A Statement on War and Peace
X-posted on Bluesky and Facebook in slightly different formats.
I am making this statement as a rabbi and moral leader. My heart is broken that the destruction of precious human life is turning into taking sides. This war is not about Palestinian liberation, nor is it about Israeli deserving to exist. This war is what happens when bad actors pervert justice into violence.
We do NOT glorify murder or terrorism or opportunistic attacks. We do NOT glorify oppression and displacement. God commands us to redeem the captive, comfort the bereaved, mourn the dead, and pray and work every moment for peace, and that is what we are called to do right now. Full stop.
The side that I'm taking here and now and into eternity is that war and killing and terrorism and kidnapping and rape and displacement are evil, no matter who is doing it and ALL of it must be stopped. My side is that ALL people deserve to live in safety and peace, and our work is to create that world ASAP, whether we are Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Israelis, Palestinians, or Americans.
We will not do that by pointing fingers, justifying violence and evil, or supporting bad actors who want revenge. Taking a side, whether Israeli or Palestinian, and refusing to see the humanity in the other, in the divinely-created humans whose needs are struggling with one another is how we got into this situation in the first place. More of the same will only prolong the conflict and I will not be a party to the continuing dehumanization of anyone - Palestinian or Israeli.
We all have a choice to make every day and every time we speak. How many more precious human lives have to end in violence before we decide to work together to create a world that fits and honors and nourishes us all? That is the work I will be doing and the only way I know how to combat this grief.