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Rabbi Saperstein Commends President Obama for Announcement That He Will Visit Israel; Hopes for Renewed Peace Talks

Saperstein: "It is my sincere hope that the President's visit serves as an impetus for the resumption of long overdue peace negotiations."

Contact: Sean Thibault or Mikey Pasek
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, D.C., February 5, 2013 - In response to a White House announcement that President Obama will travel to Israel in March, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

"We are greatly encouraged that President Obama will visit Israel in March, marking his second visit to the Jewish state, his first as President. The relationship between the United States and Israel has always been unbreakable, and the President's visit, soon after a new Israeli coalition government begins to tackle issues of pressing importance, serves to reinforce the strong bond between the United States and the Jewish State.

It is my sincere hope that the President's visit serves as an impetus for the resumption of long overdue peace negotiations. It is important that President Obama has also committed to visiting the West Bank and Jordan, in recognition of the vital roles President Abbas and King Abdullah must play in the achievement of peace and in pressing other U.S. interests in the region. Paired with a commitment to renewed negotiations offered by the newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry, President Obama's visit promises to refocus attention on the urgent need for a two-state solution."

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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