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The National Council of Jewish Women became the second major U.S. Jewish group to call for a withdrawal timetable from Iraq. “The financial cost of the war — estimated to be as high as $470 billion — has resulted in a mounting debt that takes its toll on critical human needs programs at home,” NCJW’s board of directors said in a statement released after a meeting Monday. “The impact will continue to be felt by succeeding generations of American taxpayers and will saddle the federal budget with burdensome interest payments for years to come. The war in Iraq has also diverted our government’s attention from urgent domestic concerns such as the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, the unmet needs of our public schools, and the growing number of individuals who have no access to health care.” In 2005, the Reform movement issued a call for a timetable. Another NCJW board statement urged the U.S. government to end alleged violations of human rights.

“In recent years, there have been alarming violations of civil liberties, often justified by security concerns,” the statement said. “While we support our government’s efforts to fight terrorism and protect our nation, we believe that there must be a balance between that goal and an individual’s right to privacy and judicial due process”

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