We recognize Israel’s right to respond to the rocket fire and to defend its soil and its citizens proportionately while making every effort to minimize civilian casualties.
Too many communal and organizational reactions to the present crisis stop there, however, and fail to express the “ands” that complete those thoughts.
And… we grieve for families in Gaza whose innocent children are dying – as many as 15-20 children under age 15 are among the Palestinian fatalities according to the latest news reports.
And… as we condemn the rockets, the terror and the incitement from the Palestinians – we also condemn the incitement, racism and calls for vengeance that have become far too prevalent not simply on the Israeli street but among some of the Israeli and the Jewish people’s leaders.
And… there is ultimately no military solution to the underlying conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples – rooted in a century of conflict, decades of occupation and the fundamental desire of both peoples for one land.
To fail to acknowledge the conflict’s complexity, to fail to recognize human loss on both sides and to offer “you’re either with us or you’re against us” as the only acceptable response no longer reflects where a good portion of Jewish Americans and other friends of Israel stand today.
We strongly disagree with those in the American Jewish community who believe our reaction at this moment should not incorporate these “ands” as well. We take issue with those who say that discussing how to end the violence in the long run is not pro-Israel. Incorporating these thoughts and nuances in our communal reaction will only strengthen the American Jewish community’s relationship with Israel in the long-term.