Daily Israel Report

Arabs Stone Chief Rabbi at Village of Torched Mosque

Arabs hurled stones at the Chief Rabbi of Israel, who visited their village to condemn the torching of a local mosque by a Jew.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/14/2009, 3:26 PM

Israel news photo

Arabs hurled stones at Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yona Metzger Monday after he visited their village to condemn the torching of a local mosque by a Jew. Neither he nor his escorts were injured.

Rabbi Metzger suggested a comparison of the arson with Kristallnacht, when approximately 100 Jews were murdered as Nazis rampaged and burned down synagogues in Germany. “This is how the Holocaust began," the rabbi declared. He did not make any comment concerning the rock attack on his vehicle.

The IDF entered the village before the rabbi’s visit, which was escorted by Palestinian Authority special forces. Baruch Marzel, a nationalist activist and aide to National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, criticized the “hypocrisy” of Rabbi Metzger for “rushing to flatter those who hate Israel” although he did not object the destruction of Jewish synagogues in Gush Katif during the expulsion of Jews from the are more than four years ago.

Rabbi Metzger’s visit to the village of Yasuf followed Sunday’s failed attempt by several rabbis to enter the area following last week's arson at the mosque. Most political leaders from the entire political spectrum have condemned the act, and nationalist leaders have pointed out that it was an isolated incident that may have been perpetrated by someone with mental problems.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz also denounced the burning of the mosque.

The rabbis who tried to visit the village on Sunday brought a copy of the Koran with them and met with local leaders outside the village.