A Jew explains why he is leading flotilla protest

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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This afternoon at 5 in Middletown, Orange County, New York, a demonstration will be held to oppose the attack on the Gaza flotilla. Details below. One of the organizers is Goshen, N.Y., lawyer and activist Michael Sussman, who sent out this letter:


since we commenced organizing this protest, some have called me and warned me that my political career is over for co-sponsoring this rally and forum and that I am associating with anti-semites, etc. i wanted to address those issues briefly. from an early age, my vision of Judaism was a vision replete with social commitment and activism. the rabbis who influenced me were active in the civil rights movement and deeply involved every day in promoting social justice. my own inspiration comes not merely from my own family, but from these individuals. as a jew, I cannot accept the notion that "my people" have superior rights to others and "my state," Israel, can act in any manner it wishes, contrary to international law.

When Malcolm X was asked what white people could do to help move civil rights, he sagely suggested that we work in our own communities, tell the truth to power and try to stand against the racism we confronted daily, whether in jokes or snickers or more serious expression.

The same is true for Jews today – we cannot simply tolerate oppression because "our own" commit it. Indeed, in light of our lofty ideals, Jews must take the lead in opposing brutality, oppression and senseless killing. That others may do the same is no excuse for us to act in senseless, brutal manners. 

Today, I will proudly moderate the panel discussion and walk from the Galleria to Town Hall because I know that doing so is right and necessary. We may not be able to change the world, but we can try to live principled lives as public citizens, not sheep. 

The rallywill be held at the intersection of Rt. 211 and North Galleria Drive. At 7 p.m. the demonstrators will march a half-mile to the Wallkill Town Hall at 99 Tower Drive for a
7:30 p.m. meeting.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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