Jerry Haber and I published our American Jewish statement criticizing the Gaza war in this week’s Jewish Week. As reported previously here, there are nearly 350 signatures including such prominent rabbis and intellectuals as Leonard Beerman, Arthur Waskow, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Tony Judt, Brian Leiter, Shaul Magid, Chana Bloch and Irena Klepficz. The statement was the first one by American Jews criticizing Israel’s savage attack on Gaza from a specifically Jewish context that included references to religious texts and tradition.
Today’s N.Y. Times brings news that Hamas is announcing word of an imminent long-term ceasefire that would significantly open the border crossings and end attacks by Hamas and the IDF against Israel and Gaza respectively. The ceasefire would not free Gilad Shalit, at least not immediately. Though one can presume that if it works that this might be the next stage of negotiations. Israel labels the announcement premature.
It’s unclear how a new rightist Israeli government might impact these developments. Certainly, a Netanyahu government will have little interest in having good relations with Hamas or Gaza and might feel free to tinker with things in such a way that hostilities could easily be renewed. That is why our statement continues to be important.
We intend to promote the statement via an ad in the Hebrew edition of Haaretz and are soliciting donations to do so. It will cost at least $1,500. We hope that you will renew your commitment to the sentiments expressed by the ad by sending a donation via Paypal. We still seek signatories who may sign up via this e mail account.