We Are For Israel Responds to 100 Jewish Leaders Letter

We Are For Israel has been asked to offer a response to the letter written by 100 American Jewish Leaders seeking that Israel work with Secretary of State Kerry to produce a plan demonstrating “Israel’s readiness to make painful territorial concessions for the sake of peace” as an inducement hoping to bring the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table.  It is very clear that We Are For Israel’s Mission Statement along with its introduction does so more than adequately.

We Are For Israel’s Mission Statement has been signed by over 350 rabbis from around the world, the Rabbis For Israel, including leaders of many of the Reform and Conservative movements’ largest and most prominent congregations, as well as by many leading Jewish figures from across the religious spectrum. Found in the introductory text signed by these very eminent Jewish leaders are the following statements:

Attempts by Israel’s detractors to lay the blame for the lack of progress toward peace at her door while pressing her alone to make concessions are not only unjustified, but frequently motivated by political interests, naivety, ignorance, misinformation or even anti-Semitism.


We are particularly concerned by the manner in which some organizations within the Jewish community, which profess to care for Israel and her well-being, advocate that pressure be applied upon her to make unilateral concessions. Similar demands are not made of the Palestinians to respond in kind if at all. We believe that such advocacy, which results in intransigence and increased demands from the Palestinians, does not advance the cause of peace. In discrediting Israel publicly, such organizations not only weaken support for her but also serve the interests of her detractors and enemies.

Additionally, our published statement concerning “Where Our Advocacy Differs” includes passages that are relevant.

Singling Out Israel for Criticism  We believe that it is illegitimate to single out Israel for blame and censure in respect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Even in the context of “blaming both sides,” offering general criticism of the Palestinians while specifically condemning Israeli policies and actions amounts to a double standard that obscures history in a morally questionable manner.


Seeking Action by the United States to Pressure Israel to Yield to Palestinian Demands – We believe that America should support Israel in its efforts to negotiate a secure and lasting peace with the Palestinians by working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach that goal. America should not work against Israel on behalf of the Palestinians by pressuring Israel to accept Palestinian demands while receiving nothing in return. The mere appearance of one-sided pressure on Israel fosters Palestinian intransigence and encourages their refusal to come to the negotiating table. This tactic is neither pro-Israel, nor pro-peace.

About the Author
Rabbi David Kaufman is the Rabbi of Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Des Moines, Iowa, a congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. He is also the President and Co-Founder of We Are For Israel, the home of "Centrist Advocates for Realistic Peace" and created the news site about the crisis in the Nuba Mountains, www.helpnuba.net. Rabbi Kaufman maintains an informational blog on which he posts sermons and other materials related to Jewish practice and belief at www.rabbikaufman.blogspot.com