Hello everyone. Shalom aleichem. I am really glad we're all here together to amplify our united call for b'tzelem elohim (Gen 1:27) - the sanctity of all life, v'ahavta l'reicha kamocha (Lev 19:18) - loving of our neighbor as ourselves, and hashomer achi anochi (Gen 4:9) - for being our siblings' keeper.
We have spent too many weeks now calling out from the depths of our humanity over Israel and Palestine. Too many hours mourning the dead and craving the missing. Too many minutes exasperated over the lack of basic humanitarian aid. Too many seconds terrified that we will hear, or be a victim ourselves of another hate crime targeting Palestinians, Muslims, or Jews. And too many years of decrying Israeli military occupation.
We are sick with exhaustion and with pain.
Baruch ata adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam she'notein laya’ef ko'ach.
Blessed is God, our power that makes for liberation, who gifts the exhausted and distraught energy. Power. Strength.
We are unequivocally for an immediate ceasefire. The Washington congressional delegation, including Sens Murray and Cantwell, must join Rep Jayapal's call for ceasefire now. The continued bombing and missile firing must end. There will never be a military solution to this crisis.
We are unequivocally for a safe and immediate return of all hostages taken by Hamas. The commandment of pidyon shvuyim is paramount in Jewish tradition and we join with the families of the captives calling for their return swiftly and safely. Until then, know that you are not forgotten and we are fighting for the return of your beloveds.
We are unequivocally for an abundant flow of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Full stop. This is the absolute minimum. It is a complete and total absolute misery of a crisis. We will not turn aside. We will not abandon our siblings there. No. Never.
We are unequivocally for an end to the decades-old Israeli occupation. It is a root cause of the violence in Israel/Palestine.
Let us refuse to ignore it or justify it in the Jewish community any longer. We must strongly reject the Christian Zionists and white Christian Nationalists that support and uphold a militarized occupation at the cost of our Jewish community's integrity and our collective humanity.
We are unequivocally united against antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism targeting Palestinian and Arab communities, with anti-Blackness intersecting each of them. All of these forces thrive during periods of escalated and unchecked violence in Israel and Palestine. A ceasefire means deescalating these fatal and traumatizing forces everywhere.
And beyond our words, it is our wide and diverse collective that gives us, the exhausted ones, power.
It is the fact that there is such a wide and diverse collective of individuals and organizations who say it together. Join us.
We rise up for both Palestinian liberation and Jewish safety. They are interdependent and inextricably linked. My safety as a Jew is bound up with the liberation of Palestinians. The liberation of Palestinians is bound up with the safety of Israelis and Jews everywhere. In one breath, b’dibur echad, we say ceasefire and we say return the hostages. We say combat antisemitism and we say end the occupation. We refuse to choose one over the other. Instead we choose peace. We choose justice. We choose one another.
May we together gift each other, we, the exhausted who call on our congressional representatives to act, with energy. With power. With strength. May it be so. Kein y'hi ratzon.