OU Testifies at New York City Council Hearing – Supports Pro-Israel Resolutions

Posted on July 9, 2002 In Press Releases

The Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America today testified at a New York City Council hearing considering pro-Israel resolutions and a resolution condemning the anti-Semitism in Europe. Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs, testified on behalf of the IPA. “We applaud the New York City Council, Speaker Gifford Miller, and Cultural Affairs Chairman Councilman Jose Serrano for convening an important hearing today,” said Ehrenberg. “Given the alarming rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric, vandalism, and violence affecting European Jewry since September 2000, we strongly support Resolution 258, introduced by Councilman Michael Nelson. This Resolution calls upon the government of the United States to strongly condemn and call for an end to the barrage of anti-Semitic attacks on European Jews. As New Yorkers who strive for peaceful co-existence amongst all groups, we know all too well the terrible consequences of hatred. We applaud the New York City Council for introducing the resolution condemning anti-Semitism in Europe and hope that it will adopt this resolution immediately. The people of New York cannot stand idly by as anti-Semitism in Europe continues to threaten the safety and security of the European Jewish community.

“The Orthodox Union also urges the City Council to adopt Resolution 255, which calls upon the United Nations to pass a resolution condemning the practice of suicide bombings by the Palestinian community. The United Nations has been stunningly silent on the issue of these suicide bombings. It has an obligation to condemn the wanton terrorism that is inflicted on Israeli men, women, and children almost daily. The time has come for the United Nations to reverse its anti-Israel bias and one-sided resolutions and to condemn these terrorist attacks. We also urge the adoption of Resolution 214, introduced by City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, which calls upon the Council to condemn the brutal Palestinian suicide bomb terrorist attacks against Israel while expressing solidarity with the people of the State of Israel and sympathy for the loss of civilian lives. The people of the City of New York are aware that Palestinian youngsters are encouraged to become living weapons by terrorist organizations and their families are paid off by the state-sponsors of terrorism such as Iraq and Syria. New Yorkers cannot tolerate this appalling promotion of terrorism.

“We strongly support and urge the Council to adopt Resolution 7, introduced by Councilman Oliver Koppell, which urges President George W. Bush and the United States government to declare the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization to be terrorist organizations and to close the offices of the Palestinian Authority in New York. We believe that you cannot fight terrorism abroad and let it flourish in our own backyard. Yassir Arafat and the PA are not interested in peace – they perpetrate and support acts of terror and incite the Palestinian people to hatred of Israel. The PA and the PLO have a long record of terrorist activity and human rights violations. The blood of many innocent Israelis and Americans is on their hands. The offices of this terrorist organization must be shut down; we cannot shelter the PLO or allow them to masquerade as legitimate. We urge the New York City Council to support Resolution 7 and commend all those who have introduced and sponsored it.

“We thank City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Committee Chairman Jose Serrano, Council Members Michael Nelson, David Weprin, Melinda Katz, Oliver Koppell, and Simcha Felder, Lewis Fidler, and James Davis for their excellent work in the support of the United States’ only reliable Middle East ally, Israel.”