The following is a statement from Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington, in response to the “emergency protest” outside the Israeli embassy sponsored by the American Muslim Task Force for Palestine.
“The Greater Washington Jewish community would welcome a firm and lasting peace for Israel and Gaza. Israelis and Palestinians deserve nothing less.
“Peace will come when Hamas no longer has the means to behead innocent children, rape innocent women, slaughter innocent civilians, and destroy innocent families.
“Peace will come when Hamas no longer governs Gaza. We unequivocally support Israel’s military campaign to permanently dismantle Hamas, which will strike a blow for freedom in the Middle East and around the world.
“Peace will come when every man, woman and child being unjustly and illegally held hostage by Hamas is released without condition. We share the joy and relief of families who have been reunited and will not rest until every Israeli is returned home.
“Peace will come when Hamas stops using innocent Palestinians as human shields and stops launching attacks from hospitals and schools. We believe Palestinians deserve their own state and leaders who care for their well-being instead of intentionally putting them in harm’s way and using their deaths to score public relations points.
“Peace will come when people around the world join the Biden Administration in recognizing that Israel has a right and responsibility to defend itself, and its people have the right to live in security and freedom.
“Peace will come when antisemitic attacks against innocent Jewish people around the world are no longer accepted as having a place in civilized society; and that Israel represents the best hope we have to spread the progressive values of freedom, liberty, and equality in the Middle East.”