For personal reasons (health of a family member - all is fine now, thanks), I have not yet commented on what is happening in Israel. I have only begun to reach out to friends in Israel to see how they are doing (if they have not already shared on Facebook. I feel awful. And I am outraged at the woefully inadequate and barely accurate coverage in most of the American media, both liberal and conservative. I am not sure I am ready to respond yet - too busy trying to come up with ways to talk about this with middle schoolers (suggestions are welcome!). For now, I want to share the response of the Reform Movement. This is posted on RJblog, the Reform Movement's Blog.
A rash of stabbings and other terror attacks on Israeli citizens have increased alarmingly over the past few days.
The World Union for Progressive Judaism, proudly headquartered in Jerusalem, condemns these acts. The cruelty of those who attack innocent civilians and children on their way home from school seems to know no limit.
The WUPJ mourns with the families and loved ones of the victims of these latest terrorist attacks.
During dark times like these, there is a powerful urge to hate and to inflict collective punishment on “the other.” However, we cannot let extremists set the agenda for the rest of us. There will only be peace once the fundamentalists no longer perpetuate this cycle of hate.
The worldwide Reform Movement continues to pray for an end to the violent acts, meant to plant fear in the hearts of every Israeli citizen.
These acts will not deter us from our efforts to strengthen the Jewish people and the State of Israel. We must not allow fear to rule us.
Later this week the WUPJ international leadership will gather in Jerusalem to express solidarity with the citizens of Jerusalem and Israel. The meetings of the World Zionist Congress will continue as planned with a full complement of Reform Jewish leaders from around the globe. Our brothers and sisters in Israel need – and deserve – our support in these challenging times. They are not alone.
Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, WUPJ President
Carole Sterling, WUPJ Chair
Dr. Philip Bliss, WUPJ Advocacy Committee Chair
Watch an in-depth analysis of the latest developments in Israel by Professor Paul Liptz, WUPJ Anita Saltz International Education Center’s Director of Education here.