Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154
New York, NY; February 15, 2017 –
Following today's press conference with President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), which represents the largest segment of American Jewry, issued the following statement. If you would like to speak with Rabbi Jacobs, please contact LTheodore@urj.org
or 212-650-4154. Thank you.
We learned today that President Trump “can live with” a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With all respect: that was never the question. The question is: can Israelis and Palestinians live with it in a way that allows for a Jewish, democratic State of Israel and realization of the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinians. And the answer to that question remains “no.” Only a two-state solution can achieve the goals of the Israelis and Palestinians.
That is why we see President Trump’s abdication of the longtime, bipartisan support for a two-state solution so darkly. It is potentially devastating to the prospects for peace and Israel’s Jewish, democratic future. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s endorsement of such a policy change is no less ill-advised.
Even as he refused to lend the Administration’s support to a two-state solution, President Trump called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to “hold back” on settlements. We welcome that statement, and note that shows just how broad the consensus against new settlement in the West Bank is.
We also find it extraordinarily troubling that both leaders were unresponsive when asked about the recent rise in anti-Semitism. We expect our leadership to provide clear and unequivocal condemnation against all acts and forms of hatred, bigotry, racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism.
President Trump has said he is the ultimate deal maker. Let him prove it by bringing Israelis and Palestinians together to realize an agreement that ensures two states, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.