Young Jews challenge Netanyahu
Posted by rabbibrian on November 11, 2010
On Monday this week, five courageous and inspiring young adults interrupted the speech by Bibi Netanyahu at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America and Jewish Council on Public Affairs. At this meeting of leaders of the Jewish community at which they launched a 6 million dollar campaign to fight the “deligitimization” of Israel by activists of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, these young people interrupted the Prime Ministers speech with banners that said YoungJewishProud.org and one of the below-
The Settlements Delegitimize Israel
The Occupation Delegitimizes Israel
The Siege of Gaza Delegitimizes Israel
The Loyalty Oath Delegitimizes Israel
Silencing Dissent Delegitimizes Israel
What a brilliant action of resistance to the clever tactic of the Israeli government and American Jewish leaders to silence resistance to Israeli policies by using the term “deligitimization.”
These young people are part of Jewish Voice for Peace which has recently established a Rabbinic Council of which I am a proud member. They also released a poetic, powerful statement that I encourage you to read and sign the petition in support of their action. This statement is an inspiring prophetic statement that gives us hope for the Jewish future.
Lastly, the crowd was not so enthusiastic about their interruption and reacted strongly including dragging them out of the hall. One man held one of the protesters in a choke hold. They elicited the intense hostility that lies just below the surface to anyone in the Jewish community who challenges Israeli policy. I encourage you to see the video.
It seems to me that this event is another critical event in the growing resistance to Israel’s policies in America and in the American Jewish community. When asked about the erosion of support for the government Netanyahu this week said we still have complete support, “We may have lost Tom Friedman, but we haven’t lost America.” I believe Tom Friedman responded by reassuring Netanyahu that he still is as strong a supporter of Israeli policy as ever. The point is that even Friedman is beginning to lose his patience with Israeli intransigence.
In traditional Judaism there are prophets, priests and kings. This week these young people assumed the role of prophet challenging the Israeli Prime Minister who we have allowed to arrogate the role of High Priest and King. Their prophetic courage gives us hope for the future. I hope many more young Jews join them and that we follow their lead. The times they are a changing!