Upon his return this week to the United States after meetings in Israel with top cabinet officials and greeting the new Prime Minister of Israel, Mandell I. Ganchrow, MD, President of the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement:
“The Orthodox Union congratulates the State of Israel on its successful 1996 elections. The United States must remain as Israel’s staunch and steadfast supporter as it has done for the past five decades. Israel’s new administration needs time now to plot its course and solidify its plan of action and it is important that the United States not place undue pressure on the new government regarding policy decisions at this time. ”
“Only fourteen democratic elections have taken place in the history of the Middle East, and all fourteen of them have been held in Israel since 1948. Not one of the twenty-two Arab States which surround Israel has ever entrusted its people to hold democratic elections. It is incumbent upon us as Americans, who carry the flag of support for democracy around the world, to champion the only democratic state in the history of the Middle East.”
“We whole heartedly and unequivocally support the new democratically elected government of Israel and its first directly elected Prime Minister, Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu as we have supported each previous Israeli government. At the same time, we are encouraged by the number of Torah committed MK’s elected to the Knesset by the people of Israel and the corresponding number selected for the cabinet.
“We believe that the Knesset reflects the desire of all Jews to see a strong Israel make a safe and secure peace with its neighbors and to take a leadership role in developing stronger ties between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. It also speaks for the desire on the part of the people of Israel to strengthen Jewish tradition in Israeli society.”
“We praise and commend the new government on the tenor and substance of its guidelines: achieving peace with its neighbor while safeguarding nation and personal security; reinforcing the status of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people; increasing immigration to Israel, and integrating new immigrants in all walks of life; creating conditions for a free, thriving economy and social welfare and strengthening, broadening and developing settlement in Israel; promoting values of the State of Israel as a Jewish democratic state, while maintaining the proper balance between the will of the majority and the rights of individuals and minorities; and broadening education and strengthening the bond to Jewish heritage and the realization of Zionism.”
“We, the members of the Orthodox Jewish community in the United States, pledge to do all in our power to help strengthen the relationship between the world’s two greatest democratic states and their respective governments.”
“After seeing the Prime Minister in Israel and meeting with high level cabinet officials, we look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Netanyahu to the United States in July, as all Americans do.”
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