'Holocaust is happening in Syria' says Israel's former chief rabbi

Published: April 7, 2017
Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. PHOTO: AFP

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. PHOTO: AFP

The former chief rabbi of Israel termed Syrian crisis as another ‘Holocaust’, the Washington Post reported.

Yisrael Meir Lau made the comments while speaking to Israel Army Radio on Thursday. He said the attack on a rebel-held area that killed nearly 100 people is today’s ‘Holocaust’.

“Of course, this is a ‘shoah’ of the Syrian people and it did not start today. For the past six years since they have been living in a Holocaust,” he said, using the equivalent Hebrew.

Trump says chemical attack in Syria crossed many lines

He also criticised Israel’s stance to not interfere in the civil war and urged the government to help stop what is happening in Syria. He said he wanted Israel to go in and “save children and innocents who are suffering in Syria”.

“We do not enjoy bloodshed, this is human blood,” said the rabbi. “Your neighbour does not have to share your nationalism or worldview; he was created in the image of God,” the rabbi expressed.

Despite sharing a border, the countries do not have any formal ties. Syria does not recognise Israel as a state.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in an interview published on Thursday in Syrian Arab News Agency [SANA] said that there was already a war between the two countries.

Responding to a question about a possible Syria-Israel war, Assad said those who are fighting him are essentially fighting for Israel. “Even if they are not a regular Israeli army, they are still fighting for Israel. And Israel shares the objectives with Turkey, the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other states. They all share the same objective. It is a war that has taken a new form and uses new instruments. Practically, our victory over the terrorists is a victory over all those states put together.”

Outrage as Syria ‘chemical attack’ kills dozens in rebel-held town

Assad has come under scrutiny following a chemical attack in Idlib province, one of the last major strongholds of rebels, who have fought since 2011 to topple Assad, complicates diplomatic efforts to end a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven half of Syrians from their homes, AFP reported.

Over the past several months, Western countries, including the United States, had been quietly dropping their demands that Assad leaves power in any deal to end the war, accepting that the rebels no longer had the capability to topple him by force.

The use of banned chemical weapons would make it harder for the international community to sign off on any peace deal that does not remove him. Britain and France on Wednesday renewed their call for Assad to leave power, the newspaper adds.


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Reader Comments (2)

  • Lolz
    Apr 7, 2017 - 4:27PM

    Why can’t they see the holocaust in Yemen? It seems all the friends are on the same page. Recommend

  • Solomon2
    Apr 16, 2017 - 6:30PM

    Lau was a child refugee, a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp whose own parents perished in the Holocaust. Lau experienced first-hand resentment at other nations who knew for six years what the Jews of Poland were suffering under Hitler but did not lift a finger to alleviate their suffering. Recommend

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