Operation Protective Edge: Statement of Solidarity


July 9, 2014

The Milwaukee Jewish Federation stands in solidarity with the people of the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces during Operation Protective Edge, whose sole purpose is to defend citizens by ending the barrage of rockets from Gaza that are aimed at civilian areas in Israel.

Since July 7, more than 160 rockets have been fired at communities in southern and central Israel, now reaching as far north as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and directly endangering the lives of five of the country’s eight million residents. These rockets represent an ongoing attack on Israel’s citizens; over the last 12 years, since Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, more than 13,000 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

As White House spokesman, Josh Earnest said, “No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks.” And in the words of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, “These indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas must stop.”

We appreciate the statements of support from the Obama administration and deeply value the Iron Dome system, made possible by the United States, for successfully intercepting many rockets and thereby saving Israeli lives.

At this difficult time, it’s important to remember that the only long-term solution is a negotiated two-state solution, in which both the Israeli and Palestinian people live securely within mutually recognized and sovereign borders.

Israel has announced to Hamas that “quiet will be responded with quiet.” All who have influence over Hamas should demand an end to these attacks on Israel, so that Israel, too, can stand down from its defensive measures.

We keep in mind the Jewish charge to recognize and honor the Divine spark in all people. Honoring human life is a primary value of Judaism and we continue to pray for the safety and peace of all people in the region.

We continue to mourn the murders of the four teenagers, whose unfinished lives demonstrate the deep losses of this seemingly intractable conflict. We commend Israel for so swiftly finding and arresting the six suspects in the horrifying murder of Muhammed Abu-Khdeir, and urge the Palestinian leadership to redouble their efforts in locating and arresting the suspects in the brutal abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel.

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Hannah Rosenthal                                       Marlene Lauwasser
President & CEO                                                              Board Chair
Milwaukee Jewish Federation                                       Milwaukee Jewish Federation