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8.30.2014

Jews Against Genocid letter to Chief Rabbis of the World.

We Will Not Be Silent
An Open Letter to the Chief Rabbis of the world from the group "Jews Against Genocide"

מכתב פתוח לרבנים הראשיים בקהילות העולם - בעת הזו מנהיגים רוחניים מהעולם היהודי חייבים לבחור בין יהדות אמיתית לנאמנות עיוורת לציונות הישראלית.

We, Jews Against Genocide, a coalition of concerned Jews in Israel and across the world, respectfully call upon you to take a clear ethical stand against the criminal policies and actions of the State of Israel. In their war upon the besieged people and children of Gaza, Israel’s Heads of State have transgressed the fundamental boundaries of both Jewish morality and humanist ethics.

"Humanity owes this vow to those hundreds of thousands who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline."

In his Christmas Speech of 1942, Pope Pius XII addressed these words to a waiting world. In 27 pages of writing, they were his only reference to the systematic extermination of Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe. He chose to avoid a direct condemnation of Nazi atrocities, and in doing so he betrayed the hopes of all those, Catholic or otherwise, who anticipated a message of clear moral guidance from the most powerful spiritual leader in Europe, that would call on all Christians to intervene, to save the Jews and to resist the horrors of Nazi occupation.

Do not stand aside now as Pius XII did that day, obscuring the question of culpability in a foil of generalised regret for universal human tragedy. Do not normalize the atrocities and crimes of a militarised nation which is willing to obliterate houses, lives, entire neighbourhoods and communities in an indiscriminate and disproportionat
e offensive against a battered and ghettoised populace, to preserve a feeble illusion of Jewish supremacy.

How much longer can we avoid recognizing and condemning Israel’s relentless assault on the Palestinian people? How much longer can we hide behind semantic arguments, in order to preserve the inviolable singularity of the Jewish Shoah? Call it what you will - ethnocide, sociocide - Israel’s systematic onslaught on the people of Palestine is a crime against humanity and against Jewish values, and no amount of disputation can justify our failure to act.
How much longer can we exclude ourselves from the growing international Jewish voice for peace and resolution, telling ourselves that “extremism” is not the way? We , Jews against Genocide, believe there is nothing extreme about demanding life, dignity and peace for a people brutalised and exhausted by decades of institutionalised state terrorism.

How much longer will you allow the State of Israel to perpetrate these terrors in the name of a mythical Jewish unity, as self-appointed and unelected champions of the Jewish people?

It is time we felt deeply the weight of our obligation to serve and represent real Jewish values, assuming our responsibilities and moral integrity as people who are commanded to love their neighbours.

It is time our commitment to the contentment of the community stopped overriding our commitment to truth and justice, to the basic Jewish principles of mercy, compassion and loving-kindness. Jewish spiritual leaders owe their communities something greater than that. They owe them the guidance and encouragement to follow a path of reason and mercy in dark and vicious times.

The children of Gaza are dying. Hospitals are crammed with limbless people and burned babies, both in Gaza and in other parts of Palestine, and running out of basic supplies such as medications and disposables. No drinking water runs in the taps of Gaza and electricity is scarce. The maimed victims have no homes to return to, and the Jewish world stands aside.

This is the time in the history of the State of Israel when the spiritual leaders of the Jewish world must choose between real Judaism and blind loyalty to Israeli Zionism.

Yours Sincerely,
Jews Against Genocide

Lear more about Jews Against Genocide on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jews-Against-Genocide/694634937278932?sk=info

Photo credit Michael Nigro
March of the Dead, Bryant Park to Israeli Consulate, NYC
July 31, 2014

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