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Saperstein: As Iraq stands at the dawn of a new era, Nick Berg's murder reminds us of the need to remain vigilant against those who would have Iraq return to an era of violence and suffering.
WASHINGTON, May 19, 2004 - In response to the execution of Nicholas Berg by Iraqi terrorists, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued the following statement:
The brutal murder of Nicholas Berg compels all people of decency to express deep sympathy for his family and friends and outrage toward those who committed this vicious act. Even in the midst of so much bloodshed, Berg's murder shocks the conscience, not only for its cold-bloodedness, but for the manner in which it was glorified by his executioners.
As Iraq stands at the dawn of a new era, Nick Berg's murder reminds us of what is stake in Iraq, and of the need to remain vigilant against those who would have Iraq return to an era of violence and suffering. The men, women and, in particular, children of Iraq deserve a future of peace and security.
We pray that Mr. Berg's friends and family take some comfort in the fact that his efforts in Iraq contributed to improving the plight of those who have known bloodshed for far too long. May his loved ones be spared further suffering.
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(CCAR) whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis .