Statement of Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie President, Union of American Hebrew Congregations On The Proposed Sale Of Israeli Assaoult Weapons In The U.S.
September 23, 1997- The Reform Jewish movement joins Senator Dianne Feinstein in calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the planned sale of military-style assault weapons within the United States by an Israeli government-owned company. Such weapons have no place in America, and we commend Senator Feinstein both for her ardent support of Israel and her ongoing leadership in efforts to reduce gun violence in our communities, including her recent message to the prime minister.
Like our commitment to Israel and the pursuit of peace in the Middle East, we are dedicated to the fight against senseless violence on our own city streets. Efforts to circumvent the assault weapons ban, through the planned Israeli export of modified military-style assault weapons, are unacceptable and fail to honor the vital, supporting role played by the United States as Israel's strongest ally. We would similarly oppose future efforts by other foreign companies - both state and privately-owned - to introduce into the U.S. marketplace such deadly weapons.
We call on the prime minister to heed this call and to personally intercede in this matter. His leadership could send a powerful message from Israel to the American people: Weapons of war intended to help save lives in the Middle East will not contribute to the bloodying of American streets.
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The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in 870 synagogues.