As we observe the Jewish New Year and High Holy Days, we celebrate the creation of the world.
With this as backdrop, the ongoing conflict in Syria and the killing and displacement of tens of thousands of men, women and children – regardless of the type of weapon used – makes it difficult to approach this holiday’s festivities with unreserved joy. Furthermore, in the eyes of civilized nations across the world, the use of chemical weapons is intolerable.
As a Jewish community, which has suffered disproportionately at the hands of those who would destroy us, we have particular empathy for those who are targeted, dispossessed and murdered because of who they are. And we have learned from history the dangers of staying silent – and the importance of affirming “Never again!”
We are proud of our partners who have assisted in relief efforts to help the now more than 2 million Syrian refugees: http://www.jdc.org/jcdr/where-we-work/syrian-refugees-in-jordan.html
Many across the country and within our local community are torn with what they think should be done to best respond to the current situation. We respect the diversity of opinions in our midst.
While it is not our role to dictate the specifics of what, if any, action the United States should take in addressing the Syrian atrocities, the leadership of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County believes that the following core principles should guide our country’s response:
· American leadership and credibility in the modern age has been a crucial component of maintaining stability – especially in the Middle East – and preventing such atrocities from occurring. It is important that we recognize the implications of this pivotal role.
· Our enemies are watching what we do just as closely as our friends, and any response should take into account the message we will be sending to other dangerous foes, such as Iran, Hezbollah and North Korea.
· What will enhance our influence and standing as a beacon of hope, values and human rights throughout the world.
We will be sharing this position with our elected leadership, and encourage you to reach out to Congress directly as well as to sign your name to this statement.
We wish the best to all our friends and neighbors for a year filled with peace, security, wisdom and satisfaction.