Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ Supports Israel's Right to Self Defense and Israel Terror Relief Fund
The rockets are falling in Israel. Hundreds of thousands are in shelters. The Negev and our partner communities are under siege.
Israel has entered into a military operation to defend 4.5 million citizens — over half the population — who are under rocket fire from the Hamas terrorist organization. As you read this message, attacks on Israeli towns and communities continue.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Israel and its people. We have taken immediate action to provide tangible assistance to Israel. Our rapid response is possible because our unrestricted annual campaign supports our federation infrastructure, enabling us to quickly respond to any situation.
We have already advanced $181,000 from our emergency reserves to the Israel Terror Relief Fund being coordinated by our national Jewish Federations of North America office. These funds will assist our overseas partner agencies, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, to provide displaced Israelis with food and shelter, help victims of terrorist attacks, and support projected respite care for 23,000 children in the Southern Negev. While we don’t know what future events will transpire, we must act now to help!
Operation Pillar of Defense
Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ staunchly supports Israel’s right to defend its citizens. We unequivocally condemn the barrage of nearly 400 rockets fired from Gaza into Israeli civilian centers since last weekend, and the 1,000 rockets that have struck Israel since the beginning of this year. We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel and their fight against terror, now as always. We call on the international community to condemn such unprovoked violence and vigorously defend Israel’s right to protect her citizens from further harm.
On Nov. 14, in response to the escalating attacks on Israeli civilians, Israel launched a military strike operation on Gaza called “Pillar of Defense,” targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist leadership and rocket launching and storage sites. The operation has already achieved significant objectives:
• A surgical strike on Hamas’s top commander, Ahmed Al-Jabari, who was responsible for the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006 and responsible for the deaths of scores of Israelis
• A significant reduction of Hamas’s ability to launch long-range rockets into central Israel
• The reduction of Hamas’s ability to launch rockets at southern Israel
The Israeli government has shown great restraint up to this point, operating, as always, with tremendous care to avoid civilian casualties. No state would acquiesce to live in a reality whereby civilians are continuously threatened by rockets fired by terrorists. Rockets have landed in or near private homes, schools, colleges, hospitals, and daycare and recreation centers. It would be like having rockets launched into our suburbs from sites in Manhattan. A million Israelis are living in constant fear for their lives and homes and are virtually tethered to bomb shelters. Rockets have started to reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Last night, a direct hit on an apartment building killed three Israelis and critically injured an eight-month-old baby.
We are gratified by the support for Israel expressed by diverse Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and U.S. leaders, including President Obama, New Jersey congressmen, and the U.S. State Department, which stated: “We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.”
Impact on Israeli citizens and federation partner communities
The residents of four of the Greater MetroWest federation’s partner cities: Ofakim/Merchavim, Be’er Sheva, Rishon Letzion, and Kibbutz Erez are part of the one million Israelis forced into shelters, with all classes and public activities suspended. Thankfully, the Iron Dome system has intercepted 85 percent of the rockets targeting southern Israel; the other 15 percent continue to terrorize the Israeli people.
The State of Israel remains committed to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinian Authority, something that Hamas has adamantly opposed. Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move Palestinian people any closer to self-determination.
Sunday, Dec. 2, is Super Sunday, the all-day phonathon in support of the annual UJA Campaign. This campaign raises the money necessary to answer the most pressing needs facing our community every day and as they arise. This year, a portion of all donations will be used to provide assistance to Israel and the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Please give as generously as possible when called.
Am Yisrael. We are one Jewish people. We pray for the safety and security of Israel. Donate now at www.jfedgmw.org/terrorrelief.