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Rabbis, imams call for end to interethnic violence

CM 18/05/2021

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In the wake of the severe interethnic violence last week, including violent riots by Arab citizens in Lod, Haifa and Acre, and attacks by Jews on Arabs, several Muslim and Jewish religious leaders have called for an end to such violence.

A group of religious leaders issued a public statement last week which has now been signed by 120 rabbis, imams, sheikhs and other religious leaders denouncing violence and calling for an end to all such acts. 
The declaration was signed among others by Sheikh Samir Asi, the imam of the al-Jazar mosque in Acre; former education minister Rabbi Shai Piron; Sheikh Abu Khalil Tamimi of Ramallah, a coexistent activist; Dean of the Maale Gilboa Yeshiva Yehudah Gilad; Palestinian businessman and co-founder of the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce Sheikh Ashraf Al Jabari; and Rabbi David Rosen, a leading figure in interfaith cooperation, among others
“We call out in a clear voice – No to violence! No to vandalism in general and harm to holy places in particular! No to blind hatred! No to incitement in the name of religion,” the religious leaders wrote. 
“We all understand that we, the citizens of Israel, are destined to live here together through cooperation, fairness and mutual respect. Even if there are deep disagreements between us on religious and national issues, it is clear to us that we must all act at least according to the minimal rule of ‘That which is hateful to you, not do to your fellow man’,” they continued. 
“We must remember that we are all the children of Abraham our father, a man of faith and kindness.”
Separately, Qadi [Sharia judge] Muhammed Abu Obeid, a judge on the state’s Sharia court of appeal, denounced the violence and called for on all communities to reduce the tensions. 

“We must stop these acts of violence, bring a halt to the divisiveness and escalation, and calm the stormy spirits,” wrote Abu Obeid.
“Over the years, especially recent years, we have managed to weave a fabric of wonderful relations between us, Jews and Arabs, to advocate fair, balanced opinions, which are based on accepting the other and those who are different, on love and human dignity, striving for true peace, calm, constructive discourse and empathy,” wrote Abu Obeid of coexistence efforts in the northern region where his home town of Na’ura is located. 
“We residents of this village will continue to pray for sanity on both sides and that extremists in both camps will not unravel the deep fabric that we have built in recent years, and will continue to build, to stand strong and protect it against all acts of violence.”
And the forum of religious leaders of the Beit Morasha educational organization put out a video declaring that “Violence has no place in my religion.”
The leaders participating in the video included Sheikh Jamal al-Obra, Imam of the al-Noor mosque in Rahat; Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, director of the Blickle Institute for Interfaith Dialogue; Rev. Canon Samuel Fanous of the Emmanuel Anglican Episcopal Church in Ramle; and Sheikh Hatem Jumaa, imam of the al-Ansar mosque in the town of Arab al-Aramshe in the western Galilee, among others. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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