U.S. Jewish groups call on Israel to rein in its Jewish extremists


(JTA) — Jewish groups in the United States called on Israel to more forcefully rein in its Jewish extremists.

The call came in messages condemning two attacks: the firebombing of a Palestinian home in the West Bank, which led to the death of a sleeping 18-month-old baby; and the stabbing of six people at the Jerusalem gay pride parade, which led to the death of a 16-year-old girl.

The attacks “must be met with determined action to prevent violence, apprehend perpetrators, and hold to account those who engage in incitement,” Stephen Greenberg and Malcolm Hoenlein, the chairman and executive vice chairman, respectively, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said in a statement.

The statement also “expressed their profound sorrow to the Dawabsha family on the death of their child, Ali Saad Dawabsha.”

AIPAC in a statement also expressed condolences to the family and condemned the attack.

“Terror — whatever the source — must be given no quarter,” said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbyist. “The deliberate and heinous targeting and murder of innocents cannot be tolerated.”

David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, wrote in a statement, “Setting ablaze the home of an innocent Palestinian family, of any such family, is frightening in its pure evil. Whoever carried out this appalling deed must be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and additional steps must be taken in an effort to prevent any future such attacks.”

The Anti-Defamation League condemned what it called the “shocking terror attack” and called for the perpetrators to face more stringent penalties.

“For seven years, extremists have perpetrated acts of violence and hate, targeting mosques, churches, and private property,” Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s national director, and Carole Nuriel, director of the group’s Israel Office, said in a statement. “Now these unacceptable acts of hatred and unbridled zealotry have resulted in the murder of an innocent child.

“Expressions of outrage are no longer enough. The perpetrators of these crimes need to face specific, enhanced consequences for these despicable acts of hate and terrorism. Community and religious leaders must make unquestionably clear that any act of hate and violence is unacceptable, un-Jewish, and that anyone involved in such incidents will be shunned by the community, let alone prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

The Orthodox Union said in a statement: “Such a heinous act offends all people of good will and violates basic Jewish values. We commend Prime Minister Netanyahu for his unequivocal repudiation of this act and his commitment to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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