Interfaith Letter: “Gaza-Israel Violence: The Fuller Story”

Entire article: Gaza-Israel Violence: The Fuller Story

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow (about the author)

….At the price of great suffering on both sides of the border, the government’s aim has been accomplished: the social issues, The Shalom Center logowhich threatened to assume prominence in these elections, have been pushed aside and removed from the agenda of the elections campaign. Forgotten, too, is the brave attempt of Mahmoud Abbas to address the Israeli public opinion. In the coming weeks, the headlines will be filled with constant war and death, destruction and bloodshed. When it ends at last, it will be revealed that no goal has been achieved and that the problems remain the same, or perhaps exacerbated. “
4. Finally, my own questions to the Jewish National Fund officials suggest my own understanding of how Jewish values might be applied to this violence:
Dear xxxxm xxxx,
I understand from JNF that you are available to answer questions about its message on the increased violence between the Government and People of Israel and the Government and People of Gaza. I do have questions:
1. Why did the JNF headline rockets against Israel without mentioning that in the previous week there had been armed attacks by IDF units (presumably under orders from above) that included the killing of several Palestinians in Gaza and military incursions into Gaza, BEFORE the Gazan rocket attacks on Israel?
2. The JNF cited Pekuach nefesh [“Save life,” the Prime Directive of Jewish law]. Is this restricted to “Protect Jewish lives” or does it encompass “Protect Palestinian lives” (including 11-month-old babies)?

3. The JNF cites “All Jews are responsible for each other.” In my view, this means I would be responsible to protect a Jewish life if a Palestinian head of government were to order the lynching, without trial, of the Israeli Minister of Defense. Does this also mean that I am responsible if an Israeli Prime Minister orders the lynching, without trial, of a Palestinian official? In each case, responsible how? To prevent the killing? To punish it? To weep before God?

4. The JNF cited “Do not stand idly by when a life is in danger.” In my view, this certainly applies when three members of a family in Southern Israel are killed by a rocket aimed by some group of Palestinians. Does this also apply when a Palestinian life is in danger? An 11-month-old baby, for example? What does “not standing idly by” mean in the first case? In the second?

Entire article: Gaza-Israel Violence: The Fuller Story


The Shalom Center is inaugurating the GOLDEN  CALFAWARD,  to be presented to someone who has become a devout, persistent, and renowned idolator. more: