The Silence of the Left

Why Liberal Jews Have Lost Their Courage on Israel

For Nevel, the deeper cause of reductive rhetoric among liberal Jews is the principle on which they have based their support for the peace process: that it is in Israel's security interest. "Yes, of course it is," she says, "but we also need to be talking about what is just. That's not a concern you're hearing right now from the Jewish organizations," she says, "even those supposedly on the left."

Americans for Peace Now participated in the Thursday rally, holding up signs pleading, "Yes to Peace, No to Violence," because "We wanted to bring that message to it," explains policy director Mark Rosenblum, "and we agreed that Arafat bears the bulk of the responsibility for the current crisis."

Apportioning blame, however, is not the point, says Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon of Congregation B'Nai Jeshurun, who disagreed with Americans for Peace Now's decision to join the rally. "We are not a united community and to pretend that we are allows the right to climb on every podium and to propose what alternative? To put soldiers back into areas of the occupied territories that they have left? To arm Jewish settlers even more? To go backwards in every way?"

Matalon promises a new round of teach-ins, public programs, and demonstrations at his synagogue and beyond. Events at other progressive congregations are planned as well. "We see now that we have taken too much for granted," Matalon says. "It's time to get back to work."

« Previous Page
New York Concert Tickets