Feb 14, 2006
The Rabbinical Council of America applauds the position taken by President Bush in his State of the Union Address regarding the terrorist group Hamas and the results of the recent Palestinian elections.
Hamas has been responsible for the murders and maimings of thousands of men, women and children. It has fostered among its followers a culture of death, soliciting and training suicide bombers, planning terrorist attacks, and glorifying the taking of human life. While it has focused its primary venom on the State of Israel, pledging itself to Israel?s destruction, it has also planned attacks that killed American citizens, and stands unabashedly opposed to the democracy and liberties that form the bedrock of our society. The international community has taken note of the implacable nature of Hamas?s hatred, and both the U.S. and the European Union have branded it a terrorist organization.
President Bush reaffirmed the United States? position in his State of the Union Address, demanding that ?the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace.? We salute the President for his firm, forthright, and wise words.
We urge that the President?s statement be followed up with actions, and that American aid meant to promote the cause of peace never be allowed to fall into the hands of the terrorists of Hamas, directly or indirectly. We must apply the lesson learned from the ?Oil for Food? fiasco in Iraq, that even humanitarian aid sent to a brutal regime will be turned into the means of perpetrating terror and lining the pockets of terrorists. We further urge that strong measures be taken to isolate and ostracize Hamas until it complies with the requirements laid out by the President. Its compliance must be measured by action and action alone, and not by a mere moderation of rhetoric.
We note with alarm the landslide nature of the Hamas victory, which cannot be rationalized away simply as a vote against the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. It is a tragic indication that the lionizing of suicide murderers as martyrs and an educational system that inculcates hatred of Jews and of Israel have produced a society in which a platform of politicide and the vilest anti-Semitism does not disqualify a political party and even enhances its appeal.
Only if Hamas truly and openly recognizes Israel, disarms, rejects terrorism, and works for lasting peace, can it, and the people it represents, be admitted into the community of civilized society.