We mourn once again. Terrorists killed five Israelis – four rabbis and one Druze police officer – in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue this week.
We are appalled by these brutal murders of the Jews and the Druze – Rabbi Mosheh Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, and Officer Zidan Sarif, who left behind a six-month old baby girl. This is not an isolated event. In the past month, several other Jews have been killed by Palestinian terrorists, including a three-month old girl.
We feel shock and sorrow. We pray for the sorrowing families and for the recovery of the wounded. And we are bewildered. Who would do such a thing? Who would enter a sanctuary with knives, guns, and axes? Unfathomable. And we are incredulous, for the killers were likely motivated by the absolutely wrong belief that Israel has designs on the Temple Mount. Israel respects Muslim control over the Temple Mount and the Al-Aksa Mosque. Prime Minister Netanyahu has assured the world that Israel will continue to honor the status quo.
And we are angry. PM Netanyahu has vowed to respond with a “heavy hand.” A reasonable response is appropriate. Those responsible – including those who may have helped plan this crime – must be held accountable. And Palestinian leaders – including Palestinian leaders whose words incite violence against Jews – must be unequivocally criticized by leaders all over the world.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill