RABBI'S MESSAGE August 6, 2015

Just Do One Thing 

Last week's attacks by Jewish terrorists in Israel/Palestine have stopped our hearts. First the stabbing at the annual LGBT Pride March in Jerusalem, resulting in the death of a 16-year-old girl, and then the firebombing of a Palestinian family's home, resulting in the death of a toddler, leave us stunned and ashamed.

I considered writing a message to all of you, decrying these events and calling for all Jews and all lovers of Israel to reflect on the historic weight of these incidents. Not only should we, and the State of Israel, condemn the perpetrators (as so many have, including Prime MInister Netanyahu). This is a moment that calls for reflection on the culture of our people--and not only extremists, not only Israelis, but all Jews--and ask ourselves, what do we need to change? What should we do and say so that violence is not tolerated in any form, so that perpetrators are brought to justice, and so that such evil is condemned before it leads to the death of innocents? 

That sentiment, I'm relieved to say, has been echoed in many communications from both the Israeli community and the American Jewish community. I believe that this is a pivotal moment for Israel and the Jewish people. This is a moment that each one of us can do something to express our sorrow and outrage. 

So, I am sharing here the post I received from the Israel Religious Action Center on Tuesday. Please take the time to read it, to reflect on it, and to find one way that you can make a difference. Just one.

It has been an awful week in Israel. 

An ultra-Orthodox man stabbed six people attending Jerusalem's annual LGBT march last Thursday. 16-year old Shira Banki, one of the victims, succumbed to her wounds and died Sunday afternoon. Jewish extremists are suspected of firebombing a Palestinian home in the West Bank village of Douma early last Friday morning, which killed an 18-month old baby and left the rest of his family fighting for their lives in hospital burn units. 

These horrific acts of terror are part of a larger crime-wave, committed by Jews, that has plagued Israel this past year. Jews burning the Church of Loaves and Fishes. Jews burning the bilingual Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem. The list goes on and on.

Here are seven things you can do: 

(1)  Share this link and sign our condolence card to the Banki family;

(2) Include the names of those wounded by the recent attacks in your congregation's prayer for healing;

(3) Sign our petition to Israel's Attorney-General, Yehuda Weinstein, to express your outrage at the recent violence, and to demand swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.

(4)  Contact us to participate in a briefing about the latest developments regarding these recent attacks;

(5)  Read our report that connects the dots and shows the involvement of the Jewish hate-group Lehava in Israel's recent crime-wave.

(6) Hang a rainbow flag in your synagogue, and tell your congregation that it represents your community's solidarity with the LGBT community that was attacked in Jerusalem.

(7)  Watch Anat's message to clergy in the Diaspora about last week's violence.

Let us join our voices with the thousands of people who have already taken to the streets of Israel to demand justice and peace. Together, we can help realize the promises set forth in Israel's Declaration of Independence. Together, we can make a difference. 


Anat Hoffman, Executive Director, IRAC

Rabbi Noa Sattath, Director, IRAC

Posted on August 6, 2015 .