Rishon LeZion, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Rishon LeZion, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef Flash90

Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef released a statement Wednesday evening calling on Israeli Jews not to turn on their Israeli Arab neighbors in response to the ongoing violence throughout the country.

In one instance, a crowd of marchers assaulted an Arab driver in Bat Yam.

Rabbi Yosef stated: “Innocent Israeli civilians are attacked by terror organizations, the blood runs hot and our hearts are outraged, the scenes are difficult to watch. But we mustn’t be dragged to provocations and to hurting people or harming property.”

He called on the citizens not to take the law into their own hands or dole out vigilante justice in places like Lod, which has seen large-scale Arab rioting and attacks on synagogues amidst reports of retaliatory attacks by Jewish residents. "The work of restoring order must be left to police,” Rabbi Yosef said. “We must be a light unto the nations, and not, G-d forbid, the opposite.”

Religious Zionism party chairman Bezalel Smotrich issued a similar call on Jewish citizens to avoid engaging in violence. "My Jewish brothers. Stop!!! We are not like them!! We must not be dragged into this violence, G-d forbid. Self-defense against terrorism and rioters, yes. Proactive violence and property destruction in no way!! We must not degenerate into anarchy."

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