'How could a pogrom like this happen in Israel?'

Israeli leaders express shock, outrage after vandals desecrate Jerusalem synagogue named after French rabbi killed in terror attack.

David Rosenberg ,

Torah Ark cut open by vandals
Torah Ark cut open by vandals
Israel Police

Israeli leaders expressed shock and disgust Tuesday morning, following the discovery that the Siach Yisrael synagogue in Jerusalem had been vandalized overnight.

The synagogue, which is associated with the French immigrant community in the Kiryat Yovel neighborhood, dedicated its sanctuary in honor of Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, a French-Jewish victim of Islamic terror.

Sandler, a 30-year-old French rabbi, was murdered along with his two sons in a terrorist shooting attack in May 2012.

Vandals broke into the synagogue Monday night, cut open the Torah ark, and ripped out the Torah scrolls. Numerous prayer books were also vandalized, as was the synagogue’s furniture.

“This is a difficult morning for all Jews,” said Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau. “We need to think how such a thing happened in the holy city, Jerusalem.”

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi called the incident an ‘outrage’.

“The Jewish heart is outraged to see Torah scrolls disgracefully thrown on the [floor] in an incredible act of desecration inside a synagogue by lowly criminals. The authorities must leave no stone unturned to reach the criminals and bring them to justice.”

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) called the desecration a “pogrom”, and called on police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I was deeply shocked by the images of the disgraceful desecration that happened overnight in the Siach Yisrael synagogue, which belongs to the French community in Kiryat Yovel in Jerusalem. Every Jewish heart is outraged by the scenes there, which are reminiscent of the worst times in Jewish history.”

“It is hard to understand how such an anti-Semitic pogrom like this could take place in a synagogue here in the Land of Israel at a sanctuary named after Yonatan Sandler, who was murdered along with his two children in Toulouse, France.”

“This morning I will ask the Jerusalem district police commander how such a terrible thing could happen, and demand that he bring the perpetrators to justice. We cannot let such a thing pass quietly in the State of Israel.”

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) said the attack on the synagogue was reminiscent of the “worst days” in Jewish history, noting that just this week the world observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“This week we marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and today we woke up to a day which is reminiscent of the worst, darkest days of the past. The attack on the synagogue is a despicable act which harms us all.”