February 28, 2023
The Central Conference of American Rabbis condemns recent terrorist attacks on Jewish Israelis in the Occupied West Bank. We mourn the deaths of brothers, Hillel and Yigal Yaniv—and, most recently, an American citizen, Elan Ganeles.
Reform rabbis join Israelis, the Jewish people, and decent human beings everywhere in demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
However, at the same time, we are horrified by the vigilante violence carried out by Jewish extremists against innocent Palestinians in the area of the attacks. Violence never justifies violence, and justice is not served by an eruption of extrajudicial action and collective punishment carried out by individuals seeking vengeance.
The Torah commands, “Justice, justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). We learn from our Sages that the repetition of the word “justice” demands that we seek a just outcome through a just process.
Over 250 CCAR rabbis have only now returned home after our convention in Israel, where we stood alongside our Israeli siblings, particularly our Reform rabbinic colleagues and the communities they serve in the Israel Movement for Progressive and Reform Judaism. While in Israel, we lifted our voices together for justice and for peace. We will continue to pray and work for those values in Israel and around the world.
Rabbi Erica Asch
Rabbi Hara E. Person
Central Conference of American Rabbis