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Joint Statement on Violence in Israel

The Jewish Federation of Howard County, its Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Howard County Board of Rabbis have together issued the following statement about the violence in Israel. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

We have also been in close communications with the office of the County Executive, Calvin Ball, whose posts on Facebook and Twitter last night are of great concern. We are hopeful that Dr. Ball and his staff will respond in a helpful and positive manner.


May 13, 2021

We, the Jewish community of Howard County, are very disturbed by recent events in the Middle East for Israel and its neighbors, and we mourn the loss of innocent lives on both sides. It is nevertheless important to recognize there is no moral equivalency or justification for subjecting the State of Israel to over 1,700 indiscriminate missile attacks on its general population. We also regret that Hamas – which controls the Gaza Strip and whose very charter calls for the killing of Jews and the destruction of the Jewish homeland – has positioned its rocket launchers and infrastructure in the middle of crowded neighborhood and public places. We therefore stand by Israel and support its right to defend itself from such threats and mayhem. We also recognize that Israel has the responsibility to treat all of its citizens, Jew, Muslim, and Christian alike, equally and justly under the laws of its democratic government.

It is particularly sad that this eruption occurred during the holy Eid al Fitr, and so close to the Jewish holy day of Shavu’ot. We urge all parties to de-escalate actions and tensions as soon as possible, and to move toward peaceful co-existence and resolution of all challenges, both large and small. Knowing that this will take a tremendous amount of time and good will, we urge both Israeli and Arab, Jew and Muslim, to remember our common ancestor Abraham/Ibrahim and our shared value of peace/shalom/salaam.

Locally, we recall the shared support we felt when Jews were murdered in Pittsburgh, and Muslims were murdered in New Zealand. We have worked together well on many occasions and for many causes, and we hope to continue such dialogue and collaboration in the future.



On Behalf of the Howard County Board of Rabbis: Rabbi Kim Blumenthal, Chair Rabbi Gordon Fuller, President

On Behalf of the Jewish Federation of Howard County: Dr. Rachael Simon, President Ralph Grunewald, Executive Director

On Behalf to the Jewish Community relations Council of Howard County: Betsy Singer Marcus, Chair


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