The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, today criticized the U.S. State Department for its rebuke of Israel’s execution of the Palestinian responsible for orchestrating the horrific suicide bombing that killed 22 people in a discotheque in Tel Aviv in June. Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International Affairs, said, “We are dismayed by the U.S. State Department’s criticism of Israel’s steps in its battle against those directly responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks against the Israeli people. Abed-Rahman Hamad was a regional leader of the radical Islamic terrorist group Hamas, an organization on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations, and was directly responsible for the terrorist bombing of the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv in which 22 young people were murdered.”
“This latest U.S. criticism of Israel is particularly disturbing in light of the United States’ own efforts to fight terrorism and the remark made by the State Department official stating “I can’t really draw a parallel between the two” struggles. There are no differences between terrorist groups who are dedicated to killing innocent people in order to further their political gains.
Israel has an obligation to protect her citizens from terrorist bombings, drive-by shootings and all matter of terrorist attacks that target innocent Israelis. Since Israel has been the target of these increased terrorist attacks for more than a year, she has exercised tremendous restraint in order not to hurt innocent civilians. The United States cannot expect the Israeli government to stand idly by while the Palestinian Authority refuses to uphold the ceasefire and to comply with the agreements they made to rein in Hamas and Islamic Jihad and to put an end to the terrorism and violence. The State Department must recognize that Israel’s own battle against terrorism is her means of self-defense dedicated to preventing even more civilian casualties and terrorist attacks.”