Yom Shabbat, 23 Av 5779
Saturday, 24 August 2019
Liberal Judaism condemns extremist violence in Israel

4th August 2015

Liberal Judaism has joined with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) in condemning extremist violence in Israel.

We mourn the tragic death of 16-year-old Shira Banki, offering sincerest condolences to her grieving family, as well as to the friends and loved ones of the five other people who were wounded in an attack by an ultra-Orthodox man who went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade.

We also mourn the 18 month-old baby who died when extremists firebombed the homes of two Palestinian families in the West Bank village of Douma, and pray for the baby's parents and four-year-old brother - who are fighting for their lives in the hospital, with burns covering 70-90% of their bodies. 

Liberal Judaism and the WUPJ strongly condemns both these cold-blooded acts of cowardice.

President of the WUPJ Rabbi Daniel H Freelander said: "The life of a beautiful young woman was cut short, but Shira Banki's death cannot be in vain. She bravely supported every human's right to live one's life in dignity. Thousands of Israelis across the country have since protested against these attempts to spread and justify violence.

Cheif Executive of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Danny Rich, said: "All decent Jews, Israelis and human beings abhor the needless and gratuitous violence at the Gay Pride march in Jerusalem and in the village of Douma.  It behoves all responsible leaders not only to condemn these acts but to reflect whether their own vocabulary and rhetoric might have contributed to misunderstandings of their messages which lead to such tragedies for Jew and Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian alike."