Thinking About the President and the Prime Minister
Many of us, either from the pulpit or around our Shabbat tables, will be thinking out loud about what President Obama said in his State Department speech yesterday, what the news will report on the meeting of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama today, and about our feelings about Israel.
One Middle East scholar said Obama went farther than any of his predecessors in outlining a vision for a Palestinian state.
“It is very significant,” Robert Danin of the Council on Foreign Relations told Reuters. “For the first time, the United States has articulated what the territorial basis for a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians should be and explicitly identified the pre-Six Day War line as the basis for the borders. This has never been done before… This is a significant development and this is, in effect, an embrace of the Palestinian position on borders.”
You may or may not agree with Mr. Danin. In his op-ed today in Ha’aretz about Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Rabbi Peter Knobel concludes as follows:
“While we will always have differences about how best to bring aboutpeace between Israel and the Palestinians, the settlements, the role ofreligion, and many other things, the one thing about which there is nodifference is ahavat yisrael -the love of the people, the land and thestate. We in the Reform Movement stand in solidarity with Israel asmembers of a complex, loving and feisty Jewish family. Reform Judaismunder both its current and future leadership will always be one ofIsrael’s strongest supporters. Our Zionism can never be separated fromour Reform Jewish institutions, identity, practice, values oraesthetics.”
Last week Rabbi Yoffie outlined his own views, “Why the doves are wrong and the hawks are too.”
Below you will find a series of links to Israeli and American Jewishviews and news that might help inform your thinking this Shabbat.
In the preface to his book Fear No Evil, Natan Sharansky speaks of hisgeneration. “The path to liberation could not be found in denying ourroots while pursuing universal goals. On the contrary; we had to deepenour commitment, because only he who understands his own identity and hasalready become a free person can work effectively for the human rightsof others.”
- Ha’aretz: A sacred commitment, by Rabbi Peter Knobel
- RJ Blog: Why the doves are wrong – and the hawks are too, by Rabbi Eric Yoffie
- Ha’aretz: Netanyahu must look to the future if he really wants peace, by Yoel Marcus
- New York Jewish Week: Looking to Bibi, As the World Closes In, by Gary Rosenblatt
- Jerusalem Post: Livni: PM is jeopardizing Israel’s relationship with US
- RJ Blog: Celebrating Reform Zionism for the Sake of Heaven by Rabbi Daniel Allen
- Jewish Council for Public Affairs: JCPA Praises President Obama’s Commitment to Freedom, Peace, and Security for all in Middle East