OU Condemns State Department’s Unfair Demands on Israel

Posted on October 23, 2001 In Press Releases

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, today criticized the U.S. State Department for demanding that “Israeli Defense Forces should be withdrawn immediately from all Palestinian-controlled areas and no further such incursions should be made.”

Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs, said, “We condemn this statement made by the U.S. State Department that flies in the face of the United States’ own efforts in the war against global terrorism. Israel is fighting its own war against global terrorism exactly as the United States is doing. Israel is fighting the PFLP, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, which are networked with Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist groups. Israel does not want to remain in the areas in question, it is only forced to do so by the failure of Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to fight terrorist groups under their control, including Arafat’s own Tanzim and Force 17.”

“Israel’s first obligation is to protect its citizens from attacks. These terrorist groups cynically place their terrorists amongst civilian populations and hide behind religious shrines while attacking Israelis. Israel cannot be condemned for its legitimate acts of self-defense, a basic right granted under international law. Pressure must be put on Yassir Arafat to act determinedly to rein in terrorist groups or risk losing American aid. In order for the global war against terrorism to be fought effectively, all countries of the world must fight terrorism and not fall victim to those who call the murder of innocent victims holy war.”