Peres: It is unconscionable that a Jew would harm something that is holy to another religion.
(Communicated by the Office of the President)
President Shimon Peres strongly condemned the mosque attack in Tuba-Zangariyye earlier today. In an event at Beit HaNassi recognizing the achievements of young scientists, the President said: "At the start of my remarks I wanted to express my profound shock from the horrible attack on the Mosque in Tuba-Zangariyye which took place today.
It is unconscionable that a Jew would harm something that is holy to another religion. This act is not-Jewish, illegal, immoral, and brings upon us heavy shame. I strongly condemn this horrible act in every language. This is not only a difficult day for the residents of Tuba-Zangariyye, it is a difficult day for all Israeli society. As the President of Israel, during these days of introspection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I call upon all to denounce these terrible acts. These acts, destroy relations between us and our neighbors, and between the various religions in Israel.
We will not allow extremists and criminals to undercut the need to live together equally in equality and mutual respect. Arabs and Jews as one. I am sure that the Israeli police and security forces will apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice.
We must all stand behind them in an effort to preserve human dignity and respect for the law."
President Shimon Peres later visited the mosque in Tuba-Zangariyye. He was accompanied by Israel’s Chief Rabbis and a delegation of senior religious leaders representing the Muslim, Christian, and Druse faiths. The President, together with the Chief Rabbis, reviewed the damage and destruction, in particular the burnt walls of the Mosque and the holy writings that were torched. Together, they asked forgiveness for this heinous act.
The President said to Sheikh Muhmad Ciwan, who hosted the delegation, and to the hundreds of villagers, who were at the Mosque during the visit: "I am filled with shame for this hateful act. I came here, to this burnt Mosque, and I am shocked to the depths of my soul. This is desecrating the holy. One cannot put up with this abomination and I believe that there is not one Israeli who is not ashamed by this arson attack. This evil act is not only against the law, it is against Judaism, morality and spirit. We will not rest and will not be silent until we apprehend the culprits and they will be punished." The President warmly thanked the Chief Rabbis and other religious leaders for joining him on the visit to the mosque and for the forceful and unanimous criticism for this crime.
The Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Shlomo Amar emphasized in his remarks that nothing is more contradictory to Judaism than acts like this. "The religious leaders and myself are loudly calling out to catch the wicked person responsible for this. The police should use the full force of the law against the perpetrators. This is a desecration of God’s name, a desecration of the State of Israel, and a desecration of all peoples and religions. All of us must raise our voices against terror," said Amar. He concluded with the prayer: "He who makes peace above, he will make peace upon us."
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(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning (Monday), 3 October 2011, instructed ISA Director Yoram Cohen to quickly find those responsible for the arson at the mosque in the lower Galilee town of Tuba-Zangariyye.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, who was outraged by the images, said that this crime contravenes the values of the State of Israel, in which freedom of religion and freedom of worship are supreme values. "The images are shocking and have no place in the State of Israel," the Prime Minister said.