In the Israel/Palestine conflict there has been far too much violence. And recently there was an attack on a mosque in the West Bank Palestinian town of Yasuf, in which extremist Jews have been implicated. It is incumbent on persons identified with a community that carries out attacks of terrorism to condemn such acts. Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America, the largest organization of Orthodox Jews outside of Israel, did just that.
First, the details of the attack:
Fire was set to a large mosque in the West Bank Palestinian village of Yasuf, east of Salfit, Thursday night. Hebrew slurs were sprayed on the walls that said: "We will burn all of you." The words "price tag" were also scrawled on the walls.
"Price tag" is the slogan adopted some months ago by extremist settlers who carry out reprisals against Palestinians in response to the evacuation of settlement structures by Israeli defense forces.
This morning, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations placed the following on their internet site:
ORTHODOX UNION CONDEMNS VANDALIZATION OF MOSQUE
December 11, 2009
In response to reports of Israeli extremists vandalizing an Islamic mosque in the Palestinian village of Yasuf, the following statement was issued by Mr. Stephen Savitsky, president, and Rabbi Steven Weil, executive vice president, of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America:
We condemn the reported acts of vandalism, in which Israelis are alleged to have entered a mosque and set fire to its carpet, destroyed holy objects and wrote hateful graffiti messages on the walls. There is no justification for such actions.
Jewish synagogues and holy sites, in Israel and across the globe, have been similarly vandalized and desecrated over the course of history and, thus, Jews should know very well that such actions are beyond the pale.
We support the efforts of the Israeli authorities to investigate this matter and bring those responsible to justice.
I should note that the Orthodox Union is openly and unapologetically Zionist and occasionally takes public policy positions that are considered extreme. Nevertheless, in this case, the statement is right on. I endorse it wholeheartedly.
For the record, I belong to two synagogues that are members of the Orthodox Union and have in the past given them minor contributions, mostly for their youth outreach programs.
Some Israeli rabbis is trying to help the mosque to rebuild.
I do not know much about the rabbis mentioned but I commend them for doing the right thing. If I can find more information I'll create a new diary.