October 3, 2011, New York -- Leaders of the Reform Movement today condemned an arson attack on a mosque in the Israeli Arab village of Tuba Zangaria, and announced the establishment of a fund that would be used to rebuild the mosque.
In the Israeli Galilee Arab village of Tuba Zangaria, a mosque was set on fire on Sunday evening, October 2, 2011. Israeli President Shimon Peres, visiting the scene of the crime with the two Chief Rabbis, stated that the attack is "contrary to the moral values and spirit" of Israel. The mosque was scrawled with the words "price tag" and "revenge."
President of the Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Eric Yoffie said, "We condemn these acts of hatred in the strongest possible terms. They are inexcusable and do not reflect Jewish values at any time, and are especially reprehensible during these, our high holy days. We stand by the State of Israel in her commitment to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice swiftly and to provide safety and religious freedom to all Israeli citizens."
"The Days of Awe leading up to Yom Kippur are a time of deep reflection for all Jews," said ARZA Executive Director Rabbi Daniel Allen. "Now is the time to demonstrate that we can help build a more inclusive, pluralistic, democratic Israeli society, especially in the face of criminal actions against an Israeli place of worship."
"The Central Conference of American Rabbis has for years insisted that our commitment to pluralism in Israel, as elsewhere, must be multidimensional including the religious, cultural and ethnic rights of Israeli Arabs," stated CCAR Executive Steve Fox.
The Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), in cooperation with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), The Central Conference of Reform Rabbis (CCAR) The Israel Reform Movement (IMPJ) and the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), has created a fund to participate in refurbishing the desecrated mosque. Contributions may be sent to: Tuba Zangaria Mosque Fund at ARZA, 633 Third Avenue, New York, New York, 10017 or can be made online at www.ARZA.org. This fund is an ARZA Unity Project.