Resolution Adopted by the CCAR
GAZA AND THE WEST BANK
Adopted by the 117th Annual Convention
of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
San Diego, CA
In August of 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Government of Israel undertook and executed an unprecedented policy: the unilateral withdrawal from and evacuation of all Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip along with a small number in the West Bank.
In light of this historic initiative, the Central Conference of American Rabbis resolves:
Consistent with the CCAR Board’s “Where We Stand on Israel” (2003), we commend the government of Israel for this most difficult and most necessary step, meant to better secure both the lives of Israeli citizens as well as the future of Israel as a Jewish democratic state.
We commend Prime Minister Sharon for his vision and resolve, and we pray for his refuah shelaymah.
We commend the Israeli Defense Forces for carrying out the most difficult task of taking Jewish families away from their homes, not only with resolve but with patience, restraint, and compassion. Therefore, we call upon the Israeli government to fulfill all its promises to former Gaza settlers, providing new and adequate housing.
We commend those settlers who left their homes in Gaza and the West Bank without resistance, knowing that ahead of them lay the difficult task of creating new lives somewhere else within the State of Israel.
The further dismantlement of selected settlements in the West Bank is the only way to assure Israel’s survival as a Jewish democratic state. In this regard, we call upon the government of Israel to evacuate with all due dispatch those settlements established in violation of Israeli law.
Ideally, these pullouts, along with the resolution of other issues, are best accomplished through direct negotiations with a Palestinian Authority which rejects the use of terrorism, recognizes the State of Israel, and accepts previously established agreements. In the absence of such a negotiating partner, the CCAR supports Prime Minister Olmert’s resolve to continue a unilateral pullout from the West Bank.
Consistent with past resolutions, we call upon the government of Israel to adopt and enforce a policy of neither building nor expanding settlements in the West Bank. We support the existence of a security barrier as a temporary measure to safeguard lives within the State of Israel, provided that the existence of the barrier does not impede the eventual establishment of a territorially contiguous Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank. We call upon the State of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces, and the Israeli Supreme court to fairly and justly balance the needs of Palestinian populations whose lives are disrupted by the existence of the security barrier, with the overall goal of preventing terrorist acts within the Jewish State.