Why I'm Going Tonight to Stand with Israel

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Published in JewishBoston.comNovember 19, 2012

Since Israel’s Defense Forces launched an operation to protect Israelis from Hamas rocket attacks six days ago, we have witnessed an outpouring of support for Israel, as well as for the innocent Israelis and Palestinians who are sadly in harm’s way. The Jewish community and its friends have come together during this trying time in solidarity with Israel and Israelis, who for the last twelve years have lived under constant threat of rocket attack.

The last six days have not only brought us horrifying stories of life in bomb shelters and Tzeva Adom (“red alerts” – incoming rocket warnings), but also moving stories of faith when all seems lost, and hope for a brighter and peaceful future, even as rockets rain down across southern and central Israel. Every Israeli is in some way touched by the current situation – whether it’s a family member living in a bomb shelter in Sderot or Be’er Sheva, or for those in the north who sadly must recall the constant barrage of rocket attacks during the 2006 Lebanon War. They have shown us time and again – not just over the last six days, not just over the last twelve years, but throughout Israel’s modern incarnation – that life carries on, despite the challenges and the constant barrage of rockets fired toward them. I often try to place myself in their shoes – and each time I do so, I question whether I would have the inner fortitude to withstand what gets thrown their way, and to still cling to the burning hope for lasting peace.

Tonight, the Boston community has an opportunity to stand in solidarity with Israel and all Israelis.

The CJP/JCRC sponsored rally gives us a voice – a voice that asserts that Israel has the right to defend her citizens, and that Israelis deserve freedom from fear. We have an opportunity to vocally and visibly stand up for Israel and show that we are here for Israelis during these trying times. Tonight is also an opportunity for Israel’s closest friends to come together – Governor Deval Patrick, a staunch supporter of Israel and the U.S.-Israel friendship, will be in attendance.

The rally is also an opportunity for the community to learn more about the current situation and to separate fact from fiction. We have an opportunity to educate ourselves and reconnect with the Israel we know and love. Our ability to convey our personal connection to Israel with our friends, coworkers, and peers during this time creates space for meaningful and productive conversations. Israel needs strong, diverse voices of support now more than ever.