CJP/JCRC Joint Statement on Israel's Self Defense
Over the past four days alone, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired almost 200 rockets and mortars at the civilians of southern Israel, wounding innocent Israelis and terrorizing hundreds of thousands of others. Indeed, over the past several years, Israeli men, women and children have suffered as thousands of rockets launched by terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip have been launched against them.
No government can permit its civilians to endure such suffering forever. No government would. As President Obama said after a visit to Sderot in 2008, “I can only imagine the terror these rockets inspire. It is intolerable.”
Today, Israel struck back at those terrorists, killing Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari in a precision air strike that also disabled medium-range rockets acquired by terrorists for the purpose of hitting Israeli civilian centers as far north as Tel Aviv. Israel’s military operation, “Operation Pillar of Defense,” is appropriately named, for it is truly a defensive action, aimed at relieving Israeli civilians of the fear and the suffering to which they have too long been subjected.
As the head of Hamas’ armed wing, Jabari has been responsible during the past decade for all anti-Israel terror activity emanating from the Gaza Strip. As Israeli leaders said today, it is up to Hamas to decide whether the conflict will escalate. As another put it, “the south of Israel cannot be held hostage by Hamas.”
For years we have witnessed the devastating impact of the Hamas rocket attacks. More than 85% of children in this region of Israel suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Families live in constant fear. Schools, businesses and everyday lives are disrupted by terror.
This is intolerable, and all who care about peace should regard it as intolerable as well.
We stand with Israel as it defends itself against terror. We continue to pray for the people of Israel, for all innocent civilians who are caught in the crossfire, and for peace, at long last, throughout the region.
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Barry Shrage Jeremy Burton
President, CJP Executive Director, JCRC Boston