October 24, 2014
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) issued the following statement regarding this week’s terror attacks in Jerusalem and Ottawa, the respective capitols of Israel and Canada:
"We condemn this week’s lethal terror attack at a light-rail station in Jerusalem in which Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month old baby and an American citizen, was murdered while returning home with her family from prayer at the Western Wall (Kotel), the holiest site in Judaism. Seven other Jewish civilians were also wounded in this attack by a known Palestinian terrorist. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chaya Zissel Braun’s family and that of the wounded.
"In addition, the JCRC is appalled that a faction of the Palestinian governing Fatah party has praised this cowardly act of terrorism. Specifically, the JCRC is outraged by the posting of a notice on Fatah’s Facebook page that 'the Silwan branch of Fatah honors the heroic martyr Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.'
"If President Mahmoud Abbas’ own political party does not understand that the intentional murder of a baby is a despicable act worthy of condemnation, and not praise, then it is impossible to see how there can be any negotiated resolution to the decades’ long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
"The JCRC also stands with the people of Canada in the wake of this week’s terror attack at Parliament and the National War Memorial which left Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dead and a nation galvanized by resolve not to yield to terrorism. While Canadian authorities have not yet determined the full extent of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s motivations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson has acknowledged to the press that the gunman’s actions were 'linked to his radicalization.'
"We greatly appreciate the enduring friendship between Canada and the United States, as well as between Canadians and the Jewish people. Aside from the United States, the people of Israel have no greater ally than Canada. Accordingly, yesterday’s senseless acts of terrorism in Jerusalem and Ottawa will only bring our peoples closer as we work together to achieve a more peaceful and secure future for our children."
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.