Washington, DC - The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) condemns two horrific attacks that took place this week in Israel: the stabbing of six people at the Jerusalem pride parade on Wednesday and yesterday’s deadly arson attack in the West Bank that killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Daobasa and wounded three of his family members. Prime Minister Netanyahu called the arson a “terrorist attack” and expressed his condolences to Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call. Israeli police arrested Yishai Schlissel for the pride parade attack, which the prime minister called a “despicable hate crime.” Schlissel was convicted and served ten years for stabbing and wounding three people at the 2005 pride parade.
The JCPA is shaken and saddened by these violent events. There is no place for hate or violence in the Jewish state. These attacks rip at the fabric of Israeli society, our shared celebration of pluralism and diversity, and core Jewish values. We are confident that the Israeli justice system will find and convict the perpetrators of the arson attack and we will call for swift judgment on Schlissel if his alleged recidivism is proved. The recent sentencing of two Israeli youths who set fire to a bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school in Jerusalem and covered it with hate graffiti in November 2014, and Wednesday’s indictment of two men, Yinon Reuveni and Yehuda Asraf, for the arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee, five weeks ago, underscore our faith in the democratic institutions that uphold Israel’s laws and societal norms. But these intolerable attacks must be brought to an end.
JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.