We at Tikkun are in mourning for the seventeen Palestinians killed and hundreds wounded by the Israeli army on the eve of Passover. We are outraged by the use of violence and force by the Israeli soldiers who faced no threat to their safety or to the security of the State of Israel (though there were a handful of violent provocateurs among the thousands of nonviolent Gazans who came to the border with Israel to protest the ongoing blockade that has caused incredible suffering and many deaths among those living in this tiny area of mostly Palestinian refugees).
We are also once again grieving for a Judaism that is being trampled on by those Jewish leaders who turn a blind eye to the brutality orchestrated by the Israeli army and justified by the Israeli government.
I have included below a summary of three articles that I encourage you to read to gain a deeper understandings of the situation on the ground and responses both in Israel and the U.S. Please circulate this widely, and urge those who agree with these ideas to write letters of protest to your elected US officials in both political parties who give automatic support to every funding bill for Israel and every resolution backing Israel, and express your upset also to the various Israeli consulates and embassies around the world.
We should not allow those who support the policies of Occupation to call themselves “pro-Israel” when in fact they are following a path that may lead to Israel’s destruction and already have led many people in parts of the world that never had any religious antagonism to Jews (such as, China, India, or much of Africa) to be open to hating Jews because they identify all Jews with the immoral policies of the current Israeli government. Jewish values require us to speak out on behalf of ‘the stranger’ amongst us and to stand in solidarity with them when the power of the Israeli government comes crashing down on them. Loving the Jewish people, ahavat yisrael, requires that we help people in our society understand that the actions of the current Israeli government do not represent Judaism or Jews as a whole and that criticizing the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza is not per se anti-Semitic.
–Rabbi Michael Lerner
Gaza’s Passover massacre
The Passover massacre in Gaza was by no means an exception in the long history of Palestinian resistance.
By Neve Gordon
30,000 Palestinians joined the nonviolent March of Return in Gaza only to be met with live bullets from Israeli soldiers. “For decades Zionists have blamed the Palestinians for Israel’s ongoing colonial project. “If only the Palestinians had a Mahatma Gandhi,” many Israeli liberals have exclaimed, “then the occupation would end.” But if one truly wished to find Palestinian Mahatma Gandhis all one needed to do is look at the images of protesters on Friday night’s news broadcasts.” To read more, click here.
Hundreds March in Tel Aviv in Solidarity With Gaza Following Deadly Protests
Around 250 people in Tel Aviv-Jaffa gathered to ‘Stop the next war’ in protest against this weekend’s violence at the Israel-Gaza border where 17 Palestinians were killed.The protest was titled “Create hope, stop the next war” and protesters chanted “no to the occupation” and “In Gaza and Sderot, little girls want to stay alive.” To read more, click here.
Bernie Sanders Condemns Killing of Palestinian Protestors
‘The U.S. must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade,’ Vermont Senator Sanders says. On Saturday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Israel’s use of force at the Israel-Gaza border Friday after 17 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli soldiers and over 700 wounded by live fire. To read more, click here.