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October 9, 2015 | 26th Tishrei 5776
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Statement on Arafat's Death


Statement by Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
President, Union for Reform Judaism

Statement from ARZA Executive Director
Background &responsa on Arafat

NOV 10, 2004 -- On the occasion of Yasser Arafat’s death we are reminded of the tragedy that was his life. While keeping the Palestinian issue at the center of the world’s attention for nearly 50 years, Arafat chose terror and jihad over compromise and peace. He could have been the leader of a state, and he chose instead to be the head of a violent and corrupt gang. His actions left Jews and Palestinians alike drenched in a sea of blood.

We hope and pray that his passing will be the occasion for the emergence of a new Palestinian leadership committed to the establishment of a state that will live in peace alongside the State of Israel. We hope, too, that the government of the United States will use this opportunity to join with the government of Israel and interested Palestinians to move the region toward a negotiated settlement.


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The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC.


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