- Rabbinic Voice
- Reform Responsa
- CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly
Resolution Adopted by the CCAR
Adopted by the CCAR at the 86th Annual Convention of
WHEREAS we sense that special bond that ties us to our people in the State of Israel
and fills us with concern for the security of Israel and the achievement of peace
in the Middle East, and
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
WHEREAS that bond finds its first expression in the texts we have studied and which we are called on to interpret in our teaching, and
WHEREAS that bond has been reaffirmed time after time by the leadership that members of the Central Conference of American Rabbis have given to the rebuilding of Israel,
1. BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we call on the congregations and communities we lead to deepen their spiritual and material concern for Israel. We especially express our wholehearted support for the United Jewish Appeal and State of Israel Bonds. We call on our congregations and communities to increase their support of these two important projects that have done so much to strengthen Israel during the first twenty-seven years of its existence.
2. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we communicate to the congregations and communities we serve the need for increased tourism to Israel. We encourage our congregants and community members to visit Israel for the purpose of increasing their own Jewish knowledge and deepening their own sense of Jewish attachment and also to serve as a demonstration to the people of Israel and to the world of our solidarity with our people in Israel. We encourage tourists and tour groups to be in contact with the liberal Jewish institutions in Israel in order to effect a closer relationship with them.
3. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we commend our colleagues who have chosen to take up residence in Israel and who are today leading synagogues there. Through their presence in Israel they are dramatically enhancing the spiritual life of the State of Israel and contributing to the strengthening of Judaism in the land of its birth just as they are adding strength to Judaism throughout the world. To the liberal congregations in Israel we communicate our support and, with them, we look forward to the day when our colleagues will enjoy full and equal opportunities to serve our people in Eretz Yisrael in all rabbinic functions. We call upon the government of Israel to grant full religious freedom to all branches of Judaism and to resist any attempts to change the Law of Return.
4. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we condemn the acts of terrorism which continue to pose such awesome threats to our people in Israel. Wanting to build a country in peace and to live in harmony with their neighbors, Israelis stand in fear of their physical and emotional well-being because of terrorist activities which persist. We call on all governments of good will to denounce openly any and all acts of terrorism and to enact such legislation as will grant no asylum to terrorists.
5. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we note with interest and favor the ongoing debate within Israel on various alternatives to bring about peace. Since the security and well-being of Israel remains our abiding commitment, we believe that such security is enhanced by free and open exploration of options for solving the multitude of problems Israel now faces. In this light we applaud the openness that is present in Israel and call upon the North American Jewish community to recognize that diversity. Thus, we encourage a full discussion in the North American Jewish community of all alternatives and call upon our movement to sponsor forums for open discussion of all divergent points of view. No subjects, including options for the solution of the Palestinian problem should be ignored.
6. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express dismay at the actions of UNESCO in condemning Israel for its archeological excavations and investigations. Such condemnation and subsequent expulsion of Israel from UNESCO was without basis. We applaud the archeologists of Israel for their continuing work in uncovering the past and doing so with scientific skill, reverence for sacred sites and for their total willingness to share the fruits of their labors with the world-wide academic and religious communities.
7. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express our anger at instances of prohibiting Israel's participation in world scholarly circles and sports competition. The concerted effort by the Arab nations to deny Israel the rights accorded other countries is deplorable. We call on nations of good will to counteract such activities with their own refusal to participate in any events or programs which deny Israel the right to participate.
8. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we condemn the boycott by the Arab nations of firms and individuals who support Israel. We call on governments, industries and organizations to express their disapproval of such boycotts to the governments and companies involved.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we condemn the actions of the multinational American corporations such as Gulf Oil and Northrop Aircraft for illegally using corporate funds to bribe public officials and subvert the democratic process. While some of the funds have been used to enrich private individuals, a substantial portion has been diverted by Arab propagandists for anti-Israel purposes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the passage of new legislation to combat the Arab boycott as well as carrying out of present legislation which would combat the boycott. All foreign investments in the United States should be monitored and reported. Controlling interests in strategic industries, resources or news media should be banned. Foreign assistance and military sales to any nation guilty of discriminatory business practice should be prohibited. No American governmental agency should acquiesce to discriminatory criteria of any Arab nation.
9. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call the attention of the people of Israel to the fact that in Reform congregations throughout the United States and Canada the observance of Yom Ha-atzmaut has become widespread and we note further that such observances are marked by the introduction of creative liturgies that express in stirring ways the bond between us and Israel. Through our annual observances of Yom Ha-atzmaut we give strength to Israel. We call on the media in Israel to give greater coverage to such observances that take place in our synagogues and we call on every congregation served by a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis to incorporate the observance of Yom Ha-atzmaut into their annual calendar of religious observances.
10. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express appreciation to the President and Congress for furnishing grants and credits to Israel during fiscal year 1970. We urge a Middle East policy based on traditional American principles of disdain for totalitarianism and support of countries which pursue freedom and insure human rights. The level of support for Israel must, therefore, be maintained. We applaud the statement of seventy-six members of the United States Senate recognizing the importance of American support for Israel. They have declared what we have always believed--that Israel is an ally of the United States and should be declared as such in forceful terms by our government and should be supported in order to effectively deter Arab aggression .
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call on the government of the United States to:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we seek:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we recognize the complexity of the "Palestine problem." We support the view that ultimately the nature of the Palestinian entity must be determined by the Palestinians themselves and urge, therefore, the use of full democratic means in that process of determination. If the creation of a Palestinian state is democratically deemed to be the desire of the Palestinians then it must be so constituted as to pose no threat to the security and territorial integrity of Israel. The prospect of an armed state sitting on Israel's pre-1967 borders is unacceptable.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we call for the consideration in all solutions of the reality of the exchange of Jewish and Arab refugees which followed the 1948 war, a war launched by the Arab states following Israel's establishment on legitimate and legal foundations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the termination of American support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) insofar as its funds are administered to a significant degree by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and allocated to Arab refugees. We feel that a total reassessment of United States funding of UNRWA is mandatory and ask the United States government to seek more acceptable instruments to meet the legitimate humanitarian needs of the world's refugees.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we unite in seeking peace in the Middle East, peace based on the principles of mutual trust, compassion and justice--a peace that is long overdue.
11. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we consider the singular admission of the Palestinian Liberation Organization ( PLO) to the status of observers in the United Nations a travesty on the principles of the United Nations. We vigorously object to their inclusion in the forthcoming convention on crime being held in Toronto. We urge the government of Canada which lists the PLO as a prohibited organization to stand by this principle and refuse to admit the representatives of the PLO to the UN conferences in Toronto and Vancouver.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we express this concern to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau immediately.