July 2, 2015
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement applauding Senators from Minnesota and South Dakota for signing a bipartisan letter supporting unwavering U.S. commitment to Israel:
"The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) applauds Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Mike Rounds, and Senator John Thune for signing a letter to President Obama urging him to continue to reinforce the United StatesŐ unwavering commitment to Israel and encouraging the administration to continue the long-standing U.S. policy of focusing on negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians as they work toward a long-term, viable solution leading to two states living side by side in peace and security.
"Senator Mike Rounds, in partnership with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, led the effort to get the 20 other Senators to sign on to this letter.
"The letter states, 'We strongly believe that the only viable path to resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is through direct negotiations that lead to two states living side by side in peace and security. We respectfully urge your Administration to continue to maintain this long-held U.S. policy by focusing on getting the two parties back to negotiations and continue to oppose Palestinian efforts to bypass a negotiated solution and challenge IsraelŐs legitimacy through membership in the UN and other international bodies.'
"At a time when the United States and Israel face unprecedented challenges in the Middle East, including IranŐs nuclear drive, political instability across the region, the continued growth and influence of ISIS, and the rapidly growing arsenals of Hamas and Hezbollah, we welcome this timely letter that reiterates strong U.S. support for the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.
"Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to peace with the Palestinians and its willingness to make painful compromises to achieve it.
"We thank Senator Klobuchar, Senator Rounds, and Senator Thune for supporting this bipartisan effort."
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.