Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, stated its grave concern regarding the terrorist group, Hamas,’ strong performance in yesterday’s Palestinian parliamentary elections and its new leadership role in a Palestinian Authority government in light of Hamas’stated objective – the annihilation of the State of Israel. Union president Stephen Savitsky and executive vice president Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb issued the following statement:
We, along with all people of good will, are gravely concerned over the election victory by Hamas in yesterday’s elections.
We are gravely concerned that even in the wake of historic efforts by the Israeli government and citizenry to afford the Palestinians an opportunity to govern themselves and to demonstrate their willingness to build a democratic state which is prepared to live in peace with Israel they have cast their ballots with Hamas – a terrorist group which remains committed in word and deed to the murder of innocent Jews and the destruction of Israel.
We are gravely concerned that even as the United States and all nations of good will fight the evil of terrorism worldwide and keep menacing authoritarian regimes at bay, some might suggest that in the wake of the Palestinian vote these elected terrorists should be dealt with like any other government.
We call upon the international community to be mindful of the “Quartet’s” statement on December 28, 2005, that “those who want to be part of the political process should not engage in armed group or militia activities, for there is a fundamental contradiction between such activities and the building of a democratic state. In this regard, the Quartet calls on all participants to renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and disarm.” We applaud President George Bush for his leadership and commitment to ensuring a strong and secure Israel. In remarks directed toward Hamas yesterday, the President stated: “not until you renounce your desire to destroy Israel will we deal with you.”
Now is a time of testing for the civilized democracies of our world to remain firm in the face of terrorists and rogue regimes and insist that they not only speak appropriately but act appropriately if they wish to be welcomed into the community of nations.”