Netanyahu demands the world equally condemn the desecration of Jewish holy sites the way they condemn the harming of Christian are Muslim sanctuaries.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on the world to condemn an arson attack against a synagogue at Karmei Tsur in Gush Etzion, where Jewish Torah scrolls were piled up and purposefully burned.
The scrolls were stored inside a synagogue that overlooked the site where the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were abducted and murdered by Hamas terrorists were found in June 2014.
Netanyahu said this weekend’s desecration of the synagogue that was named after the teenagers was a result of the type of Palestinian incitement that has fed the current five-month-long wave of Palestinian violence.
“We are in a harsh struggle between those who – like us – seek coexistence and peace, and those who seek war and bloodshed. We will do our utmost to find the arsonists and bring them to justice. But I expect from everyone in the country and around the world who rightly condemn every desecration of a mosque or writing of graffiti on mosques, including the burning of mosques, I expect them to come out with the same cry against, and condemnation of, this abhorrent act.,” he said at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting.
A joint police and fire department investigative team confirmed that the fire was indeed arson. Footsteps that lead out of the structure have led investigators to the nearby Palestinian town of Halhul.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that “the images of burnt holy books in a synagogue are taken straight out of the darkest nights of our people’s history.”
The Anti-Defamation League, a US group that battles anti-Semitism worldwide, called the incident “an act of anti-Semitism.”
Muslim Leader Condemns Attack
Sheikh Mohammed Kaiyuan Abu Ali, the chairman of the council of Muslim religious leaders in Israel, spoke with Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau on Sunday after the attack.
Abu Ali condemned the arson, particularly the burning of holy books. “In my name, and on behalf of all imams, we condemn this act and hope another disaster like this does not happen again in any holy place,” he said.
“We hope the perpetrators will be caught and that they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.
The suspected attack comes amid five months of near-daily Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians and security personnel that have killed 30 victims.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff