Jerusalem, December 25, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemns the attack of religious extremists against women and young girls in Beit Shemesh. Religious beliefs can never justify verbal or physical abuse of anyone and such acts have no place in society.
ADL's Israel Office issued the following the statement:
We are deeply troubled by the attacks on women and young girls in the streets of Beit Shemesh. The State of Israel is based on the fundamental values of equality that appear in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. We support the voices who call for an open Israeli society that protects and ensures each individual's safety in the public sphere regardless of one's gender and beliefs. It is important that individuals who carry out such hideous attacks face judicial consequences and be prosecuted to the full extent of Israeli law.
Phyllis Gerably, Director of the ADL Israel Office said, "The increasing violence by Jewish extremists in Israel, as illustrated by the most recent attack in Beit Shemesh, threatens the social fabric of Israeli society.
"We call upon the spiritual leaders of these communities to take responsibility for their followers and work to promote a safe environment for everyone. In Israel's modern and democratic society, women have the right to be respected and treated equally – whether sitting on a public bus, walking in the streets of Israel or performing on stage. We urge Israeli authorities to take appropriate action to ensure the basic rights of all citizens."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.