Reform Movement Focuses on Follow-Up To UN Vote Upgrading Palestinian Status



In a new policy statement adopted by the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Reform Jewish Movement addressed the full array of issues flowing from the decision of the UN to upgrade the official status of the Palestinians.

The statement, adopted overwhelmingly after a full debate by more than 200 board members at yesterday’s meeting of the Union of Reform Judaism’s North American Board of Trustees, “Condemn[s] the Palestinian Authority for the unilateral decision to seek upgraded status at the United Nation as counterproductive to the cause of peace, and express[es] … deep concern to those countries that supported the upgraded status, and to those who abstained.”

The resolution, which is available here, was supported by the Zionist arms of the Reform Movement, ARZA and ARZA Canada.  The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) fully endorsed the resolution last night.

The resolution “Commend[s] the U.S. and Canada for their forceful and consistent efforts to prevent consideration of, and for their votes against, the General Assembly’s decision to upgrade the Palestinian’s status.” It further urges the “United States and Canada to act assertively in facilitating a return to negotiations and to take other steps that would strengthen the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.”

The URJ and the CCAR also reiterated longstanding concern about Israeli settlement building, and expressed opposition to the Israeli government’s plans to move forward with building in the critical E1 area. The resolutions note that “Settlements in E1 – the area connecting Jerusalem to a city which is one of the larger Israeli settlements – would split the Ramallah region off from Bethlehem, effectively cutting the West Bank in two and making a contiguous Palestinian state virtually impossible.” It further said that “Building there makes progress toward peace far more challenging, and is difficult to reconcile with the Government of Israel’s stated commitment to a two-state solution. At the same time, we recognize that this week’s action – beginning the permitting process for new settlement – is only the first step in a long, and by no means inevitable, process.”

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Kate Bigam

About Kate Bigam

Kate Bigam is the URJ's Social Media and Community Manager. Prior to this, she served as a Congregational Representative for the URJ's East District and at the Religious Action Center as Press Secretary and as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. Kate is a native of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and currently resides in Red Bank, N.J.

5 Responses to “Reform Movement Focuses on Follow-Up To UN Vote Upgrading Palestinian Status”

  1. avatar

    In regards to building homes for JEWS in Jerusalem. The reform movement has gone too far in denouncing Israel. You should be supporting her and not adding fuel to her enemies. Have you forgotten where you come from? Jerusalem belongs to Israel. The Jewish people. From day one, the pals have tried to murder every Jew they could get thier hands on. Have you forgotten that hamas has declared that they will expell all Jews from Jerusalem as soon as it is thiers? They want a Jew free state. Your position on this issue is crazy. Stop your public spewing of hatred towards the only Jewish state in the whole world. You should be ashamed and your officers kicked out for lack of good judgement. I hope your statement opens the eyes of the people that support you.

  2. avatar

    In contrast to Aron’s comments I fully support the statement. Indeed, it is essentially for these kinds of statement to be made in the public to let the Israeli cabinet, the Canadian and US public and politicans understand that north american Jews do not all support the settlement expansions which will only reduce the possibility of a two state solution. It is in the long term of interests of Israel and Zionism to find a way to negotiate a two state solution since the alternative is neither desirable or sustainable.

    Please continue your public airing of these issues.

    Aron should be ashamed of himself for his wild and hateful attack on your organization.

  3. avatar

    Agree with Aron, stand with our side and support Israel.

  4. Larry Kaufman

    At a meeting last night in Chicago of local congregational leadership, there was a strong consensus that what the American Jewish community needs most at this juncture is a mindset that permits polite and reasoned discussion on matters pertaining to Israel, without vilifying those whose approach is different.

    Feeling that it is not productive for Bibi to spit in the eye of President Obama is NOT “public spewing of hatred,” and the way in which Aron expresses his disagreement with the recent position taken by the leadership of the Reform movement is sinat chinam, the baseless hatred to which the Rabbis attribute the destruction of the Temple.

    • avatar

      ” without vilifying those whose approach is different.”

      Seems you cannot practice what you preach.

      You sure try to vilify Aron with your ” baseless hatred…attribute the destruction of the Temple.”

      Bibi did the best thing. He went to congress and received the proper support. Jerusalem should never be divided and you know that is what the pals want and will insist on before they actually make peace. Israel is doing the right thing.

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