Ultra-Orthodox paper condemns 'insane act' of mosque arson in northern Israel
'Jews don't burn mosques, period,' says newspaper's editorial, '...no shadow of justification can be found for harming a Muslim mosque.'
The ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yated Ne'eman Wednesday condemned the arsonists who torched the mosque in the village of Tuba-Zangariya and said the "din rodef" law applied to them, meaning it is permitted to kill them to prevent them from endangering others.
"Jews don't burn mosques, period," the newspaper's editorial said. "...no shadow of justification can be found for harming a Muslim mosque. This is an insane, dangerous act."
The mosque was torched earlier this week, apparently by Jewish extremists. Its interior was seriously damaged, and many holy books were destroyed by the blaze.
Yated Ne'eman blasted Jewish rightists who said the mosque was probably set on fire by Arabs, as a provocation against Jews.
"The identity of the mosque-burners in the Galilee is not known yet...But one cannot help but fear this is no provocation intended to incite against right wingers, but rather that the act was committed by wacky, radical rightists who have already specialized in [similar activities.]"
The editorial slammed MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ), who refused to denounce the arson. "A number of rightist extremists, including one Knesset Member, tried to put the blame for burning the mosque on Israel's government, the army and the defense establishment, which is 'forcing' the settlers to unleash their anger on Muslim mosques," the paper said.
The article was written at the direct order of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox leader Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv, his personal assistant Haim Cohen said yesterday.
Cohen said whoever sets fire to a mosque is "a terrorist and a murderer with blood on his hands."