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New York, NY; August 9, 2018 - The statement below is issued by Rabbi Joshua Weinberg, President of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, on behalf of ARZA and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ):
The deadly escalation of violence in Gaza should be of deep concern to all who strive for peace in the region. Nearly 200 rockets and other projectiles have been launched from Gaza into Israel, injuring dozens and sending tens of thousands of Israelis as far inland as Ashkelon into bomb shelters. No nation can or should be expected to allow such attacks.
There is no doubt where the blame sits for the worst wave of violence since the 2014 Gaza war. This week Hamas has again shown its true colors. As we stated recently: There appears to be no doubt that Hamas has made cynical and violent use of those Gazans who seek a more hopeful future. The continued tragedy of Gaza shows the strong need for a regional agreement, including Egypt and other Arab states, and for the U.S. to play an arbiter’s role in finding a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
Our prayers are with the Israelis huddled in bomb shelters today. We also pray for the residents of Gaza, who are being used by Hamas. And we urge Israel to protect her citizens, as she must, and to always bear in mind that there are many in Gaza who seek nothing more – or less – than to live in peace.
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.