Shin Bet on Mosque Fire: 'Jewish Terror.' Chief Rabbi: 'It Means Nothing'

The Jerusalem Post reports today that Sunday’s torching of a Galilee mosque, believed by authorities to be the work of right-wing Jewish extremists, appears to be the latest sign that Jewish terrorism is “gaining steam” in Israel. The Post’s military correspondent, Yaakov Katz (bio) says the Shin Bet security service is worried that the phenomenon will only grow in the coming months as Palestinian statehood efforts intensify, and that they have “no clear way to stop this violence.”

A posse of Israeli leaders (here, here) and American Jewish organizations (AJC, OU) quickly condemned the attacks. ADL added a call for greater action against the price tag phenomenon.

On the other hand, Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar was quoted after a sympathy visit Monday saying that the attack could be a “blood libel” perpetrated by non-Jews and blamed on Jews (here’s the Arutz Sheva settler radio report on Amar’s comments, in case you don’t trust Ynet), and “in any case, it means nothing.” (Postscript: Look after the jump for some additional Amar quotes I have now learned about that put him in a different light.)

Arutz Sheva also talked to two right-wing Knesset members, Michael Ben-Ari of National Union and Yisrael Eichler of United Torah Judaism, who complain about the “hypocritical” expectation that they condemn the arson (which they promptly proceed to condemn) when “nobody” says anything after Jews are attacked:

The JPost’s Katz raises some curious questions about the arson attack that could be taken to reinforce Amar’s doubts:

Here’s more from Chief Rabbi Amar:

Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, on the same sympathy visit, offered an unintentionally revealing comment when he

After I posted this on Facebook, Stuart Schnee alerted me to an important quote that I hadn’t seen, which puts Amar in a rather different light:

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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Shin Bet on Mosque Fire: 'Jewish Terror.' Chief Rabbi: 'It Means Nothing'

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