NEW YORK – In the aftermath of the announcement of a Palestinian unity agreement between the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority and the terrorist organization Hamas, and in response to the formation of a new Palestinian government, the Rabbinical Assembly issued the following statement:
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President, said:
We support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s refusal to recognize the new Palestinian unity government. This cautious approach is the most logical course of action given the violent track record of Hamas, an organization responsible for murdering and terrorizing countless Israelis. We hope to see evidence soon of President Mahmoud Abbas’s claim that the new cabinet will renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist, but we believe that such words must be backed up with actions before Israeli, American, or international governments fully endorse them. We hope that this deal foreshadows Hamas renouncing its anti-Semitic hatred of Israel and its reliance on terrorism, but in the meantime we view its unrepentant attitude toward past actions as a roadblock to true peace.
Rabbi William Gershon, President, added:
It is unacceptable to unreservedly embrace this government as it would give implicit sanction to Hamas’ previous actions at a time when we should be working to ensure that all representatives of the Palestinian government have forsworn commitments to violence and destruction. We call on world leaders to consider the gravity of Hamas’s stated goal of destroying the State of Israel and its inhabitants, and to withhold unconditional support from this new government until Hamas renounces its murderous platform.