18 November 2014


From a STATEMENT, 19 November 2014, by  Robert Goot AM SC, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:

We are shocked and appalled by the terrorist attack on Tuesday morning, which targeted Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Har Nof, a neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Five people were murdered by the terrorists, Ghassan Abu Jamal and Uday Aby Jamal, who stormed the synagogue armed with a gun, meat cleaver and axe, during morning prayers, a time when synagogues throughout the capital are full of congregants.
  • Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 
  • Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 
  • Rabbi Kalman Levine, 
  • Rabbi Moshe Twersky 
were killed instantly during the attack. Twenty four children are now without fathers.
  • A fifth victim, Zidan Sayif, a policeman from the Druze village of Yanuh-Jatt was shot in the head while protecting a colleague and succumbed to his wounds several hours later. Zidan is survived by his wife and seven-month-old daughter. 
Six others were seriously injured in the attack.

The Australian Jewish community shares the sorrow, grief and anger caused by this barbaric crime and we pray for the souls of the murdered and for their families to be granted strength at this terrible time.

We thank the Australian Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma for his immediate, unequivocal and heartfelt condemnation of the terrorist attack and for his support for the people of Israel in this difficult time.

We are also appalled by the events that immediately followed this attack. In Gaza, mosques broadcast words of praise for the terrorists through loudspeakers, while sweets were handed out on the streets to celebrate the crime. There were similar scenes in the West Bank. A cousin of the terrorists told journalists that the family “shouted with joy” upon learning of the attack and the “martyrdom” of the “heroic” terrorists. Whilst we acknowledge the condemnation of the murders by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, we condemn the contradictory statements of Fatah representatives, applauding this vicious and brutal attack on Jews as Jews.

We echo the sentiments of US Secretary of State John Kerry who stated that the attack was “the
pure result of incitement."

We wish long life to the families of the victims. May the memories of their loved ones be a
blessing. We pray that peace can swiftly and permanently return to the holy city of Jerusalem.