Netanyahu's response to Chief Rabbis

PM: Place of Pittsburgh massacre chosen because it is a synagogue after Chief Rabbis refuse to call Conservative congregation a synagogue.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Tree of Life congregation
Tree of Life congregation
Alexi Rosenfeld

Prime Minister Netanyahu appeared to take issue with the comments of Chief Rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau in response to the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh.

Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter account Monday afternoon: "Jews were killed in a synagogue. They were killed because they are Jews. The location was chosen because it is a synagogue. We must never forget that. We are one."

The prime minister appeared to refer to the statements of the Chief Rabbis in which they avoided calling the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh a synagogue in their condemnation of the murder of 11 Jews during Shabbat morning prayers due to its affiliation with the Conservative movement.

Rabbi Lau told the Makor Rishon newspaper: "I’ll say one simple thing: Any murder of a Jew in any corner of the world, because they are Jewish, is unforgivable, it’s a crime that cannot, under any circumstances, be ignored."

When pressed on whether he considered the Tree of Life congregation to be a synagogue, Rabbi Lau called the congregation “a place of clear Jewish character."

“They were killed because they were Jews. Does it matter which synagogue or liturgical tradition they pray in?" the Chief Rabbi asked.

“Jews were killed in a place that for the killer was a place of clear Jewish character. A place with Torah scrolls, Jews in tallits, there are prayer books, there are people who went there to be closer to God,” he said. “Because of that the killer specifically went there and not somewhere else. That is why there is pain and anger.”