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Against Annexation

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Progressive Israel Network

Reconstructing Judaism joins other progressive Jewish organizations in support of amendment preventing the use of US funding for annexation

The following joint statement was issued by eight members of the Progressive Israel Network: Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, J Street, the New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T’ruah:

As progressive organizations committed to supporting democracy and equality in Israel and a just and peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians, we have made clear our staunch opposition to any unilateral Israeli annexation of occupied territory in the West Bank. Such a move would violate international law and severely imperil Israel’s future as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people. It would aim to permanently relegate the Palestinians to life in disconnected enclaves without independent statehood or basic civil rights. 

It is because of these concerns that we strongly support Senator Chris Van Hollen’s proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which stipulates that US security assistance to Israel cannot be used to implement unilateral annexation in the West Bank. Like the Senator and his colleagues who have co-sponsored this amendment to date, we believe US security assistance to Israel should be used to help Israel meet its legitimate defense needs — not to implement actions that will undermine its own security and democracy, trample on Palestinian rights and harm US interests. 

All those who value human rights and Israeli democracy, support a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and want to see an end to decades of occupation should agree that it would be unacceptable for US tax dollars to help foot the bill for an act as extreme and destructive as unilateral annexation. Our organizations thank Senator Van Hollen and his colleagues for their strong leadership and clarity on this issue, and we urge their fellow Members of Congress to join with them in standing up for the democratic values and shared interests that are meant to form the heart of a mutually beneficial US-Israel relationship. 

Support Project Rozana

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Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

Project Rozana

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are encouraging congregations and individuals to support this life-saving fund-raising effort organized by Project Rozana, a well-respected international non-profit organization that is leading a project supported by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to purchase badly needed ventilators for West Bank and Gaza hospitals in light of the current COVID-19 spike in the region, which threatens to overwhelm Palestinian hospital ICUs. Project Rozana is also arranging specialized training at Rambam Hospital in Haifa for Palestinian medical staff as part of this program.

This initiative is supported by the World Health Organization, and it is one of the rare examples of cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority during this politically strained time. Several synagogues, including Reconstructionist affiliates, are currently participating in different ways.

If your congregation would like to get involved, please write to Ken Bob, Chair, Project Rozana USA at kennethbob@gmail.com.

Individuals can also donate by clicking here. This initiative is a clear expression of the Jewish values of pikuakh nefesh, taking action to save human life, and bakesh shalom v’rodfehu, seeking and pursuing peace.

Project Rozana was created to build bridges to better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health.

Public Statements, Tikkun Olam

Over 600 Jewish Clergy Call on the Israeli Government to Abandon Plans for Annexing the West Bank

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Progressive Israel Network

 

More than 600 rabbis, cantors and seminary students from across the country — including many Reconstructionist rabbis and rabbinic students — have signed on to a public letter warning that the Israeli government’s threatened unilateral annexation in the West Bank “would be a catastrophic mistake…violate human rights, weaken democracy, and make Israelis and Palestinians less secure.”

The letter, signed by clergy representing the entire range of the Jewish community, including the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Renewal movements, is just the latest demonstration of the American Jewish community’s overwhelming opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation plan, which could move forward as early as July 1. It was organized by the Progressive Israel Network, a coalition of ten progressive pro-Israel groups that includes Reconstructing Judaism. 

“[Annexation] gambles with long-established peace agreements in exchange for enacting a messianist and ultra-nationalist fantasy that violates Jewish values of dignity for every human being, legal equality for all people, and the commitment to pursuing peace,” the clergy members write. “Such a move will also drive more and more young people in Jewish communities away from Israel, as the most visible expressions of Zionism become ever more divorced from the principles of democracy and neighborliness expressed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.”

The letter builds on the nearly across-the-board public opposition to annexation from major Jewish organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Council of Jewish Women, Reconstructing Judaism, the Union for Reform Judaism, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and many others. A regularly updated list of communal statements on annexation, maintained by J Street, can be found here.

Jewish student activists are also joining this chorus. A newly-released letter encouraging the entire Jewish community to oppose annexation, organized by J Street U, has been signed by over 225 Jewish campus leaders — including many leaders of local Hillels. The writers observe that “as Hillel presidents and board members, leaders of pro-Israel groups, minyan leaders, and others who are devoted to Jewish life on campus and beyond, our Jewish values and our commitment to Israel’s future compel us to speak out.”

“The fact that such a wide range of Jewish clergy, communal organizations and campus leaders are speaking out in unified opposition to annexation shows just how dangerous and extreme Netanyahu’s plan is,” said Shaina Wasserman, National Director of Rabbinic and Community Engagement at J Street. “While doing tremendous damage to the future of Israel and the rights of Palestinians, annexation would seriously harm the relationship between Israel and American Jews.”

The text and signatories of the clergy letter follow:

 


 

Dear Friends,

As rabbis, cantors, and seminary students who deeply love Israel and care about its future, we urge all members of the Jewish community to call on the Israeli government to abandon plans for annexing all or part of the West Bank as early as this summer.

We hold fast to the vision, laid out in the state’s Declaration of Independence, that Israel will be “based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” Annexing all or part of the West Bank would mean turning Palestinians living there into non-citizen residents of Israel, without the legal rights or voting rights of citizens.

This would be a catastrophic mistake. Unilateral annexation by Israel would:

  • Demonstrate that Israel’s current government no longer seeks a two-state solution. Annexation would leave a series of disconnected Palestinian enclaves without real independence, freedom of movement, or civil rights. It would leave Palestinians without hope of genuine statehood and self-determination.
  • Place Israel in flagrant violation of international laws and undermine Israel’s status as a democracy, with the Palestinians under annexation becoming permanent second-class inhabitants living under a different system of rights and laws than the Jewish Israelis who will enjoy the rights of full citizenship.
  • Likely lead to an end of Palestinian Authority security cooperation with Israel.
  • Further isolate Israel in the world and strengthen Israeli and Palestinian extremists.
  • Endanger Israel’s enduring peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt.
  • Profoundly weaken the bi-partisan consensus of support that Israel has enjoyed in the US for decades.

Unilateral annexation violates human rights, weakens democracy, and makes Israelis and Palestinians less secure. It gambles with long-established peace agreements in exchange for enacting a messianist and ultra-nationalist fantasy that violates Jewish values of dignity for every human being, legal equality for all people, and the commitment to pursuing peace. Such a move will also drive more and more young people in Jewish communities away from Israel, as the most visible expressions of Zionism become ever more divorced from the principles of democracy and neighborliness expressed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

We urge all who care about the future of Israel as a democratic state, the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians, and the safety and security of all people in the region, to lift up their voices now in opposition to unilateral annexation, and in support of the pursuit of a negotiated two-state solution that respects the legitimate national rights and aspirations of both peoples.

In hope,

  • Rabbi Joshua Aaronson – Woodland Hills, CA
  • Rabbi Eric Abbott – Washington, DC
  • Rabbi Susan Abramson – Burlington, MA
  • Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder – Atlanta, GA
  • Rabbinical Student Elana Ackerman Hirsch – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Ruth Adar – San Leandro, CA
  • Rabbi David Adelson – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Jonathon Adler – New York, NY
  • Cantor Joanna Alexander – Omaha, NE
  • Cantor Sheri Allen – Fort Worth, TX
  • Rabbi Doug Alpert – Kansas City, MO
  • Rabbi Renni Altman – Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Rabbinical Student George Altshuler – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Julia Andelman – Teaneck, NJ
  • Rabbinical Student Mady Anderson – Cincinnati, OH
  • Cantor Dana Anesi – White Plains, NY
  • Rabbi John Antignas – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbinical Student Emily Aronson – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Toba August – Redondo Beach, CA
  • Rabbi Tsurah August – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Guy Austrian – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Susan Averbach – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Ilana Axel – Buffalo Grove, IL
  • Rabbi Aryeh Azriel – Omaha, NE
  • Rabbi Chava Bahle – Suttons Bay, MI
  • Rabbi Ruth Baidatz – yavneel, IL-Z
  • Rabbi Ethan Bair – Surfside, FL
  • Rabbi Justus Baird – Princeton, NJ
  • Rabbi Benjamin Barnett – Portland, OR
  • Rabbi Lewis Barth – Encino, CA
  • Rabbi Eliot Baskin – Greenwood Village, CO
  • Rabbi Haim Beliak – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Lisa Bellows – Glenview, IL
  • Rabbi Marci Bellows – Chester, CT
  • Rabbi Olivier BenHaim – Seattle, WA
  • Cantor Yitzhak Ben-Moshe – Austin, TX
  • Rabbi Allen Bennett – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi James Bennett – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbinical Student Rebecca Benoff – Newtown, PA
  • Rabbinical Student Julia Berg – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Zvi Berger – Hannaton, Israel
  • Rabbi Jonathan Berger – Beachwood, OH
  • Rabbi Marc Berkson – Milwaukee, WI
  • Rabbi Donald Berlin – Bethesda, MD
  • Rabbi Marjorie Berman – Clarks Summit, PA
  • Rabbi Howard Berman – Coral Gables, FL
  • Rabbi Phyllis Berman – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Edward Bernstein – Boynton Beach, FL
  • Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein – Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Cecelia Beyer – Springfield, NJ
  • Rabbi Jonathan Biatch – Madison, WI
  • Rabbi Binyamin Biber – Silver Spring, MD
  • Rabbi Barry Block – Little Rock, AR
  • Rabbi Rena Blumenthal – New Paltz, NY
  • Rabbi Shalom Bochner – Modesto, CA
  • Rabbi Daniel Bogard – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbi Michael R. Boino – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav – Denver, CO
  • Rabbi Mark Borovitz – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Anna Boswell-Levy – Yardley, PA
  • Rabbi Bradd Boxman – Parkland, FL
  • Rabbinical Student Sarah Brammer-Shlay – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Sara Brandes – Hannaton, Israel
  • Rabbinical Student Stephanie Breitsman – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Cari Bricklin-Small – Arlington, MA
  • Rabbi Daniel Bridge – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi Herbert Brockman – Hamden, CT
  • Cantor Vera Broekhuysen – North Andover, MA
  • Rabbi Daniel Bronstein – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Deborah Bronstein – Boulder, CO
  • Rabbi Sharon Brous – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbinical Student Michaela Brown – Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Rabbi Joshua Brumbach – Oak Park, CA
  • Rabbi Gustav Buchdahl – Pikesville, MD
  • Rabbi David Burstein – Cincinnati, OH
  • Rabbi Meredith Cahn – Petaluma, CA
  • Rabbi Nadav Caine – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Rabbinical Student Anna Calamaro – West Hollywood, CA
  • Rabbi Debra Cantor – Bloomfield, CT
  • Rabbinical Student Emmanuel Cantor – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Faith Cantor – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbinical Student Melissa Carp – Gloucester, MA
  • Rabbi Kenneth Carr – South Easton, MA
  • Rabbinical Student Donna Cephas – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Max Chaiken – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Adam Chalom – Highland Park, IL
  • Rabbinical Student David Chapman – Port Washington, NY
  • Rabbi Joshua Chasan – Portland, ME
  • Rabbi Ken Chasen – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Ian Chesir-Teran – Kibbutz Hannaton, Israel
  • Rabbinical Student Rebecca Chess – Winnipeg, MB
  • Rabbi Steven Chester – Oakland, CA
  • Rabbi Stephen Julius Chicurel-Stein – Oviedo, FL
  • Rabbi Carl Choper – Harrisburg, PA
  • Rabbi Daniel Chorny – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Eric Cohen – Lambertville, NJ
  • Rabbi Howard Cohen – Bennington, VT
  • Rabbi Ayelet Cohen – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Tamara Cohen – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Emily Cohen – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Sarah Cohen – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Michael Cohen – Manchestr Ctr, VT
  • Rabbinical Student Eva Cohen – Minneapolis, MN
  • Rabbi Michael Tevya Cohen – Dallas, TX
  • Cantor Gerald Cohen – Scarsdale, NY
  • Rabbi Hillel Cohn – San Bernardino, CA
  • Rabbi Neil Comess-daniels – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Mike Comins – Plano, TX
  • Rabbi Julian Cook – Denver, CO
  • Rabbi David Cooper – Berkeley, CA
  • Rabbi Fredi Cooper – Wyndmoor, PA
  • Rabbi Mychal Copeland – Mountain View, CA
  • Rabbi Meryl Crean – Upper Gwynedd, PA
  • Rabbi David Curiel – Somerville, MA
  • Rabbi Lindsey Danziger – Cincinnati, OH
  • Rabbi Michelle Dardashti – Providence, RI
  • Rabbi Jo David – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Stanley Davids – Santa Monica, CA
  • Rabbi Beth D. Davidson – Manchester, NH
  • Rabbinical Student Rachel Davidson – PHILADELPHIA, PA
  • Rabbi Mona Decker – Jacksonville, FL
  • Rabbi Nate DeGroot – Detroit, MI
  • Rabbinical Student Jessica Dell’Era – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis – Flower Mound, TX
  • Rabbi Lavey Derby – Millbrae, CA
  • Rabbi Robert Dobrusin – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Rabbi Megan Doherty – Oberlin, OH
  • Rabbi Boris Dolin – Cote Saint Luc, QC
  • Rabbi Jessy Dressin – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Ellen Dreyfus – Homewood, IL
  • Rabbi George Driesen – Bethesda, MD
  • Rabbi Malka Drucker – Idyllwild, CA
  • Rabbi Andy Dubin – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Laura Duhan-Kaplan – Vancouver, BC
  • Rabbi Marc Dworkin – Long Beach, CA
  • Rabbi David Eber – Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Judith Edelstein – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Denise Eger – West Hollywood, CA
  • Rabbi Amy Eilberg – Los Altos, CA
  • Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein – Fountain Valley, CA
  • Rabbi Marc Ekstrand – New London, CT
  • Rabbi Barat Ellman – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Anthony Elman – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Daniel Epstein – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Lewis Eron – Cherry Hill, NJ
  • Rabbi Andrew Ettin – Pfafftown, NC
  • Rabbi Helaine Ettinger – Millburn, NJ
  • Rabbi Susan Falk – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Joan Farber – Tarrytown, NY
  • Rabbi Rabbi Michael Feinberg – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Nora Feinstein – Princeton, NJ
  • Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy – Los Gatos, CA
  • Rabbi Theodore Feldman – Petaluma, CA
  • Rabbi Jen Feldman – Chapel Hill, NC
  • Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer – Pomona, CA
  • Rabbi Brian Field – Denver, CO
  • Rabbi Avi Fine – Bellevue, WA
  • Rabbi Brian Fink – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Tirzah Firestone – Boulder, CO
  • Rabbi Adam Fisher – Port Jefferson Station, NY
  • Rabbi Alan Flam – Barrington, RI
  • Rabbinical Student Eugene Fleischman sotirescu – Ardmore, PA
  • Rabbi Arthur Flicker – Albuquerque, NM
  • Rabbinical Student Benjy Forester – Madison, WI
  • Rabbi Jeff Foust – Newton, MA
  • Rabbi Cherie Fox – Newton, MA
  • Rabbi Zach Fredman – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Allen I. Freehling – New Orleans, LA
  • Rabbi Lee Friedlander – Roslyn Heights, NY
  • Rabbi Suri Friedman – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi John Friedman – Durham, NC
  • Rabbi Dayle Friedman – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Stacy Friedman – San Rafael, CA
  • Rabbi Joan Friedman – Wooster, OH
  • Rabbi Pam Frydman – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Serena Fujita – Somerville, MA
  • Rabbi Ruth Gais – Summit, NJ
  • Rabbi Daniel Geffen – Sag Harbor, NY
  • Rabbi Laura Geller – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Stuart Gershon – Charlotte, NC
  • Rabbinical Student Adam Gillman – Bellevue, WA
  • Rabbinical Student Josh Gischner – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Jason Gitlin – Brooklyn, NY
  • Cantor Tobias Glaser – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Carol Glass – Newton Center, MA
  • Rabbi Miriyam Glazer – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer – Lewisburg, PA
  • Rabbi Gary Glickstein – Miami, FL
  • Rabbi Rosalind Gold – Reston, VA
  • Rabbi Susan Goldberg – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Edwin Goldberg – Spring, TX
  • Rabbi Elisa Goldberg – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Dan Goldblatt – Danville, CA
  • Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg – Jackson Heights, NY
  • Rabbi Eva Goldfinger – Toronto, ON
  • Rabbi Shelley Goldman – Indianapolis, IN
  • Rabbi Howard Goldsmith – New Rochelle, NY
  • Rabbi Elizabeth Goldstein – Vienna, VA
  • Rabbi Seth Goldstein – Olympia, WA
  • Rabbi Lisa Goldstein – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Debra Goldstein – Natick, MA
  • Rabbi Andrea Goldstein – Saint Louis, MO
  • Cantorial Student Jordan Goldstein – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser – East Greenwich, RI
  • Rabbi David N. Goodman – Elkins Park, PA
  • Rabbi Yosi Gordon – Saint Paul, MN
  • Rabbi Danny Gottlieb – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Roberto Graetz – Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Rabbi Arthur Green – Newton Center, MA
  • Rabbi Laurie Green – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Fred Greene – Boulder, CO
  • Rabbinical Student Maor Greene – New York, NY
  • Rabbi David Greenstein – Montclair, NJ
  • Rabbi Reuven Greenvald – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Nicki Greninger – Walnut Creek, CA
  • Rabbi Suzanne Griffel – Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Nadya Gross – Erie, CO
  • Rabbi Susan Grossman – Columbia, MD
  • Rabbi Rayna Grossman – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Marc Gruber – Rockville Centre, NY
  • Rabbi Steve Gutow – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Thalia Halpert Rodis – Cleveland, OH
  • Rabbinical Student Alex Hamilton – Oklahoma City, OK
  • Rabbi Joseph Hample – Morgantown, WV
  • Rabbi Laura Harari – Laguna Woods, CA
  • Rabbi Maurice Harris – Glenside, PA
  • Rabbi Steve Hart – Buffalo Grove, IL
  • Rabbi Jill Hausman – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Abraham Havivi – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Lindsey Healey-Pollack – Englewood, NJ
  • Rabbi Yocheved Heiligman – Columbia, MD
  • Rabbi Lauren Henderson – Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Alan Henkin – Palmdale, CA
  • Cantor George Henschel – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Rabbi Eli Herb – Salem, OR
  • Rabbi Floyd Herman – Towson, MD
  • Rabbi Hayim Herring – Minneapolis, MN
  • Rabbi Gregory Hersh – Cambridge, MA
  • Rabbi Cantor Rachel Hersh – Bethesda, MD
  • Rabbinical Student Mikey Hess webber – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Jay Heyman – Boise, ID
  • Rabbi Moshe Heyn – Pacifica, CA
  • Rabbinical Student Miriam Hoffman – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbinical Student Solomon Hoffman – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Elliot Holin – Dresher, PA
  • Rabbi Jason Holtz – Roswell, GA
  • Cantorial Student Emily Hoolihan – New York, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Rebecca Hornstein – Philadelphia, PA
  • Cantor Sandy Horowitz – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Jocee Hudson – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbinical Student Margo Hughes-Robinson – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Mark Hurvitz – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin – Eugene, OR
  • Rabbi Miriam Hyman – Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Rabbi Me’irah Susan Iliinsky – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Brian Immerman – Hamden, CT
  • Rabbi Rachel Isaacs – Waterville, ME
  • Rabbi Shaya Isenberg – Gainesville, FL
  • Rabbinical Student Jessica Jacobs – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Jill Jacobs – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Steven Jacobs – Alameda, CA
  • Rabbi Devorah Jacobson – Hadley, MA
  • Rabbi Joshua Jacobs-Velde – Laurel, MD
  • Rabbi Daria Jacobs-Velde – Silver Spring, MD
  • Rabbi Jennifer Jaech – Peekskill, NY
  • Rabbi David Jaffe – Sharon, MA
  • Rabbi Cantor Ellen Jaffe-Gill – Virginia Beach, VA
  • Rabbi Marisa James – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Beth Janus – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Amita Jarmon – Jerualem,
  • Rabbinical Student Leah Julian – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Raachel Jurovics – Raleigh, NC
  • Rabbi Randy Kafka – Stoughton, MA
  • Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster – Teaneck, NJ
  • Rabbi Ari Kaiman – Atlanta, GA
  • Rabbi Raphael Kanter – New Bedford, MA
  • Rabbinical Student Samuel Kanter – Loveland, OH
  • Rabbinical Student Talia Kaplan – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Emily Aviva Kapor-Mater – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi Molly Karp – New City, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Jan Katz – Pittsford, NY
  • Rabbi Aurora Katz – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Alan Katz – Pittsford, NY
  • Rabbi Rabbi Jim Kaufman – North Hollywood, CA
  • Rabbi Stuart Kelman – Berkeley, CA
  • Rabbi Allan Kensky – Evanston, IL
  • Cantor Evan Kent – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Ralph Kingsley – Aventura, FL
  • Rabbi Paul Kipnes – Calabasas, CA
  • Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman – Saint Paul, MN
  • Rabbi Daniel Kirzane – Oak Park, IL
  • Rabbi David Klatzker – Long Beach, CA
  • Rabbi Daniel Klein – Newton Center, MA
  • Rabbi Joe Klein – Rochester, MI
  • Rabbi Jason Klein – Minneapolis, MN
  • Rabbi Lori Klein – Capitola, CA
  • Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum – New York, NY
  • Rabbi David L Kline – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Tracy Klirs – Charlotte, NC
  • Rabbi Michael Knopf – Richmond, VA
  • Cantorial Student Frank Kohn – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Aaron Koplin – Sarasota, FL
  • Rabbi Rachel Kort – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi Michael Kramer – Hockessin, DE
  • Rabbi Douglas Krantz – Townsend, DE
  • Rabbinical Student Shirah Kraus – Cincinnati, OH
  • Rabbi Harold Kravitz – Hopkins, MN
  • Rabbi Yaacov Kravitz – Elkins Park, PA
  • Rabbi Claudia Kreiman – Brookline, MA
  • Rabbi Nancy Kreimer – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Alex Kress – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Jeremy Kridel – Ellicott City, MD
  • Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff – Westfield, NJ
  • Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz – Claremont, CA
  • Rabbi Noa Kushner – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Karen Landy – Brookline, MA
  • Rabbinical Student Armin Langer – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Rachmiel Langer – Littleton, MA
  • Rabbi Gilah Langner – Washington, DC
  • Rabbi Alan LaPayover – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbinical Student Talia Laster – Cambridge, MA
  • Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie – NY, NY
  • Rabbi Adam Lautman – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Anson Laytner – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi David Lazar – Palm Springs, CA
  • Rabbi James Lebeau – Jerusalem, IL-JM
  • Rabbi Esther Lederman – Arlington, VA
  • Rabbi Allan Lehmann – Newton, MA
  • Rabbi Susan Leider – Tiburon, CA
  • Cantor Allen Leider – Falls Church, VA
  • Rabbi Darby Leigh – Concord, MA
  • Rabbi David Leipziger Teva – East Hampton, CT
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner – Berkeley, CA
  • Rabbi Joshua Lesser – Atlanta, GA
  • Rabbinical Student Aaron Leven – Canoga Park, CA
  • Rabbi Amy Levin – Hanaton,
  • Rabbi David Levin – Wynnewood, PA
  • Rabbi Moshe Levin – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Sheldon Lewis – Palo Alto, CA
  • Rabbi Annie Lewis – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Adina Lewittes – Closter, NJ
  • Rabbi Theodore Lichtenfeld – Orangeburg, NY
  • Rabbi Mordechai Liebling – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Miriam Liebman – Washington, DC
  • Rabbi Rebecca Lillian – Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Serge Lippe – Brooklyn, NY
  • Cantor Erica Lippitz – South Orange, NJ
  • Rabbi Ellen Lippmann – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Allen Lipson – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Janet Liss – Glen Cove, NY
  • Rabbi Joshua Lobel – Palm Harbor, FL
  • Rabbi David Locketz – Minnetonka, MN
  • Rabbi Andrea London – Evanston, IL
  • Rabbinical Student Leora Londy-Barash – Milwaukee, WI
  • Rabbinical Student Sienna Lotenberg – Arlington, VA
  • Rabbi Amanda Lurer – New Bern, NC
  • Rabbi Brian Lurie – Ross, CA
  • Cantor Abbe Lyons – Ithaca, NY
  • Rabbi Dana Magat – San Jose, CA
  • Rabbi Harry Manhoff – Berkeley, CA
  • Rabbi Bryan Mann – Tampa, FL
  • Rabbinical Student Aviva Marchione – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Marc Margolius – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Jeffrey Marker – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Jose Rolando Matalon – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Oded Mazor – Jerusalem, IL-JM
  • Rabbi Richard Meirowitz – Peabody, MA
  • Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Sarah Meytin – Silver Spring, MD
  • Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom – Re’ut, IL-JM
  • Rabbi Diana Miller – Lambertville, NJ
  • Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Katie Mizrahi – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Jack Moline – Alexandria, VA
  • Rabbi Adam Morris – Denver, CO
  • Rabbi Steven Moskowitz – Oyster Bay, NY
  • Rabbi Danny Moss – Westport, CT
  • Rabbi Susan Moss – Norwalk, CT
  • Rabbi Robin Nafshi – Concord, NH
  • Rabbi Tracy Nathan – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbi Brian Nelson – Raleigh, NC
  • Rabbi Haviva Ner-david – Hannaton, Israel
  • Rabbi Rachel Nussbaum – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbinical Student Andrew Oberstein – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Vanessa Ochs – Charlottesville, VA
  • Cantor Barbara Ostfeld – Buffalo, NY
  • Rabbi Laura Owens – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Malka Packer-Monroe – Atlanta, GA
  • Rabbi Danielle Parmenter – Gwynedd Valley, PA
  • Rabbi Salem Pearce – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Allison Peiser – Marblehead, MA
  • Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovits – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Hava Pell – Lemoyne, PA
  • Rabbi Barbara Penzner – West Roxbury, MA
  • Cantor Hasha Perman – Skokie, IL
  • Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky – Teaneck, NJ
  • Rabbi William Plevan – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Daniel Plotkin – Pikesville, MD
  • Rabbi Robin Podolsky – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Ariel Pollak – Tel Aviv, IL-TA
  • Rabbi Philip Posner – Santa Cruz, CA
  • Rabbi Amber Powers – Abington, PA
  • Rabbi Sally Priesand – Asbury Park, NJ
  • Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit – Redwood City, CA
  • Rabbi James Prosnit – Fairfield, CT
  • Rabbi Charles P Rabinowitz – Larchmont, NY
  • Rabbi Arnold Rachlis – Irvine, CA
  • Rabbi Frederick Reeves – Chicago, IL
  • Rabbi Victor Reinstein – Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Rabbi Rebecca Richman – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Dorothy Richman – Albany, CA
  • Rabbi Stephen Roberts – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Yair Robinson – Wilmington, DE
  • Cantor Rebekah Robinson – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Jason Rodich – San Francisco, CA
  • Cantor Jessi Roemer – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbinical Student Kayley Romick – Bellmore, NY
  • Rabbi Joshua Rose – Portland, OR
  • Rabbi Kliel Rose – Winnipeg, Canada
  • Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg – Waterford, CT
  • Rabbi James Rosenberg – Providence, RI
  • Cantor Dara Rosenblatt – Richmond, VA
  • Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom – Elkins Park, PA
  • Rabbi Jennie Rosenn – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Eric Rosenstein – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Ken Rosenstein – Brighton, MA
  • Rabbi John Rosove – Sherman Oaks, CA
  • Rabbi Michael Ross – Beachwood, OH
  • Rabbi Francine Roston – Whitefish, MT
  • Rabbi Harry Roth – West Hollywood, CA
  • Rabbi Michael Rothbaum – Acton, MA
  • Rabbinical Student Sivan Rotholz – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Robert Rottenberg – Arcata, CA
  • Rabbi Judi Rowland – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Ruhi Rubenstein – Eugene, OR
  • Rabbinical Student Mallory Rubin – Cambridge, MA
  • Rabbi Robert Rubin – Brick, NJ
  • Rabbi Ralph Ruebner – Skokie, IL
  • Rabbi Laura Rumpf – Oakland, CA
  • Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg – Evanston, IL
  • Rabbi Andrew Sacks – jerusalem, IL-JM
  • Rabbi Michael Safra – Rockville, MD
  • Rabbi Elisheva Salamo – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbinical Student Frankie Salzman – Las Vegas, NV
  • Rabbi Joanna Samuels – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillipa – New York, NY
  • Maharat Mei Mei Miriyam Sanford – West Point, VA
  • Rabbi Elli Sarah – Brighton and Hove,
  • Rabbi Michael Satz – Morristown, NJ
  • Rabbi Daniel Schaefer – Brookline, MA
  • Rabbinical Student Eliza Scheffler – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Jeffrey Schein – Minneapolis, MN
  • Rabbi Laurence Scheindlin – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb – Washington, DC
  • Cantor Robert Scherr – Alexandria, VA
  • Rabbi Simone Schicke – Kalamazoo, MI
  • Rabbi Howie Schneider – Aptos, CA
  • Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer – Bethesda, MD
  • Rabbi Rachel Schoenfeld – Collingswood, NJ
  • Rabbi Leonard Schoolman – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz – Willimantic, CT
  • Rabbi PJ Schwartz – San Jose, CA
  • Rabbi Sid Schwarz – Rockville, MD
  • Rabbi Allen Secher – Whitefish, MT
  • Rabbi Steve Segar – Shaker Heights, OH
  • Rabbi David Seidenberg – Northampton, MA
  • Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Mayer Selekman – Bala Cynwyd, PA
  • Cantor David Serkin-Poole – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi Isaac Serotta – Highland Park, IL
  • Rabbi Gerald Serotta – Chevy Chase, MD
  • Rabbi Scott Shafrin – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbi Joel Shaiman – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Susan Shamash – Vancouver, BC
  • Rabbi Judy Shanks – Oakland, CA
  • Rabbi Dina Shargel – White Plains, NY
  • Rabbi Randy Sheinberg – New Hyde Park, NY
  • Rabbi Evan Sheinhait – Waltham, MA
  • Rabbi Jeremy Sher – Oakland, CA
  • Rabbi David Shneyer – Rockville, MD
  • Rabbi Andy Shugerman – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner – Roswell, GA
  • Rabbi Burt Siegel – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Becky Silverstein – Jamaica Plain, MA
  • Rabbi Mia Simring – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Suzanne Singer – Riverside, CA
  • Rabbi Jacob Singer-Beilin – Washington, DC
  • Rabbi Andrew Sklarz – Parsippany, NJ
  • Rabbi Jonathan Slater – Hastings on Hudson, NY
  • Rabbi Amy Small – Burlington, VT
  • Rabbinical Student Jeanne Snodgrass – Columbia, MO
  • Rabbi Matthew Soffer – Durham, NC
  • Rabbi Joel soffin – New York, NY
  • Cantor Sabrina Sojourner – Rockville, MD
  • Rabbi Felicia Sol – New York, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Lily Solochek – Rockland, ME
  • Rabbi Eric Solomon – Raleigh, NC
  • Rabbi Scott Sperling – Winchester, VA
  • Rabbi David Sperling – Peekskill, NY
  • Rabbi Reena Spicehandler – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker – Saint Paul, MN
  • Rabbi Hannah Spiro – Washington, DC
  • Rabbi Toba Spitzer – Waltham, MA
  • Cantor Deborah Staiman – Toronto, ON
  • Rabbi Joshua Stanton – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Erica Steelman – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Abby Stein – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Chasya Uriel Steinbauer – Kibbutz Hannaton, Israel
  • Rabbi David Steinberg – Duluth, MN
  • Rabbi Richard Steinbrink – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Lane Steinger – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbi George Stern – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Keith Stern – Newton, MA
  • Rabbi Elisabeth Stern – Newton, MA
  • Rabbi Ron Stern – Los Angeles, CA
  • Rabbi Leah Sternberg – Jersey city, NJ
  • Rabbi Sharon Stiefel – Saint Paul, MN
  • Rabbi Michael Strassfeld – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Simon Stratford – Cincinnati, OH
  • Rabbi Andrew Straus – Oakland, CA
  • Rabbi Joshua Strom – Chappaqua, NY
  • Rabbi Yaffa Shira Sultan – Silver Spring, MD
  • Rabbi Schein Susan – New London, CT
  • Rabbi Alana Suskin – Rockville, MD
  • Rabbi Daniel Swartz – Clarks Summit, PA
  • Rabbi Lauren Tuchman – Bethesda, MD
  • Rabbi Robert Tabak – Elkins Park, PA
  • Rabbi Susan Talve – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbi Ariel Tarash – Philadelphia, PA
  • Cantor Elliot Taubman – Block Island, RI
  • Rabbi Jay TelRav – Stamford, CT
  • Rabbi Bill Tepper – TORONTO, ON
  • Rabbi Elliott Tepperman – Montclair, NJ
  • Rabbi David Teutsch – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbinical Student Samantha Thal – Saint Louis, MO
  • Rabbi Diane Tracht – Louisville, KY
  • Rabbi Gordon Tucker – White Plains, NY
  • Rabbi David Vaisberg – Maplewood, NJ
  • Rabbinical Student Katja Vehlow – New York, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Samuel Vingron – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Burton Visotzky – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Andrew Vogel – Newton Center, MA
  • Cantor Eliot Vogel – Narberth, PA
  • Rabbinical Student Emily Volz – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman – Providence, RI
  • Rabbi Ariel Walsh – Baltimore, MD
  • Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev – Santa Fe, NM
  • Rabbi Julia Watts Belser – Gaithersburg, MD
  • Rabbi Deborah Waxman – Wyncote, PA
  • Rabbinical Student Abigail Weber – Princeton, NJ
  • Rabbi Nancy Wechsler – Carmichael, CA
  • Rabbi Elyse Wechterman – Wyncote, PA
  • Rabbi Gerald Weider – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Weinberg – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Sheila Weinberg – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Martin Weiner – San Francisco, CA
  • Rabbi Nathan Weiner – Marlton, NJ
  • Rabbi Tom Weiner – White Plains, NY
  • Rabbi Cheryl Weiner – Hollywood, FL
  • Rabbi Daniel Weiner – Bellevue, WA
  • Rabbi Marley Weiner – Carlisle, PA
  • Rabbi Aaron Weininger – Minnetonka, MN
  • Rabbi Samuel Weintraub – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Simkha Weintraubb – Brooklyn, NY
  • Rabbi Josh Weisman – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi Stephen Weisman – Bowie, MD
  • Rabbi Ora Weiss – Newton Center, MA
  • Rabbi Zari Weiss – Seattle, WA
  • Rabbi Lew Weiss – Indianapolis, IN
  • Rabbi Micah Weiss – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Rachel Weiss – Evanston, IL
  • Rabbi Sarah Weissman – Redwood City, CA
  • Rabbi Alex Weissman – Providence, RI
  • Rabbi Ariann Weitzman – West Orange, NJ
  • Rabbi Josh Whinston – Ann Arbor, MI
  • Rabbi George Wielechowski – Cardiff by the Sea New, CA
  • Rabbi Nancy Wiener – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Aryeh Wineman – Northampton, MA
  • Rabbi David Winship – Canton, MA
  • Rabbi Joysa Winter – Broomall, PA
  • Rabbi David Wirtschafter – Lexington, KY
  • Rabbi Ari Witkin – Huntington Woods, MI
  • Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg – London, UK
  • Rabbi Joseph Wolf – Portland, OR
  • Cantor Josee Wolff – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan – Berkeley, CA
  • Rabbi Michal Woll – Milwaukee, WI
  • Rabbi Eric Woodward – Blue Bell, PA
  • Cantor Cheryl Wunch – Toronto, ON
  • Rabbi Moshe Yehudai – Raanana,
  • Rabbi David N. Young – Irvine, CA
  • Rabbi Sara Zacharia – New York, NY
  • Rabbinical Student Naomi Zaslow – New York, NY
  • Rabbi Daniel Zemel – Washington, DC
  • Rabbi Lina Zerbarini – Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  • Rabbi Shawn Zevit – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Jonathan Zimet – Philadelphia, PA
  • Rabbi Michael Zimmerman – Williamston, MI
  • Rabbi Henry Zoob – Westwood, MA
  • Cantor Michael Zoosman – College Park, MD
Public Statements, Israel

Ten American Jewish Organizations Send Letter to Gantz, Ashkenazi Opposing Annexation

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Progressive Israel Network

 

Reconstructing Judaism was among the members of the Progressive Israel Network who penned the following letter to Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi opposing annexation:

As leaders of American Jewish organizations committed both to the security of the State of Israel and to safeguarding its future as a democracy, we urge you to consider the costs of any unilateral annexations in the West Bank and do everything in your power as a minister in this government to thwart it.

Article 29 of the coalition agreement you signed with Likud, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, establishes July 1 as the start date for discussion of an annexation proposal by the government or Knesset. We believe that unilateral annexation poses grave risks to Israel’s future as a democracy and to its security in the region.

Annexation of any scope is a violation of a core principle of international law, which prohibits the acquisition of territory by the use of force. Knowingly committing an illegal act under international law may risk incurring penalties from other UN member states and international bodies.

Furthermore, unilateral annexation is not only a violation of international law, but of Israel’s own treaty commitments. It risks jeopardizing Israel’s vital relationships with allied states and the stability of the Palestinian Authority, which has been key element of Israel’s security. Jordan’s King Abdullah II has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds along the path of annexation. We trust you are aware of the warnings from Israel’s own military and intelligence communities who have warned of the likely ramifications: annexation poses mainly risks, without any strategic benefit to Israel.

Significantly, formalizing Israel’s control over occupied territories through unilateral annexation forecloses on hopes for peace and poses a terminal threat to Israel’s democratic character. A situation in which Israel maintains permanent control of the West Bank while denying wholesale equal rights of citizenship to Palestinians has disturbing modern parallels. Indeed, annexation means enacting institutionalized, formal system of discrimination between two ethnic-national populations, both living in the same territory, with each governed by a separate set of laws. 

We are concerned that this will lead to further violations of the rights to property, equality and dignity of the Palestinians living in the West Bank, and entrench a system of discrimination between Israeli citizens and Palestian subjects, as Israel’s High Court found in its most recent ruling on the “Regularization Law.” 

Annexation will surely not bring Israel toward peace, but instead take it down a path of endless conflict and permanent occupation. 

Finally, this grave decision to abandon the State of Israel’s democratic aspirations runs altogether counter to the shared democratic values and commitment to the pursuit of peace that have long formed the heart of the US-Israel relationship. Indeed, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has warned that this move runs counter to the long-term interests and likely future policy of the United States.

The vast majority of American Jews support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our organizations represent this majority. Achieving an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the occupation through a negotiated two-state agreement is the only viable pathway to secure Israel’s future as a democracy and as a homeland for the Jewish people.

For the sake of the State of Israel’s democracy, its global standing, and its relationships with the United States and with the American Jewish community, we urge you to do everything within your power as a minister in this government to prevent annexation.

Sincerely,

  • Ameinu
  • Americans for Peace Now
  • J Street
  • The New Israel Fund
  • T’ruah
  • Hashomer Hatzair World Movement
  • Partners for Progressive Israel
  • Jewish Labor Committee
  • Habonim Dror North America
  • Reconstructing Judaism
Public Statements, Israel

Annexation Endangers the Security and Democracy of Israel

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Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

Recontructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are signatories to the following appeal from J-Link, an international network of progressive Jewish organizations from
Israel, the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia.

J-Link_The International Progressive Jewish Network

ANNEXATION ENDANGERS THE SECURITY AND DEMOCRACY OF ISRAEL
APPEAL TO J-LINK MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS

May 19, 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As supporters of J-Link, the international network of progressive Jewish organizations, we urgently share our deep concerns, backed by the analysis of diplomatic and security experts, regarding the Government of Israel’s intention to proceed with annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Only a short time remains to convince the Government of Israel to halt this ill-advised move. With the abetment of the Trump administration, Prime Minister Netanyahu is perpetuating the myth that reality on the ground supersedes international law. This is the moment that Israelis need to consider the consequences to their security and international relations, as a result of unilateral annexation.

Notably, a petition signed by 220 former senior officers of the army, the Mossad and the police who are members of Commanders for Israel’s Security stated that annexation will set in motion a chain reaction over which Israel will have no control, leading to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. This in turn would require Israel to take full control over the entire West Bank and assume responsibility for the lives of 2.6 million Palestinians.

The coalition agreement signed by Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Gantz includes articles that enable the incoming government to expedite the process of annexation as of July 1st. Despite an acknowledgment of the need to discuss the matter with the international community, the only binding commitment in the agreement is coordination of the move with the U.S. Administration. As was the case with President Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, the Palestinians have no say in the matter.

It is worth noting that Article 28 of the Coalition Agreement mentions the government’s intention “to strive to uphold existing peace agreements,” indicating that Jordan and Egypt may have leverage over this decision.

For the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, heavily populated by Palestinian refugees, annexation risks destabilization that could endanger the government and compel it to reconsider its peace treaty with Israel. Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt would also be put in jeopardy. Moreover, Israel’s actions are already straining its relations with democratic countries around the world.

Unilateral annexation is illegal under international law and contravenes all relevant UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to the Israel-Palestine conflict, particularly UNSC Resolution 2334 of Dec. 2016. If implemented, annexation will signify the demise of the two-state solution and will dash any hopes the Palestinian people have of achieving self-determination through nonviolent means.

Furthermore, annexation could turn Israel into a state that maintains permanent control over millions of Palestinians within its territory — while denying them the most basic civil and political rights — thereby putting an end to democracy in Israel as we know it.

Such action risks provoking a mounting tide of delegitimization of Israel and further bouts of antisemitism. Annexation will also jeopardize relations between Israel and progressive Jews around the world for whom human rights, equality and democracy are essential principles.

Please join us in our call to all who care about Israel’s future to take immediate action to convince the government and people of Israel that the price to be paid for annexation will be too heavy for Israel to bear.

J-Link Coordinating Committee

50 Organizational Signers from 17 Countries

Ameinu Australia
Ameinu Canada
Ameinu United States
Americans for Peace Now
Argentinos Amigos de PAZ AHORA
Amogos Brasileiros Do Paz Agora (Brazil)
Canadian Friends of Peace Now
Casa de Cultura (Uruguay)
Centro Progresista judio CPJ (Chile)
Centre Communautaire Laïc Juif (Belgium)
Cercle Martin Buber Geneva (Switzerland)
Gruppo Martin Buber- ebrei per la pace (Italy)
Habonim Dror North America
Habonim Dror South Africa
Hashomer Hatzair World Movement
J-AMLAT (Latin America)
JCall Europe
JCall Belgium
JCall France
JCall Italy
JCall Spain
JCall Switzerland
Jewish Democratic Initiative (South Africa)
Jewish Labor Committee (United States)
Jewish Labour Movement (United Kingdom)
JSpace Canada
J Street (United States)
La paix maintenant (Peace Now), France
Llamamiento Argentino Judio (Argentina)
Meretz Argentina
Meretz France
Meretz UK
Meretz Uruguay
Mujeres activan por la paz (Argentina)
Netzer South Africa
New Israel Fund (Australia)
New Israel Fund (Austria)
New Israel Fund (Canada)
New Israel Fund (Germany)
New Israel Fund (United Kingdom)
New Israel Fund (United States)
New Israel Fund (Switzerland)
Partners for Progressive Israel (United States)
Policy Working Group (Israel)
Reconstructing Judaism (United States)
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (United States)
Smol Talk Mexico
Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (United States)
Union Jovenes judios Argentinos (Argentina)
Yachad (United Kingdom)

What is J-Link? J-Link is an international network of progressive Jewish organizations from Israel, the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia. We share a love of Israel and a commitment to democracy, human rights, religious pluralism, and a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. J-Link aspires to work with our respective local Jewish communities, our national governments and international organizations to advocate for our values and vision for Israel.

Israel

Statement on New Settlement Expansion Announcements

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Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are alarmed by the Netanyahu government’s recent announcement that seeks to expand settlements in a way that would cut through Palestinian population centers and deny contiguity to a future Palestinian state. Previous Republican and Democratic US administrations have rejected similar plans with good reason. We call on the Netanyahu government to cancel these plans, and we call on all American Jewish organizations that support a two-state solution to join in this urgent message. We continue to oppose unilateral territorial annexation on the part of the Israeli government, and we remain committed to a just, democratic, and peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians within a framework of two states for two peoples.

Public Statements, Israel

Statement on Trump Proposal on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

For decades Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association have advocated for a negotiated, two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on security, dignity, human rights, and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike. The peace we have advocated envisions an end to Israel’s role as an occupying power, and the acceptance by all nations of Israel’s permanent place in the region as a Jewish and democratic state. 
 
The Trump Administration’s new proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been lauded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Head of the Opposition Benny Gantz, though the two leaders have signaled different approaches to what they would like to do with it. Netanyahu sees in the plan a green light to begin annexing West Bank lands that the plan envisions will be part of Israel in the future. He has already announced plans to hold a cabinet vote in days on a proposal to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. Gantz, in contrast, has told the Trump Administration that he thinks nothing in the plan should be implemented before the March 2, 2020 Israeli election, and that he wants to include Palestinian, Jordanian, and other Arab leaders in renewed talks based on the plan as a starting point.
 
While we would welcome any meaningful progress towards achieving the kind of just and lasting peace that Israelis and Palestinians both deserve, we are concerned that the process leading up to the unveiling of the plan has not included Palestinians at all. In stark contrast with past Israeli-Palestinian agreements brokered by US administrations of both parties, the Trump-Kushner plan was presented to the public without any Palestinian leaders standing alongside their Israeli and American counterparts. The plan offers Israel sovereignty over close to a third of the West Bank, as well as over all of the current settlements, including those deep in the West Bank. It envisions a possible future Palestinian state in Gaza and in a Swiss cheese-like territory encompassing about two-thirds of the West Bank, dotted by Israeli settlements and exclusive-use settlement access roads. The Palestinian Authority has, as expected, already rejected the plan.
 
We continue to hope that we will see Israeli and Palestinian leaders find a way to reach a mutually acceptable, two-state, permanent agreement that allows both peoples to live in dignity, security, and peace. We worry that the Trump-Kushner proposal makes that possibility ever more remote, especially if it serves to usher in a period of rapid Israeli annexation of West Bank lands – a move on Israel’s part that would likely result in increased international isolation of Israel. The need for sustained US leadership towards achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine is real, and we welcome any administration’s sincere efforts to do the hard work needed to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders back to the table to finish the work that each of the previous four US administrations has tried to bring to fruition. Unfortunately, this plan appears to create new opportunities for the Israeli government to pursue annexationist goals with American backing, while using the language of peace-making in ways that mask the one-sided nature of the proposal.

Public Statements, Israel

Progressive Israel Network Commends Passage of House Resolution 326 Opposing Annexation, Supporting Two-State Solution

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Progressive Israel Network logo

As leading progressive pro-Israel organizations in the American Jewish community, we commend the House of Representatives for passing House Resolution 326. This landmark resolution, which reaffirms support for a two-state solution, marks the first time the House has formally opposed unilateral Israeli annexation of the West Bank and asserted longstanding US opposition to settlements.

The passage of this legislation comes at a critical moment. The resolution sends an urgent message to the region just days after President Trump reportedly spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the latter’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley. It is a repudiation of the Trump administration’s attempts last month to legitimize Israeli settlements on occupied territory by declaring that the US no longer views them as a violation of international law, a reversal of decades of bipartisan foreign policy.

With Netanyahu having outlined a detailed West Bank annexation plan and taken steps to put annexation legislation before the Knesset, this threat must be taken as serious and urgent by American policymakers. The prime minister’s proposals would be a disastrous blow to the prospects for peace, would trample on Palestinian rights and international law, and would imperil Israel’s future.

The resolution stresses the importance of a two-state solution as the only viable means of ensuring “the state of Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state” and fulfilling “the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own.” As progressive organizations committed to Israel’s democracy and to equality and peace, we welcome this affirmation that there is no contradiction between supporting Israel’s security and supporting the rights of Palestinians.

The Progressive Israel Network is a coalition of ten leading organizations representing Americans committed to pursuing democracy and equality in Israel and to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The coalition speaks with a unified voice in support of democracy and equal rights, religious freedom and pluralism, and a two-state solution. Its founding principles can be found here. The network’s founding members are Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair, The Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, The New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T’ruah. This statement is further joined by the National Council of Jewish Women.

Response to US Policy Shift on Settlement Legality

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Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association are disappointed by and strongly oppose the recent policy statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declaring that the U.S. no longer views Israeli West Bank settlements as inconsistent with international law. Pompeo’s statement overturns decades of long-held U.S. policy by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In Israel, this news is being received by the pro-settlement movement as a green light for future Israeli unilateral annexation of West Bank lands, and several Israeli right wing political leaders are already proposing swift action to begin such annexation. Meanwhile, the announcement deals a blow to Israeli peacebuilding organizations who have worked tirelessly for renewed negotiations towards a two-state future.

Any unilateral move by the Israeli government to annex lands in the West Bank or build new settlements there would ultimately make the prospect of a viable two-state solution all but impossible. Announcements like Pompeo’s, which appease the Israeli far right and shred American credibility as a possible convener of renewed peace negotiations, are not in reality helpful to Israel’s long-term viability as a Jewish and democratic state. We urge the Trump Administration to reverse its position on this matter, and to focus instead on steps that will help bring the leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority back into productive negotiations towards a two-state agreement.

 

Statement on Recent Rocket Attacks on Israel

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Reconstructing Judaism and Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association logos

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association condemn the 300 rockets indiscriminately launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past few days. We are grateful that, as of this moment, no Israelis have been seriously wounded or killed by these attacks. We reaffirm our solidarity with Israelis living under this bombardment. Our hearts and prayers are with civilians on both sides of this escalation and we mourn the loss of life of Palestinian civilians at the same time as we worry about and pray for the health and wellbeing of Israelis. 

Terrorism is never justified and attacks like these increase the potential for escalating violence as Israeli forces respond with intensified measures in Gaza. Rocket attacks will not end the blockade of the Gaza Strip nor the Occupation of the West Bank. This cycle of violence will not pave the way to a lasting, fair peace agreement that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security.

May Israelis and Palestinians alike have the strength and courage to fulfill our dreams of peace, mutual respect and shared prosperity in Israel and Palestine. May those who work for peace, justice, and reconciliation throughout the region be strengthened in their work and their ideals.  

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