NEW YORK — Several major Jewish organizations were quick to welcome the ceasefire announced Wednesday that ended more than a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas.
“We welcome the announcement of a ceasefire and hope that it will result in a night without sirens and rockets and safe rooms for the 3.5 million Israelis living under threat of Hamas attack, and provide Israel with an end to the nightmare of terror it has been living with,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
He called for “effective long-lasting measures supported by the international community” that will “stop the flow of weaponry into Gaza, particularly the long-range missiles supplied by Iran.”
Two women’s organizations were among the first to speak in favor of the ceasefire: Hadassah and the National Council of Jewish Women.
“We are hopeful today that as Hamas’s rockets cease to fall on Israel, the people of Israel will be able to return to normalcy,” said Hadassah National President Marcie Natan.
She urged the Obama administration “to continue its support of the Iron Dome,” the ballistic-missile shield that successfully intercepted many rockets fired into Israel in the past week.
“The ceasefire agreement reached today between Israel and Hamas is a welcome development and NCJW fervently hopes it will endure,” said the organization’s president Nancy Kaufman. “The firing of rockets into Israel and the resulting deaths will not be tolerated by Israel and cannot be tolerated by the international community.”
“The people of Israel deserve to live in peace, not fear, and the violence Hamas militants have wrought upon Israeli civilians is inexcusable and unforgettable,” said a statement issued by the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism.
“Even as the sirens are quieted and we cautiously celebrate the cease in rocket fire, we recognize the fragile nature of Israel-Palestinian relations, and we look toward the day when civil discussion will outweigh the use of violence,” read the statement, which was signed by the Rabbinical Assembly’s president, Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, and its executive vice president, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld.
Many of the groups thanked US President Barack Obama for his support of Israel’s efforts against Hamas.
“We extend our deep appreciation to President Obama and Secretary Clinton for their steadfast support of Israel during this difficult period and for their constructive efforts to reach a ceasefire,” said Foxman.
NCJW’s Kaufman added: “We can only hope as we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving that it provides a foundation for steps, however small, that will lead to lasting peace.”