NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a letter delivered to the White House last night, AJC expressed profound appreciation for President Obama's "steadfast support for Israel during the current crisis."
AJC President Robert Elman and Executive Director David Harris praised the president's "moral clarity about the instigators of this crisis and the responsibility of the Israeli government to defend its citizens."
Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that controls Gaza, has unleashed waves of rocket attacks on Israel, forcing many Israelis to stay within 15 seconds of bomb shelters.
Security cooperation between the United States and Israel has reached a new level under the Obama Administration, wrote the AJC leaders. One notable example is the Iron Dome, a sophisticated anti-missile system that has intercepted and destroyed hundreds of rockets fired by Hamas. Without Iron Dome, Israeli casualties would be much higher.
The full text of the AJC letter to President Obama follows:
November 17, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write to express AJC's profound appreciation for your steadfast support for Israel during the current crisis.
We have been moved by your repeated demonstrations of solidarity and friendship toward the Israeli people, targets of wave after wave of deadly rocket fire by Hamas – and your moral clarity about the instigators of this crisis and the responsibility of the Israeli government to defend its citizens.
We know that your commitment to Israel's security has gone far beyond words of support. Under your leadership, security cooperation between the United States and Israel has reached a new level. As all the world can see, one of the fruits of that cooperation is the Iron Dome air defense system, which has dramatically degraded – though, tragically, not eliminated – the terrorists' destructive capabilities. In the last week, Iron Dome has intercepted and destroyed hundreds of rockets fired by Hamas, saving Israeli lives.
While Hamas is firing its rockets at Israeli population centers, Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, which to date has been silent about the Hamas-initiated violence, is continuing to pursue a UN resolution granting non-member observer state status to a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. The current events underscore the fact that this leadership does not control the Gaza Strip, although the latter is part of the purported Palestinian state. We thank your administration for actively opposing the Palestinian initiative at the UN.
Our organization has long supported a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on two states living side by side in peace and security. Such a settlement can only be achieved when the Palestinians halt and unequivocally renounce terrorism, and return to the negotiating table.
Robert H. Elman David Harris
SOURCE American Jewish Committee