Time to restore Israel’s honor | AspenTimes.com

Time to restore Israel’s honor

Dear Editor:

The creation of Israel 60 years ago as a sanctuary for the Jewish people is cause for celebration. Israel is a successful nation, which has contributed much to science and technology. It’s fully capable of defending itself with the fourth strongest military in the world. But Israel is still in jeopardy.

Prominent Israeli political, academic, religious, and military leaders believe that Israel’s settlements in the occupied territories are an obstacle to peace that is eroding the country’s security and ability to uphold the principles of democracy and human rights. They’re calling on their government to restore Israel’s moral integrity by ending the occupation of Palestine.

The original obligation of the Israelites was to contribute morality and justice to the world. Israel was to be a light unto nations. The Torah states: “Do not wrong a stranger who resides with you in your land. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens: you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:33-34).

Modern liberal Judaism is characterized by a deep devotion to social equality and justice. In “Human Rights as the secret of Jewish Existence,” Rabbi Michael J. Schwartz writes; “there are things that for the Jew it is forbidden to do … inherit what is not one’s own … ignore the tears of the oppressed … expel one’s neighbors.” Thus Israel’s policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing weigh heavily on the spiritually and socially conscious Jew.

Because of their strong commitment to human rights, many American Jews object to the U.S. policy of supporting the occupation, which offends their conscience and defiles both U.S. and Israeli national integrity. That’s why the American Jewish organization; jstreet.org is pressing for a solution that provides the right of statehood and self-determination for the Palestinian people and relieves Israel of the moral corruption of tyranny.

In celebration of Israel’s birthday and in the spirit of Tikkun Olam; repairing the world, please consider supporting their efforts to restore Israel’s honor and bring peace and justice to the Holy Land.

Sue Gray