The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando fully supports President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
We continue to encourage all parties to work toward a path to peace through a two-state solution, and we strongly believe that these are not contradictory goals. Recognizing Israel’s right to choose its own capital while also promoting a peaceful future are not mutually exclusive, and we reject the idea that this move necessitates a violent response.
We hope that both Israelis and Palestinians will work together to realize the dream of a Jerusalem open and safe to all people.
While we respect the need to protect the safety and security of our nation’s citizens, we strongly believe that this can and must be accomplished without abandoning the historic commitment shared by the Jewish community and all Americans to welcoming immigrants and treating refugees with compassion.
This commitment is deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition and the Jewish experience. We are a people of immigrants. Throughout our history we have been treated as “strangers in a strange land” and as targets of religious persecution.
Because of that experience, which for many of us was all too recent, we empathize with groups who are similarly cast out. We are guided by that experience and the Torah-based mandates to welcome the stranger and care for the weak. It is not only our religious values that speak to welcoming those who seek shelter and safety, but it is also a pillar of free, democratic nations.
We wish to make clear our deep concern over this action which appears to define policy for individuals based upon their religion. It is our hope that this Administration implement policy that remains true to the values of diversity, liberty and religious tolerance deeply rooted and centrally regarded in both Jewish tradition and the American experience as a whole.
The recent threats aimed at U.S. Jewish institutions have sown fear in more than 100 Jewish communities and institutions across the country, including right here on our Maitland Jewish Community Campus.
Anti-Semitic graffiti at local schools and homes, fliers promoting white supremacy at UCF and other unsettling incidents have no place in our society. We urge all of our community members not to be deterred from participation in Jewish life, and all of our fellow Central Floridians to join with us to combat this rise in hate.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s Jewish Community Relations Council has created a web page with resources and links to information that will empower our community to take action.
Following a vote in December by the UN Security Council on Israel’s settlements – a vote from which the United States abstained – outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave dueling speeches. Both occurrences are certain to impact U.S.-Israel relations going forward.