MK Rabbi Dov Lipman visited Moreshset Yisrael, the Conservative synagogue in central Jerusalem that was the victim of Monday’s anti-Semitic 'price tag' attack.
Unknown vandals scrawled swastikas inside Stars of David on a sign at the synagogue's entrance. Lipman was shocked to learn that he was the first government representative to reach out to the synagogue following the horrendous event.
While at the synagogue, Lipman spoke with the synagogue's leader Rabbi Adam Frank, and expressed his commitment to do everything in his power to ensure that incidents of this kind do not occur again.
“As an Orthodox Rabbi I must condemn this incident. We have ideological disagreements with other streams of Judaism and there are difficult issues that we have to work out. But we have to make sure that we treat all as fellow Jews and embrace them as members of the same family," remarked Lipman.
Upon realizing that no other government officials had yet visited the site of the vandalism attack, Lipman condemned the lack of response from the Knesset floor.
Addressing Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein, Lipman said "there are times when I feel that the incitement towards these streams comes from our house, in the Knesset. I call for a zero tolerance policy and for all of us to unite in making all Jews feel at home in Israel."
In response, Edelstein remarked "we have to make sure that things are not said in the Knesset which then leads to hatred and violence in the streets." He did not address the lack of reaction to the synagogue "price tag" by government officials.
The vandalism on Monday was not, according to the synagogue, the first time such an incident has befallen the establishment. The synagogue reported that it was in fact the third case of vandalism against the synagogue in the past few days. Two days ago, “Americans out!” was etched across a wall opposite the synagogue.
Emily Levy-Shochat, Chairperson of the Conservative movement in Israel, wrote her thanks to Lipman, noting "I add my sincere thanks for your response to this incident and for your continuing activism to improve the quality of Israeli society. We look forward to continued cooperation in efforts to maintain Israel’s democracy and role as homeland for all Jews."