Rabbi attacks Corrie family and Foundation
Posted by rabbibrian on May 25, 2009
As I have always been inspired by the story of Rachel Corrie and the work of Cindy and Craig Corrie, Rachel’s parents, I was shocked to read an article attacking the Corrie Foundation in the Jerusalem Post by Rabbi David Forman, one of the founders of Rabbis for Human Rights. As I have worked with Rabbi Forman and admire his role in founding RHR, I found his comments particularly disturbing.
Two of the many totally unfounded claims that Rabbi Forman makes in his article are:
“…..the foundation supports genocide in Darfur, brutal Hamas killings and indiscriminate assaults on Israel’s civilian population.”
How does Rabbi Forman know this? Because the Foundation focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on the suffering in Gaza! How surprising! Rachel was killed in Gaza.
The foundation propogates “bigotry – in the form of pure anti-Semitic propaganda”
How does Rabbi Forman know this?
Because there is an article about the AIPAC convention by Medea Benjamin, an American Jewish activist, on their website. The article originally appeared on Common Dreams.
If one actually reads the article, one will read such “anti-semitic” charges such as the following:
” When is it too late, I wonder, to stop Israel from destroying itself? When is it too late to tell AIPAC attendees that more violence and hatred is not the answer? When is it too late to open the hardened hearts of my people, once victims of a terrible holocaust, to realize that by occupying Palestine we have become they evil we deplore? When is it too late to restore meaning to the Hebrew term “tikkun olam” by truly working to heal the world? When is it too late for the Jews of the world to weep for the children of Gaza, recognizing that they, too, are the children of God?”
In my position as Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, I have worked with Cindy and Craig, Rachel Corrie’s parents. They are extraordinary human beings who generously support the work of Rabbis for Human Rights and other Israeli human rights and peace groups. They have visited with Rabbi Arik Ascherman, the Executive Director of RHR in Israel, and others in the RHR office in Jerusalem and have consistently supported our work. I have been moved in my conversations with them, by their integrity and their deep commitment to a just peace. If I were in their situation, I would imagine that the temptation to hate those who killed my daughter would be hard to resist. (Forman points out that the details of Rashel’s death are disputed. He doesn’t mention that it was Israel’s refusal to agree to an impartial investigation that prevented us from knowing the truth. In a very similar action, Israel recently refused to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission into the Gaza war, even though Judge Goldstone is a committed Jew and made it clear that he would be investigating violations by both sides.) Despite their daughter’s tragic death, the Corries have never spoken in a hateful way towards Israel or Jews. On the contrary, they are deeply committed to peace and to the security of all people in the conflict, Israelis and Palestinians.
Another irony here is the nastiness of Rabbi Forman’s article. Forman fulminates, as he has on many occasions, against Americans who express concern for the suffering of the Palestinians and have the chutzpah to speak out against human rights violations by the Israeli government. How dare we express our disagreement with Israeli government policy? He and many other Israelis are in for a rude awakening as American Jews and American citizens of all faiths, increasingly refuse to be silent. We can support Israel and criticize the policies of its government. It is only a vigorous and clear intervention by our new President supported by Americans of all faiths that has the chance of saving the Jewish people from the disaster of the continued Occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Forman wants us to silence us. Thankfully, increasing numbers of American Jews and people of other faiths, like the Corrie family, are ready to say, “NO!” and to express our commitment to safety for Israelis and Palestinians AND our horror at the Gaza war, the continued settlements, home demolitions and other acts that cause suffering and perpetuate the conflict.