The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America praised Representatives Mike Pence (R-IN) and Shelley Berkley (D-NV) for introducing H.Con.Res.371, a resolution which expresses the support of the United States Congress for the construction of Israel’s security fence and condemns the decision by the UN to involve the ICJ in this issue. “The Orthodox Union applauds the introduction of the Pence resolution and urges all representatives to co-sponsor and help pass it,” said Betty Ehrenberg, Director of Internal and Communal Affairs of the OU’s Institute for Public Affairs. “Bringing the issue of Israel’s security fence to the ICJ interferes with American efforts to help facilitate the peace process, the first step of which must be an end to Palestinian terrorism, as articulated by President Bush in his speech of June 24, 2002. The security fence is a way for Israel to help prevent the terrorism that undermines any chance for a genuine peace.”
Last month, the UN General Assembly referred the question of the legality of Israel’s security fence under international law to the International Court of Justice. Israel erected the security barrier in order to defend its citizens who have been subject to an unrelenting campaign of Palestinian terrorist attacks. During the past three and a half years, more than 130 Palestinian suicide bombers have entered Israel from the West Bank, killing hundreds of innocent Israelis and maiming thousands more. Israel, in effect, has been forced into building this security fence — if there would be no terrorism on the part of the Palestinians, there would be no need for the fence.
The measure taken by the UN in passing this issue to the Court was yet another attempt by the Palestinians to undermine Israel in the international community and to bypass the negotiating process. The episode that took place in recent weeks in the Hague clearly illustrates the danger of cynically involving the Court in highly charged political issues which undercuts the credibility and defeats the purpose of the ICJ.
The OU asks that all its members call their representatives at 202-225-3121 and urge them to co-sponsor and help pass H.Con.Res.371, supporting Israel’s right to defend its citizens and opposing the manipulation of the ICJ for clearly political purposes.