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Reform Jewish Leader Condemns Terrorist Killings of Israeli Arabs
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today issued a statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism condemning the terrorist attack on Israeli Arabs by an AWOL Israeli soldier noting, "The Union for Reform Judaism joins Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon in condemning unreservedly the murder of four Israeli Arabs by an Israeli Jewish terrorist."

Contact: Alexis Rice 202.387.2800

Washington, August 4, 2005 - Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today issued a statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism condemning the terrorist attack on Israeli Arabs by an AWOL Israeli soldier.  The statement is as follows:

    The Union for Reform Judaism joins Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon in condemning unreservedly the murder of four Israeli Arabs by an Israeli Jewish terrorist.  We send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and our fervent wishes for a full a speedy recovery to those wounded in the attack.
     
    Prime Minister Sharon was right to call the murder “a sinful act by a bloodthirsty terrorist.”  We note as well that the chairman of the Yesha Council of Settlements, Bentzi Lieberman, denounced the attack as “the work of a madman.”  Lieberman went on to say, “Murder is murder is murder, and there can be no other response but to denounce it completely and express revulsion.”

    We agree with these statements.  This terrorist act requires exactly this wall to wall denunciation and repudiation.  At the same time, we are saddened that a mob of residents of Shfaram, where the shooting happened, angered by what had happened, beat Eden Tzuberi, the killer, to death rather than allowing the justice system to work.

    Tzuberi’s act was aimed at tearing the oft-frayed threads that bind together both the people of Israel, Jew and Arab, and the Jewish people. As such it was a betrayal of the dream of Israel as a pluralistic nation and an attack on those values that are the pillar of its democracy. Our response must be to join Israeli Jew, Israeli Arab, Diaspora Jew not only in condemning this violence but in working together to ensure that it does not happen again.


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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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