Today we are running two pieces from the two women aboard the Jewish boat to Gaza, who were deported by Israel in recent days. Here is Lillian Rosengarten, of New York:
On Sunday September 26, 2010, we were finally together for the first time on our small catamaran boat “Irene” I was quickly aware of the kindness and generosity of spirit from the crew and passengers, all Jews. We were five Israelis, one German, one American and our British captain Glyn. Together we were united with a common desire to reach Gaza and offer our support as Jews to our Palestinian brothers and sisters under siege. We wanted to let them know there are Jews who want to help and that the Zionism we see within the Jewish government is a harsh distortion of Judaism which betrays the sorrow and suffering of Jews under the Nazis.
It is because I am a Jew and have a dream of a different Israel that I must speak out against the cruelty bestowed upon the Palestinian population. I strongly believe Jews have a moral obligation to not oppress their neighbors as they were once oppressed. They must attempt to understand the suffering perpetuated on them.
A friend reminded me of this timely poem by W H Auden:
“ September 1, 1939
Now I and the public know
What all school children learn
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.”
I leave you with a short poem written on our journey.
You have risen from
Ashes of the holocaust
To become your own enemy.
We weep for you.
You should have learned so well
Man’s inhumanity to man
We are your brothers and sisters too.