July 31, 2015
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement condemning the lethal terror attack on a Palestinian family in the village of Duman:
"The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, an 18-month-old toddler, and the serious injuries suffered by his 4-year-old brother, as well as their parents, in an overnight arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duman, which is south of Nablus.
"Though the killers' identity is unknown at this time, all signs point to the fact that these terrorists are from a nearby Jewish settlement. That breaks our hearts and we offer these innocent victims our deepest condolences.
"In condemning this reprehensible act of terrorism, the JCRC echoes the sentiments of Israel's Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan (Likud), who warned that 'a nation whose children were burned in the Holocaust needs to do a lot of soul-searching if it bred people who burn other human beings.'
"We are confident that the Israeli justice system will find and convict the perpetrators of this heinous act. The recent sentencing of two Israeli youths who set fire to a bilingual Hebrew-Arabic school in Jerusalem, as well as the indictment of two arsonists for their attack on a church at the Sea of Galilee, underscore our faith in the democratic institutions that uphold Israel's laws and societal norms.
"Finally, the JCRC implores the leaders and people of Israel to take heed of these warnings issued by members of the governing coalition and the elected opposition who fear that these extremists represent a traitorous fifth column. This cancer of Jewish extremism, whether directed against fellow Jews, as we saw yesterday in Jerusalem, or innocent Palestinians, is intolerable and must be dealt with like other dire threats to the State of Israel."
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.