REFORM MOVEMENT LEADER PRAISES SHARON
FOR MEETING WITH PALESTINIAN LEADER
(New York, NY, February 10, 2003) Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the Reform Movement's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, released the following statement in response to reports that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met recently with the leader of the Palestinian legislative council, Ahmed Queria, also known as Abu Ala:
"I commend the recent initiative taken by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in meeting with Abu Ala, the leader of the Palestinian legislative council. These are painful times for the people of Israel, who have been bombarded for more than two and a half years with Palestinian terror attacks. Sharon's meeting showed leadership in a difficult moment. It was an expression of hope, something that the Israeli and Palestinian people have lived without for too long. The Reform Movement firmly believes that resumed negotiations between the Israeli government and a moderate Palestinian leadership are crucial to peace and security in the region. Only through negotiations, leading to the establishment of two states, can this peace be achieved."
The Union of Reform for Judaism is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. UAHC services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC.