Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's Speech Highlights Importance of Bipartisan Support for Israel

Inside Leadership

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's Speech Highlights Importance of Bipartisan Support for Israel

March 3, 2015, Washington, D.C. - In response to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech delivered before a joint session of Congress today, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, who attended the speech in person, issued the following statement:

"I was grateful to hear from Prime Minister Netanyahu. The issue of Iran's nuclear capability is of critical concern to Americans, Israelis and people around the world. This morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made his case before the U.S. Congress and the American people. In so doing, he also clearly and rightly made an effort to address and ameliorate the partisan tensions that surrounded the speech and detracted from the real issue, which is Iran. He acknowledged the long-standing commitment of President Obama to the concerns of Israel that so clearly coincide with our own nation's security needs and values.

Indeed, the historic and critical alliance between the US and Israel, particularly on shared issues of security, are too important to fall prey to partisanship.

This week, we celebrate the holiday of Purim, when we are reminded of an ancient time in Persia, today's Iran, where the Jews of the kingdom were threatened with extinction. But, we also remind ourselves that today's concerns of a nuclear Iran are global concerns that not only impact Israel's future, but the world's.

We believe that there is a clearly united concern between Israel and the United States in ensuring that Iran's nuclear proliferation is contained. The next few weeks are critical as the P5 +1 negotiations with Iran approach their deadline. We hope and expect all elected officials to come together in our common desire to prevent nuclear proliferation, ensure global security, and protect our children's future.

Even as we anticipate the deadline for the negotiations, we have already begun the process of creating a national conversation within our Reform synagogues, to educate our members on the grave issues that America, Israel and the world face in this high stakes situation."

Published: 3/02/2015

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