New York, April 12th, 2023 – For the first time in over thirty years the religious holidays of Pesach, Easter and Ramadan have converged over the same weekend. In no city is this convergence more visible than in Jerusalem, a city holy for all the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
This shared holiday would have provided a unique opportunity for people of different faiths to show their love and respect for each other as they and their families celebrated their holidays. Sadly, instead we witnessed the eruption of violence on the Temple Mount by Palestinian extremists and a wave of antisemitic terror attacks leading to the killing of Lucy, Rina and Maya Dee in the settlement of Jordan valley in Judea while Italian tourist Alessandro Parini was killed in another terror attack in Tel Aviv.
The European Coalitions for Israel calls upon leaders of all three faiths, as well as government leaders, to condemn this current wave of violence and killings by Palestinian terrorists. In a statement in New York on Tuesday evening ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell said,
“The city of Jerusalem is unique in that it guarantees the freedom of worship for all three monotheistic religions. This freedom of religion however should not be misused by using places of worship for stirring up violence or hiding explosives. Furthermore, it is important to remember that this freedom did not exist under the Jordanian occupation from 1949-1967 but was only introduced after Israel gained control over the Old City of Jerusalem in the Six Day War in 1967. The Israeli government should be commended for maintaining this unique freedom of worship while keeping the Temple Mount safe for worshippers.
It is important however to point out that the Palestinian terrorists who killed the four people this past weekend are not representative for the majority of the Muslims living in the region. The recent terror and rocket attacks fired at civilian population in Israel are clearly orchestrated by the Islamic regime in Tehran and its terrorist proxies in the region. It is high time for the international community to call out those who are responsible for the latest wave of violence and make them accountable for the lost lives. If the European Union wants to prevent another major regional flash point from erupting into a full-scale war it will have to take immediate action by adding the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the terrorist list as called for by members of the European parliament and a growing number of member states.
As the Abraham Accords have proven in recent years, religion does not have to be a source of conflict and violence but can instead help build peace and coexistence, as stated in the joint declaration from the First Abraham Accords Global Leadership Summit in Rome in December. ECI remains fully committed to these shared Abrahamic values but will continue to call out religious extremists and radicals of all religious persuasions who break this bond of peace”, Sandell concluded.