The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council stands in solidarity with Israel and unequivocally supports Israel’s right to defend itself. Indeed, like all countries, Israel has the responsibility to protect its civilians and its borders against terrorism and security threats.
We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire and incendiary balloons launched from Gaza by the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which began on Monday, May 10 and continues through today. Over the last 48 hours, these terrorist groups have fired more than 600 missiles toward Israeli towns and cities, including Jerusalem, which is home to Jews, Muslims, Christians and other faith groups, threatening the lives of civilians of all backgrounds. The Iron Dome defense system has intercepted hundreds of rockets heading toward populated areas saving countless lives, but it cannot defend against the terror and trauma inflicted on tens of thousands of Israelis now running from their homes, offices, classrooms, and buses to hide in bomb shelters. Almost one-third of rockets launched end up landing inside Gaza itself, putting their own people at risk.
This is not about evictions, annexation, or two states; nor is it about building a better future for Palestinians. Rather, the purpose of these indiscriminate attacks on Israeli Arab and Jewish civilians is, as it has always been, to terrorize innocent civilians and to take advantage of an already tense situation solely for the political benefit of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s autocrats.
The JCRC will continue to relay timely information to the community, including any opportunities to hear directly from Israeli authorities and Jewish leaders speaking about the ongoing violence. JCRC serves as a resource to the broader community, educators, and media outlets as they grapple with understanding the complexities of the region and context surrounding the current escalation. The events of the past week prove not only the security challenges that Israel faces, but also the need to work towards an outcome that will ensure an end to the violence and an enduring peace for the region.
Members of the Greater Indianapolis Jewish community have children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends in harm’s way at this very moment, and we join them in praying for their safety and well-being. We extend our prayers for recovery to all those injured and mourn for all innocent lives lost. We join with those ever-yearning for a more peaceful, secure, and just future for all living in the region.
Aaron Welcher, JCRC Communications Associate