JCRC Applauds Israel’s Decision to Extend Ceasefire and Legislation Authorizing U.S. Funding for “Iron Dome”

JCRC Expresses Profound Disappointment with Representative Keith Ellison’s vote in opposition to additional funding for Israel’s “Iron Dome”

Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) issued the following statement today applauding Israel’s decision to extend the current 72-hour ceasefire originally set to expire on Friday morning beyond its present deadline as well as the approval of legislation authorizing U.S. funding for “Iron Dome”:

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) applauds Israel’s decision to extend the current 72-hour ceasefire originally set to expire on Friday morning beyond its present deadline. It comes as no surprise that Hamas has not agreed to this ceasefire extension.

“We underscore Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments today when he said, ‘Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas.’

“Ultimately, the only possible solution to this conflict is the two-state solution, an independent Palestine living in peace with the Jewish State of Israel. Israelis and Palestinians deserve peace and security, and lives free from terror and violence. We want an end to terrorism. We want an end to violence. There is no question that the loss of life is tragic. Any feeling person understands that this is a horrific situation for innocent people on both sides. Hope for and belief in peace are the reasons that Israel gave up all of the Sinai for peace with Egypt, why Israel made peace with Jordan, left Lebanon, and left all of Gaza. Israel works daily in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank on security issues for both Israelis and Palestinians and to aid in the economic development of Palestinian communities. All those who hope and pray for a lasting peace should support Israel in its war against Hamas, which not only violently seeks Israel’s destruction, but is callously and cynically indifferent to the welfare of Palestinians.

“These have been difficult days for Israel during Operation Protective Edge. Israel has exercised its sovereign right of self-defense against over 3,000 Hamas rockets and it destroyed the vast network of multi-million dollar lethal terror tunnels from Gaza into the heart of Israel intended to perpetrate a mass casualty attack against Israelis. We owe great thanks to President Barack Obama and Congress, including Senators Klobuchar, Franken, Hoeven, Heitkamp, Johnson, and Thune as well as Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Bachmann, Peterson, Nolan, Cramer, and Noem for authorizing $225 million in supplemental funding for Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ missile defense system. Judging by various opinion polls, the American people are standing with Israel.

“We also express our profound disappointment with Representative Keith Ellison’s vote in opposition to additional funding for Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ anti-missile technology. Without ‘Iron Dome,’ Israeli civilians would be defenseless against the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas and Hezbollah since 2006. Both entities are terrorist organizations dedicated to Israel’s destruction and are proxies for Iran. The necessity of the ‘Iron Dome’ has been underscored by Operation Protective Edge, which has intercepted scores of rockets heading towards Israel’s population centers. Notably, Rep. Ellison was one of only eight members of Congress to vote no. To vote against ‘Iron Dome’ in the midst of the current conflict is seemingly an expression of opposition to Israel defending its citizens – Arab and Jew alike – from terror.”

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