The Board of Directors of the Jewish Social Policy Action Network today called on President-Elect Donald Trump to “unequivocally repudiate” the spate of hate-speech and actions that have taken place across the nation since Election Day. [Read more…]
Last week we witnessed two hideous attacks in Israel: The first was an arson attack on a Palestinian family, in which an 18-month old toddler was murdered. His parents and 4-year-old brother were seriously injured. There is evidence pointing to the attack having been carried out by Israeli extremists. The second was a stabbing spree at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem that injured six people, two of them seriously, carried out by an ultra-Orthodox man with an existing criminal record.Every society has its negative elements: miscreants who seek to undermine its fundamental values and pollute it with their hateful agendas. Such criminal elements belong behind bars, but unfortunately they will succeed, on occasion, in rearing up their ugly heads and spreading mayhem and destruction. No society, even the most democratic and enlightened, is free of such “bad weeds.”
There are no other words to describe these attacks other than “despicable acts of terror.” They shocked the Israeli public and were condemned unequivocally by public figures from across the political spectrum. The murderous attack against the Palestinian family was condemned as well by the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Such attacks are an assault on all who cherish human dignity. They are, in effect, an attack on Israel as a democratic society, as described in the words of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, released immediately after the attack on the Dawabsha family:
This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are.
Netanyahu said similar things in response to the attack at the Gay Pride parade:
A despicable hate crime was committed this evening in Jerusalem. In Israel everyone, including the gay community, has the right to live in peace, and we will defend that right. I welcome the Israeli religious leadership’s condemnation of this terrible crime, and I call on all those in positions of leadership to denounce this contemptible act.
Our hearts and minds today are with the grieving Dawabsha family and with those injured at the parade attack in Jerusalem. We wish them healing and a speedy recovery.
— David Streeter
President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro met with Aguda: The National Association of GLBT in Israel-which advocates for GLBT rights in the Knesset and across Israel-and other leaders from Israel’s GLBT community yesterday. According to the U.S. Embassy, “The meeting took place at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Tel Aviv-the scene of a hate crime in 2009 where a gunman opened fire in the club, killing two people and injuring at least 15.”