New York, NY; September 15, 2020 - Following today's ceremony at the White House, Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs issued the following statement:
Today’s White House ceremony celebrating the normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain has been long in coming and is a welcome step toward a future in which Israel is a fully accepted member of the international community. While it solves few of the complex issues at the heart of a future comprehensive Middle East peace agreement it still signals an important shift that we pray will lead to many more significant shifts toward peace.
All those who played a role in crafting the accord: Israeli, Bahraini, Emirati, and American officials and leaders alike, are to be congratulated for preferencing a peaceful future over a hostile past. We commend President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu for prioritizing efforts to expand the list of Israel’s regional partners, committing the necessary resources and time to make today’s agreement possible. The UAE’s Minister of State Yousef Al-Otaiba, the country’s ambassador to the US, deserves much credit for his Hebrew op ed in which he starkly challenged Israel to choose between annexation and normalization. Israel chose normalization over the disastrous effects of annexation, we strongly hope permanently. In the coming months we hope Israelis and Palestinians can directly engage in the hardest and most critical discussions that will move the region forward towards the future we desperately need.
May the new year about to begin, 5781, be a year of peace for all peoples.
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.
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