‘American Jewish voices are most critical in the world’ (to end idea that Jewish lives matter more)

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Eran Efrati
Eran Efrati

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.

Please join me and sign this statement: We oppose the occupation, the bloodshed, the privileging of Jewish lives over others lives.

Eran Efrati
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“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” Even after it came out that the government shamefully manipulated the kidnapped then murdered hitchhikers most of the Jewish public didn’t seem to care. And I really don’t understand the families. Your Pm looks you in the eye and tells you that he will do everything to get your son… Read more »

Sorry I wanted to respond to this writer, but feel very upset about the killing going on in Gaza, especially the helpless children. I think the JVP is doing good work, and trying to get inject some sanity into this madness. I guess it is a good thing they are still optimistic that perhaps the people of Israel might see reason, and stand up to what their out of control government is doing, but so… Read more »

The death count in Israel’s last Gaza massacre (2008-9 Operation Cast Lead) was 1385 dead Palestinians and 13 dead Israelis (four of whom were killed by other Israelis). With the death of the three Israeli teens, it appears Israel is on track to “achieve” a 100 to 1 ratio in deaths. One measure of a military’s morality is whether a country is willing to risk the lives of its own combatants to minimize the seats… Read more »

I got that in a email from JVP yesterday and already signed it.
My suggestion—- in addition and as always—every time you get something like this from JVP or elsewhere –fax it to your politicians—–along with your own comments on it.

this has got to have been the worst article I have read about the Israeli Arab problem. I am/was an American Liberal and have lived in Israel for over 37 years and seen what goes on. Come to downtown Jerusalem and see Arabs walk around in their native dress without fear, but try to walk down in downtown East Jerusalem dressed like a Jew and you will be attacked. The person who wrote the article… Read more »