Israel in Gaza: statement by Rabbi Brant Rosen
25 July by Rabbi Brant Rosen
JVP Rabbinical Council
— We are currently amidst “the three weeks” –
the annual Jewish period of quasi-mourning that leads to the fast day of
Tisha B’Av. This is the season that bids us to look deeply into the soul of
our community and examine the ways that our *sinat chinam* – baseless
hatred – has led to our communal downfall. Driven by the spirit of this
season, we cannot help but speak out in response to the horrific loss of
life currently taking place in Gaza, at the hands of the Israeli military.
We deplore the Israeli government’s military crackdown in the West Bank
that led to its lethal, military onslaught on the people of Gaza. We mourn
the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, including children. We condemn
Hamas’ rockets attacks on Israel and are deeply grieved by the anxiety,
injury and death they have caused. But we cannot view this as a war between
two equal sides. Israel has unlimited hi-tech weaponry; it dominates Gazan
airspace, its borders, its utilities and economy. Moreover, it was Israel
who willfully launched this mission of death on the Palestinian people.
Israel hides behind the pretext of avenging the still unsolved kidnapping
and killing of three Jewish boys. Rather than seeking recourse through
civil, legal means, Israel’s leaders have called for vengeance, with
terrible consequences. We can not stand idly by as the Jewish State acts
with such wanton disregard, with such sinat chinam, for the humanity of the
mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, children and elders
of Gaza. As Jews, we abhor the abuse of human rights that are standard
practice of our fellow Jews in the Israeli government and Israeli military.
This is not the path of justice….