Six arrested in civil disobedience at Federation offices in Philly

Israel/Palestine
on 41 Comments

In another sign of the burgeoning movement inside Jewish life, yesterday Jewish Voice for Peace held a civil disobedience action at the Jewish Federations office in Philadelphia to protest the Gaza onslaught. A video is above. Rabbi Alpert sent along this report. Excerpts of a news report on the action follows her account. –Ed. 

Philadelphia action, JVP at Federations

Philadelphia action, JVP at Federations

Many years ago after I gave a talk on Jewish sexuality at a synagogue in Montgomery County, a woman asked a question that has remained with me all these years. “I don’t care who you sleep with,”she said. “That’s none of my business. But how can you as a rabbi support the Palestinians?”

I assume she would ask me the same question today, with even greater urgency: how can you as a rabbi belong to Jewish Voice for Peace, how can you support the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanction movement, and especially how can you praise these protesters who criticize Israel at this time of crisis? Don’t you know we are alone? Don’t you know they want to destroy us?

To all the American Jews who, like that woman, write emails and letters with death threats and horrific curses to those of us who dare to speak out, I will tell you only what I heard countless times when I lived in Israel many years ago, “It’s hard to be a Jew.”For me it’s hard to be a Jew because Israel has lost its moral compass. It’s hard to be a Jew because American Jews believe that Israel’s survival matters more than justice for the Palestinians. But it should not be hard to be a Jew because I hold opinions that other Jews disagree with. Arguing is part of who we are as a people, and we need to remember that.

Demonstrators outside the Jewish Federations offices

Demonstrators outside the Jewish Federations offices, photo by Lucas Koerner

On Friday morning, 40 activist Jews, most under the age of 35, went to the offices of the Jewish Federation in Philadelphia, and prayed there. Ten members of the group held a civil disobedience action inside the Federation building. There they were the first Jewish Voice for Peace chapter to deliver a petition signed by over 35,000 supporters, urging the Federation and other Jewish leaders to take a public stand not just for an immediate ceasefire, but for an end to the underlying conditions of siege that makes life unbearable for Palestinians in Gaza. They demanded – and received – a meeting with the Philadelphia Federation CEO, Naomi Adler. While they waited, refusing to leave the building for over four hours, they sang Jewish songs of peace. Outside, a crowd of supporters read poems, sang songs of peace, and read the names of almost 2,000 people who have been killed in Gaza these past three weeks. In the end, six protesters were removed from the building in handcuffs.

Demonstrators occupy the Federation offices in Philly

Demonstrators occupy the Federation offices in Philly

They needed to recite the names of these dead human beings to remind the leadership of the American Jewish community that these dead were human beings and not human shields as the Israeli government demeaningly refers to them.

They needed to recite their names to remind American Jews that unless we speak up and protest we are complicit in these deaths.

They need to recite their names because the continuation of a cease fire does not open up the ports of Gaza, or allow freedom of movement for its residents, or allow free import of food and medical supplies.

They needed to recite their names to tell the world that not all Jews agree with what Israel is doing now, or has been doing for the last 47 years of illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.

Demonstrators in the lobby of the Phila Jewish Federations offices

Security leads away demonstrators in the lobby of the Phila Jewish Federations offices

 

Demonstrators under a photo display at the Federations offices

Singing, praying demonstrators under a photo display at the Federations offices, photo by Lucas Koerner

They needed to recite their names to let Israel know that there are American Jews who believe that political actions have consequences, and that Hamas, with its ugly, violent and desperate measures did not attack out of antisemitic hatred but because of Israel’s ongoing blockade of Gaza that has crippled their economy and reduced the land to poverty.

They needed to recite their names to tell the leadership of the Federation that Jewish money would be better spent on the sick and poor in our city than on funding Israel Solidarity rallies.

They needed to recite their names to remind all of us all that every life is precious.

Protesters outside the Jewish Federations office yesterday

Protesters outside the Jewish Federations office yesterday

Here is additional information about the protest from the Jewish Exponent in Phillly:

Six Jewish protesters were escorted in handcuffs from the Jewish Community Services Building in Center City on Friday afternoon after occupying the building’s lobby for a good chunk of the day….

The building, which is owned by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, was “occupied” by the members of the Philadelphia chapter of  Jewish Voice for Peace at 11:30 a.m.

After gaining entry to the building’s lobby by pretending to be volunteers for the Mitzvah Food Project, a nonprofit run by the Jewish Federation, the protesters linked arms and demanded to speak with Federation CEO Naomi Adler. As soon as they gained entry, another 40 or so members of the group arrived with signs to protest outside…

Inside and outside, the protestors sang Hebrew songs and protest chants. “We are a peaceful Jewish people praying for Gazan lives,” sang the six members inside…

They read a petition addressed to three leaders of national Jewish organizations: Jerry Silverman, CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America; Rabbi David Saperstein, head of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center; and Rabbi Steve Gutow, head of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The petition, which they claimed was signed by 35,000 people nationally and 400 in the Greater Philadelphia region, stated that responsibility for the latest conflict “lies in the Israeli government’s commitment to occupation over the well-being of Palestinians or Israelis.”…

 “What I will do is listen to what you have to say — I wish you had reached out first,” Adler told the group, “as long as there is an agreement that you peacefully leave so that no one’s unsafe and the building can continue with business.”

They responded by saying that “unfortunately, we cannot leave the building until we know” that the group’s demand will be met, before proceeding back into the lobby, where they continued to sing…

Asked why the group’s petition did not mention Israelis who had suffered in the war, Nicole Sugarman, who was outside, said, “Yes, of course we are concerned for all lives.”

Susan Landau, who is a leader of the local BDS movement against Israel, said: “We wanted to focus on what Jewish leaders are not dealing with. We don’t need to draw attention to what is already known” from the Israeli perspective, she said. Asked whether if getting all the rights Palestinians were seeking meant a “one-state solution,” meaning the end of the Jewish state, Landau said that might be what’s required.

Oh and this is from Joshua Albert, at The Declaration. Notice the great quote:

Protesters held placards with messages including: “Ceasefire is not enough, end the blockade”, “ Hold Israel accountable”, and “Some are guilty, all are responsible”…

“It’s about time this happened,” one employee said to them as she was leaving the building.

About Rabbi Rebecca Alpert

Rabbi Alpert is professor of religion at Temple University.

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41 Responses

  1. Pixel
    August 9, 2014, 11:24 am

    .
    We are a gentle angry people.

    • Pixel
      August 9, 2014, 11:33 am

      .
      I heard this Unitarian Universalist hymn many years ago.
      The lyrics have always stayed with me. The key words are changed,
      depending on the justice action.

      Singing for Our Lives

      Artist: Holly Near
      Album: And Still We Sing: The Outspoken Collection

      .
      We are a gentle, angry people
      and we are singing, singing for our lives

      We are a justice-seeking people
      and we are singing, singing for our lives

      We are young and old together
      and we are singing, singing for our lives

      We are a land of many colors
      and we are singing, singing for our lives

      We are gay and straight together
      and we are singing, singing for our lives

      We are a gentle, loving people
      and we are singing, singing for our lives

    • mijj
      August 9, 2014, 12:39 pm

      gentgry .. angtle (?)

  2. Mooser
    August 9, 2014, 11:39 am

    Gosh, this reminds me of event which is faint in my mental archives. I’ll have to look it up today. But wasn’t there an incident in which a Protestant Church (Methodists?) which had been doing missionary work among the slaves and free African Americans suddenly decided there were too many of them in the church, (probably reflecting social and regional stresses) and it was time to segregate, and an incident took place in which the worshiping African-Americans were carried bodily from the church during a service? Would have been around 1844, if my memory is right. I believe the people dragged out went on to form the AME. I hope the brave, committed and ethical people in the article don’t find that an invidious comparison.

    • Mooser
      August 9, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Okay, it was Richard Allen, Absolom Jones and William White, at a Church in Philadelphia “pulling them off their knees while they were in the attitude of prayer” and “The Negroes arose, and withdrew from the church in a body”.

      • W.Jones
        August 9, 2014, 2:52 pm

        Have there been instances where people have been expelled from synagogues for their position on IP?

      • Mooser
        August 9, 2014, 5:25 pm

        “Have there been instances where people have been expelled from synagogues for their position on IP?”

        W. Jones, do you know how the Jewish religion is organized?

  3. Mooser
    August 9, 2014, 11:43 am

    “as long as there is an agreement that you peacefully leave so that no one’s unsafe and the building can continue with business.”

    Gosh, I can’t wait to say that to them.
    And come to think of it, I bet this is one subject all the Zionists will agree with me on.

  4. mijj
    August 9, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Heroic! The pressure to shut up and go along with the crowd must be massive.

    • Mooser
      August 9, 2014, 3:21 pm

      “Heroic! The pressure to shut up and go along with the crowd must be massive.”

      Yes, but the smell of baby-back ribs and lobster was too strong to resist, and the Jewish religion split, the liturgy was amended and the Reform Movement in Judaism was on it’s way. And they had to go it alone. But that was over something important!

  5. breakingthesilence
    August 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

    A fine, brave action. JVP is splendid! But what is the real goal we should be striving for, what is the real demand? Is it merely to end the blockade of Gaza? Is it to end the “Occupation” of the West Bank & Gaza? I would urge a much larger & perhaps more discomforting goal, but the true goal: “End the racist myth that Israel belongs to the Jewish people. Admit that the entire territory of Israel was stolen from the Palestinian people in 1948. Demand the right of return for all refugees and their families and transform Israel into a genuinely democratic state with equal rights for all people— ending the racist desire for Israel to be a Jewish state, a state in which citizens of one religion have more rights than citizens of other religions.”

    • Mooser
      August 9, 2014, 3:10 pm

      “End the racist myth that Israel belongs to the Jewish people.”

      End the racist myth that Zionism responds to the pleadings of Judaism, that’d be a start. In fact, it might be a good idea to explore whether Judaism belongs to the Jewish people.

  6. michelle
    August 9, 2014, 1:56 pm

    .
    i agree with the person that questioned why the
    Israeli deaths weren’t listed to the extent that
    it doesn’t complete the balance
    it keeps the two sides separate
    there has been enough exclusion
    there has been enough disregard for life
    .
    truth and justice value all
    w/o regard to their choices
    .
    He loves us all ‘saint or sinner’
    .
    G-d Bless
    .

    • Real Jew
      August 9, 2014, 3:34 pm

      Balance? What balance? The main stream media in the US covered jewish suffering quite extensively. Some would say overwhelmingly. But there is no balance to be found. There is no balance between the number of fatalities each side suffered. There is no balance between the military capabilities of each side. Palestinians don’t have an army, they don’t have a navy, or fighter jets, tanks, guided missles, battleships, aircraft weapons, or satellites.
      It is a travesty to even describe this conflict as a “war”. War implies that both sides have an equal chance of victory. This is simply Israel slaughtering civilians (mostly children) while some ragtag group of hamas fighters lob inaccurate mortars into empty israeli fields.

      • michelle
        August 9, 2014, 6:18 pm

        .
        the best leaders lead by example
        .
        G-d Bless
        .

  7. gamal
    August 9, 2014, 2:36 pm

    Dublin playing Monahan at crime park enough Palestinian flags waving in the stands.

    • amigo
      August 9, 2014, 9:06 pm

      “Dublin playing Monahan at crime park enough Palestinian flags waving in the stands.” Gamal

      Not sure what you mean Gamal.I am a GAA supporter and will be in “Croker” tomorrow for Kilkenny/Limerick game.What,s with the crime park stuff.

      • gamal
        August 10, 2014, 7:12 am

        first touchphone, old eyes, treacherous predictive text and in Gallaghers on Macurtain st Cork guzzling Friars Well Weissbeer, back in Ireland six days, homeless and illiterate. Also misspelled Monaghan, for which i was not denounced, you a Dublin man?

  8. gamal
    August 9, 2014, 2:37 pm

    Croke park obvs

  9. Jon66
    August 9, 2014, 5:58 pm

    While it’s certainly laudable to take a stand for your beliefs, I question the timing. The protesters said they disrupted a Mitzvah Food Drive whose goal is:

    “The Jewish Federation’s Mitzvah Food Project addresses hunger and malnutrition by providing nutritious food and basic staples in a caring and dignified manner to individuals and families in need. We operate five pantry locations throughout Greater Philadelphia that distribute non-perishable food packages, produce, and supermarket gift cards. We also coordinate education campaigns to raise further awareness of poverty and hunger in the region, and advocate for more equitable city, state, and federal policies and services. ”

    Perhaps there would have been a less worthy cause to disrupt. Helping Gaza while interfering with a program for the needy seems counter-productive.

  10. Frankie P
    August 9, 2014, 8:18 pm

    Did these following two paragraphs strike anyone else as being a bit problematic, or is it just me? Dan? Benny, am I whispering again, or is there some cognative dissonance going on here?

    “Many years ago after I gave a talk on Jewish sexuality at a synagogue in Montgomery County, a woman asked a question that has remained with me all these years. “I don’t care who you sleep with,”she said. “That’s none of my business. But how can you as a rabbi support the Palestinians?”

    I assume she would ask me the same question today, with even greater urgency: how can you as a rabbi belong to Jewish Voice for Peace, how can you support the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanction movement, and especially how can you praise these protesters who criticize Israel at this time of crisis? Don’t you know we are alone? Don’t you know they want to destroy us?”

    Dear Rabbi Rebecca Alpert,
    So you gave a talk on “Jewish sexuality” at a synogogue. Mooser always says that there is no organization to Judiasm, it’s made up of the whole spectrum of humanity: the brightest, the dregs, the peacemakers, the war-mongers, and I believe him. How then, can the sexuality of Jews be differentiated from the sexuality of the rest of humanity, a group that also includes the usual suspects that I listed above. I have heard many speeches about human sexuality, but not so many about tribal sexuality. You, dear Rabbi, wonder how this woman could wail about she, you, and your fellow tribalists being alone and the rest of the world (okay maybe she was being more specific and meant the Palestinians, oh! sorry, she wouldn’t utter that word, it might imply that the Palestinians were a people who had a territorial claim, I mean the ARABS!) wanting to destroy the whole lot of you. And yet, your speech, on “Jewish sexuality” – is it not designed to separate those good Montgomery County Jews from the rest of humanity in the most fundamental sense? That such day-to-day, routine activities (well, when I was younger it was daily and routine, the equipment isn’t as cooperative these days) as sexual relations must be dissected according to tribal issues is saddening to me, and it appears to just harden the concepts that “we are different, alone, apart, under attack.”

    FPM

    • tokyobk
      August 9, 2014, 9:54 pm

      Pretty sure she meant customs and mores which along with dietary laws are the most powerful non physical tribal markers. Islam and Judaism in particular being legal systems have libraries on just this subject what is halal and what is haram within sexual relations. But a lecture on Christian or Tahitian sexuality makes perfect sense as a subject.

      • Mooser
        August 9, 2014, 11:01 pm

        “which along with dietary laws are the most powerful non physical tribal markers”

        What would we do without those dietary laws! Thank Gawd no major denomination of the Jewish religion has ever considered them anything but essential.

    • tokyobk
      August 9, 2014, 10:11 pm

      Ps lectures about sex sure but about sexuality almost never heard a general historical lecture without mention of Freud and Margaret Mead. Study of sexuality in the West begins with study of tribal attitudes I agree with some of what you write though.

  11. bilal a
    August 10, 2014, 6:01 am

    you knew there were children in that building

  12. Kathleen
    August 10, 2014, 8:20 am

    The willingness in Jewish communities across the U.S. to stand up against the horrific injustices that Palestinians have been suffering at the hands of the Israeli government and supported by a majority of Israeli citizens for six decades is so refreshing. A real and new change over the last 5- 10 years. Such an important change

  13. Larrysturn
    August 10, 2014, 10:28 am

    You know Rabbi, I can never walk in your shoes. I listen and look and participate with my eyes, ears, heart and mind open, but do not believe I can cross certain lines. I see the slaughter of civilians and find myself whole heartedly against the death and destruction, but recognize that Hamas fired more than 3250 rockets into Israel at civilians, spent millions of dollars building tunnels from Gaza into Israel and countless more millions constructing a network of tunnels under Gaza to protect its leaders and hide its militants while not spending it to protect its civilian population from the Israeli onslaught it invites every time it fires a rocket. I cannot look at the photos of children without recognizing the value of the loss of human life, including some 1900 Palestinians, 68 Israelis and counting. I pray and work for peace every day. It is a peace that will provide two secure states to the two peoples of our shared Holy Land. I do not believe that peace will come as a result of demonstrations at the Federation building by members of JVP or through an international effort to delegitimize the State of Israel through a campaign of BDS or by bringing it to the International Criminal Court. I believe peace will only come when the international community encourages Israelis and Palestinians to sit down together and listen to each other in a National Peoples Dialogue Program that garners the formal support of PM Netanyahu and President Abbas creating an active process beyond the negotiations that teaches each people the story of the other and prepares them in growing numbers to overcome their fear and anger and to truly seek peace and pursue it. Larry Snider

    • Bumblebye
      August 10, 2014, 3:47 pm

      Tell us anuvva faiwy stowy, Gwanpa, pleease!

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2014, 5:02 pm

        If non-Zionist Jews wish to retain any part of Judaism, they must start a non-Zionist Jewish denomination.
        Or you can sit around and play games with “Larrysturn”.
        And have your children instructed in their religion by Zionists.

      • Mooser
        August 10, 2014, 5:07 pm

        “It was that year that the Hebrew Union College(Reform) was founded with Rabbi Wise as its first president. To celebrate the ordination of its first graduating class in 1883, the seminary threw a lavish banquet that included, to the horror of traditional Jews in attendance, clams, shrimp and other traif. This shattered Rabbi Wise’s dream that all Jews in the United States would be unite as the “Union of American Hebrew Congregations.”

        See, we used to have some spunk! But of course, that was over something really important.

    • W.Jones
      August 10, 2014, 4:47 pm

      Hello, Larry.
      It was nice and impressive
      how you said that you “pray and work for peace every day.” I recognized your column on the Times of Israel. You are a prolific writer, with an article every week about war and peace.
      blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/laurence-snider

      Your proposal for “Israelis and Palestinians to sit down together and listen to each other in a National Peoples Dialogue Program that garners the formal support of PM Netanyahu and President Abbas” is excellent and very helpful: if they can each relate to each other on a human level and discuss and show how each of them are hurting and what they feel in a sympathetic way, it would be very healing. Palestinians who meet Israelis in US youth summer camps report happily that it is the first time they have been able in their lives to relate to Israelis as equals and friends.

      So thank you also for your work that you mentioned on those programs, which must be enjoyable and enlightening for you.

      My main question to you is about the challenge the international community faces in achieving such a program. President Obama, the State Department, and international NGOs have all been advocating for Israelis and Palestinians to dialogue formally and care about each other like you say. What if the Israeli state and most of Israeli society were very uninterested in dialoging with Palestinian society in an open minded way?

      Further, Israelis do interact with and hear the views of Palestinians – often as guards, soldiers, settlers, readers of papers like the Times of Israel, Haaretz, and as internet users. Yet despite familiarizing themselves with Palestinians’ situation, Israelis have overwhelmingly supported the conduct of the attack on Gaza. As a writer for the Times of Israel, you must be well acquainted with whether many Israelis are open to a left wing, pro-peace viewpoint and to seeing Palestinian Israelis as full and equal members of their society. Certainly there have been figures like Rabin who worked for peace – and he paid for that.

      In case Israeli society and its government are deeply and sincerely uninterested in having an open, sympathetic, and respectful dialogue with Palestinians that would treat all people as having equal worth, what do you think the international community should do? What if Israeli society agrees to host national dialogue programs, and the overall response from Israeli society after the programs is a reaffirmation of their government’s harsh approach toward Palestinians?

      • Larrysturn
        August 11, 2014, 9:22 am

        Hello back W. Jones.
        Appreciate both your support and your question.
        No easy answers.
        Some people on all sides will not engage and may never feel it necessary to make peace with the other. There is a Wall, whether you call it a security barrier or an isolation wall, in fact it is illegal for Israelis to enter into many Palestinian areas of the West Bank. There is another wall, not of cement or wire but of emotion that underwrites a broad policy of Palestinian anti-normalization. It may not be possible for America or the international community or the UN to engineer peace between Palestinians and Israelis today. But they can support a large scale ongoing People to People Dialogue Program that opens a door and begins a new and unstoppable track two process that will gather steam as it evolves and ultimately require Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to the negotiating table to consider and resolve the final status issues sufficiently enough to agree to Two secure states for the two ancient peoples of the Holy Land.
        Shalom-Salaam-Peace,
        Larry Snider

      • W.Jones
        August 11, 2014, 12:08 pm

        Dear Larry,

        Thank you for your reply. My main question is: <b?What should the international community and human rights organizations do if Israeli society is deeply uninterested in the "People to People Dialogue Program" you mention?

        As you correctly point out, some people are not interested in engaging in a way that treats others as having equal worth and seeks equality, nor do they feel compelled to do so. If Israeli society doesn’t want to, should the international community compel them to engage in a national dialogue forum?

        I understand the value and importance of people dialoging in a respectful way if they want to achieve peace, and that is why I appreciate your efforts.

        Nonetheless, (1) the international community, the US State Department, US AID, and NGOs already desire, fund, support, and offer national dialogue programs,
        (eg. The U.N. “Civil Societies in Dialogue: Israel / Palestine program”, “Face to Face” with the Interreligious Coordinating Council, the U.S. Hands of Peace dialogues, the U.S. Institute of Peace dialogues, etc.)
        (2) Israelis do engage and talk with both Israeli and Occupied Palestinians in a broad range of settings – from markets, workplaces, Israeli settlements (eg. in Hebron), and their military service in the territories, Israelis have considered Palestinian views on major issues like the attacks on Gaza, the mass expulsion of 1948, the settlements, whether Israeli Palestinians should have equal rights, etc.

        As a result, I am sure that the Israeli government has had a chance to decide how much it wants to promote those programs, and Israelis have decided how much they wish to participate in them, and how much they support Israeli policies and Palestinians’ human rights. Please correct me if I am mistaken (and I would prefer to be), but 90% of Israelis supported their government’s brutal assault on Gaza, the leftwing peace camp is declining, and attitudes among young Israelis are becoming less tolerant.

        To test whether your People to People Dialogue Program will succeed, consider this: You run an excellent peace project, have interacted with many Israelis and heard their views, and participated in many dialogue programs. Let’s say that you write to 500 Israeli civil society organizations and state agencies inviting them to a people to people dialogue program. In fact, if you believe this is the answer, you should do it.

        After sending out all those invitations, how many Israelis do you expect will participate in the program? 1000 in a population of several million? And what topics and discussions will the forum tolerate? (Palestinians are not even allowed to memorialize the Nakba.) With so few Israelis opposing their government’s Gaza attack, how much positive, voluntary participation and engagement do you expect?

        This is why I ask: What should the international community and human rights activists do if the Israeli government’s response to the proposal for a National Dialogue is to give it minimal support because it isn’t interested in the Peace Process, and Israeli society gives it minimal participation, because it is uninterested in equality for Palestinians and their rights?

      • RoHa
        August 11, 2014, 2:13 pm

        Here’s an alternative. I don’t entirely agree with it, but it is worth reading.

        link to intifada-palestine.com

    • Mooser
      August 10, 2014, 6:32 pm

      “You know Rabbi, I can never walk in your shoes. I listen and look and participate with my eyes, ears, heart and mind open, but do not believe I can cross certain lines.”

      Oh, not those lines Rabbi, oh that’s allright, but to think of Palestinians as equal human beings? I mean, that’s a line I just can’t cross. Why to do so would be, well, perverted!! It’s against my morality

      • Mayhem
        August 10, 2014, 11:03 pm

        @mooser, there is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel. As long as the Palestinians allow Hamas to speak and act on their behalf they sacrifice their right to be treated as equals in this conflict. The Palestinians have to find new leaders who are not entrenched in inconsolable anti-Zionist dogma.

      • Mooser
        August 11, 2014, 2:01 pm

        ” there is no moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel. As long as the Palestinians allow Hamas to speak and act on their behalf they sacrifice their right to be treated as equals in this conflict.”

        Another words, if it wasn’t for Hamas, Israel would bomb and shell the Palestinians as if they had an army equal to the Israelis! Got it, and thank you for admitting it. “Treated as equals in this conflict, indeed.”

      • Mooser
        August 11, 2014, 2:02 pm

        ” inconsolable anti-Zionist dogma.”

        Sic.

      • RoHa
        August 11, 2014, 2:14 pm

        The Israelis have to find leaders who are not entrenched in Zionist dogma.

    • bryan
      August 11, 2014, 10:21 am

      Larry
      Come Off It.

      Those Hamas rockets are next to useless compared with your gunships, but if you want to stop them, why not stop the occupation? Similarly those terrible tunnels, so reminiscent of the Warsaw sewers, would disappear overnight, if you eased (let alone stopped) the occupation. And please don’t give us nonsense about the international community encouraging both sides to sit down and talk peace, when your American Zionist community has, over so many decades, hijacked the American government and instructed it that it has a monopoly of the ‘peace process’, but must get Israeli government authorisation for any overture, and that it must never offer anything that could even halfway approach an acceptable peace. Please don’t accuse the international community of delegitimising Israel – your government has repeatedly and single-handedly achieved this itself by its steadfast refusal to observe any standards of decency, let alone respect for human rights.

      You surely realise you are utterly wasting your time praying for peace. If you don’t like the idea of BDS then at least put pressure on the American and Israeli governments to back a Hamas-Fatah unity government, and talk to Hamas who are no more terrorists than were the Yishuv, the pre-1967 GOI and the current Netanyahu regime.

    • eljay
      August 11, 2014, 2:18 pm

      >> Larrysturn: I pray and work for peace every day.

      It’s a shame you don’t also pray daily for justice and accountability.

      >> It is a peace that will provide two secure states to the two peoples of our shared Holy Land.

      Two states for two “peoples”:
      – Israel – the secular and democratic state of and for all citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from the geographic region it comprises; and
      – Palestine – the secular and democratic state of and for all citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from the geographic region it comprises.

      Yes? Or might you be praying for Israel as a supremacist “Jewish State” – a state primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews?

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