The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, expresses deep concern about the extra-governmental activities that yielded the “Geneva Accord” “signed” this week by Dr. Yossi Beilin and Mr. Yasser Abed Rabbo. The people of Israel enjoy the blessings of living in the only democracy in the Middle East, where public debate and dissent is entirely appropriate. However, the process leading up to this week’s “signing ceremony” was undertaken by private Israeli citizens without the assent of the democratically elected government of Israel and deliberately presented in a format properly reserved for true governmental actions. We also regret that the ceremony provided a platform for international figures to criticize Israel unjustly and to hinder the efforts of the legitimate Israeli government to pursue a true and lasting peace.
The so-called “Accord” addresses many critical and sensitive issues that profoundly affect the safety and security of the people of Israel, matters which can only be decided by the people’s elected leaders. The Orthodox Union is proud of its longstanding record of support for the fundamental principle that it is only Israel’s democratically elected leaders, regardless of party, who are empowered to make decisions that will safeguard the security of the Jewish state and her people.
We call upon the friends of Israel everywhere — especially in the United States Department of State and the United States Congress – to respect the right of a sovereign democratic ally’s leaders to guide her policies and safeguard her citizens.