A Statement from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation on the Crisis in Israel
Brian L. Bilzin, Chair of the Board
Jacob Solomon, President and CEO
November 15, 2012
After days of an escalated, deadly barrage of rocket attacks on southern Israel by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, forcing more than one million Israeli civilians into bomb shelters, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense. This operation is aimed at severely impairing the command and control capabilities of the Hamas leadership and significantly reducing its ability to launch rockets into Israel that have reached as far as Tel Aviv, the center of the country.
The constant rocket fire from Gaza into Israel has created a situation that is untenable for Israelis, especially those who are most vulnerable – including the 23,500 young children who live in the area under direct attack. It is the principal obligation of the government of Israel to protect its citizens. No sovereign nation should have to accept civilians living under such life-threatening circumstances. This escalating violence from Gaza is not about land, but rather about Israel’s right to exist and protect its people.
In a U.S. State Department statement issued on November 14, the Obama Administration strongly condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel and has supported Israel’s right to defend itself.
We stand in solidarity with the citizens of Israel to help ensure their safety and security. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation has joined an effort to participate with The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to immediately allocate an initial $5 million to provide urgent support and relief services to the victims of terror and to the most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people with disabilities. The Israel Trauma Coalition has also been activated, and the additional funding will assist in providing care and respite services to those living in the immediately affected areas.
We call on the international community to join with the United States in condemning Hamas’ unprovoked attacks and in defending Israel’s right to protect its citizens. We mourn the loss of innocent lives on both sides and pray that the violence will end soon.
The Federation will direct 100% of all contributions to this effort directly to the people affected by the crisis in Israel. The people of Israel need our continued help…and deserve our support.