August 16, 2006

One million Jews, one opinion?

This article in the Mercury News was posted to the Just Peace list recently. It's by a Lebanese Jew, Henri Picciotto, who is more than a little put out that voices of Jewish dissent are not being adequately represented with regard to the Israeli bombardment of his country.
There is a saying "two Jews, three opinions." Now we are told "1 million Jews, one opinion."

In fact, our community is profoundly divided:

• Hundreds, if not thousands, of Jews all over the country have demonstrated to demand an end to the bombing of Gaza and Lebanon. In one of these demonstrations, 17 Jewish protesters were arrested in an act of civil disobedience.

• In the past few days, thousands of Jews have signed a petition demanding that the United States intervene to stop the wanton killing of Lebanese civilians by the Israeli war machine.

• Jewish organizations that sponsor such demonstrations and petitions, such as Jewish Voice for Peace (on whose board I serve), are experiencing exponential growth. Jews are looking for ways to express their outrage at the actions of the Israeli government, and of the blind support accorded by the Jewish establishment in this country.

We are appalled by the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli cities, just as we were the earlier attacks by Israel on Lebanese cities. We mourn the loss of Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese lives equally. We are outraged by the destruction of Lebanese airports, roads and bridges, the bombing of homes and private cars, the killing of children, and the other horrors visited by the Israelis on their neighbors.

It is this kind of past Israeli behavior that gave birth to both Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that have strengthened immeasurably in recent weeks. Israeli intransigence has made Israel a pariah state, and is the biggest enemy of all the people of the Middle East -- Arabs and Israelis alike.
OI don't like blanket denunciations of the violence "on both sides" as if they are equal but I agree with the general tenor of the article.


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