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April 22, 2019 1:52 pm

Jewish Groups, Israeli Leaders Denounce ‘Heinous’ Sri Lanka Terror Attacks

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Sri Lankan military members stand guard inside a church after an explosion in Negombo, Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Stringer.

Jewish groups around the world reacted with shock and grief to the news of Sunday’s Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in which nearly 300 people were killed.

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder stated, “World Jewry — in fact all civilized people — denounce this heinous outrage and appeal for zero tolerance of those who use terror to advance their objectives. This truly barbarous assault on peaceful worshippers on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar serves as a painful reminder that the war against terror must be at the top of the international agenda and pursued relentlessly.”

Lauder added, “Sadly, Jews, repeatedly targeted by terrorists, know this pain first hand. We pray for the swift recovery of the survivors and extend our heartfelt condolences to those who have lost loved ones.”

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said, “We are outraged by the horrific attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. We extend our condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded. Such outrages cannot be tolerated in any civil society, and nobody should be forced to worship in fear. We hope that those who are responsible and those who aided and abetted them will be brought to justice.”

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The American Jewish Committee (AJC) said, “Our hearts were broken by the news of the attacks in Sri Lanka. On this Easter Sunday, we reaffirm our solidarity and support for the people of Sri Lanka and Christian friends around the world. We stand with you.”

AJC CEO David Harris tweeted, “Terror in #SriLanka. Many killed, wounded. Among targets were Catholic churches celebrating Easter Sunday. People of good will need to stand as one. Let’s show up at a church in solidarity. Let’s reach out directly to our Catholic friends. Let’s help rebuild the churches.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews stated, “We condemn the shocking bomb attacks on those murdered innocently at prayer in churches in Sri Lanka for Easter morning and in other hotels. All our sympathies are with the victims and their families at this terrible time.”

B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “The coordinated terror bombings on Easter Sunday against Christian worshippers at church as well as against popular tourist hotels is a devastating assault on religious tolerance in Sri Lanka. Though the country is mostly Buddhist, there is a sizable Christian population, along with Hindus and Muslims.”

“The ability to practice one’s religion in peace and security should be a basic tenant of any society,” they continued. “On this, one of the holiest days of the year on any religious calendar, we send our condolences to the people of Sri Lanka suffering from this terror attack.”

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) urged Muslim religious figures to “take the lead in reforming Islam so that murder and terror attacks in the name of Islam are no longer acceptable.”

“We cannot solve the problem of Islamic terrorism unless we acknowledge it [and] confront it,” the ZOA added.

Top Israeli officials also condemned the bombings.

“On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I express my deep shock over the murderous attacks against innocent civilians in Sri Lanka,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “Israel stands ready to assist the authorities in Sri Lanka at this difficult time. The entire world must unite in the battle against the scourge of terrorism.”

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said, “Our hearts are with those who were murdered and wounded in the grave attacks in Sri Lanka. I’m sending my condolences to the families who lost loved ones and recovery wishes to the injured.”

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