Last week, I was one of several rabbis from a range of religious denominations who met with a senior Israeli diplomat at the Israeli Embassy. We were there to deliver a letter asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel plans to construct a new settlement in the E1 zone. Such a new settlement would not only create a major obstacle to a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict, but would exacerbate tensions between Jews and Palestinians and inevitably lead to the violation of the human rights of Arabs living in that area. The letter was signed by more 700 rabbis and cantors representing well over 100,000 American Jews.How exactly is the building of Jewish housing a violation of the human rights of Arabs? Barring Jews from living anywhere however is clearly a violation of the human rights of Jews.
And just last fall, I joined a rabbinic-led campaign that stood up to anti-Muslim hatred with a true Jewish message. What spurred us into action was the fact that Jewish “activist” Pamela Geller had raised money to place an ad in the New York and Washington subway systems that read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” It continued, “Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” Now it is hard for me to be ashamed by an ad that ends with “support Israel,” but I was more than ashamed; I was outraged. Within weeks a counter ad appeared that read: “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.” The “love” ad made New York magazine’s 2012 list of Fifty Reasons to Love New York.Rabbi, how about you stand up to muslim Jew-hatred or any other muslim hatred of non-muslims? That would take true courage and moral clarity as opposed to attacking Pam Geller.