New Israel Fund Australia receives praise from Muslim leaders

October 12, 2011 Agencies
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Two senior Australian Muslims have lauded a Jewish group that condemned the burning of a mosque in northern Israel just after Rosh Hashanah, which triggered a mass petition of protest signed by 1000 rabbis, including several from Australia.

The New Israel Fund’s Australian president, Robin Margo, responded to the October 6 attack by sending out an email circular to the group’s database in Australia, saying: “Burning a mosque is wrong. It’s not Jewish. It’s especially horrible that it happened during the Ten Days of Repentance. We should be using this time to reflect and to improve the world, not to sow division or to desecrate our neighbours’ holy places.”

Robin Margo

In response, the president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Hyder Gulam, wrote to Mr Margo last Thursday thanking him for his “principled stance against the shocking events in [the Galilean village of] Tuba-Zangariya”.

Also on Thursday, Mohammed Elleissy, an ordained imam in Melbourne, wrote to Mr Margo saying how much he “appreciated” the work NIF is doing “with justice and integrity”.

Mr Gulam said in his message that he and Jewish Community Council of Victoria president John Searle “share your vision that Australia too should also be a place where our respective faiths and communities not only live side-by-side, but thrive, working in concert as part of a truly shared nation, which is our common home in Australia”.

The New Israel Fund, which promotes human rights and religious pluralism in Israel, also initiated last week a statement denouncing the torching that managed to accrue in under 24 hours the signatures of more than 1000 rabbis from around the world.

Among the signatories to the NIF-sponsored statement were  many Progressive and Conservative rabbis and at least three Australian Orthodox rabbis: Caulfield Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Ralph Genende, Blake Street’s Rabbi Ian Goodhart and Gandel Besen House’s Rabbi Shamir Caplan.

“We condemn this act as an affront to G-d and to the values of our Torah,” said the statement. “We condemn those in Israel who exacerbate conflict and strife, and who insist that only one people or religion belongs to this land.”

The statement was presented last Thursday (October 6) by a delegation of dozens of rabbis and peace activists to the imam of Tuba-Zangria.

President Shimon Peres also visited the site, saying the attack was “un-Jewish, illegal, immoral and [it] brings heavy shame on us”.

David Rosenn, the chief operating officer of NIF and a Conservative rabbi, called the mosque arson “a flagrant challenge to Jewish history and values”.

Police arrested a suspect who, according to The Associated Press, was identified by his lawyer as “an 18-year-old seminary student with ties to one of the most hardline Jewish settlements in the West Bank”. A second suspect, also reportedly a settler, was arrested this week.


5 Responses to “New Israel Fund Australia receives praise from Muslim leaders”
  1. MIchael Burd says:

    That the Muslim leaders Praises NIF says it all… with friends like NIF and their supporters who needs friends

    Michael B.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    Wow, speaking of incendiary minds !! Ann Fink’s compendium, traversing a mere five millennia across just a few lines, left me breathless and DO need a good air supply in order to induce prompt vomiting. But then, forget air, just read the fulminating rants !

  3. Ann Fink says:

    To Otto, don’t worry about the NIF. For all the fine words of the 1000 rabbis , the “suspect’ has already been released and is free to torch more mosques and hey, the olive harvest has begun and the suspect and his friends will have a great time burning trees (200 last week.). They are so clever these jewish terrorists, that the Shabak, the Mossad not to mention the Israeli police, have no clue who they are. LOL!

    And Shaya, why don’t you check some facts before you rush to spew out your racist libel. The village in question, Tuba Zangaryia is a Bedouin village whose menfolk, have since the founding of the state until today ,served in the Israeli army as loyal israeli citizens! What more can they do than be willing to lay down their lives for their fellow citizens.

    As for the rest of your nonsense ” living in someone else’s country, and have been since the late seventh century, that is, those Palestinians whose forebears did not arrive so recently as the Jews’ economy thrived”, please read any decent history of the area. Try Simon Sebag Montefiore’s “Jerusalem”. Who actually built the second temple before whose “sacred wall” so many righteous Jews come to pray? Herod! And who was Herod? The son of a Petra princess and and Idomenean, ARABS! Herod was a Jew but only by conversion. He was also a psychotic who murdered the last of the Maccabees, who included his wife and her mother and brother as well as countless others.The whole area was ALWAYS a crossroads for a multitude of conquering armies. But for you, of course, God is merely the supreme real estate agent, handing out out plots in perpetuity, and giving you the right to murder, plunder and burn anyone who steps on your territory.

  4. Otto Waldmann says:

    Beware of NIF bearing motherhood statements !!!!

    NIF is far more than this rhetorical event, although one cannot dispute NIF’s passionate affection for all matters Islamic/Palestinian.

  5. Shaya says:

    I wonder what goes in the brackets in the second to last line of paragraph three? “Arab area of?” Palestinian town of?” … It probably didn’t say something neutral like ‘Galilean’, and almost certainly didn’t include the word ‘Israel’, the only word with legal application.

    And that’s the Palestinians’ problem. Even the peace loving, silent majority. Fact is that they can not accept that they are living in someone else’s country, and have been since the late seventh century, that is, those Palestinians whose forebears did not arrive so recently as the Jews’ economy thrived.

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