Hillel joins the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) in standing behind Israel's efforts to extinguish weeks of sustained, daily rocket fire and mortar shell attacks from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
While JCPA has a strong record of supporting Israel in its quest to negotiate peace with the Palestinians, no country can be expected to absorb continuous and unrelenting violence.
JCPA Executive Director Rabbi Steve Gutow issued the following statement about the unfolding operations in Gaza:
"It is unfortunate that Israel has had to resort to air strikes and is now grappling with a possible ground operation in the very area that it has tried hard to disengage from since 2005.
Israel has taken great lengths to avoid this sort of escalation, but was left with no other way to ensure that its civilians would not have to live in fear of rocket fire. Just a few days ago, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made an appeal on the Arab television station Al-Arabiya asking Gaza residents to stop the firing of rockets and mortar shells so that a military response could be avoided.
Even while rockets rained down on the frequently targeted town of Sderot and in the town of Kiryat Gat -- a first-time target -- Israel continued to transfer food and medicine into Gaza despite no apparent end to the attacks.
As Israel moves towards elections and the possibility of turning a new page, it is our hope that the Palestinian people will take the opportunity that this transition presents to turn their own page on Hamas' failed leadership."
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs is the community relations arm of the organized Jewish community. Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the world’s largest Jewish campus organization, enriches the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.