JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A shocking attack on two leaders of the Hesder Yeshiva in Yaffo, Rabbi Eliyahu Mali and Rabbi Moshe Shandowitz occurred Sunday in Jaffa. The attack is the latest in a worrying string of anti-Semitic attacks by Arabs against Jews which have increased during the month of Ramadan which began last Tuesday.
The attack occurred as the two rabbis arrived on a Jaffa street near the yeshiva in order to facilitate the purchase of a plot which would be used by the yeshiva and its student body. The yeshiva and the kollel around it are attempting to further Jewish presence in the largely Arab town of Jaffa. A group of Arabs started kicking the rabbis and threatening them, as can be seen in pictures of the event.
Rabbi Mali succeeded in returning to the yeshiva and telling the students that he and Rabbi Shandowitz had been victims of an attack. He told the students to be especially wary because he doesn’t know what further attacks could occur later.
“We expect the police to bring the perpetrators to justice immediately,” a member of the yeshiva added. “This was unquestionably a nationalistically motivated attack.”
Rabbi Mali who did not require medical treatment went immediately to the police to submit a complaint and then returned to teach in the yeshiva, while Rabbi Shandowitz, the director of the yeshiva, required treatment in hospital.
Rabbi Shandowitz later related that “they attacked me with blows and kicks. When people scream at you because you are wearing a kippah that you are a settler and should get out of here, the matter is not a criminal matter [but rather a nationalistic hate crime].”
Jerusalem Minister Rabbi Raffi Peretz responded to the attack, stating that “the attack on Rabbi Mali is serious and I will demand strict punishment for the perpetrators. We can’t allow a situation where Arab hooligans attack Jews simply because they are Jews. The police and enforcement authorities must act resolutely against this evil violence. We cannot remain silent over such violence.”
Yemina leader Naftali Bennett said that “the state of Israel is not a shtetl where Jews can be harmed. The harsh and hostile violence against Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, the rosh yeshiva of the Yeshivat Hesder in Jaffa is a humiliation and a national disgrace. We are witness to a series of attacks by Arab hooligans against religious Jews in an intentional and anti-Semitic manner.”.
Religious Zionism leader Betzalel Smotrich responded by quoting the verse from the Torah: (Bamidbar 33:55) “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you, then those whom you leave over will be as spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you settle.”