Reform Jewish Leader Urges Support for Supplemental Timetable for Troop Withdrawal from Iraq
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WASHINGTON | April 26, 2007 - In a letter sent yesterday to all members of Congress, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, expressed support for the timetable for withdrawal of troops and the benchmarks for Iraq included in the supplemental spending bill.
The letter cites the Union for Reform Judaism’s recent 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.
The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Member of Congress,
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 share with you our support for a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and the establishment of reasonable benchmarks of achievement for Iraq as included in 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.
We have entered 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. Although the URJ has not taken a position as to a specific date for withdrawal, we call for a timely and expeditious withdrawal. We believe that the dates for withdrawal and benchmarks for the Iraqis included in the supplemental bill are reasonable and sound.
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 this week on the supplemental, we hope you find some guidance in our resolution. It can be found in its entirety at www.rac.org/iraq
Rabbi David Saperstein
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