A representative from the media recently approached me to ask how I felt about the incident in which “people from Palestine” carried out an attack on a holy site in Israel. Of course, the question itself required some correction because, as we know thus far, there is no independent state of Palestine. This horrific and barbaric act was carried out by Israeli Arabs, residents of East Jerusalem, and targeted a synagogue, not some random historic or holy site.
The attack yesterday saw two cousins enter a synagogue during morning prayers with guns, knives and hatchets. They killed four rabbis (tragically a policeman was killed during the battle following the attack) and wounded others. Hamas recently issued statements saying that Israel is preventing access to the Temple Mount and that Israelis have defied other holy sites. Of course, these are outright fabrications. This week an Arab Israeli bus driver committed suicide. An autopsy carried out at the request of his family provided absolute proof that it was an act of suicide. Hamas claimed that he was murdered by Israelis. Again, more lies that have served to provoke this recent massacre.
I am not the first to say this but it seems to merit repeating. As horrible as what happened to innocent members of a congregation; the reaction in Gaza, where there was celebration in the streets, is also appalling.
In the Florida Times-Union it was stated that this type of attack occurs as a result of Israeli treatment of Palestinians. While there are challenges in Israel society today for minorities including the Ethiopian Jews and Israeli Arabs, the vast majority of the citizens of East Jerusalem live peaceful and productive lives. There should be no attempt at justification for this attack. One would hope that all of us view this attack in the same light as we do the vicious acts of terror carried out by ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
Our national organization, many other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and all Jewish federations condemn this murderous act of terror. I hope that all members of our Jewish and non-Jewish community pray for the families who lost loved ones and stand with Israel during yet another most difficult time.