Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley Statement on the Ongoing Situation in Southern Israel
Lehigh Valley’s Partnership Community Impacted by Terrorist Missiles
President Obama, Senators Casey and Toomey Acknowledged for their Support of Israel’s Right to Self Defense
“Since this past weekend, citizens of Israel’s south have been targeted by yet another rocket barrage by terrorists in the Gaza Strip that have put more than two million Israeli civilians under a state of siege,” said Barry J. Halper, president of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. “We call on the international community to condemn such unprovoked violence and vigorously defend Israel’s right to protect itself and its citizens from further harm.”
“These latest unprovoked attacks follow years of unrelenting terror that has forced so many Israelis to live in a constant state of fear -- conditions which no country would tolerate,” added Mark L. Goldstein, the Federation’s Executive Director. “We proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with the people and state of Israel during this difficult time and pray that such attacks will soon end.”
Goldstein and Halper were responding to the more than 200 missile launchings from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip into Israel just this week (and over 1000 so far in 2012). Missiles have wantonly been fired at Israeli population centers while Israel has retaliated in defensive measures with precision airstrikes, the most notable killing a key military leader of the Hamas terrorist organization. Other Israeli airstrikes are targeted to locations aimed at crippling the Hamas terrorist organization, including missile factories and storage facilities.
Goldstein, who just returned from Israel this past week, noted that a missile strike today in Kiryat Malachi which killed three civilians occurred within the region containing the Lehigh Valley’s partnership community, Yoav. “We visited Yoav last week, as we do on every visit to Israel. It is hard to believe that our sister-city families must now sleep in bomb shelter rooms and that their schools are closed due to these terrorist acts.” Goldstein noted that the Red Alert (tzevah adom) sirens have been sounded in Yoav to warn of incoming missiles and that residents have but 18 seconds to seek shelter. Approximately 10 Hamas-launched missiles have landed within the greater Yoav region.
Goldstein and Halper also acknowledged President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton’s immediate support of Israel’s right to self-defense. They also noted that Senators Casey and Toomey are co-sponsors of a bipartisan resolution expressing Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of continuous missile attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. “The United States and Israel share many common bonds as true democratic allies, including an uncompromising condemnation of such terrorist acts” added Goldstein.
“Ultimately, rocket fire from Gaza not only poses a threat to the safety of both peoples, it also makes it infinitely more difficult to move toward a just and lasting peace, a negotiated solution, which will enable both Israelis and Palestinians to live safely side-by-side,” concluded Goldstein.