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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A Jewish perspective on Israel and Gaza
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Friday, January 16, 2009

A Jewish perspective on Israel and Gaza

one of my dearest, oldest friends, a jew himself, offers his views on the current israeli-gaza situation...
This whole situation has me viscerally pained beyond words. I can not sit in ... pro-Israel rallies... . In those rallies I see people who in my view support Israel out of political expediency, and who in other parts of their lives represent views which are antithetical to core Jewish values, and in some cases are clearly anti-semetic... .

I also cannot really feel at home standing beside [those who berate] the entire Israeli state, not just it's governmental values. Although I think Israel is acting in ways that threaten its existence far more than Hamas rockets, I cannot bring myself to condemn an entire country which could potentially be a safe haven for Jews being persecuted across the globe. I have no hesitancy to condemn Israeli government policy, but not Israel in its entirety, just as I have always been opposed to the U.S. war in Iraq but don't see myself as anti-U.S. in the least. In fact, I see my opposition to Israel's current war strategies as pro-Israel since I see the current policy as not at all increasing Israel's security.

I was at a meeting today where a fellow Jew talked about the "wonderful" rally that was held last weekend and how unfortunate it was that there were those, including Jews, outside protesting. She commented on how it was too bad Jews could not dialogue with each other on these issues. My experience is that the mainstream Jewish community does not really want that dialogue--that those protesters were outside because they would not have been invited in, at least not to speak. This is why I am experiencing increasing distance between myself and the mainstream Jewish community to the point where I am close to ending my membership in my synagogue.

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