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Saperstein: "While we may not always agree with the ideas expressed, our deep commitment to Jewish and democratic values requires that we defend the free speech of all Israel's citizens, including its Arab citizens."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 9, 2010 -- In response to death threats made against Israeli Arab Knesset Members, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following response:
We condemn in no uncertain terms the death threats made against Arab members of the Israeli Knesset. Regardless of political affiliation and opinion, we support the right of every citizen to speak freely in the vibrant democracy that is Israel. Like Speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin, we deplore those who have responded to the Gaza flotilla incident by characterizing Israeli Arabs as enemies and traitors.
As Reform Jews, we have profound pride in the State of Israel. While we may not always agree with the ideas expressed, our deep commitment to Jewish and democratic values requires that we defend the free speech of all Israel's citizens, including its Arab citizens. Threats or acts of violence are abhorrent and cannot be tolerated. Israel's very survival depends on the moral character of the state and the just treatment of all her people.