National Council of Jewish Women
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Washington, DC 20036-4206
Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
NCJW Reacts to Embassy Move and Gaza Violence on Israel’s 70th Birthday
May 15, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) commented today on Israel’s 70th birthday and simultaneous developments in Jerusalem and Gaza. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“This week should have been a joyous time of celebration of Israel’s 70 years since being recognized by the United Nations as an independent state, along with the finally longed-for recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. Instead, the ill-timed relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – without any indication of a forthcoming peace plan – has created yet another obstacle to negotiations with the Palestinians. While we rejoice every anniversary in the creation of the Israeli state and embrace the inspiring vision of its founders – a Jewish homeland in Israel dedicated to democracy and equality, existing in peace with its neighbors – we recognize that Palestinians experience a very different narrative.
“Even as the Embassy was being dedicated in Jerusalem, violence was erupting at the Gaza border, with the deaths of 58 Palestinians from gunshot wounds and thousands of others also wounded. Many questions must be asked, including whether the least harmful means have been used to contain an understandably threatening situation and what the role Hamas extremists are playing in provoking the violence. The one question we continue to ask is why the Israeli government is not dedicating itself full-time to finding answers at the negotiating table for the sake of all involved, both soldiers and civilians. Violence continues to flow from the lack of any real plan to resolve the issues standing between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors. The ongoing debate around fault-finding must not distract us from the only truly secure way forward – renewed support for a two-state solution that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live side by side in peace and security. Leaders on all sides must find a better way forward than death and destruction.
“NCJW, inspired by the founding vision of Israel, vows to continue its support of a peace process. It takes persistence and courage on the part of Israelis and Palestinians to pursue this course. NCJW lifts up groups, such as Women Wage Peace, composed and led primarily by women, who work every day to focus the public and government’s attention toward a political solution.
“As Americans, we are deeply concerned that the U.S. forfeits its role of arbiter in restarting the peace process by its unilateral relocation of the U.S. embassy — a move opposed by nearly all our allies. These setbacks, however, do not diminish our commitment to a Jewish homeland living side by side with a Palestinian homeland, but rather buttress our resolve to end this conflict.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.
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