Magazine article Tikkun

Solidarity with Palestinian Activists

Magazine article Tikkun

Solidarity with Palestinian Activists

Article excerpt

I HAVE SPENT MANY YEARS WORKING TO PROMOTE the understanding of difference; being involved with identity-based groups of which I am a member to foster our rights and learning from that model to be an ally for others who find themselves mistreated or ignored by society. I see these roles as connected- identity matters to me only as a means to understand and therefore to combat oppression, putting into action my interpretation of Hillel's notion that if I am not for myself (and people who are like me), no one will be for me, but if I am only for myself and my "kind," what indeed am I? It is in the role of an ally to the people of Palestine that I have felt called to get involved with campaigns that support nonviolent grassroots strategies to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I believe my greatest contribution to tikkun olam has been my participation in the rabbinic cabinet of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that supports the radical notion that "inspired by Jewish tradition [we must] work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals." You can learn more about them atwww.jewishvoiceforpeace.org. I have also signed on to some of the campaigns they sponsor in support of the Palestinian movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

Having long decried the violent means that some Palestinians have used to call attention to their plight, we in the American Jewish community cannot now turn our backs on a Palestinian movement that uses nonviolence to work for peace. …

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