For Immediate Release
January 10, 2009
Statement on the Current Situation in the Middle East from The Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge
“This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas – a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel’s destruction…America’s objectives in the Middle East will remain clear: We seek security and peace for our allies, the free people of Israel.” – President George W. Bush
“If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect the Israelis to do the same thing.” - President-Elect Barack Obama
“No country can tolerate ongoing provocation and attacks without responding. Israel is doing what every nation is entitled to do by acting against those who willfully attack their citizens.” - Mark Posner, President, Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge.
Louisiana’s entire congressional delegation and Governor Jindal have each issued statements of support for Israel’s right to exist and defend herself. Israel’s current military operation is an act of self-defense. Since Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas has indiscriminately fired more than 6,300 rockets and mortars at Israeli population centers. Last spring, despite the 6 month cease-fire brokered by Egypt, Hamas did not stop its rocket attacks, significantly enhanced its arsenal, and increased its rocket assaults after the six month period, thus unilaterally ending the period of calm.
• Israel demonstrated extreme restraint in the face of years of attacks on its citizens after it fully withdrew from Gaza.
• Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas both have blamed Hamas for the hostilities.
• Israel puts the lives of its own soldiers at risk by providing advance warning in the form of leaflets and phone calls to civilians that it intends to carry out operations in specific locations and to vacate those locations.
• Israel’s main goals are to stop the rocket and mortar attacks on its citizens and to secure a durable and sustainable cease-fire that does not allow Hamas to continue building up its weapons arsenal and resume attacks on Israelis.
Israel has held intensive negotiations with the Palestinian Authority during the past year amid continuing attacks by Hamas. Israel also has taken numerous steps to improve the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank. The loss of any innocent life is regrettable. Israel remains committed to a lasting peace.
For more information, please contact the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge
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