Back undivided Jerusalem, umbrella group urged


The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is being urged to “reissue” its support for Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The leaders of eight member-groups made the request in a Nov. 14 letter to June Walker, the chairwoman of the Presidents Conference, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the umbrella group’s executive vice chairman. A copy of the letter was obtained by JTA.

The letter was signed by the heads of the Orthodox Union, National Council of Young Israel, Zionist Organization of America, American Friends of Likud, B’nai B’rith International, Jewish War Veterans of the USA and Emunah of America. Eli Kurtz, chairman of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, also was listed as a signatory, but without his organizational affiliation.

“We respectfully request that the Conference publicly reissue its long-held position on Jerusalem as the undivided sovereign capitol of Israel or convene a meeting, without delay, to discuss the issue of Jerusalem,” the letter stated. “As you know, there have been rumors and leaks that Israel is being pressured to relinquish some parts of Judaism’s holiest city and eternal capitol, which is wrong in and of itself, but this action would also endanger the rest of Jerusalem population by bringing potential terrorists closer to Israel’s major Jerusalem population centers.”

The letter comes as the United States works to convene a Middle East summit and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he is prepared to enter into ongoing negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In closing, the organizational leaders said in the letter, “We believe it is an imperative that the Conference make loud and clear that Jerusalem must remain the eternal, undivided, sovereign capitol of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Recommended from JTA