Leading rabbis criticize Muslim leaders, Palestinian society for failure to act against violence

Four Israelis have been murdered in the last seven days, and at least three terrorist attacks were carried out by Palestinians on Wednesday alone.

October 7, 2015 21:32
2 minute read.
Rabbi David Stav

Rabbi David Stav. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Senior rabbinical figures in Israel have called on Muslim leaders to speak out against the wave of Palestinian political violence that has been perpetrated in recent days.

Four Israelis have been murdered in the last seven days, and at least three terrorist attacks were carried out by Palestinians on Wednesday alone.

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In a statement on Wednesday, Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzohar rabbinical association, condemned Palestinian society over the circumstances surrounding the murder of Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita in the Muslim quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday night, and the wounds sustained by Banita’s wife, Adele, when the same attacker stabbed her in the back and neck.

Earlier this week Adele recalled how after being stabbed she ran away from the assailant with his knife stuck in her back and how Arab bystanders laughed and spat at her and refused to help her.

“The cry of a woman running with a knife lodged in her shoulder when around her passersby are laughing at her is a mark of disgrace for the society from which they come, no less than is the person who stabbed her,” said Stav.

Stav recalled that after the fatal arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duma – likely by Jewish extremists – in which three members of one family were killed, he and other rabbis joined with Muslim leaders in a visit to the surviving victims of the attack at Sheba Hospital and jointly condemned the attack Addressing Islamic religious leaders, Stav declared, “If you are men of faith, condemn the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin, of Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita. Condemn it for your sake and for the name of God, which is being desecrated by His followers.”

Eitam and Naama Henkin were murdered by Hamas terrorists as they were driving in the West Bank last Thursday night.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the supervisor of the Western Wall, also called on Muslim leaders to speak out against political violence and also recalled the numerous condemnations by rabbis and others of the attack in Duma.

“Jewish rabbis and spiritual leaders from every sector of the nation stood by the family, came to offer condolences, and used clear-cut language to unequivocally denounce this terrible act, stating unambiguously that this is not the way of the Torah,” said Rabinowitz.

“And now during the recent Jewish Succot holiday, Muslim terrorists murdered Jewish parents in front of their children… Days later, a father on his way to pray at the Western Wall, together with a Jewish father of seven, who ran to help him, were stabbed to death. And not a sound was heard.

“When we should be hearing denouncements from Muslim leaders, sheikhs, and imams, all we hear is a humiliating silence.”

Jerusalem police acknowledged that a complaint on the issue has been filed and an investigation opened, but said that “it has been decided to transfer [the case] to the Jerusalem Municipality comptroller to deal with it.”

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