December 9, 2023 ()
On behalf of our congregant and retired Director of Congregational Learning Rabbi Mark Levine:
Israel is fighting a war of self-defense to protect itself from Hamas, a terrorist group that is dedicated to killing Jews and exterminating the Jewish State. Their horrifying attack on October 7th, and the recent remarks of their leaders that they will try again and again to achieve their goal, must spur us to action. The Torah commands us to take action: “Do not stand idly by when the blood of your neighbor is being shed.” (Leviticus 19:16)
In addition to giving money to support Israel during this war, we must use our voices to defend Israel’s right to self-defense. One arena that needs our immediate help is the campaign to call attention to Hamas’ vile tactic of using human shields to protect themselves. Hamas embeds their weapons and troops in and around civilian structures, such as schools, mosques, and hospitals. When, as inevitably happens, civilians are killed or injured, Hamas and its supporters accuse Israel of war crimes. This cynical ploy has succeeded for the past decade, and it has inflamed hatred and anti-semitism around the world. In light of the massacre on 10/7 and the existential threat Israel is facing, this inhumane tactic must be stopped. Recently, the Israeli military has provided evidence that Hamas has built a large military complex beneath Shifa Hospital. From this command center, the terrorists manage attacks on Israel. We must raise our voices and demand that the hospital be inspected by neutral parties to determine if Israel’s claim is correct. Please write your representatives in Congress and demand that they call for an inspection of Shifa Hospital to determine if it is being used as a military base for terrorism. Write your own letter or copy the sample below.
Dear [Senator, Representative]
I am writing about the war in Gaza. As an American Jew, I am extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism here and abroad. I believe that much of this hatred is ignited and inflamed by the terrorist strategy that uses Palestinian civilians as human shields and then cynically criticizes Israel when innocents are killed. Sadly, the media enables this reprehensible tactic by accepting unverified statistics from the terrorist group that do not distinguish between civilian and terrorist deaths or injuries. Recently, Israel provided evidence of this barbaric, repugnant strategy. In a briefing for reporters of international media outlets, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Hamas has several underground complexes under Shifa — the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip — that are used by the terror group’s leaders to direct attacks against Israel. I encourage you and your colleagues to call for an immediate inspection of the hospital to determine if Israel’s claim is correct. If it is, then the facility becomes a legitimate military target and must be evacuated.