The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish synagogue organization, today condemned the outrageous cold-blooded murder of Israel’s Minister of Tourism, Rechavam Ze’evi, who was assassinated by Palestinian terrorists.
Minister Rechavam Ze’evi’s notable contributions to the building of the State of Israel were many. He served the State of Israel in the Israel Defense Forces, reaching the rank of Major General, and served for many years as a member of the Israeli government, both as Member of Knesset and as Minister. He held a passionate love for and a great knowledge of the land of Israel and its history. He profoundly believed in the settlement of the land of Israel by the Jewish people as the fulfillment of the Zionist dream and the expression of the Jewish people’s unequivocal right to live in its historical homeland. He labored tirelessly to achieve that noble goal.
The Orthodox Union was privileged to meet with Minister Ze’evi this past August on our Solidarity Mission to Israel. He addressed the Orthodox Union delegation at Ne’ot Kedumim, a beautiful nature preserve that features all the plants mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud, and said that he appreciated our visit to Israel at this difficult time. He felt that coming to Israel was one of the best statements of solidarity that Diaspora Jewry could make and encouraged Jews from all over the world to come on Aliyah.
Minister Rechavam Ze’evi was cruelly assassinated by the Popular Front to Liberate Palestine, a Palestinian terrorist organization with a long history of brutal terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens. It is dedicated to the destruction of the state of Israel and is harbored by Syria which, reprehensibly, was recently elected to serve as a member of the United Nations Security Council. Minister Ze’evi, as a minister of the democratically-elected government of the State of Israel, was the victim of a terrorist political assassination. The PFLP stated that it carried out this murder in retaliation for the execution by Israel of one of its leading terrorists, a deplorable and morally bankrupt comparison. Minister Ze’evi’s assassination constituted a political murder, while Israel is at war against terrorists who actively plan, launch and execute terrorist assaults against her citizens. Israel has the right to defend herself by implementing a counter-terrorist policy in order to prevent further acts of terrorism against innocent civilians.
We join with the people of Israel in mourning Minister Rechavam Ze’evi and express our deepest condolences to his family and to the government and people of Israel. May God comfort them amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.