Denouncing Religious Violence at Latrun

Following the religious violence on Tuesday, at the Latrun Monastery, near Ramla, I issued the following press release on behalf of ICCI and JCJCR , which was mentioned on the news of Kol Yisrael (2nd station) and on Israeli Army Radio yesterday and the day before:

PRESS RELEASE
September 4, 2012, Jerusalem

On behalf of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI) and the Jerusalem Center for Jewish Christian Relations (JCJCR), we denounce the attack on the Latrun monastery. This is a hillul hashem, a desecration of the name of God.

As people who seek peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between Jews, Christians and Muslims in this land, we condemn such wanton acts of violence against people of other religions.

At the same time, we rededicate ourselves to educating for tolerance and mutual understanding which can increase the possibility of living together in peace and harmony in this land.

In addition, I visited the monastery yesterday with Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman, co-chairperson of ICCI and Rabbi of Kol HaNeshama, and a delegation of Reform rabbis and congregants from all over Israel (see this link for video and photos) to express solidarity with the monks who live there and saw the desecration of their monastery with my own eyes. At this visit we recited verses from the traditional “confession” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and prayed for peace. I felt that the monks were genuinely moved by our visit.

Rabbi Ron Kronish and Levi Weiman-Kelman in Latrun

In addition, representatives of ICCI joined the “Tag Meir” coalition (a Hebrew pun on “Tag Mehir”, “Price Tag”) demonstration with about 200 people from many different organizations to shed some positive light and hope on the situation. We are committed to keeping hope alive in our difficult situation in Israel.

Furthermore, tonight, ICCI and JCJCR will co-sponsor a public symposium with the ICCJ and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung entitled “Changes in Jewish-Christian Relations in the West: What Do They Mean for Jewish-Christian Relations in the Holy Land?” in which we will continue to raise of voice for peaceful coexistence with our Christian and Muslim neighbors in Israel, and we will recommit ourselves to educating for mutual understanding and reconciliation in our country and our region.

Religious-inspired hatred has become a plague in our society. ICCI is developing a new program to begin to heal hatred. More on this on another occasion.

Rabbi Ron Kronish
Director, ICCI and JCJCR
Jerusalem

5 Responses

  1. May I express my outrage concerning the attack on latrun. As a surviver I deplore relgious discrimination and atacks against different relligions.
    Didn’t we learn enough during the holocaust. It is time to unite against prejudice and join hand in a efford to eliminate those brutal attaks.
    My symphathy to the inhabitans of Latrun, and I hope that our replies will assure them that this behavour is not tolerated among people of good will.
    Luna Kaufman

  2. The Board of the Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University expresses solidarity with Rabbi Ron Kronish, the ICCI and the JCJCR in affirming our common mission to build bridges of understanding between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

    We deplore violence or abuse of any kind that threatens anyone on the basis of religion. None of our religious traditions can sanction hate, violence, or intimidation, or any form of bullying. Special thanks to Rabbi Ron Kronish for bringing this to our attention and leading an effort to reconcile and affirm members of our communities in the ways of justice and peace.

    David Bossman, Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    The Sister Rose Thering Fund for Education in Jewish-Christian Studies
    Seton Hall University
    South Orange NJ 07052
    USA

  3. Whatever you can do to show those of other faiths in this country that many of us abhor religious violence (or any violence) is to be commended. Keep up the good work, expand it, and let us know how we can be involved too.

  4. this is just terrible, why aand what for

  5. It distresses me that some people, in the name of ‘religion’, could violently desecrate a holy place, a place of peace and community. I believe that it shows they simply do not even understand their own religion or its teachings… let alone the God who we all serve.

    Thank you, rabbi Ron & ICCI, for your support to my brother monks in this instance – and for all your work to bring about a greater understanding and shared vision of religious respect and harmony. Anachnu achim!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: