that replaced copies of the Koran that were burned during an arson attack against the Beit Fajjar mosque near Hebron.  In its statement, the JCPA also expressed its outrage at the attack on the mosque, which has been overwhelmingly condemned by Israeli and American officials.

According to published reports, prayer rugs were also burned in the attack and the Hebrew words for “revenge” and “price tag” were spray-painted on the mosque’s walls.  This week’s attack was the third reported attack against a Palestinian mosque this year.

“The Jewish representatives from the nearby area that replaced copies of the Koran, reflecting Jewish values of being good neighbors and aiding a stranger in need, should be applauded for their kindness. At the same time, we yearn for the day when such outrageous attacks against Muslim holy sites or those of any religion are no longer carried out.  In a small way, this act of kindness can give us hope that one day Jews, Palestinians and other Arab peoples in the Middle East will find a path to live side by side in peace.  We should all strive to follow their example.”



October 6, 2010

West Bank rabbis visit vandalized mosque


Rabbis from West Bank settlements visiting a vandalized mosque brought Korans to replace burned holy books.

Peace activist and Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa led the delegation that arrived Tuesday in the Hebron-area village of Beit Fajar. It also included Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva, and another rabbi from the yeshiva, Shlomo Brin; and Shlomo Rifkin, chief rabbi of Efrat. The new copies of the Koran replaced those burned in the late Sunday night arson attack. 

The rabbis were under heavy security during the visit, escorted by Israeli officers and guarded by dozens of Palestinian policemen, according to reports.

“Our goal is to share our horror at the attack of the mosque and to clearly state that this is not the way of the Torah or the Jewish way,” Brin said.

“This act does nothing for the settlements; it is morally and religiously wrong and is offensive to its core. This is not how we educated our children. Islam is not a hostile religion, even if we have a dispute with some of its followers.”

Read complete article here.

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