URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs on Deaths and Violence in Gaza

"Israel has the right and obligation to defend herself and her borders. But we are alarmed, concerned, and profoundly saddened by the growing number of Gazan dead and wounded."

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.



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.