I write this column as Operation Protective Edge nears its 20th day. The FAA and most European Governments have suspended passenger and cargo flights to Israel because of some shrapnel that hit a house near Ben Gurion airport. The cost in human life, Israeli and Palestinian tears at my heart.
While we watch the tacit anti-Semitism of the anti Israel movement become overt anti-Semitism, for the first time in decades the world’s, including the majority of the Arab world’s governments are remaining silent. Some commentators say they think the Arab governments are hoping Israel will eliminate Hamas and Islamic Jihad as the Egyptians are trying to do.
Israel and her government are far from perfect. Like the leadership of any nation it acts out of its perceived self interest. As a Reform Jew who has lived in Israel and visits regularly there is much about Israeli policy that I disagree with, at times even vehemently. Similarly as an American there are American actions and policies I disagree with, at times even vehemently.
But I NEVER question Israel’s legitimacy as a sovereign nation. I mourn those who are killed in her defense. I celebrate her triumphs and resiliency. I take comfort in knowing there is a place I can go and know I am part of a Jewish majority.
I am not praying for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. I am praying for a true and complete peace that honors the hopes, dreams and aspirations of everyone who lives between Lebanon and Egypt and between Syria or Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea.
It may take until Messianic times for my prayers to come to pass. But like Maimonides I pray: “that even though the Messianic period may tarry, I still believe that this kind of peace is possible.
Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld