February 10, 2018
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement after Iran launched its first direct military action against Israel earlier today:
“Today, Iran launched its first ever direct military operation against Israel. In response, the Israel Defense Forces downed the Iranian drone over Israeli territory after it was launched by Iranian forces operating in Syria’s central Homs region. Additionally, Israel successfully neutralized the Iranian drone control facility. Israel also struck several Iranian and Syrian military targets after an Israeli F-16 flight crew were forced to eject from their plane while over Israel after being hit by massive Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Fortunately, the two Israeli pilots were recovered inside Israel and are being treated at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), Minneapolis Jewish Federation, Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul, and Minnesota Rabbinical Association fully support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense against the latest provocation from Iran – a nation whose bellicosity towards the United States and Israel extends nearly 40 years. The JCRC urges the United States, Russia, and other nations to apply maximum pressure on Iran and their client-state of Syria to ensure that Iran and Hezbollah, another Iranian proxy, are not allowed to continue to use Syria as a forward launching point for attacks against Israel.
“For decades, Iran has been the single greatest destabilizing force in the Middle East by inserting itself into the civil wars of Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and most destructively in Syria. The continual provocations from Iran and their proxy Hezbollah, along with their massive military buildup along Israel’s border, including the presence of 150,000 rockets and the transformation of Lebanese villages into military strongholds, more than justifies Israel’s self-defense.
“The JCRC prays and hopes for peace and implores those countries with influence over Iran and Syria to act forcefully to ensure that the situation be de-escalated as soon as possible.”
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.