“We''re doing this, mostly for ourselves”.
Those words were spoken, Rabbi Daniel Gordis informs us, by another Rabbi, David Bigman
, after paying a condolence visit at the mourning tent of the family of the murdered teenager Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, where they all heard this:
"We thank you for your feelings for the martyr of dawn," the speaker said. A couple of sentences later, the translator began to squirm, as the speaker referred to the Israeli government as "the Satan in the Knesset that orders occupation and settlement." He went on: "We bless you and welcome you to the mourners'' tent, but we have refused to receive any condolences from representatives of the Israeli government… whose feelings are false." The amplifier was turned up so that the voice echoed between the buildings. "We thank you for coming to comfort the [family of the] martyr and the Palestinian people… You stood with us against the crimes of the occupation and the settlements." Later, as we left, a friend pointed to one of the banners hanging from a building across the street. It was from the students union at a college in Bethlehem, which "mourned for the martyr Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, who was kidnapped and murdered by the Zionist forces of treachery."
I don''t know how many Palestinians have died in Gaza, but it''s in the dozens, including quite a few children. So why can''t our rabbis--who often tell us that Judaism values life above all else--mention their names? I''m not suggesting that our rabbis denounce Israel''s behavior. That''s a separate question. In fact, it''s precisely because many American rabbis will defend Israel''s actions that they should read out the names and ages of the Palestinians who have died. If you''re going to defend war, then at least be honest about what you''re defending. Don''t perpetuate the mass desensitization to Palestinian suffering and death that characterizes mainstream American Jewish life.
Note, to denounce Israel is “a separate question”.
Wow, The United States is prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The terror organization Hamas will next invite Obama to Gaza for a photo op after this one from 2008:
These three incidents bring me back to Haaretz’s Israel Conference on Peace.
The participants (I was the there, too, but as an observer), I felt, were lost in their own alternative perceptions of the political, social and religious reality of our region. Detached seems another description. In her question-and-answer session with Barak Ravid, Minister Tzipi Livni called
the American administration
to publicize the framework document that it had discussed with the Israeli and Palestinian teams and demand that both sides adopt it as a basis for resuming talks. The document included a series of principles for resolving the various core issues – borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security, and more.
As a friend observed
Livni is calling for the Americans taking the document that contains only Israeli and no Palestinian concessions…[and] using it as the basis for new negotiations in which Israel will naturally be expected to make new concessions.
The Americans called for negotiations but were unable to get the Palestinians even to agree to talk to Israel [only after concessions were made]…The Palestinians were neither asked to nor did they make any concessions…The Americans squeezed Israel until they got something that they thought the Palestinians could agree to. In the meantime, the Palestinians did not negotiate.
When the Americans presented the Palestinians with their pro-Palestinian achievements, the Palestinians told them they had no interest in an agreement…The Americans put no pressure whatsoever on the Palestinians.
The American team then ran out and loudly and falsely blamed Israel for torpedoing the negotiations…
This is the reality: a heavy-handed American diplomatic crush; an American president that ignored Israel (until public pressure cause him to pick up the phone); an opposition to Netanyahu based on intense antagonism to him personally (if Naftali Bennet was slightly pushed, one can only surmise the result); Jewish intellectuals who reshape Judaism and other who really have little true sympathy for ‘the Zionist experiment’.
What a bunch of Jews.