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Community Statement on Operation Protective Edge

August 14, 2014 (Draft #3)

  1. We unequivocally support Israel’s right to self-defense and its obligation to protect its citizens.
  2. We squarely place the responsibility for the current fighting on Hamas, the extremist, genocidal, Iran-backed terrorist organization ruling Gaza.
  3. We stand with the people of Israel, the solders of the IDF, and the innocent bystanders in Gaza, who are suffering needlessly because of Hamas’ aggression.
  4. We strongly condemn Hamas’ indiscriminate shelling, sending rockets and mortars into Israeli civilian population centers, with the explicit goal of killing, maiming, destroy property, and terrorizing.
  5. We deplore Hamas’ use of human shields, and of cynically exploiting civilian infrastructure and UN facilities as bases and cover for targeting Israel.
  6. We abhor the miles of terror tunnels, built with humanitarian supplies and foreign donations intended for the people of Gaza, and used instead to develop an offensive weapon designed to kill and capture Israelis, including women and children.
  7. We applaud the IDF’s restraint in carefully and precisely targeting only known rocket launchers, offensive tunnels, weapons caches, Hamas command-and-control centers, training facilities, and other terror infrastructure.
  8. We marvel at the unprecedented measures the IDF takes to minimize injury to innocent civilians in Gaza, even when it means increased risk to IDF soldiers and compromising the mission to protect the people of Israel.
  9. We recall the yearning for peace that led Israel to unilaterally withdraw its soldiers and remove its Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip 9 years ago, so that no settlements and no territorial dispute would stand in the way of an independent and flourishing Palestinian state.
  10. We recoil at the memory of the destroyed greenhouses, torched synagogues, violent coup, and incessant rocket attacks that ensued, dashing the hopes of peaceful neighborly relations between Israel and Gaza.
  11. We agree that debating, questioning, or criticizing any Israeli policy or action—not Israel’s existence or legitimacy—is every individual’s right in our free society, and is also a valued and important way of supporting, connecting, and engaging with the Jewish state.
  12. We expect Israel to thoroughly examine each decision, each target, and each casualty of Operation Protective Edge for full accountability and to learn the lessons of operational and diplomatic successes as well as any errors or failures, to enable Israel to do even better in the future.
  13. We mourn for the innocent victims, especially the children, injured and killed in this conflict.
  14. We call for Hamas to disarm and step down, and for the international community to oversee a peaceful transition of power in Gaza to a regime committed to co-existence with Israel.
  15. We urge both Palestinians and Israelis to reject extremism, embrace peace and tolerance, and to take constructive steps toward reaching an agreement that will end this century-long conflict.

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