In Palestine, Murder Will Bring Neither Freedom Nor Justice | Muslims and Jews denounce seminary killing

mindless violence continues. skewed media report continues. endless killing of civilians continue. the victims at the Seminary was aged 15 to 26. all people of conscience condemns such act of violence.

1.
Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey, Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director writes: On March 6, 2008, the world received news of yet another tragedy in the ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. In an apparent act of revenge, armed Palestinians infiltrated a Rabbinical school in Jerusalem and attacked a group of teenage Jewish students, leaving eight of them dead. They were not combatants, and the act did not take place in self-defense or in the heat of combat.

Most of the world, especially in Israel, was stunned and horrified by the killings. But in Gaza, at least according to news reports, people were jubilant in their celebration of the deaths.

Sadly, acts of deliberate murder are hardly rare in the context of this part of the world. I remember, a few years ago, the act of murder in a mosque in the West Bank that left nearly 30 Muslim worshippers murdered by a fanatic named Baruch Goldstein. The Muslim world, and most people of conscience, were enraged. Yet some extremists in Israel not only celebrated the killings, but actually made Goldstein (who was killed after the attack), a cult hero among some ultra-Zionists.

it's long past time to end the violence, and the killing, in Israel and Palestine. We mourn the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, especially in Gaza.

But now, we should also mourn the killing of the Jewish students in Jerusalem, and call for the respect for human life as a core value for both sides of this conflict. I, as a Muslim in America, offer my condolences to the families and communities of the young people who were killed in this act of violence.

The struggle for freedom has no room for the murder of innocent people. It is not acceptable in the modern world. - full text

2.
Earlier this week, American peace group Jewish Voice for Peace expressed outrage at the terrible loss of life in the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East in Gaza and Sderot. We also called for an immediate joint ceasefire, and an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza, which has barred food, medical supplies and fuel from an already desperately poor and malnourished 1.5 million Palestinians.

Today, we mourn the loss of 8 students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Jewish Voice for Peace believes the loss of just one person is one life too many. There is no difference in the immeasurable heartache felt by the parents of dozens of children killed in Gaza last week, or the parents of the 8 students killed yesterday in Jerusalem. All killings must stop.

As long as there is occupation and the brutality and violence it entails, we will mourn Israeli and Palestinian lives. In this context, media coverage that portrays violence as part of a short-term cycle of attack and retaliation obscures the facts, including the role the US has played, through covert action, in fomenting civil war in Gaza, as recently revealed by a groundbreaking report in Vanity Fair. As long as the United States continues to support Israel's decades-long practice of illegally appropriating land, destroying homes, and using disproportionate force--a policy which has proven to be both morally bankrupt and self-destructive for Israel--neither Palestinians nor Israelis will ever know peace.

This latest tragedy also highlights the way in which the Israeli government has either allowed or encouraged its own citizens to be woven into the fabric of occupation. The Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva is the birthplace of Gush Emunim, one of Israel's rightwing settler movements. Human rights groups have documented how the group systematically assaults Palestinians, destroys their crops, and attacks children on their way to school.

Today, Our House of Representatives passed an irresponsible and one-sided resolution H.Res 951 that will only perpetuate the cycle of violence by ignoring the basic human rights of Palestinians. We call on the U.S. government to stop supporting Israel's illegal occupation and to pressure Israel to negotiate with Hamas, to facilitate an immediate mutual ceasefire and end to the siege on Gaza.

A just and lasting peace is possible. A new poll conducted by Tel Aviv University shows that 64% of Israelis favor talks with Hamas. Talking to Hamas is the first step towards peace for both peoples.

About Jewish Voice for Peace | Founded in 1996, Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law.


# Further
. Seminary attack sparks press fears
There is a clear symbolic significance in targeting the religious school in occupied Jerusalem. This is the first religious school linking Judaism and Zionism. - comment @ BBC website
. Attack will be seen in Messianic terms
. Israel'e blood feud stirs again
Mercaz Harav seminary is the birthplace of the Jewish religious nationalist movement, which is behind the push to build Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territory of the West Bank. Now, one senior police officer told TIME, there is concern that some bands of armed settlers may take revenge against nearby Arab villages. - Time

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Technology of the Heart: In Palestine, Murder Will Bring Neither Freedom Nor Justice | Muslims and Jews denounce seminary killing
In Palestine, Murder Will Bring Neither Freedom Nor Justice | Muslims and Jews denounce seminary killing
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