Rabbis' human rights group stresses moral obligations of Israel

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Rabbis for Human Rights, an advocacy and education group in Israel, and its North American sister organization, have expressed concern for the ''moral well-being'' of the Jewish state as Mideast violence drags on.

The group supports Israel's right to self-defense and condemns suicide bombings, but also works to help Palestinians, urging that medicine and food be delivered to civilians in the territories.

''It is important that the silent center of American Jewry -- those who love Israel and yet are heartsick about some of the scenes of devastation -- be represented, ''said Rabbi Brian Walt, of the North American wing of the advocacy group.

In a statement this month, the group said the survival of the Jewish people will be determined ''not only by its physical acumen, but also, by its moral steadfastness.''

The organization represents clergy from Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and other smaller branches of Judaism.

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