ADL Calls On Chief Rabbis to Speak Out Against Interfaith Assaults In Old City
Jerusalem, October 17, 2004...The Israel Office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Israel's two Chief Rabbis to speak out against the phenomenon of attacks against Christians by Jewish students studying in yeshivas in Jerusalem's Old City.
In letters sent to Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and Sepharadi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, ADL's Israel Office said:
We are writing to share our deep concern and revulsion at the event that took place last week in the Old City when a yeshiva student spat at Nourhan Manougian, the Armenian Archbishop of Jerusalem.
After the student was arrested he told the authorities that he perpetrated this act to protest idol worship. If this was an isolated incident perhaps it could be simply blamed on bad behavior by a misguided and disrespectful teenager. However, such incidents are not at all rare. This disgraceful behavior perpetuated by a minority of yeshiva students has been occurring for years.
We are now calling upon you to use your public position to speak out quickly and firmly against this clear violation of Jewish ethical teaching and to make clear to rabbis and teachers who are educating yeshiva students in Jerusalem and elsewhere that such behavior is a terrible moral offense and a stain on the name of Jewish people everywhere.
Particularly in this time of rising anti-Semitism we do not tolerate such conduct toward Jews anywhere in the world and such conduct toward non-Jews must not be tolerated in the Jewish state. Maintaining quiet and respectful relations between faiths in Jerusalem is both a national and spiritual value.
We believe that you can do much to help combat this phenomenon both publicly and privately and call upon you to use your esteemed position to do so at this time.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.