Yoffie: Renewed violence and terrorist tactics threaten to further undermine any possibility of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and pose risks for Israeli security in the already, and increasingly, unstable Middle East.
NEW YORK, NY, March 23, 2011 In response to today's explosion outside the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, which blew out the windows of two buses, killing one and injuring dozens, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
First and foremost, we pray for the victims of today's tragic terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We are dismayed by the loss of even one life and outraged at the terrorists' disregard for human life. Additionally, our thoughts are with the first responders and hospital staff who are treating the victims, and the police and soldiers working to secure the city.
Any terrorist attack is cause for profound concern. But, given that this attack comes as part of a significant increase of violence in Israel rockets targeting Israeli cities, heavy exchange of fire between Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza, and of course the recent horrific massacre of an Israeli family in Itamar in their sleep our fears are heightened. Renewed violence and terrorist tactics threaten to further undermine any possibility of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and pose risks for Israeli security in the already, and increasingly, unstable Middle East.
We call upon Palestinian leaders to condemn today's attack and make it clear that rocket fire and bombs in bus stations are not the answer. We urge both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to do all they can to ensure the violence we have recently witnessed does not escalate. We call upon the Palestinians to return to peace talks immediately so that progress can be mode toward the peace that the Israeli and Palestinian peoples so desperately want and need.
But, most importantly today, we pray for the Jewish State and her citizens and offer our condolences to the victims and their families.