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April 7, 2017 2:56 pm

Top American Jewish Leader: US Military Strike Against Assad Regime Air Base ‘Both the Obvious and Necessary Thing to Do’

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy


The USS Porter, from which Tomahawk missiles were launched into Syria on Thursday night. Photo: US Navy via Wikimedia Commons.

The US missile strike against a military air base in Syria on Thursday night was “both the obvious and necessary thing to do” following the suspected use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime earlier this week, a top American Jewish leader told The Algemeiner.

“It’s time that America starts standing up and giving expression to things that we say,” Malcolm Hoenlein — the executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — said. “I think that many countries in the Middle East will welcome the fact the United States is intervening. They wanted to see an active America back in the region.”

“The fact that we did not do it when we should have, when [former] President [Barack] Obama decided not act in 2013, sent a message that we had disengaged,” Hoenlein continued. “As one Arab leader said, ‘You vanished without saying goodbye.’ So in that sense, I think what happened yesterday sent an important message. It’s also an important message to Iran and Russia and their allies — Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations — in Syria.”

“Now the question is — is there a plan, something more comprehensive, that goes with this?” Hoenlein asked.

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In a statement published late Thursday night, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — said, “We support the president’s action taken directly against the base that launched the poison gas attacks against innocent Syrian civilians including women and children. This sends a clear message that when crimes against humanity are committed, words alone are never sufficient.”

On Friday, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) praised President Donald Trump for his decision to hit the Assad regime.

“The RJC strongly supports last night’s strikes against the Syrian military targets in response to the horrific chemical attacks by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a statement. “We want to thank the members and the families of the US Armed Forces who carried out last night’s attack. This response has made it clear to the world that the United States will not sit by as Assad brutally slaughters innocent civilians. President Trump made the right, moral choice in responding to this reprehensible chemical attack, and he deserves our support.”

American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris stated, “The US action is a wake-up call to the international community that endless words of anguish and protest are not nearly enough in the face of an ongoing crisis of this magnitude. While it remains to be seen what the US strategy will be, it is heartening to witness President Trump show leadership, strength, and resolve, and, in doing so, gain the support of so many in the international community.”

Former Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chief Abraham Foxman told Jewish Insider that Trump “did the right thing.”

“It is finally a significant gesture on behalf of the innocent victims of hate,” he was quoted as saying. “If only it had happened against Auschwitz or Treblinka. This act will not put an end to all the hate and death. But it is a welcome message and hopefully a new beginning.”

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