Rabbi Rejects Violence Against Arabs
By Micah Halpern
Friday August 31, 2012
I've Been Thinking:
Daniel Cohen, rabbi of the Israeli settlement community called Bat Ayin, wrote a letter to his community. He appealed to the community members to act properly and in accordance with moral and ethical Jewish values. Rabbi Cohen was referring to a recent incident in which youths from Bat Ayin were arrested for firing bombing a car that resulted in the injuring of six Palestinians Arabs,
He wrote: "We pray that the suspicions against our children are proven false."
That said, Rabbi Cohen went on to condemn any kind of attack. "Such an act is a crime and points to moral degeneration that fails to distinguish between murder and defense, war and terror. Such acts are wrong and reprehensible; they indicate confusion and lack of judgment."
He continued: "Do not [to] be led astray by inflammatory ideas. Build yourselves with Torah and toil. Build this country with hard work and devotion. Join a yeshiva or the army."
"The problem is not the Arabs, but an internal moral debate within the Israeli society."
"Harming Arabs is wrong and detrimental in terms of the debate."
He concluded by saying: "Remember, it's okay to protest the government's - but only legally."
There are many rabbis like Daniel Cohen and there are many more voices of people who not only condemn unjust acts but also teach the values that Cohen is referring to. I do not know the numbers but I hope that the vast majority of rabbis - in Israel and around the world - side with him and not with the bullies and the terrorists who firebomb innocent people as they drive along the road.
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