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Brit Tzedek v'Shalom

Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace

Brit Tzedek vShalom says attack wont work

Intermountain Jewish News

January 9, 2009

Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav of B’nai Havurah and the local Brit Tzedek v’Shalom chapter staunchly supports Israel’s right to defend itself.

“Israel has an inherent right to stop the rockets –– but I can’t point to any example in Israel’s wars” where a prolonged incursion “has worked,” he says. “I’m sure other people can, but I can’t.”

Booth-Nadav also believes the current assault on Gaza will leave Israel more vulnerable to attacks.

“I’m concerned about the longterm security of doing this,’ he says. “While I think Israel has tried almost everything possible, I don’t see an end to this and I don’t see it adding to Israel’s security. And I hope I’m wrong.”

Brit Tzedek member Mark Belkin also affirms Israel’s right to defend itself, but feels the Gaza assault will compromise Israel’s long-term security.

“The best way to achieve security for Israel is to negotiate a viable two-state solution, with a Palestinian state as their neighbor,” he says.

“We’ve seen that there’s no military solution to this conflict, only a political and negotiated solution.

“The current course gets us into a vicious cycle of violence. Violence begets violence, which bolsters the extremists.”

The forces of moderation in Gaza must be cultivated to the advantage of both the Israelis and Palestinians, he says.

Belkin suggests instituting a “ceasefire with teeth” that would be monitored by the international community.

Brit Tzedek v’ Shalom “condemns Hamas,” he says, “but as US Jews we don’t believe military operations are in the best interest of Israel or the US.

“Without an immediate ceasefire, hundreds of more lives will be lost on both sides, further isolating Israel in the world community.”

The goal is negotiating a permanent cessation of rocket attacks by Hamas, he says. “And we should begin those negotiations now, with the goal of lifting the Gaza blockade.”

Dr. Evelyn Hutt, a geriatrician and Brit Tzedek activist, says incursion will derail future negotiations. She also feels it is “naive” to assume that everyone associated with Hamas advocates the annihilation of Israel.

“I believe there are elements within Hamas with whom you could negotiate,” she says. “But I don’t think the way to get rid of Hamas is for Israel to bomb the hell out of them.

“We — Israelis, Jews –– are entitled to fight  back, but it’s not going to work,” Dr. Hutt says.

Rabbi Booth-Nadav feels the majority of Jews desire a ceasefire that can lead to “real and lasting” peace. If Israel can accomplish this through her present actions, he would be satisfied.

But right now he is concerned for Israelis who have died and may yet lose their lives, and a 15-year-old Palestinian girl who had her legs blown off in Gaza.

“It says in Genesis be-tzelem el-him, ‘every human being is created in the image of G-d,’” Booth-Nadav says. “It doesn’t say just Jews are created in G-d’s image but not the people we’re fighting against.

“Jews who read this realize it includes innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. Over 600 Gazans have been killed, and we have no idea how many have been injured.”

 

 

 

 

 

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