Tonight in New York City, Jewish Voice for Peace had a fundraiser at which several luminaries spoke with moral urgency, beginning with Wallace Shawn. I’ll report on the event tomorrow. For the nonce, here’s Shawn’s statement:
Welcome, friends. I’m Wallace Shawn. This is Deborah Eisenberg.
Here’s my rather simple personal observation. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you’ll disagree. I’ve been out and about in New York quite a bit in the last ten years or so. After the election of 2000, the bombing of the World Trade Center, the invasion of Iraq, the revelation of the crimes of Abu Ghraib, the election of Barack Obama, his first months in office, people were talking, talking, talking. Then, two or three months ago, a great silence fell over the city. In large gatherings and small gatherings, a great silence about the world outside ourselves. The wars continued, the suffering of humanity continued, the injustice continued, but the talking stopped. There seemed to be political gridlock, nowhere to turn, and everyone was stunned. The silence meant there was some sort of depression, almost despair.
The way out of that is to start somewhere, to make one thing better. So tonight we’re proposing to start by trying to make progress on the one issue whose resolution would do more for world peace than any other, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which our role as Americans, and our role as American Jews, for those who are Jews, is so absolutely crucial. Jewish Voice for Peace can help us cut through the despair, and so I’m thrilled to welcome you to this gathering tonight.