Upon consultation with its rabbinic leadership, Agudath Israel of America issued the following statement: Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been involved in a war against forces of evil and terror. These forces pose a grave danger not only to the United States and its allies in the Western World, but also to our Jewish brethren in Israel and across the globe.America’s efforts in Iraq have been part of this larger battle. While, in retrospect, the planning and execution of some of these efforts may have been less than perfect, there have also been significant achievements. The bottom line, at this time, is that the stakes in Iraq remain high, and that there still remains much to be done.
Agudath Israel of America believes that President Bush is entitled to great deference in his ongoing efforts to stabilize the situation in Iraq. Such deference is appropriate both because of the constitutional authority that inheres in the President’s position as Commander in Chief, and also because of the moral authority the President has consistently displayed in leading the battle against international terror.
We feel compelled to express our views at this time because the Union for Reform Judaism, purporting to have arrived at its position through an application of “halachic norms” and “Jewish values,” has publicly proclaimed its opposition to the President’s policies in Iraq. This group is entitled to its own organizational position, but that position is neither a legitimate expression of halachic Judaism nor reflective of authentic Jewish values.