Religious Zionist and Muslim Leaders Join for Solidarity Meet After Duma Attack Kills Palestinian Infant
Notable heads of the religious Zionist and Muslim communities in Israel gathered on Monday at the Sheba Medical Center to visit those wounded when a Palestinian home in the West Bank village of Duma was torched last week, allegedly by Jewish extremists, Israeli NRG news reported.
Religious Zionist leader Rabbi Michael Melchior and Sheikh Abdel Nimer Darwish of the Islamic Movement organized the gathering, which was meant to protest the types of extremist violence that led to the attack, which killed an 18-month old infant.
Melchior said, “after they burned an infant alive, since every person is created in the image of God, we must denounce this action.”
Rabbi Rafi Feuerstein, a leader of the religious-Zionist Tzohar movement, said he hoped the meeting would mark the start of a trend of peaceful interfaith dialogue.
Fuerstein recalled that he was consoled by Muslim clerics who visited him after two armed Palestinians stormed the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood last November, killing four worshipers and a police officer.
Rabbi Aryeh Stern, the chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Jerusalem, commented that “whoever comes in the name of religion cannot murder.”
“It is very saddening that we are once again meeting on the heels of the spilling of blood. Whomever murders is not worthy of being part of the congregation. We all condemn this together and will not allow this to be the representation of any religion,” he said.
Darwish welcomed the visiting rabbis upon their arrival, offering to “continue with this certainty for the sake of peace between the religions. I want peace for you and your children.”