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New York, NY; November 24, 2016 – Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), issued the following statement in response to personal death threats against him and the Reform Movement in Israel:
The vandalism of our Reform congregation in Ra’anana—and murderous threats against me and my Israeli colleagues Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Anat Hoffman—are reprehensible. They are deplorable. But, alas, they are far from surprising.
For months, we have heard the steady drumbeat of incitement against our Movement and our leaders. While we welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu's statement against these specific attacks, and those of other Israeli leaders, there must be more. There must be a recognition that today's deplorable acts are the all too predictable consequence of efforts to delegitimize Reform Judaism in Israel.
The Prime Minister has the ability, and the responsibility, to make clear that Reform Jews are not second class citizens in Israel. He can do so by implementing his Government's bold resolution to create an open, pluralistic, egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall. We need such powerful facts on the ground to declare to the worldwide Jewish community that all Jews are safe and welcome at the Kotel and throughout the Jewish State and beyond.
As we witness a surge in anti-Semitism here in North America and around the world, we will not, and cannot, be mollified by words of condemnation alone. We as a people know all too well that hate kills sooner or later.