Yoffie: We hope and pray that the transition in Egypt will be one of calm and peace and that the next leader of Egypt will be chosen through open and democratic elections.
WASHINGTON D.C., February 11, 2011 In response to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation today, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are inspired by the ongoing commitment to reform demonstrated by the Egyptian people over the past several weeks. Their acts of peaceful civil disobedience, even in the face of violence and intimidation, are evidence of the human desire for freedom and self-determination. For too many generations, Egypt's leaders have failed to allow their people the democratic advances that are a source of strength in any nation. Today we reassert our belief in the rights of all citizens of the world to peacefully assemble and openly express their opinions without fear of repression.
Certainly there have been failures and abuses of the Mubarak government. We welcome today's development as a step toward a fair and legitimate electoral process for Egypt. At the same time there can be no denying the role that Mubarak played in forging and maintaining a secure relationship with Israel and his impact in making Egypt a true ally of the United States.
As Jews we are taught that "A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted" (Babylonian Talmud Berachot 55a). We hope and pray that the transition in Egypt will be one of calm and peace and that the next leader of Egypt will be chosen through open and democratic elections. We further pray that the next government will continue Egypt's leadership in the area of regional security and work to protect both Egypt's and the world's interest in continuing peace with Israel.