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Joint Statement by the OU and RCA on the Mideast Peace Framework

January 29, 2020 – The respective leaderships of the Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, and Rabbinical Council of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox rabbinical body, jointly issued the following statement:

On Jan. 28, President Donald Trump released his Administration’s framework to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We applaud the efforts of President Trump as well as Jared Kushner, Avi Berkowitz, Amb. David Friedman, Jason Greenblatt and many other senior aides who produced this detailed and complex proposal.

We appreciate that, among its provisions, the President’s proposal: seeks to ensure that Israel’s fundamental security needs will be protected by an ongoing presence by the Israel Defense Forces in the Jordan Valley; recognizes that Jerusalem is, and must remain, the undivided capital of Israel; and realizes that Jewish citizens must be able to live in the communities built in the biblical heartland.

We note that President Trump’s proposal has garnered the support of the leaders of both major political parties in Israel. It is the Orthodox Union’s longstanding policy position, and the position of the Rabbinical Council of America, that decisions about Israel’s security needs and challenges are to be made by the people of Israel through their democratically elected government. The Orthodox Union and Rabbinical Council will continue to adhere to that approach as the Israeli leadership, the Trump Administration and other partners work to move this framework forward.

Unfortunately, the Palestinian leadership has continually refused direct talks with Israel for the last several years. Now, Palestinians must forego the path of violence, boycotts and the criminalization of differences at international forums and return to peace talks with Israel.

We pray that the citizens of Israel and all people in the Middle East will be blessed by lasting peace and security.

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