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A Conservative Synagogue Was Burned in Jerusalem

Israel was shocked, recently, as a result of the burning of a conservative synagogue in Jerusalem. Israeli leaders and Rabbi Israel Lau, Israel's Chief Rabbi, condemned those who set fire to 'Yaar Ramot' synagogue. It is not a secret that many religious liberal institutions in Jerusalem including stores who sold non-Kosher food were victims of harassments, violence and often they were burned too. Perhaps the new agreement between Ehud Barak and the extreme religious party Shas has been perceived as a weakness of the government.

The truth is that this synagogue has suffered in the past from harassment. Many Israelis condemned this expression of intolerance and hate. Indeed Ehud Barak who betrayed his left (Meretz Party) member of the coalition in order to save his cabinet and himself (the fear of a new round of elections) must act fast and find the criminals who burned a synagogue in a Jewish state and in Jerusalem.

The American Jews were shocked too. The following is the statement of the American Jewish Congress:

Calling those who set fire to a Conservative synagogue in Jerusalem Saturday night "enemies of the State and of the Jewish people - in the same league as Palestinian terrorists," the American Jewish Congress today declared that the fire bombing "is yet another indication that religious intolerance in Israel has become so unbridled and extreme as to threaten the very viability of Israeli society."

In their statement, AJ Congress President Jack Rosen and Executive Director Phil Baum welcomed Prime Minister Barak's strong condemnation of the bombing, adding that "if there is one unexpected ray of hope in this terrible situation, it is that Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, broke the silence of the Orthodox leadership" to condemn the attack.

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