Israel, Gaza, and the Goldstone Report: A Call for Self-Examination During the High Holy Days

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow 09-23-2009

090923-israel-palestineDuring these days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews are called on to reexamine our own actions -- our "missings of the mark." The emphasis is on OUR sins -- not those of individuals alone, but of the community -- and the sins of ourselves, not of other people, even our enemies. We are also called on not only to confess our misdeeds but also to CHANGE what we do.

In that light, the Israeli government's recent behavior flies in the face of this profound Jewish wisdom. So Jews -- and all others who care for peace -- must act in new ways to turn toward compassion, truth, justice, and peace.

Against the consensus of almost all decent and democratic opinion in the world, the present Israeli government has:

1. Continued the blockade of civilian goods from entering Gaza, imposing malnutrition, homelessness, abysmal poverty, and despair on its people;

2. Denounced the Goldstone report on the commission of probable war crimes by BOTH Hamas and the Israeli government during and since the Gaza War;

3. Continued to destroy Palestinian homes, disrupt Palestinian neighborhoods, and insert Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem;

4. Continued sending more settlers into the Palestinian West Bank.

I want to say a bit more about the Goldstone report. Before Goldstone, it had smelly origins

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