News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:
The timing of the approval of the regulation bill relates to the pending evacuation of the illegal outpost of Amona, which based on the High Court's verdict must happen by December 25. Earlier today (November 14) the High Court dismissed the state's request to delay the evacuation any further.
On the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, we remember the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who perished. Let us resolve to continue working to advance peace and security.
Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av), which is observed beginning the evening of August 13th this year, is a fast day commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. The fast day of Tisha B’Av is sometimes compared to that of Yom Kippur: whereas the fast of Yom Kippur is one which is intended to restore and elevate us through the process of repentance, the fast of Tisha B’Av is considered the saddest day on the Jewish calendar because it commemorates hatred and apathy causing the destruction of that which is most precious. The Talmud explains that the second Temple was destroyed because, while people were behaving abominably, the leaders of the community stood by and said nothing.
This year, don't stand by while right-wing Israeli leaders pass laws that silence peace activists. It is those who speak out who will bring peace and security to Israel, and it is those who wish to silence them who threaten Israel’s future.
This year, help APN and Peace Now fight back against the silence and help us secure that which is most precious for Israel: peace.
This Sunday, thirty days after Passover begins, there is another holiday – one almost no one has heard of. This holiday is called “Pesach Sheni” – second Passover- and has no celebrations, no special services, no seder. Yet, perhaps we should consider reviving it.
Originally, it appears in the Bible because there were a number of people who were, for reasons out of their control, unable to celebrate the Passover a year after leaving Egypt. Upset that they would be unable to celebrate, they complained to Moses, and were instructed to observe it a month later, just for one day.
Second Passover is the holiday of second chances.
Last week, I received an email from Tikkun Magazine crowing, “Major American Jewish Leader Changes his
Mind About Israel.” Rabbi David Gordis, who has served in an astonishing number of major American Jewish
institutions, reflected on his years of love and advocacy for Israel, and on the rightward trend in Israeli
policies. He wrote, “sadly, after a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in
every important way: Israel has failed to realize its promise for me. A noble experiment, but a failure.”
My heart sank. Many of us engaged in advocacy for Israel no doubt share Rabbi Gordis’ discontent with the trajectory of public affairs in Israel. Clearly there is reason to be troubled. Extremism has become embedded throughout every level of Israeli society. The occupation, and the racism that has grown from it, are alarming.
But, while I am sympathetic to your feelings of near-despair, Rabbi Gordis, I beseech you: don’t give up; Israel can’t afford to lose you.
APN's Rabbi Alana Suskin and her co-panelist Dov Waxman speak at Open Hillel's teach-in about the Jewish tradition of dissent and the changing views of Israel as regards the occupation among American Jews
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