Rabbis and Muslim clerics met at Sheba Medical Center on Monday to pray for the four-year-old Palestinian boy who was critically wounded in a terror attack that killed his younger brother and also wounded his parents critically. Among those present were Rabbi David Stav of the Tzohar organization, Rabbi Michael Melchior, Rabbi Aryeh Stern, and Sheikh Abdullah Darwish.
"When a baby is burned alive, every person created in God's image deplores and condemns the act," said Rabbi Melchior. "Only this Saturday we read in the Torah – you shall not murder – and there are people who are doing something that is a double crime – both murdering and doing so in the name of God, who commanded us not to murder.
The significance of this meeting with the sheikhs is great, because everyone thinks that only we protect, but more than this we are against terrorism in the name of God and we know that the Islamist chiefs and most senior leaders speak the same language and work every day to eradicate terrorism."
The rabbi went on to say that he hoped such meetings would occur not only when in moments of emergency and tragedy.
Rabbi Aryeh Stern, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, said: "At the beginning of the year, after the terror attack at Har Nof, I participated in a conference of all religious leaders and was very impressed that there was a desire on both sides to condemn bloodshed by murderers in the name of religion. Everyone was against it and it was a unique display of unity. It's very sobering that we are meeting again…
"We must ensure that there is peace between the Jewish people and the Arab people," continued Rabbi Stern. "Anyone who deals with bloodshed does not represent us, and we will make every effort to prevent it in the future and will allow our youth to commit such acts on either side, and then there are problems we will make peace."
Sheikh Abdullah Darwish said he condemned all anti-Jewish violence. "We need to ally against terrorism and for peace," he said. "I am not telling you to abandon your Zionism, but I do expect you to condemn terror. I came here today to congratulate you for being present. We need to continue these actions against terror and for peace. We achieved peace between the religions a long time ago – but there isn't peace between the peoples yet."
"We are against murder and also against damaging property and damaging human dignity," said Rabbi David Stav, founder and chairman of Tzohar. "There is a struggle over the land of Israel and the terror does not come from just one side. We are all supposed to educate the younger generation of Jews and Arabs. We must educate about complexity, that even if someone has an opinion different from mine, I won't hurt him…
"We must not generalize about an entire population, whether settlers or another population," continued Rabbi Stav. "Most settlers are not murderers and do not damage property, just as most Muslims do not."