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Nation's Largest Jewish Organization Praises Israel's Acceptance Into a Regional Bloc of the United Nations

Contact: Raanan Weintraub, (202) 387-2800

WASHINGTONMay 31, 2000 — In response to the State of Israel's acceptance into the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) of the United Nations, Rabbi David Saperstein sent letters of gratitude to Secretary General Kofi Annan and U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.

The complete text of the letter to U.N. Ambassador Holbrooke follows:

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke,

After forty years of discrimination and injustice, Israel's acceptance as a full member of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) represents a new chapter in Israel's relationship with the United Nations.

On behalf of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), whose 895 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), whose membership includes over 1700 Reform rabbis, I commend and applaud the Clinton Administration's commitment to Israel's integration into the European regional bloc of the world body. Your personal leadership and commitment to this diplomatic priority in the past few months are deeply appreciated.

For too long Israel has been denied the promise of equal treatment and representation in the world body. Acceptance into the WEOG opens the door to normalizing relations between Israel and the United Nations. Your words resonate with the Reform Jewish community; this is truly a "historic step forward in the elimination of a huge injustice."

Respectfully,
/s/
Rabbi David Saperstein

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing its 895 congregations across North America, whose membership includes 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the 1700 rabbis of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.



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