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September 2, 2014 | 7th Elul 5774

Reform Movement Welcomes Cease-fire and Calls for Lasting Peace

Contact: Annette Powers
917-225-4857
apowers@urj.org

New York, November 21, 2012 – In response to news of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome news of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, and pray that it may serve as a foundation for long-lasting peace.

For years, and increasingly in the past week, Israel has lived under a barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, as well as other heinous attacks, such as today's bus bombing, directly targeting civilians. Israel's first responsibility is to protect her citizens, and we are saddened that mounting terrorist attacks necessitated military action.

I am in Israel meeting with Israeli leaders, our Reform Movement, and those affected by the violence and have seen first hand the enormous toll these attacks have taken on Israelis across the country, including those who have been killed or injured, whose lives are threatened by the rockets, and those who have been called up for duty, or who have sent loved ones to the front.

We are grateful that Israel has been able to conduct this campaign without a ground incursion, and praise the deliberate care and caution with which Israel targeted its efforts, with the goal of minimizing civilian casualties. Despite these efforts, we are distraught by the deaths of innocent civilians on both sides who want nothing more than to live in peace and security.

We commend the governments of the United States and Canada for their steadfast support for Israel's security, and particularly thank President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton and Egyptian President Morsi for their active involvement in achieving a cease-fire. Yet again, it is clear that the U.S. must play a central role in advancing a long-term peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

We continue to pray for stability and security for all in the region, and hope for the day where we can be thankful that two states will live side by side in prosperity and peace.

For more information and updates from Rabbi Jacobs in Israel, visit www.urj.org/Israel

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