Rough week for Israel: Bombs and rockets

Letters from Susie Gelman (President) and Steven Rakitt (CEO) of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (below), AIPAC (below), JCRC (below),  J Street,  Jewish Agency for Israel, and the AJC on the horrendous attack this morning and earlier this week.

(Federation letter)

Dear Friends,

In the latest attack against Israeli civilians, an explosion occurred today in downtown Jerusalem. A bomb attached to a telephone pole was set off in front of Binyanei HaUmah, a convention center located across the street from Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station and near the entrance to the city.

We unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms this horrible act of terror. Our prayers are with the victims and their families and we pray for a refuah shlema, healing and peace in Israel.

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has notified us that their group of students currently visiting Israel are safe. They were nowhere near the explosion and at this time, all the students are accounted for.

Current media reports indicate that one person has died and 50 people were wounded, some severely, though these reports have yet to be confirmed by official sources.

The Jewish Federation has created a Fund for Victims of Terror. Should you wish to make a donation, please visit the Fund for Victims of Terror donation page. Donations may also be sent to:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
6101 Montrose Road
Rockville, MD  20852
Please indicate Fund for Victims of Terror on your check.

Click here for further information and resources including a statement from the Jewish Federations of North America.

B’shalom,

Susie Gelman, President
Steven A. Rakitt, Chief Executive Officer

(AIPAC letter)

Dear Friend of Israel,

Today, terrorists exploded a package at a Jerusalem bus stop killing one person and injuring 30 others, 15 seriously.

And in this last week alone, Gaza terrorists have bombarded Israeli towns with more than 50 rockets and mortars.

This recent upswing in terror attacks reminds us why it is so important that we work to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship and help keep our ally Israel safe and secure.

And this is why I am writing today to ask for your help.

Within the next few weeks, the House is expected to consider legislation finalizing fiscal year 2011 government spending.

Under the current “short term” Continuing Resolution, Israel has yet to receive full funding for two major programs – $3 billion in security assistance and $205 million for the Iron Dome mobile air-defense system.

You can help AIPAC work with Congress in the coming weeks to secure passage of this critical funding by joining AIPAC today with a special contribution of $50, $100, $250 or more.

As we witness dynamic events unfolding throughout the Middle East, it is vital that we work with our leaders to ensure the U.S. live up to its commitments to the most politically stable and strategically dependable ally we have in the region — Israel.

Here’s the situation: Under a 10-year U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, signed by President Bush in 2007 and supported by President Obama, Israel is slated to receive $3 billion in security assistance this year.

This assistance is vital in ensuring Israel’s qualitative military edge against the quickly evolving threats posed by Hamas and Hizballah and their sponsors, Syria and Iran.

In addition, the administration requested $205 million for fiscal year 2011 to help Israel deploy the Iron Dome mobile air-defense system. The system is designed to protect Israeli towns from short range missiles, and its deployment would not proceed without this funding.

With your support, AIPAC can continue to work with our friends in Congress in the critical weeks ahead to ensure that vital foreign aid to Israel will be fully funded this year.

Please don’t delay. Congress will soon be making decisions for fiscal year 2011 government spending. And in this tough budgetary environment, we must ensure that critical aid to Israel continues as planned.

Anything less than a full commitment to Israel’s security would send the wrong message at this critical time.

Please help support the work that only AIPAC does. During these difficult and dangerous days, please help AIPAC work with Congress to ensure Israel receives vital U.S. aid.


Thank You,

Jonathan E. Missner
Director of National Affairs and Development

(JCRC)

Washington, DC – The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington unequivocally condemns today’s bomb attack against Israeli civilians.

In the first terrorist bombing attack to hit Israel’s capital since 2004, an explosion occurred in downtown Jerusalem today. The bomb hit two buses full of passengers in front of Binyanei HaUmah, a convention center across the street from the Central Bus Station.

Current reports indicate that one person was killed and that there were several dozen people wounded in the blast including between 5 and 8 who are in serious condition.

This horrible act of violence comes on the heels of over 80 rocket and mortar attacks launched by terrorists from Hamas-ruled Gaza into southern Israeli cities and towns this week, this month’s massacre of an innocent family in Itamar, and the recently intercepted Iranian arms shipment headed for Egypt.  These recent developments raise concerns that the Palestinians are again embracing the path of violence and that terrorists are again deliberately targeting innocent civilians.

We express dismay at this escalation of violence directed at Israeli civilians and urge the PA leadership to use this opportunity to eschew a culture that has celebrated terrorists, and to communicate to its own population that it condemns acts of terrorism. The JCRC stands with the state of Israel in her commit to peace and support Israel’s right to do what is necessary to protect its citizens.

The Jewish Federation has created a “Fund for Victims of Terror” should you wish to make a donation please visitwww.shalomdc.org.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and we pray for healing and peace in Israel.