NEW YORK — In response to the brutal beating of Rabbi Arik Ascherman in a settler attack in an illegal West Bank outpost, a group of American rabbis is condemning the attack and calling on Israel to bring the attacker to justice. T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization representing over 2,000 rabbis and cantors and their communities in North America, has been outspoken in the past about settler violence and the ways that Israeli forces treat Palestinians and settlers in vastly unequal ways. The escalating violence of the past year is a direct result of the ongoing occupation, which enshrines different systems of law and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of T’ruah, released the following statement:
“We condemn this attack, which violates all acceptable modes of human behavior, as well as both Jewish law and Israeli law. Our thoughts are with our friend and colleague Rabbi Arik Ascherman, and we pray for his speedy healing of body and soul.
“We call on Israel to follow its obligations under international law and follow through on its investigation by bringing the attacker to justice. For too long, settlers have engaged in blatant violence, primarily against Palestinians, and also against Israeli peace activists, with few if any consequences. It is particularly outrageous that a rabbi would be brutally beaten in the state created to protect the safety of Jews.
“Israel has a basic obligation, per its own laws and international law, to ensure equal justice for all those under its jurisdiction. The continued failure to prosecute settlers who engage in violence, even while imposing extremely serious consequences for Palestinians, is a violation of human rights.”
About T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights mobilizes a network of more than 2,000 rabbis and cantors from all streams of Judaism that, together with the Jewish community, act on the Jewish imperative to respect and advance the human rights of all people. Grounded in Torah and our Jewish historical experience and guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we call upon Jews to assert Jewish values by raising our voices and taking concrete steps to protect and expand human rights in North America, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories.