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Position of the Reform Movement on Israel

Reform Movement Policy and Resolutions
 

The Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) have been outspoken in their support of the peace process. Throughout the Reform Movement's history, in times of peace and in times of strife, we have spoken out in unequivocal and unconditional support of the State of Israel and her people. This support stems from a love of the land and an understanding that the destinies of the Jewish people and of Israel are intertwined in an unbreakable connection (URJ Resolution, Support for Israel, 2009)

At the 2001 Union Biennial in Boston, the Union passed a resolution reaffirming its support of Israel and an American role in the facilitation of the peace process. Earlier in the year, the Union Executive Board passed a resolution stating that "the way to end the conflict is for Israel and the Palestinians to reach a negotiated agreement, based on mutual recognition that provides security for both sides."

In June 2004, the Union passed a resolution on unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, the security fence, and administrative home demolitons. The resolution supports the Disengagement plan and calls for an implementation of the plan that facilitates a return to a political process between Israel and the Palestinians. The resolution also supports the building of a security fence to protect Israeli citizens from terror in a way that minimizes undue hardship for Palestinians, and opposes administrative home demolitions and urges the Israeli government to rescind this policy. The resolution also reiterates the Reform Jewish Movement’s commitment to a two-state solution as the surest way to guarantee the security of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Union Resolutions:

  1. Unilateral Withdrawals, Security Barriers, and Home Demolitions: Striving for Security and Peace for Israel and the Middle East (2004)
  2. Israel (2001)
  3. Israel and the Peace Process (2001)
  4. In Support of the Peace Process (1995)
  5. Israel (1983)
  6. Israel I (1982)
  7. Israel II (1982)
  8. Peace in the Middle East (1981)
  9. Israel (1979)
  10. Peace in the Middle East (1978)

CCAR Resolutions:

  1. Peace Process (1998)
  2. Israel's Peace and Security (1997)
  3. Israel and the Peace Process (1995)
  4. Peace Process and Terrorism (1994)
  5. Peace Process (1992)
  6. Security of Israel (1990)
  7. Security of Israel (1983)
  8. Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1981)
  9. Peace Negotiations between Israel and Egypt (1981)
  10. Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
  11. Security of Israel (1977)

Religous Pluralism Resolutions 

URJ Resolutions:

  1. Religious Pluralism in Israel (1999)
  2. Reaffirming Religious Pluralism in Israel (1998)
  3. Religious Freedom in Israel (1997)
  4. Threat to Reform Rights in Israel (1995)
  5. Religious Pluralism in Israel (1993)
  6. Religious Pluralism and Rights in Israel (1977)
  7. Law of Return (1977)

CCAR Resolutions:

  1. Support for Religious Freedom in Israel (2000)
  2. Resolution on the Knesset Conversion Bill (1998)
  3. Religious Freedom in Israel (1998)
  4. The Agreement on the Conversion Law Between the Reform and Conservative Movements in Israel (1997)
  5. The Law of Return (1997)
  6. Religious Pluralism in Israel (1995)
  7. Religious Pluralism in Israel (1994)
  8. Women of the Wall (1990)
  9. Law of Return (1989)
  10. Jewish Religious Pluralism in Israel (1984)
  11. Jewish Religious Pluralism in Israel (1983)
  12. Jewish Religious Pluralism in Israel (1977)


 

Israel and the United Nations

Despite the pivotal role the United Nations played in the creation of the Jewish state, the relationship between Israel and the UN has been often antagonistic. From the 1975 UN resolution equating Zionism with racism to the continuing use of the assembly as a forum for airing Arab grievances, Israel has often been on the receiving end of UN criticism.
Despite the pivotal role the United Nations played in the creation of the Jewish state, the relationship between Israel and the UN has been often antagonistic. From the 1975 UN resolution equating Zionism with racism to the continuing use of the assembly as a forum for airing Arab grievances, Israel has often been on the receiving end of UN criticism.

On May 30, 2000, a new chapter opened in the relationship between Israel and the world body. After more than four decades of exclusion from a "regional group," Israel was formally invited to join the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) at the UN headquarters in New York. Without membership in one of the regional groups, Israel was denied participating in one of the rotating Security Council seats as well as many other activities. Based on location, Israel should be part of the Asia regional group, but resistance from Iran and the Arab states, even in the era of the peace process, had prevented its membership.

WEOG is made up of non-European, Western-style democracies such as Canada and New Zealand. Until recently, Israel was the only long-standing member state of the United Nations never to have been admitted to a regional bloc, and, therefore, the only one of 185 countries not permitted to serve on the UN Security Council. Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria - all sponsors of terrorism according to the State Department - are eligible to sit on the Security Council.

In response to the State of Israel's acceptance into the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) of the United Nations, Rabbi David Saperstein sent letters to Secretary General Kofi Annan and U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke expressing deep thanks for their leadership. The decision of the UN’s International Court of Justice regarding the security fence corroborated many of the concerns about the UN’s attitude towards Israel. See the section on the security fence for more information.

Reform Movement Policy

URJ Resolutions:


CCAR Resolutions: