Jewish Organizations Unite in Condemnation of Islamist Massacre of Egyptian Christians
American Jewish organizations were at one on Friday in condemning the murder by Islamist terrorists of at least 26 Egyptian Christians who were traveling to a monastery south of Cairo.
“These brutal acts are criminal and must be stopped,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The Conference stands in solidarity with the government of Egypt, the Egyptian people and in particular the members of the Coptic community, during this difficult time.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for increased protection for religious minorities in the Middle East.
“The continual singling out of the Coptic Christian community in this brutal manner should make certain that leaders across the Middle East and North Africa take tangible steps to protect their religious minorities. Regretfully, all too often, that has not happened,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO. “We stand in solidarity with Egypt’s Coptic Christian community as they cope with this unthinkable attack, and continue to be deeply concerned about the persecution of Copts, other Christian communities and religious minorities across the Middle East. As we have seen in the past, ignoring these atrocities will only encourage more such outrages.”
The American Jewish Committee highlighted the special responsibility of Arab nations to confront the problem of Islamist violence.
“Victory over the terrorists depends, above all, on what Arab and Muslim nations do to counter and defeat this violent, deadly scourge,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “In that regard, we have confidence that the Egyptian government understands the need and will step up still more its counter-terrorism and other requisite strategies to ensure that Copts, like all Egyptians, can practice their faith without fear.”
The Israeli government also condemned the attack. “Terror will be defeated more quickly if all countries work together against it,” a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.
In the aftermath of the attack, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi announced that strikes had been carried out on “terrorist training camps” in neighboring Libya.
Christians in Egypt have endured several years of terrorist attacks by Islamist groups, including ISIS.
Two suicide bombings at Palm Sunday services at churches in the northern cities of Alexandria and Tanta on April 9 left 46 people dead.
Another suicide bombing at a church in the capital in December 2016 killed 29 people, while a Christian community was forced to flee the town of el-Arish in the northern Sinai peninsula after a series of gun attacks in February.