An open letter to all of my progressive friends

Nov 24, 2023 | History, Voices

Below find excerpts from this New York Daily News “Be My Guest” column by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, a contributing editor to Religion News Service, where he writes “Martini Judaism: for those who want to be shaken and stirred.” His new book, “Tikkun Ha’Am: Repairing Our People: Israel and the Crisis of Liberal Judaism,” will be published by Wicked Son in January 2024.

On Oct. 7, the Jewish people suffered our greatest losses in a single day since the Holocaust. More than 1,200 Jews and others were murdered; babies killed and burnt; our women were raped and paraded naked through the streets of Gaza; more than 200 people, from a variety of countries, were taken hostage.

Where were you?

You were either silent, or you said there was wrong on both sides…

[Rabbi Salkin continues]

But, when Israel fought back, you went ballistic. You criticized Israel’s response. You ignored how Hamas operates — placing its operatives in schools and hospitals, deliberately using its people as human shields. You called for a ceasefire but not a release of the hostages. You did not demand that the Red Cross be permitted to visit those hostages. [emphasis added by People for Peace]

[Rabbi Salkin continues]

There has been an explosion of antisemitism in this country — masquerading as pro-Palestinian support. “From the river to the sea” is not a cry for a two state solution (which many Jewish organizations have supported). Rather, it is a call for genocide against the Jews of Israel. When crowds at Columbia University chanted “Long live intifada!” do you not realize that this means the spreading of violence against — not Israelis, which would be bad enough — but against Jews?

[Rabbi Salkin continues with many example of Jewish activism and heroism in support and defense of civil and human rights, and then concludes]

But, again, we need to ask the first question that anyone asked in the Bible, the question that God asked Adam in the Garden of Eden: “Where are you?”

View at the New York Daily News (Pay Wall).