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Saperstein: "We remain determined to work to help ensure the long-term prospects for a Jewish and democratic Israel, living in peace with a viable Palestinian state"
Contact: Kate Bigam or Jeff Oakley
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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9, 2009 - In response to Secretary of State Hillary Clintons recent visit to Egypt, Israel and the West Bank, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
A peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is indispensable to furthering Americas foreign policy interests, Israels security, and Palestinian political aspirations. We are pleased that the Obama Administration has engaged in playing a more assertive role in efforts to achieve a two-state solution. We welcome the determined leadership of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Special Envoy Mitchell in working toward the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The greatest contribution the United States can make to help Israel is to help it move beyond the deadly status quo toward the establishment of a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians.
We applaud Secretary Clintons statements calling for an end to continuing rocket fire from Gaza. We call on the Administration to work diligently to bring about the end of such attacks, the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and the implementation of a durable ceasefire that can help pave the way to a peaceful future.
We also welcome Secretary Clintons pledge of $900 million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza, with the essential understanding that no funds will be provided to Hamas. We urge Congress to fulfill this pledge and assist the Palestinian people in efforts to rebuild and strengthen their civilian infrastructure.
We hope that the new Israeli government will work with the new U.S. Administration to advance the cause of peace. Israel must demonstrate its stated commitment to that goal by ending the expansion of settlements in accordance with prior commitments made to the United States government. We remain determined to work to help ensure the long-term prospects for a Jewish and democratic Israel, living in peace with a viable Palestinian state.