IRF Statement on Violence in Beit Shemesh
December 28, 2011
The International Rabbinic Fellowship, an international fellowship of Orthodox rabbis, strongly condemns the use of violence, intimidation, verbal abuse and/or the threat of any such actions in the pursuit of achieving any "religious" goals, legislation, or in trying to enforce adherence to any "social" or "communal" mores.
Such actions and attitudes have no place in interactions between Jews whether in the Diaspora or in our beloved State of Israel. We call upon law-enforcement officials to vigorously uphold the law and prosecute law-breakers fully.
In light of the recent tensions that have come to a head in Beit Shemesh we also call upon the rabbinic and communal leadership of this section of the Hareidi community, especially those whose voices carry great authority, to actively rein in the extremist elements to the best of their ability.
As Orthodox rabbis we recognize and value the principles of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a democratic society. Moreover, we recognize that there can be no protection of any segment of society so long as some are being attacked. Our Torah teaches that all human are created in the image of God b'tselem elokim. We are committed to this fundamental truth and will struggle for its universal application.