The Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha, on the Sea of Galilee, sits on the ruins of two previous churches, and is said to be the site of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish. The church building fell victim to arson on Thursday. Rabbi Eckstein spoke out against this crime, slamming it as a product of xenophobia:
Condemnation of the suspected arson at a Galilee church on Thursday morning continued to pour in on Thursday afternoon.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), said that the action was “a product of the xenophobia which increasingly dominates our society, including the religious sector.
“I call the government and the police to follow a ‘zero tolerance’ policy against the perpetrators and instigators alike,” said Eckstein. At the same time, rabbis must break their silence and denounce these anti-Jewish phenomena.”
Eckstein was only one of many voices in Israel and the Jewish world condemning the alleged arson and desecration of the Tabgha church on the shores of the Kinneret earlier Thursday.