Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154
New York, NY; May 14, 2018 - Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the statement below in response to the deadly violence in Gaza:
That Israel has the right, and even the obligation, to defend herself and her borders is beyond dispute. But we are alarmed, concerned, and profoundly saddened by the growing number of Gazan dead and wounded. It does not have to be this way. In a week when tensions are high, we demand that the Palestinian Authority do all within its power to end the violence, not inflame it. We also condemn the Hamas leadership for encouraging incitement at the border with Israel. And, we urge the Government of Israel to take all precautions to minimize civilian casualties.
Today, the Trump Administration declared its commitment to promoting a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict by celebrating the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. We also celebrate the opening of the Embassy as an affirmation of the deep and lasting ties between the U.S. and Israel. However, we remain very much aware of the lack of progress toward a long-term just solution for Israelis and Palestinians. We hope that the Administration’s statements today are the start of a serious new effort to bring both sides back to the table. The current situation is simply unsustainable, and not advantageous to U.S. interests, to Israel’s long-term security, nor to Palestinian hopes for a viable independent Palestinian state. And the human toll continues to rise.
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