Long Island synagogue marks High Holidays with thanks to Israeli soldiers in Gaza war

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This flyer was handed out today at Temple Israel in Great Neck, Long Island. It is more evidence, if any is needed, of the moral deterioration of mainstream American Jewish institutions: They don’t even think twice about passing out militarist propaganda to worshipers at a High Holiday service.

The flyer thanks Israeli soldiers for carrying out Operation Protective Edge a year ago. By any objective measure, this “operation” was a veritable massacre; it killed 2200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including 500 children. In many cases, entire families were wiped out– 89 of them. Seventy-two Israelis also died during the war, all but a handful soldiers.

Temple Israel ought to know how disgusting this kind of appeal is to Jews who are cognizant of and care about Israel’s human rights violations. I’m aware that Temple Israel says on its website that one of its missions is to promote and support Israel, as is the case with all mainstream conservative synagogues. But it really ought to hear and care about  the voices of Jews who say, Just don’t go there, don’t bother with Israel. Give us your service. You’re not supposed to be a political organization.

This is pure conflation of Judaism and Zionism. And it leaves no space for me, or like-minded Jews, who would like to participate in our religion without engaging in odious moral compromises. The last time I attended a service at Temple Israel was nine years ago, I’ve stayed away because I found its politics to be problematic, (a Rabbi wished us all a happy new year and wished suffering on all “enemies” of Israel), apparently nothing much has changed.

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