Nov 17, 2016
On November 17, 2016 over 160 Orthodox rabbis, members of the Rabbinical Council of America, published a full-page statement in New York Times addressed to President-elect Donald J. Trump. The statement came in response to the UNESCO resolution of October 26, 2016 which denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, and included Mr. Trump's own words condemning that resolution.
After congratulating President-elect Trump and expressing appreciation to President Obama, the statement asked Mr. Trump to fulfill his promise, "In a Trump Administration, the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the one true capital of Israel. The United Nations' attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel's 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the UN. Jerusalem is the enduring capital of the Jewish People and the overwhelming majority of Congress has voted to recognize Jerusalem as just that."
Rabbi Shalom Baum, president of the RCA, emphasized the urgency felt by the signers of this statement. He said, "It is the responsibility of all lovers of truth and supporters of Israel to speak strongly against these nefarious attempts to rewrite history and to deny the 3300-year biblical and historical link of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and the Temple Mount."
The rabbis' statement also addressed the question of U.S. policy in the United nations. Rabbi Dr. Leonard Matanky, Honorary President of the RCA, stressed the statement's request that "both the President and the President-Elect not pivot from longstanding U.S. policy that a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties."
"In addition to our grave concern about Jerusalem and Israel" Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, one of the statement's organizers, stated, "This is the time to heal our divided country of the United States and work together with our President-elect. As religious leaders, we wish to make a statement protecting the rights of all and restoring unity and civil discourse in the United States."
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