The Jewish diaspora woke up to a horrifying reality on Saturday during a time that was meant to be one of the most joyful moments on the Jewish holiday calendar.
The attacks by the militant group Hamas came after the end of Sukkot, a weeklong celebration to commemorate the harvest season and the time Jews lived in the desert after being freed from slavery in Egypt.
It also came as Jews in the United States were gearing up to celebrate the holiday of Simchat Torah, which marks the beginning of a new annual cycle of the reading of the scrolls and is celebrated in Israel a day earlier.
At synagogues around the globe, the attacks brought a somber tone.
Rabbi Felicia L. Sol opened the morning at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City by telling congregants of the devastating toll from an Hamas attack that came from the air, from the sea and from the land.
Amidst the strained diplomatic relations between India and Canada, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed his hope for a de-escalation of the dispute during a telephone conversation with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau.
Downing Street released a statement saying that the UK PM spoke to Trudeau on Friday evening where he was updated on the situation relating to Canadian diplomats in India.
The two leaders concurred to stay in contact as Sunak affirmed the position of the United Kingdom of respect for the rule of law after Trudeau alleged the involvement of Indian intelligence agents in the murder of Sikh pro-Khalistan hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
“Prime Minister Trudeau updated on the situation relating to Canadian diplomats in India,” read the Downing Street statement.
“The Prime Minister [Sunak] reaffirmed the UK’s position that all countries should respect sovereignty and the rule of law, including the principles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. He hoped to see a de-escalation in the situation and agreed to remain in contact with Prime Minister Trudeau on the next steps,” it said.
The telephonic conversation between the two leaders comes in the wake of a statement made by Trudeau in the Canadian Parliament last month where he suggested that India might be linked to the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil.
India has strongly rejected these claims while reiterating its adherence to the rule of law.
The conversation also comes a week after a group of assailants prevented Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom Vikram Doraiswami from entering a gurdwara in Scotland.
United Kingdom Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan said that she was “concerned” to see how Doraiswami was stopped from meeting the Gurdwara Committee in Glasgow.
Trevelyan said, “Concerned to see that the Indian High Commissioner @VDoraiswami was stopped from meeting with the Gurdwara Committee at the Gurdwara in Glasgow. The safety and security of foreign diplomats is of utmost importance and our places of worship in the UK must be open to all.”
‘Taking up concerns of security of our diplomats’, says MEA
The Ministry External Affairs (MEA) said that it has been taking up concerns of security of the diplomats.
“We have been taking up concerns of security of our diplomats and premises from people there who are wanted by our security and our judicial systems, and we will continue to do that as that is a continued conversation. The issue is about security, and our diplomats are safe and the community is not targeted,” said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in New Delhi.