For Immediate Release
ORTHODOX UNION CONDEMNS HATEFUL AND VIOLENT SPEECH AGAINST PRIME MINISTER OLMERT
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, released the following statement by President Stephen J. Savitsky and Executive Vice President Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb in response to remarks by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe at a rally in Israel where he reportedly compared Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to Nazi collaborators and suggested the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Vice Premier Haim Ramon and Defense Minister Ehud Barak would be “hung from the gallows” in a properly run state:
“We unequivocally condemn Rabbi Wolpe’s statements. They are beyond the pale of legitimate democratic protest and have no basis in Jewish law or hashkafa (philosophy).
While we – and many other supporters of the State of Israel – often find ourselves in disagreement with the Government of Israel on certain policy matters, it is unconscionable to cross the line into hate, violence and threats. Debate and dissent must be conducted civilly and respectfully in accordance with our Torah, whose “ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all of whose pathways are of peace.”
We call upon all God-fearing Jews to act in a manner that brings praise to God, his People, Land and Torah.”