Reform rabbinical leadership backs Obama call to freeze settlement building

The Central Conference of American Rabbis on Sunday expressed support for the Obama administration's position on West Bank settlements and joined the call on Israel to freeze settlement activity. "Establishing new settlements or outposts, or continuing to expand existing settlements, even by natural growth, does not serve the cause of Israel or of peace," the Reform rabbinical leadership said in a statement. The statement stressed, however, that West Bank settlements were not the greatest threat to Middle East peace, noting that "the Iranian regime's ongoing nuclear threats against Israel and its support for Hizbullah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups pose the single greatest threat to peace, to the United States, to the Middle East, and to Israel today." The rabbis also said Israel could not be expected to make significant concessions when it remains under attack.