Jewish communities worldwide stand by Israel

J Street, non-Orthodox Jewish denominations backing Israel, while fringe radical left-wing Jewish organizations denounce Israel’s killing of Islamic Jihad commander and response to rocket attacks.

People attend a gathering, organized by CRIF Jewish organisation, in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor stabbed and burnt in her Paris apartment in what authorities suspect could be an anti-Semitic murder, in Marseille, France March 28, 2018 (photo credit: JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER / REUTERS)
People attend a gathering, organized by CRIF Jewish organisation, in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor stabbed and burnt in her Paris apartment in what authorities suspect could be an anti-Semitic murder, in Marseille, France March 28, 2018
(photo credit: JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER / REUTERS)
The mainstream representative organizations for Jewish communities around the world, along with Jewish international umbrella organizations, have all given strong backing to Israel in the wake of the heavy rocket bombardment from Gaza.
Among them were the non-Orthodox Jewish denominations in the US, as well as the left-wing J Street organization, who all condemned the rocket barrages against the Jewish state and affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself.
The Jewish organizations strongly defended Israel’s targeted killing of senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata, and denounced the subsequent rocket fire by the terror group, insisting that there was “no moral equivalence.”
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations welcomed the killing of al-Ata, and that it congratulated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF on “successfully dispatching” the Islamic Jihad commander, adding that “he was an extremist who opposed any negotiations with Israel, and the world is a safer place without him.”
The Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella group for US and Canadian Jewry, said that it “stand[s] with Israel’s resilient citizens and send prayers for peace,” while the World Jewish Congress, an umbrella group for Jewish communities around the world, described the rocket attacks as “terrorism, plain and simple,” and called on the international community to condemn it.
J Street said that it “strongly condemn[ed] the rocket attacks by Islamic Jihad,” and that its thoughts were with the residents of southern and central Israel and IDF forces, as well as “with civilians on both sides of the divide.”
The organization called on the government to ensure that decisions made during the escalation “are based entirely on security considerations,” a reference to allegations made by left-wing and Israeli-Arab MKs that the government killed al-Ata to make it harder for Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a coalition.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism in the US, said that “We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel” as it was bombarded from Gaza, adding that “We are deeply grateful for Iron Dome, which has once again saved many lives.”
The Iron Dome rocket interceptor system has received hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the US, much of it allocated to Israel during the Obama administration.
Jewish representative groups from around the world also gave Israel their backing, with support coming from the UK, France, Australia and beyond.
Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Sheila Gewolb said that their “thoughts and prayers go out to communities in Israel in the range of the latest bombardment from terrorists in the Gaza Strip,” and called on “the international community to stand with Israel… so both communities can live in peace and security.”
The Council of French Jewish Institutions, the umbrella organization for French Jews, said it “condemned” the rocket attacks, while the president of the Zionist Federation of Australia Jeremy Leibler insisted that “any attack that deliberately targets civilians is a war crime.” He noted that “Palestinian rockets are designed to maximize Israeli civilian deaths and bring about an Israeli response in a perverse attempt to engender Palestinian deaths.”
The ZFA added that “there is absolutely NO moral equivalence between a targeted killing of a terrorist and indiscriminately firing rockets aimed at millions of civilians.”
Despite the unanimous support of all the major representative groups of Jewish communities around the world, the more fringe, radical left-wing Jewish organizations continued their hostility toward the efforts of the Jewish state to tackle the terror emanating from the Gaza Strip.
The IfNotNow group blamed Palestinian terror attacks on Israel’s blockade of Gaza, saying that “Gazans have endured 12 years under a strangulating Israeli siege,” and that “this situation creates deep despair and desperation, leading to attacks that recklessly endanger innocent Israelis.”
And Jewish Voice for Peace accused Israel of having “extrajudicially executed” al-Ata and his wife, who was also killed in the airstrike, adding that “now Israel is bombing the besieged strip,” without mentioning the massive rocket barrages by Islamic Jihad.
It also claimed that Israel’s military response to the rocket attacks “threatens the security of the entire region and the lives of millions of innocent people in Gaza Strip.”