The Gush Etzion Junction was the scene Sunday of a joint prayer session, where rabbis, sheikhs, and MKs gathered together to pray and commiserate over the two tragic events that occurred over the weekend – the stabbing at the Jerusalem Pride Parade, and the arson attack at the village of Duma.
The event was organized by Rebbetzin Hadassah Froman, widow of the late Rabbi Menahem Froman, who was well-known for his efforts to bring together Jews of all backgrounds, as well as fostering unity between Jews and Arabs.
Among the participants were Rabbi Yoel Bin-nun, Rabbi Dov Danzinger, Rabbi Yaakov Medan, Rabbi Yaakov Nagan, Rabbi Binyamin Kalmanson, and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. Among the Muslim clerics to participate were Ali Abu Awad, and Sheikh Abu Al-Hawah.
Also participating was Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid. “We came here to demand the honor of G-d. He would never – no matter if he is approached from a Jewish, Muslim, or Christian perspective – authorize the murder of babies.”
Enumerating instances in recent years in which children were victims of terror attacks, Lapid said that “G-d does not approve of the murders of Mohamed Abu-Khdeir, nor of Shalhevet Pass, nor of Ali Dawabsha, nor of the Fogel children. Our great war is not between left and right, it is between the normal majority against the lunatic fringe. We will win this war, based on our ability to unite and fight their evil.”
Abu-Khdeir was burned to death in an attack last year by Jewish suspects, shortly after the bodies of the murdered Israeli teens Gilad Sha'ar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach were discovered; five members of the Fogel family, including an 11-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 3-year-old were murdered by Arab terrorists in 2011 as they slept in their home in Itamar; ten-month-old Shalhevet Pass was murdered as she sat in her stroller by an Arab terrorist in Hevron, with a subsequent investigation indicating that the terrorist had aimed for the baby; and 18-month-old Ali Dawabsha was killed in the Duma arson attack last week.
“Burning a baby to death is the lowest possible act, and we will not remain silent,” said Lapid. “We state clearly – this is not what our G-d wants.”
Rebbetzin Froman said that she felt the event was important in order to keep the dialog between Jews and Arabs going. “The arson attack knocked us like a stab in the heart of the good things that have been happening in the building of a relationship between the different groups here,” she said. “We decided that the best approach was prayer. We live in a land of life, a land of peace. This is the only way for us to survive. If we dismiss the importance of life for others we will cut our own roots out.”