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A Third way to Look at the Flotilla

Many of us have spent the last two days vacillating between anger, fear, frustration and confusion. There is so much that we don’t yet know or understand about what happened off the shore of Gaza.  But what we do know … Read More

By / June 2, 2010

Many of us have spent the last two days vacillating between anger, fear, frustration and confusion. There is so much that we don’t yet know or understand about what happened off the shore of Gaza.  But what we do know is this: When it appears that we must either cast our lot with those who defend Israel, right or wrong, or with those who criticize Israel, right or wrong, our task is to choose a third way. When we are asked to either spin ourselves into a web of contradictions to defend a blockade that may be ineffective and even immoral, or to ignore the threat of an open border with a hostile neighbor intent on destroying Israel, we must insist that there is a third way. When we feel pressured to either minimize the human toll from this tragedy because ein breira – there was no choice, or to equate this incident with terrible atrocities committed by brutal regimes, we are obligated to find a third way. For those of us who are willing to risk being called naïve because we pray with every ounce of strength for peace in Jerusalem, because we still believe that Israel can be a democratic nation that honors pluralism and diversity as well as the dignity and equality of all of its inhabitants, a place in which the Jewish past is honored and its future built, a country in which Jewish culture and language flourish and the spirit receives sustenance, a state that exists side by side with its Palestinian neighbors who are also able to realize their dreams of self-determination, our work is to see through the pain, the despair and the grief, and insist that there is a third way. I pray that we find the strength and moral courage in the coming days to carve out a path that will lead not to black and white condemnations or defenses, but to greater compassion, deeper empathy, and, ultimately to peace.

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