American rabbinic leaders reacted to the violence in Israel as a result of the terrorist attack yesterday in Samaria.
“How can such a thing happen?” asked Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union. “How could it come to this – that Jewish young men should ransack and burn homes and cars?”
Israeli settlers entered Huwara and began attacking Palestinians in the town again on Monday afternoon, less than a day after crowds of settlers torched homes and cars throughout the town in response to a shooting attack in which two Israeli brothers, Hillel Menachem Yaniv and Yagel Ya’acov Yaniv, were murdered.
Reacting to the horrific violence in Huwara
Hauer continued by stating that he can “understand the profound anguish at the horrific murder of young and dear friends,” and “can appreciate the frustration with the ongoing attacks on Jews and the lack of a decisive and effective army response,” but “we cannot understand or accept this.”
“Actions like these demonstrate the critical need for clear and strong leadership. We need to speak consistently and clearly, pledging security and a decisive response to those who commit acts of terror and violence against Jews, but absolutely condemning and decrying indiscriminate violence committed by Jews against anyone, anywhere.”
Hauer concluded that “what happened yesterday must never, ever happen again.”
The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis, said that it “is deeply saddened by the recent events in Israel,” the statement said. “At this moment of deep sorrow over incomprehensible killings, we must do what we can to promote goodness in the world, just as Esti Yaniv, the mother of Hillel and Yagel, has called on us to do.
“We continue to insist that every person must decide between right and wrong on a daily basis and that it is a commandment to choose life. Our tradition as we know it does not grant the right to harm innocent people or their property.”
The assembly emphasized that since it is “committed to Zionism and the State of Israel,” it is “deeply disturbed by the acts of terror, vandalism and violence supposedly carried out in the name of Israel or of God. These actions both harm Jewish sovereignty and constitute a danger to the existence of the Jewish State.
“We expect our government, the IDF and the police to act to prevent harm to people and to property, and to try any person who has chosen to harm another person. The Holy One created all of humanity in the Divine Image, and every person must act to increase the Divine Presence in our world.”
Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.