CCAR Statement on the Attack of
Rabbi Arik Ascherman, Human Rights Activist

October 26, 2015

The Central Conference of American Rabbis is appalled by the violent attack of its member, Rabbis for Human Rights co-founder, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, on Friday. Rabbi Ascherman was engaged in one of his regular activities, helping West Bank Palestinians to harvest their olives, when he was accosted by man brandishing a knife. The attacker was a Jewish settler from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar.

We are grateful that Rabbi Ascherman was not seriously injured, and we offer prayers for his healing.

Israeli police initially characterized the incident as a confrontation between left and right wing activist, ignoring several facts: Rabbi Ascherman defended himself and others in his group, and tried to chase the attacker away, but did not otherwise confront his assailant in any way. Rabbi Ascherman did not brandish a weapon, as his attacker did. Friday's attack was the most serious of three incidents over the last decade when Rabbi Ascherman has been attacked while carrying out his humanitarian efforts peacefully.

As Rabbi Ascherman's colleagues and as Zionists who care deeply about justice in Israel, the Central Conference of American Rabbis calls on Israeli police to revise their report, issuing an accurate one in its place. We demand that the settler who attacked Rabbi Ascherman be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

 

Denise L. Eger                Steven A. Fox
President                       Chief Executive

Central Conference of American Rabbis