Jun 1, 1999
The Search for Peace
The Rabbinical Council of America has long believed that questions of Israeli foreign policy, domestic security and religious integrity are best left to the people of Israel and the State of Israel. At the same time, we have never been simply cheerleaders for every aspect of Israeli government policy, but have long made tile concerns of our constituents known to Israeli government officials in forceful and effective fashion. It has always been the RCA' s belief that criticism of any Israeli government policy or initiative is best done in a private fashion that denies Israeli's numerous enemies fodder for their propaganda mills. Within the RCA family there are many reactions to the peace process but there is much we can all agree upon, including:
1. Our abiding belief that peace would be the greatest blessing that benevolent
Providence could grant the State and people of Israel.
2. Our revulsion at any group trying to achieve political advantages by terror or violence.
3. Our admiration for those who express their concerns for the peace process with civility, rejecting language and terminology of hatred and vigilantism.
4. Our distress with those who attempt to cast the ongoing political debate in Israel as a "Kulturkarnp" between religious and secular Jews.
5. Our profound unhappiness at the demonization and characterization of Jews who have chosen to live in areas where both our religious traditions and their government commended their presence.
6. Our unstinting support for United Jerusalem as the indivisible Capital of
Israel, and only Israel.
7. Our anguish at the continued murder of innocent people-Jews and Arabs-
by terrorists and t11C continued inability of the PLO leadership to decisively repudiate, much less control these acts of violence in Israel and around the world. (Our profound concern at the continued hate-filled anti-Israel rhetoric from many Arab leaders. We are similarly pained by the litany of anti-Semitic invective in much of the Arab media.)
8. Our great dismay at the continued violations of the Oslo Accords by the PLO.
In particular: a) the PLO's inexplicable failure to amend its charter to fully and frankly recognize Israel's right to exist; b) the failure of the PLO to work towards changing negative attitudes toward Israelis and the failure to stop continued statements of incitement to violence in publications, oral statements and broadcast media, particularly children's television and textbooks; c) the Palestinian Authority’s continued failure to confiscate illegal firearms held by members of renegade militia groups; d) the P A's continued failure to monitor suspected terrorist groups and to decisively apprehend and punish terrorists.
9. The need for the United States government to vigorously seek the extradition
Of any terrorists suspected to have been involved in the matter of American citizens, as is our government's mandate under both domestic and international law.
We accordingly resolve that:
The RCA reaffirms its support for the State and people of Israel in their search for a lasting peace with all their neighbors. We wish the new administration success in their endeavors to bring a lasting and positive peace plan for friends and neighbors alike. The particulars of any peace settlement, as well as the final borders of the State of Israel, are matters to be negotiated by Israel and her neighbors, without outside pressures. At the same time, we express our solidarity with those who choose to exercise their historic right to live and travel in safety throughout the historic border of Eretz Yisroel, regardless of the ultimate political formula adopted for these territories and call for the continued protection for the safety and well-being of these residents.
The RCA strongly supports the refusal of both the current and previous Israeli government to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Palestine Authority and the PLO over the city of Jerusalem in any fashion. We call representatives of world governments to respect the sovereignty of Israel in choosing its own capital and American Jews to avoid meeting with representatives of the PLO in Orient House and similar venues in Jerusalem