Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, one of the most nationalist rabbis, has condemned arson attacks and desecrations of mosques, which “are not the enemy,” he told Voice of Israel government radio Tuesday.
Rabbi Levanon’s statements were in response to questioning over Sunday’s arson of a mosque in the area of Bethlehem, a former Christian center located immediately south of Jerusalem. Most of the Christian community has fled over the past 15 years, mainly due to Muslim harassment and intimidation.
Rabbi Levanon said that the 11th century scholar Maimonides—known as the Rambam—teaches against attacks such as this week’s and one in Samaria earlier this year.
“I do not justify, and I totally condemn these activities,” Rabbi Levanon, adding that police searching for the attackers should be just as diligent in tracking down Arabs who attack Jews.
He pointed out that the attack on the mosque “is not the Jewish way” and that there is no conclusive evidence whether Jews were involved. Arabs and international leftists previously have provoked incidents that appeared to be against Arabs but which in reality were staged to incriminate Jews."