Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Israeli Chief Rabbi: Jews Have ‘Moral Obligation’ To End Syrian ‘Genocide’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi said Jews have a “moral obligation” to end the “cruel genocide” taking place in Syria.

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef was responding on Sunday to reports that up to 150 men, women and children in the Syrian town of Douma, east of capital Damscus, were killed in a chemical attack by government forces.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a cruel genocide is taking place in Syria, including women and children, with weapons of mass destruction,” Yosef said in a statement on Sunday.

“There is a moral obligation not to remain silent and to try to stop the massacre. As Jews we have been through genocide, as Jews whose Torah is a light to the nations, it is our moral obligation to try to prevent the massacre. This is an obligation no less than the moral obligation was to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria,” he also said.

Video footage released online showed dead men, women and children lying on floors with white foam around their mouths, signifying possible nerve agents. Other footage showed full clinics where workers were hosing down patients and treating them with respirators, according to the New York Times.

Douma is controlled by a rebel group called the Army of Islam, and is the last holdout in the Damascus area.  They Syrian government has expressed its desire to completely rid the area of rebels, the Times reported.

Syrian state news media denied that any chemical weapons had been used, according to the report.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.