Posted by rabbibrian on November 18, 2012
I am just horrified by the latest Israeli assault on Gaza. This attack by one of the most powerful armies in the world against a people living in the most densely populated area in the world is a moral outrage. It is just sickening to hear our President offering his full support for the right of Israel to “defend itself” by dropping bombs on a civilian population that is living under Israeli siege. Will this assault provide security for the residents of Israel? Statements by rabbis, Jewish leaders and Jewish organizations expressing their unconditional support for this assault are also frightening. Have these leaders and organizations seen the photos of the eleventh month old Palestinian child killed in this attack? How will the death of this infant and over 30 Palestinian civilians, so far, ensure the safety of Israelis? Rabbi Yoffie, the former leader of Reform Jews, calls on progressive Jews to support the war but most progressive Jews understand that this war is totally immoral and we will do everything we can to end it.
The inhabitants of Gaza are mostly refugees and descendants of refugees from the Nakba of 1947-49. They will continue to launch rockets against Israel as long as they live under siege and as long as the human rights of the Palestinian people are denied. The only real way to end this cycle of violence is through a political negotiation that ensures the human rights of all, Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Israel has avoided such a resolution to the conflict from before the creation of the State.
The Zionist movement made a decision before the creation of the State of Israel to impose its will on the Palestinian people, to expel as many of them as possible, to wipe out their villages, to steal their land, and to establish an exclusively Jewish state on the ruins of their villages. It also decided not to allow any of the 750,000 refugees to return and has refused even to acknowledge the reality of their expulsion. Since 1967 Israel has continued the policy of the Nakba on the West Bank. The goal of the systematic discrimination and oppression of Palestinians on the West Bank is to encourage them to leave. The explicit transfer of the Palestinian population on the land that became the State of Israel in 1948 continues with the policy of silent transfer of Palestinians on the West Bank from 1967 till today.
Two years ago, on one of the Fast for Gaza conference calls, a guest from the Israeli organization, Gisha, suggested that the reality in Gaza is what Israel is planning for the West Bank: isolating the maximum number of Palestinians in the minimum amount of space, totally controlled by Israel but with minimum Israeli responsibility. Maximum control, minimal responsibility. Israel claims it withdrew from Gaza and it assumes no responsibility for its inhabitants, ignoring the siege that they have imposed on Gaza transforming it into an open air prison.
This latest military assault can only be understood in the the context of Israeli policy from 1947.
It is time for us to call on our President to end his support for this immoral military assault that is only made possible by American military support. It is time for us to go to the streets to demand an end to US support for the war.
Please read my colleague, Rabbi Brant Rosen’s powerful post. Four years ago we co-founded Taanit Tzedek-Jewish Fast for Gaza in response to Operation Cast Lead. Now we are witness to another ferocious Israeli assault. Until Israel acknowledges the Nakba and addresses the underlying legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people, the the cycle of violence will continue with tragic loss of life for both Israelis and Palestinians.