Speak Up

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Credit: Creative Commons/eddiedangerous

Speak up. You, of Jewish faith or heritage, however religious or however secular, now is the time to speak up.
Speak up because you cannot stand by and watch and do nothing while a military acting in the name of your people destroys the cities and homes and clinics and mosques of a people who have already suffered far too much.
Speak up because you can’t stomach seeing another sweet little girl lying in a hospital bed, bandaged because a missile bought with your tax dollars hit her home.
Speak up because you can’t sit idly by while images of grieving mothers cascade across your television screen, yet again tonight. Speak up because you don’t want to see yet another picture of a crowd of Palestinian civilians surrounding a home in ruins.
Even if you aren’t sure what the answer is, speak up. Even if you don’t know ‘enough’ about what’s happening, speak up. Even if you doubt it will make a difference, speak up.
Yes, you may piss your family off. Yes, some friends may condemn you. But many people will also honor your courage and your heart. And besides, we’re Jews, we know how to argue and it won’t kill us.
Either way, take the risk. Take the heat because each and every one of us wishes in the depths of our bones that enough people who belonged to the nations who persecuted and tortured and murdered and expelled our people would have done the same. Now it’s Our time to speak up. Now we are the privileged ones who must speak up.
Speak up because you know that violence only spawns more violence, and you are as sick and tired of seeing those images of dead and grieving and frightened Palestinians as you are of worrying about the children in Israel who will go to sleep scared tonight. Speak up because enough is enough.
Speak up because you want to show the world that there is an alternative to violence, racism and vengeance. That there is another way to solve problems. That there are Jews who want peace – really want peace – and will take a stand for it even and especially when times are tough, even when it feels risky.
Speak up because you can’t stand by silently while the extremists take over a land you love. Speak up because you know there is another way. Speak up and be a voice of reason and heart.
Speak up because you know speaking out against war and violence is not anti-Semitic. Speak up because you know speaking out against war and violence supports Israeli civilians as well as Palestinian civilians.
Speak up because your heart breaks each time the cycle of violence begins again. Speak up because you know deep in your heart that we can all live together as the cousins we are, because so much beauty could be possible between our people if there were peace.
Speak up because as a Jew, your words about this conflict carry a great deal of weight. Let’s counter the voices of hate and violence, and speak up.
Roni Krouzman is an American Jew born to Israeli parents.