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Commentary on War from URJ VP

12/25/2023 08:56:46 AM


Rabbi Josh Weinberg

As the Israel-Gaza war continues, we will offer for your information commentary from various parties reflecting their personal perspectives. This week's commentary is from Rabbi Josh Weinberg, the Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism and is the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. 

By Rabbi Josh Weinberg

Two weeks ago, I spent a week in Israel which exactly coincided with the temporary ceasefire. It was surreal, tense, and of course full of hope that each day would bring an extension. A few more hours or another day of quiet with no rocket fire and no soldiers being killed. The sight of hostages being returned filled everyone with just a glimmer of hope only to be shattered when Hamas violated the cease-fire. Of course, few were surprised. Hamas has been violating cease-fires for decades and they do so whenever they feel it is the right time and they can get away with it. So, after 9 weeks of fighting it is with a bit of skepticism that many of us view the incessant calls for a ceasefire coming from the U.N. and an array of progressive voices.

Many of us in the Jewish community are feeling strongly about what is happening in Israel and in Gaza. So many of us care deeply about the welfare and the safety and security of the Jewish State and feel a sense of closeness with our extended family members in Israel. As a community, we often exhibit different visions and expressions of that love. Some express that in forms of solidarity with our siblings in Israel while others express their love and concern through criticism of Israel’s response.

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