Former Israeli chief rabbi calls Syria conflict a ‘holocaust’


A former chief rabbi of Israel has described the crisis in Syria a “holocaust” and called on the international community to intervene.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a former Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel and current Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, told Army Radio today: “What is happening in Syria is a holocaust. Not just from today; for six years a holocaust has fallen on them.”

A chemical attack on Tuesday in Khan Sheikhoun reportedly killed at least 72 people, including 20 children, with another 100 people were being treated in hospital.

Rabbi Lau also called on Israel and other countries to put political considerations aside and take action.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Avner Shalev, the head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum, also made calls for action this week, with the latter indirectly comparing the Syrian crisis to the Holocaust.

Mr Shalev said in a statement: “Following World War II, the global community enacted universal principles and instituted international organisations with the express purpose of averting future crimes against humanity.”

He also expressed “deep concern” over the renewed conflict in Syria, and called on world leaders to “put a stop to the atrocities and avert further suffering”.

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