Judaism’s call for peace

The across-the-board denunciation by Jewish religious leaders of the violent attack on a Muslim site is ample evidence that Judaism does indeed carry a strong message of peace.

By
October 9, 2011 23:27
3 minute read.
President Peres and Rabbi Metzger at Tuba Zangria

Peres at Tuba Zangria 311. (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Ideally, religion should and can be a force for peace. But this Yom Kippur – the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, a day devoted entirely to self-improvement and the striving for tikkun olam – was marred by sectarian violence.

More than 100 graves were vandalized in the Muslim cemetery of al-Kazakhana and at a nearby Christian cemetery in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa. Some of the graves were spray-painted with graffiti such as “Death to all Arabs,” while others were smashed. Jaffa residents said the vandalism took place Friday evening as the Yom Kippur holiday was beginning, though police suggested it might have taken place a day or two prior. In the ensuing protests staged by the Muslim and Christian residents of Jaffa, who were joined by dozens of sympathetic Jews, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at the roof of the Rabbi Meir Ba’al Ha’nes synagogue in Jaffa, causing damage but, thankfully, no injuries. On Wednesday, Jewish worshipers were shocked to discover that a holy site in Nablus believed to be the burial site of the biblical Joseph had been desecrated by swastikas and graffiti.

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