February 25, 2007
The resilience of the Israeli people has always earned the admiration of American Jews. In turn, American Jewry continues to support our Israeli brothers and sisters in many ways.
This past summer, more than a million Israelis were affected by the devastating attacks of Hezbollah rockets. After the war, apartments were left demolished, water pipes destroyed, roadways damaged, and even graves were blown apart. Thanks to impressive and selfless efforts by the United Jewish Communities, Jewish Federations, B’nai B’rith International, and other constituent agencies of the JCPA, along with their contributors and members, millions of dollars have reached northern Israel to help her residents begin to rebuild what the rockets destroyed. There is still more work to be done. Families remain displaced, and the emotional and psychological scarring from this war is not fully healed. These Israeli citizens need further assistance as they continue to rebuild their lives.
Yet, this problem is not confined to the north of Israel. The city of Sderot, for example, a city in Israel’s south, has over the past six years sustained thousands of rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip. Similar rocket attacks in Israel’s south have targeted the civilian population and industrial infrastructure of the city of Ashkelon and settlements (kibbutzim and moshavim) in that area as well. Those attacks continue despite Israel’s complete evacuation of all Israelis from Gaza. The attacks have resulted in deaths and injuries, as well as in deep psychological distress among the residents. The rocket attacks have also caused substantial destruction and economic damage to Sderot, an already impoverished town, and have violently disrupted the city’s economic life, adding a terrible economic malaise to the growing anxiety of daily life. The residents of Sderot and other southern towns affected by Palestinian terrorist rocket attacks must be supported both emotionally and economically in their defiant stand.
- Believes the global Jewish Community must remain committed to supporting these displaced and crisis-weary Israelis.
JCPA member organizations are encouraged to:
- Provide financial assistance and emotional support for all the residents of the northern and southern communities affected by Hezbollah and Palestinian attacks;
- Raise awareness regarding the plight of the residents of Sderot and other affected southern towns and seek necessary support for them;
- Advocate in their meetings with Israeli government officials for economic support for affected southern towns, requesting in their discussions that the Government of Israel declare the housing, employment and social welfare of these Israeli citizens a national mission of appropriate priority.