In Support of the Peace Process


The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is shocked, horrified and outraged by the assassination of the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin z"l. The Prime Minister was a man of physical daring, military brilliance and moral courage. The Jewish people have lost one of the great Jewish figures of the twentieth century. The world has lost a true statesman.

Rabin's assassination was made possible by an extremist religious philo sophy, which, like all forms of fundamentalism, is convinced that it alone hears, the true voice of God. This philosophy distorts Judaism and shames Jews. Good people, irrespective of their political views, must confront extremism. Verbal violence ultimately leads to physical violence.

The UAHC is determined to perpetuate the memory and legacy of Yitzhak Rabin.

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations has supported the process toward peace that has evolved from the Oslo Accords. Our support of that process was reflected most recently in the UAHC resolution of October 1993, in which we expressed support for the Declaration of Principles; urged all parties to continue their efforts for peace through bilateral talks between Israel and its neighbors as well as other countries, worldwide; continued to urge the United States government to take all steps necessary to guarantee Israel's security; and expressed strong support for, and conf idence in, the Government of Israel in its efforts to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement.

At this critical time, a vocal minority of American Jews opposed to the Peace Process purports to speak for American Jewry. They do not speak for us. The Union of American Hebrew Congrega tions includes over 800 Reform congregation in the United States and Canada whose combined membership exceeds one million Jews. We are the largest synagogue movement in North America. As recent polls confirm, the majority of American Jews support the Peace Process.

We believe that progress in the peace process has been based, in large me asure, on face-to-face dialogue between the parties. We believe the strong support of the Peace Process encourages the strengthening of the moderate and progressive elements of the Palestinian community in working with the Israeli Government to further the cause of peace in the Middle East.

THEREFORE, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to:

1. Unequivocally continue our support for the Government of Israel and its courageous pursuit of the Peace Process;

2. Call upon the United States Government to continue to lend its good offices to the ongoing negotiations for peace; and to continue support for the process through ongoing foreign aid support for Israel and her negotiating partners;

3. Strongly condemns the rhetoric and incitement against Israeli government officials and their supporters by some opponents of the peace process in Israel and worldwide;

4. Calls for a return to civility in the political discussion within the Israeli and American Jewish communities, recognizing that responsible dissent is a basic element of the democratic process;

5. Calls upon Reform leaders to confront, by word and deed, expressions and manifestations of extremism within the North American Jewish community and worldwide;

6. Urge ARZA to work with UAHC member congregations to publicize this r esolution through Temple media and to mobilize congregants to give expression of their support through communications within the North American Jewish community to government representa tives and officials in the United States and Canada and to the Government and People of Israel; and

7. Condemn acts of terrorism directed at Jews and Palestinians by extremists bent on aborting the Peace Process and consigning Israel and the Middle East to a state of endless hostilities.