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There are no words to express the sadness and emotions stirred by the escalating violence in Israel, shattering the relative quiet of the recent past.   Our hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in Israel who are once again the victims of indiscriminate attacks that specifically target civilians.  Our hearts also break for the citizens of Gaza who sadly are represented by political and military forces that have as their core mission the destruction of the State of Israel rather than the welfare of the Palestinian people.  

It is difficult to know what the path is to a real and lasting peace in the Middle East.  It is less difficult to know what the path is not. It is not Islamic Jihad. It is not Hamas. It is not antisemitism.  It is not the refusal to recognize the very right of the Jewish State to exist.  And it is not to deny the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.       

There are no winners when people die and terror rains down from the skies.  We mourn the loss of life, anguish with the pain of the wounded, and feel for the lives displaced and disrupted by this tragic conflict. 

We stand with all who seek peace between Israel and her neighbors and condemn those who scorn it.   

B'shalom,

Rabbi Steve Leder
Alberto Valner, Temple President