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Reform Jewish Leader Commends Senate Vote on Timetable for Withdrawal of Troops from Iraq

Contact: Rachel Slomovitz or Allison Grossman
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, D.C. March 28, 2007- Today, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, sent a letter to members of the Senate commending yesterday’s historic vote to include in the supplemental spending bill a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.  The letter notes the Union for Reform Judaism’s recent adoption of a resolution on the War in Iraq that opposes a troop escalation, and calls for a phased, expeditious withdrawal of troops with a specific timetable.  The full text of the resolution can be found at www.rac.org/iraq and the full text of the letter follows:

March 28, 2007
Dear Senator,

As you prepare to vote on the emergency supplemental, I write on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, encompassing 900 congregations across North America, to commend the Senate for supporting the inclusion of language in the bill regarding a timetable for withdrawal of American troops. I would also like to share with you our support for a timetable for withdrawal and establishment of reasonable benchmarks of achievement for Iraq as included in the House-passed version of the bill.

The Union for Reform Judaism recently adopted a resolution on the War in Iraq that opposes a troop escalation, and calls for a phased, expeditious withdrawal of troops with a specific timetable.  The decision to adopt the resolution was reached only after thoughtful deliberation and due consideration of the complex issues involved. 

As we approach the fourth year of United States’ involvement in Iraq, and with no exit strategy proposed by the Administration, it is imperative that a plan be established to ensure that Iraqis take responsibility for their future.  Our call for withdrawal is rooted in the ongoing and escalating loss of life among U.S. and coalition forces and the Iraqi people, growing instability within Iraqi society, the growing financial burden caused by the cost of the war, and the damage being done to the strategic and security needs of America and its allies.  

Our resolution makes clear that our support for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq in no way diminishes our support for our service women and men (and their families) who have answered duty’s call and served our nation honorably.  We commend and support them and while serving in Iraq or elsewhere, they deserve the best training and equipment we can provide for them.  We also strongly support providing those of active duty and veterans with generous benefits, including quality healthcare, particularly those who have been wounded and their families.

The challenges we face as we seek to address the complexities of the war are significant.  As you prepare to vote on the supplemental, we hope you find some guidance in our resolution and encourage you to read it in its entirety at www.rac.org/iraq

Sincerely,
Rabbi David Saperstein

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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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