I am told there is no coverage of the attempted lynching of Palestinians in Jerusalem, by a mob shouting Death to Arabs, in the LA Times, Washington Post, or NYT so far today. Meantime, Rabbis for Human Rights North America has released this statement on the attack:
In the wake of a violent attack by Israeli teenagers on Palestinian youths, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America calls on rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators, and community leaders to teach our children that hate is not a Jewish value.
Today, a mob of dozens of Israeli teens attacked three Palestinian youths in Jerusalem’s Zion Square. One of the victims was beaten so severely that he required resuscitation and remains in critical condition. Witnesses described the scene as a “lynching” and said that the perpetrators shouted “death to Arabs” and other racist epithets.
As rabbis and cantors, we are shocked and embarrassed by the behavior of these teens. Regardless of our political opinions or our desired resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we have a responsibility to teach our children that Judaism condemns the shedding of blood, as all people are equal creations in the divine image.
We applaud the swift action of the Acting Jerusalem Police Chief, General Menachem Yitzhaki, in already setting up a special investigative team for the case. We urge the police and prosecutors to thoroughly investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this horrific hate crime. And we praise the Magen David Adom rescue team who administered first aid, and the doctors and staff at Hadassah Hospital who continue to care for the victims. These medical personnel embody the Torah’s command, “You shall not stand against the blood of your neighbor.”
On this Shabbat, as we enter the reflective period of the month of Elul, we ask rabbis, cantors, and educators to spend a few minutes speaking with our children and our communities about today’s incident in Jerusalem. These conversations should emphasize that political differences are no excuse for bigotry. We pray that our children will help us to realize a world free of hatred or violence.