Reform Jewish Movement Saddened by Deaths in Flotilla Clash
Contact: Sean Thibault
NEW YORK, NY, May 31, 2010 - In response to today's violent confrontation between the Israeli Defense Forces and the activist flotilla of ships destined for Gaza, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are deeply saddened by the events off the coast of Gaza. We greatly regret the loss of life that resulted from the clashes between activists on the flotilla and Israeli forces.
We note that the Hamas government, which is committed to Israel's destruction and which has long been responsible for attacks against Israeli forces and civilian centers, cannot expect to have open borders. We also note that humanitarian aid sent to Gaza in the past has often been used as a cover for delivering weapons and military supplies. In light of these factors, Israel has responded as a sovereign nation must, by exercising her right to self-defense.
We urge the Government of the United States to work with Israel in addressing Israel's security concerns while examining as well the plight of those living in Gaza who require additional humanitarian assistance. Recent events underscore the urgent need for real progress in addressing both sets of concerns.
The Union for Reform Judaism is the congregational arm of North American Reform Judaism. The Union strives to create and sustain vibrant Jewish congregations as the center of Jewish life. With some 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 affiliated congregations, the Union supports the largest movement in modern Jewish life today.