Monday, April 11, 2011

Bradley Burston: An appeal to American progressives

An appeal to American progressives, by Bradley Burston . From Ha'aretz, written in response to the over 120 rockets and mortar shells fired on Israel's south by Gaza terror groups over the weekend.

Burston writes:
The most radical, the most progressive single step that our people can take right now – and in some ways, the most dangerously unpopular – is to be moved to positive action to come to the aid of the civilian victims on not one, but both sides.

Somewhere, we have lost perspective. In war without end, in inhumanity without boundaries, we have lost some of our own humanity. In a kind of affirmative action, driven by the one-sidedness, the chauvinism, and the exclusionism of the pro-Israel establishment, it has been the fate and the practice of some progressive American Jews to support, identify with and help Palestinian victims of the conflict, while relating to Israeli victims with a cold shoulder, or worse, with victim-blaming...

This is a test for progressives.

It is crucially important that the New Israel Fund and other organizations – all of them groups of warm hearts rather than cold shoulders - continue their work for the benefit of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and other non-Jews in Israel. But it is no less important that these groups, be they J Street, Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Meretz USA, Tikkun, the Jewish Voice for Peace and many others, take further steps for Israeli Jews literally under the gun. .

He continues:
There is much more that our people, progressive American Jews, can and should do to demonstrate humanist concern on this side of the border.

This could mean adopting communities, raising money to see to their needs and, in particular, their defense.

It's time. Days like this. This is when it matters

Of course, those of us in the know remember the bleak days of the Carmel fire last year when Jews gathered all over the world to raise funds and pray for the Northern communities of Israel. All but "Jewish" Voice for Peace, which continued their protests against Israel's very existence. Will "Jewish" Voice for Peace ever take tangible steps to protect Israeli civilians? Its not likely, Mr. Burston. Not when they regularly stand side by side and shoulder to shoulder with those who plot the end of the world's only Jewish state.

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