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August 5, 2020 2:14 pm

Leading Jewish Groups Express Sympathy for Victims of Beirut Explosion

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Firefighters in action in the Lebanese capital of Beirut following a devastating explosion in the city’s port area, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamed Azakir.

Jewish advocacy groups on Wednesday expressed sympathy with the victims of the horrifying explosion in Beirut that left behind a death toll of more than 100 people, along with thousands of wounded.

Alongside a photo of Beirut captioned with the message, “Stay strong, people of Lebanon,” the World Jewish Congress (WJC) tweeted its condolences.

The group’s European affiliate, the European Jewish Congress (EJC), tweeted: “Our solidarity with the people of Beirut at this terrible time, our thoughts and prayers for the families of those killed in the explosions and for the many suffering injuries.”

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt — president of the Conference of European Rabbis — stated, “The Conference of European Rabbis expresses its full solidarity with the many victims of the violent explosions in Beirut, Lebanon. The pictures and footage coming out of the country are truly shocking.”

“All life is sacred and it is upsetting to see the devastating impact that this tragedy has had on the Lebanese nation,” he added. “We hope that the restoration of a central governmental authority that is in charge of security and infrastructure will prevent the recurrence of such human suffering. We send our very best wishes to everyone affected.”

In London, the Board of Deputies of British Jews mourned the “terrible news from Beirut last night.”

“Our thoughts this morning are with those tragically killed or injured, their families, and all the people of Lebanon,” the group said in a tweet.

But even amidst the outpouring of sympathy, some Jewish groups found themselves defending Israel — Lebanon’s neighbor to the south — from negative and underhanded comments.

“‘Even Israel,’ Carl Bildt?” asked the American Jewish Committee (AJC), after Bildt — a former Swedish prime minister and leading European Union negotiator — noted on Twitter that “the only encouraging thing about this catastrophe in Lebanon is that even Israel has been quick in offering humanitarian aid.”

Responded the AJC: “Need we remind you that it is Lebanon that rejects Israel’s very existence, not the other way around? An apology is in order.”

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