Jewish Voice for Peace sent out the email below today, from Eran Efrati. The headline was: “I’m asking you as an Israeli–we need you to tell Israeli leaders you won’t accept racism, you won’t accept human rights violations, you won’t accept occupation and the killing of civilians.”
The email links to a JVP letter that the organization plans to publish in Haaretz and the Forward. That letter opens with this statement:
We Must Face the Root Cause of this Crisis.
Our unshakeable commitment to freedom and justice compels us to acknowledge that the crisis in Israel and Palestine is rooted in the idea that Jewish lives matter more than Palestinian lives.
Here is the Efrati letter:
My name is Eran Efrati, I am Jewish, a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces, and a 7th generation Jerusalemite.
What I’ve seen in Israel over the last few weeks is beyond anything I have witnessed in my life.
I’ve seen terrified Palestinian children in Hebron and Halhul, sitting on the ruins of their homes.
I’ve seen mobs in the street chanting “death to Arabs” and pulling out Palestinian men from their stores to beat them as other Israelis stood idly by. I’ve seen soldiers lined up at the Gaza border, ready at a moment’s notice to invade.
And now, like you, I’ve seen the climbing death toll in Gaza, over 100 dead and some 500 injured –all by Israeli missiles, with no end in sight.
As much as it pains me to say it, I don’t think I can do a lot about it. But I believe you can.
American voices – and especially Jewish American ones – are probably the most critical voices in the world right now.
We need you to tell us – Israeli politicians, the Israeli media, Israeli society – that you can’t support this. That you can’t support human rights violations. That you can’t support racism. That you won’t support the idea that Jewish lives matter more than Palestinian lives.
Join me and sign this Open Letter now—if they get another 10,000 signatures, Jewish Voice for Peace will take out ads in Haaretz and the Jewish Forward with our message.
We know the roots of this are long and deep. But the truth behind this latest assault has finally coming: as J.J. Goldberg wrote in The Forward, the Israeli government lied, and created this situation.
For weeks, the government knew that the three kidnapped teenagers were dead. But they instituted a gag order on the media, lied to Israelis and the world, and falsely claimed the mass arrests and collective punishment of Palestinians was all in the hopes of finding the teenagers alive.
In other words, their chosen response was to kidnap the mind of an entire country.
From the very beginning, this has been about punishing Palestinians. From the beginning, the government has been willing to manipulate and use its own people for that goal.
Overhead, I hear airplanes headed to Gaza all day long, and I know there’s nothing I can do to stop them. And now we all know the lengths they’ve gone to justify this attack, and how fully Israeli society has bought into it. And I don’t think we can stop it from within.
But I think you can.