The JCRC of Greater Washington stands with our sisters and brothers in Israel. We condemn Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whose rocket fire incessantly and indiscriminately targets Israelis, and we mourn the deaths of those who have been killed in the barrage. The violence perpetuated by Hamas terrorists has no justification. It is not about evictions, annexation, or two states; nor is it about building a better future for Palestinians; the sole purpose of these attacks on civilians is to perpetuate terror and to take advantage of an already tense situation solely for Hamas’s own political benefit.
Israel, like all nations, has the right and responsibility to defend its people against terrorism and any other security threats. The events of the past week prove not only the security challenges that Israel faces, but also the need to work towards an outcome that will ensure an end to the violence, an enduring peace for the region, Israel’s security, and Palestinian self-determination.
We are heartbroken at the loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives. We recognize that images of violence in Jerusalem, especially during Yom Yerushalayim and Ramadan, are deeply painful to Jews and Muslims. There is never justification for indiscriminate violence. We pray for days when our holiest sites are known only for the peace that dwells in their midst and it is our fervent hope that all parties and stakeholders will take action to prevent further bloodshed and to stop the escalation towards war.