"Hundreds of people gather in the center of town in Jerusalem for a pro-tolerance protest, organized by Tag Meir. MKs, including Nitzan Horowitz and Isaac Herzog, are in attendance.The event is “a dam against hatred,” Herzog says.“We will not let the forces of darkness overtake our life,” he adds.Rabbi Benny Lau, a human rights activist, reads Psalms and asks the crowd not to applaud out of respect for the teenagers.“No to Violence! No to Racism! No to Revenge! That is NOT the Jewish way,” the organization posts on its Facebook description of the event."
Thursday, 3 July 2014
A free society : we should be proud
Despite the focus of the non-Jewish media on the recent Israeli anti-Arab violence in Jerusalem, undertaken by zealots within the community, this is of course undertaken by a tiny minority of Israelis and Jewish people. I agree that anti-Arab extremist postings or beliefs by Israelis is wrong & needs to be condemned in the strongest terms. As we've said before, on this blog and elsewhere, the focus for Israel is to punished the perpetrators of the murder of 3 boys and to also punish the 'brains' behind these terrorists activities - i.e. Hamas. The war is with these terrorists; the response may be limited to arresting the people responsible and limited action against Hamas. The decision is of course the Israeli government's to make. We should note, however, that in the longer term this matter will keep coming up, until Hamas is defeated in battle or they renounce terrorism and lay down their arms.
Another fab thing : Israel does have a vibrant and free civil society, there will always be those ready to tackle anti-Arab or Palestinian rhetoric or violence, even if this is not matched by the other side to this conflict. Israelis are by and large a peaceful people who would, given the opportunity of peace, be content to be left alone to contribute to this world and for the benefit of the whole of humanity, as are Jews of the diaspora. That Israelis and Jews must be forever vigilant and be prepared to defend themselves is a sad reflection, not on Jew or Judaism or Israel, but on the world in which we live. What was has been noticeable was that every single prayer rally and demo, during the days when the boys were missing, were all peaceful, spiritual and moving events. Last night over 1,000 Israelis attended a rally yesterday for tolerance and peace. Copied and pasted from the times of Israel 'live feed':