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Conservative rabbis expected to call for Iraq draw-down

The Conservative movement’s rabbinical association is expected to call on President Bush to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. At its annual meeting next week in Cambridge, Mass., the Rabbinical Assembly will vote on a resolution calling on the president to “order a timely draw-down in troop levels as soon as safely possible.” The resolution says the American military effort thus far has “failed to yield success” and that “the proposed surge in troops runs counter to the recommendations of responsible military analysts and the desires of the majority of the American people.”If adopted, the resolution would mirror calls from the Reform and Reconstructionist movements, which adopted resolutions opposing Bush’s troop “surge.” The Reform movement went further, calling for a timetable for withdrawal. Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox group, responded by calling Iraq “part of this larger battle” to defend the United States and Israel from terrorism. Agudah called for “great deference” to Bush’s efforts to stabilize Iraq. The assembly also will consider a resolution urging action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, as well as others criticizing U.S. immigration policy, supporting reproductive freedom and calling for action on Darfur.