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Israeli Synagogue Desecrated

Israeli Synagogue Desecrated

Images of Kristalnacht were stirred up for Jewish residents of Efrat, as their synagogue was vandalized by Palestinian intruders.


On Thursday, October 26, Palestinians invaded the Tiferet Avot synagogue in Efrat, Israel, spray-painting the walls and Holy Ark with swastikas, Arabic references to holy jihad, and the slogan "Hitler Destroyed Germs." The intruders also sprayed water hoses everywhere, ruining hundreds of Jewish holy books.

"There are footprints leading to one of the nearby villages" under Palestinian control, a police spokesman said.

"The intruders flooded the synagogue and stole money from the charity boxes," Efrat Mayor Eitan Golan told Reuters.

The next day, teenagers armed with blow dryers carefully worked to dry out prayer books and other holy texts.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the American-born founder of the Efrat community, told that the Holocaust symbols were most disturbing. "The Palestinians share a deep affinity with the Nazis, in that they seek nothing less than Jewish annihilation."

According to Joseph Singer of the World Jewish Congress, over the past few weeks, there were more attacks against synagogues around the world than during Nazi Europe. "What we are seeing is not a war against Israel," said Riskin. "It's a war against the entire Jewish people -- wherever they happen to be."

Riskin said the attack "should be a wake-up call to the entire world," citing recent reports that Christian Arabs have fled their homes in Bethlehem and Beit Jalla, in fear of Moslem reprisals against Christians. Riskin called upon Christians and other Westerners to join in mass public demonstrations against Palestinian violence.

Efrat has been the victim of other attacks in the past few weeks. At the conclusion of Yom Kippur services, one of the synagogues came under heavy Palestinian gunfire, and women and children were forced to crouch on the floor for two hours, said Riskin.

In October, the dean of the Hamivtar Yeshiva in Efrat, Rabbi Chaim Brovender, was beaten by a mob of 30 Palestinian civilians and policemen and miraculously escaped death.

Yet Efrat residents are optimistic about the future. The Friday evening after the graffiti attack, over 1,000 people packed into the synagogue that normally hold a few hundred. "We sang and danced for 20 minutes during the services, showing deep Jewish commitment to stand strong in our homeland," Riskin said.

Those interested in contributing to the restoration and the funding of security measures for the synagogue, can contact the synagogue board at (972-5) 073-0579.

October 29, 2000

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Visitor Comments: 6

(6) Judith Jasper, March 14, 2001 12:00 AM

puts the human race back thousands of years

I am deeply sorry that such a thing as this happens in our world today. If only we could love one another and become as one in a race called humankind. How long will these kinds of atrocities be allowed to happen?

(5) timo Johnson, November 1, 2000 12:00 AM

This is what we can expect from the PLO

Palestinians and their leftist allies attacked in force the Christian town of Damour which lay across the Sidon - Beirut highway about 20 km south of Beirut. The relentless pounding the town received resulted in the deaths of many. In the siege that followed the Palestinians cut off food and water supplies and refused to allow the Red Cross to take out the wounded. Infants and children died of dehydration. A plan was devised to evacuate the civilians and fortunately the majority of the population of Damour was evacuated by sea but about 500 civilians defended by some 20 Phalangists did not make it out in time. Damour was captured, the Phalangists were executed, the civilians were lined up against the walls of their houses and shot, their houses were then dynamited. Many of the young women had been raped and babies had been shot at close range at the back of the head. 149 bodies lay in the streets for days afterwards and 200 other civilians were never seen again. The horror did not end there, the old Christian cemetery was next, coffins were dug up, the dead robbed, vaults opened, and bodies and skeletons thrown across the grave yard. Damour was then transformed into a stronghold of Fatah and the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine).

(4) Ron Ross, October 31, 2000 12:00 AM

Never Again!

I am a pastor in Australia and many of my peers are grieved by what is happening.
We stand with Israel and pray for `the peace of Jerusalem.' I am currently trying to arrange details to be there Dec 2-7 to pray with international pastors and to meet with Israeli leaders to show our support

(3) , October 31, 2000 12:00 AM

wasn't one of the reasons for the State of Israel so that we would NEVER see this type of desecration again? I think our strength is being challenged will the IDF and our leaders respond to stem this very sickening and dangerous trend?

(2) Brad Ponsart, October 31, 2000 12:00 AM

Anti-semitism ignored once again by world press

I find it inconceivable in this so called age of religious tolerance that the people and nations and religions would ignore Israel's right to exist and worship at their historically traditional holy site. Namely the temple mount. THe world would bring unprecedented pressure to bear if any nation or faith attempted to restrict Muslims from access to Mecca, or Catholics access to St. Peter's Basilica. When Arafat vows to fly the Palestinian flag from the temple site (the alleged capitol of Palestine), one can see that peace is the farthest thing from his mind at this time.

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