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August 30, 2014 | 4th Elul 5774

Israel's Security Barrier

Adopted by the Executive Board of the
Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
March, 2004

RESOLUTION ON ISRAEL'S SECURITY BARRIER

While Israelis are under continuing severe threat from murderous acts of terrorism which are perpetrated by sworn enemies of Israel, the Palestinian Authority has done virtually nothing of substance either to curtail indiscriminate terrorist attacks aimed at taking Israeli lives or to control the culture of violence and hatred which still permeates Palestinian classrooms and airwaves. Over 900 men and women, from infants to the elderly, have died in such terrorist attacks, and thousands more have been wounded since the Fall of 2000.

We recognize, as we always have, that Israel has the legal right and moral responsibility to defend its citizens. In that regard, the government of Israel has begun construction of a defensive security barrier between Israel and the Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Jewish ethics consistently places the protection of human life over the protection of property.

Security barriers have been effective in diminishing terrorist capabilities in the cases of the Gaza Strip and the border with Lebanon, and diverse Israeli groups across the political spectrum maintain that the construction of a security barrier is the best path to self-defense under the current conditions.

Additionally, the government of Israel has stated that it is willing to move or remove sections of the barrier because of political and/or humanitarian concerns and that it does not view the establishment of the barrier as the establishment of a permanent border.

We reiterate our total condemnation of these murderous acts of Palestinian terrorism, which are the impetus for the appropriate and popular support within Israel for this barrier.

THEREFORE, the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism resolves to:

  1. Support the right of Israel to defend its citizens by constructing a security barrier as close as possible to the Green line, with adjustments in the Jerusalem area;

  2. Call upon the Palestinian leadership to do everything in its power to suppress the terror that has resulted in the need for the security barrier;

  3. Oppose the placement of sections of the security barrier, except where no other functional option exists, where the effect is to cause severe violation to property, livelihood, and human rights of significant numbers of Palestinians through expropriation of land, surrounding or dividing particular Palestinian cities, towns or villages, or making farmland inaccessible;

  4. Call upon both sides to pursue direct negotiations towards a two-state solution, notwithstanding the existence of the security barrier;

  5. Call upon the Israeli government to operate the barrier in a way that minimizes undue hardship for Palestinians;

  6. Call upon the Israeli government to justly compensate Palestinian landowners for loss of the use of property, due to the location of the security barrier, without requiring the landowners to relinquish legal rights for purposes of future claims; and

  7. Acknowledge with approval that Israel has previously stated that the security barrier is not permanent, nor will the barrier establish a permanent border, and has in fact adjusted the location of the security barrier in response to public concern.

 

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