14 July 2009

American Rabbis Protest For Palestine

On a roll here, another good story today. American Rabbis have called for a "Jewish Fast For Gaza" to take place on the 3rd Thursday of each month, from sunrise to sunset. The first is schedule for July 16th. They are condemning what they call "collective punishment" of the population of Gaza. God bless them for doing this:
A group of 13 American rabbis from across the religious spectrum has launched an initiative called ",Ta'anit Tzedek - Jewish Fast for Gaza," and plans on holding a mass water-only fast on the third Thursday of each month, lasting from sunrise to sunset.

The first such fast is scheduled for this Thursday, July 16.

Those behind Ta'anit Tzedek say seeks to end the Jewish community's silence over Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza. The initiative it is not affiliated with any organization or institution, but it counts Reform, Reconstructionist, Orthodox and Conservative rabbis amongst its numbers.

The inspiration for the scheme, led by rabbis Brian Walt, former executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America and Brant Rosen of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois, is taken from the Jewish tradition of holding a communal fast in times of crisis. A fast can be both "an expression of mourning and a call to repentance," the group's Web site says.

Ta'anit Tzedek began with a commitment by a minyan of rabbis to engage in a fast to support relief efforts, call for a lifting of Israel's blockade of Gaza and support all efforts toward a substantive resolution to the humanitarian crisis there.

According to Rabbi Rosen, "we oppose the Israeli blockade of Gaza and realized that it was not fair to deny a person enough food to eat - it's just not basic human decency."

On the Web site, Rabbi Rosen declared, "We condemn Hamas's targeting of Israeli civilians," in reference to Hamas's shooting of rockets and mortars at civilians living in the South, but continued, "it is immoral to punish an entire population for the actions of a few… Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people in Gaza amounts to nothing less than collective punishment." source