Sep 13, 2005
The Rabbinical Council of America expresses its profound anguish over the destruction of Gaza synagogues by mobs unrestrained by Palestinian authorities.
The pain engendered by these acts is exacerbated by their larger implications. Israel has behaved with exemplary sensitivity toward the holy places of both Christianity and Islam, to the point where Muslim officials have been granted effective control over the Temple Mount, which is Judaism’s most sacred site. Now, when Israel has voluntarily relinquished control over Gaza and subjected its society to the trauma of evacuation, it asked the Palestinian Authority to treat a few buildings with minimal respect. Instead, the terrible acts that we have witnessed in the aftermath of the withdrawal demonstrate both visceral hatred of Israel in Palestinian society and the failure of leaders who are purportedly interested in peace to make even perfunctory efforts to enforce elementary standards of decency.
According to Rabbi Dale Polakoff, President of the Rabbinical Council of America, “it is essential that the lessons of these events not be lost on the international community. Once again, we have been reminded of the grim reality that Israel confronts. A society facing implacable hatred cannot justly be pressured to take unilateral steps that place the security of its citizens at grave risk. Further moves toward rapprochement depend on concrete, meaningful action on the part of the Palestinian leadership to disarm and de-legitimate terrorists and to teach their people in both classrooms and the mass media that a Jewish Israel is a permanent reality with which Palestinians should strive to reach a permanent, genuine peace.”