I am not the type of person who joins any group, in fact, it is doubtful if I would become a member of any group that would accept me. However, I decided to join a local temple( or synagogue or shul as I was raised to call it) here in St. Louis. I applied to Shaare Emeth, Temple Israel and the Reform Congregation which allegedly is very “liberal.” For some strange reason neither of these congregations wanted me as a member. Since no one bothered to respond to my desire to join, I can only assume they dislike the stand of this blog towards Israel.
I was raised, and still remain, an East European Socialist Jew who believes that ALL people are entitled to their rights and dignity. I oppose the illegal actions of the Netanyahu government toward my Palestinian brothers and sisters. I oppose seizing land of Palestinians, I oppose violations of international law on the part of successive Israel governments. As long as a single Palestinian has rights denied, so do I. As long as a single Israeli who fights for social justice has her/his rights denied, so do I.
I believe the goal of Israel is to join with other nations of the Middle East in a new Middle Eastern Union which marries the technological success of Israel with talented Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, etc.. I believe such a Union would bring peace to the region. PM Netanyahu would argue that I am a dreamer. Of course, former PM Ehud Olmert offered a fair peace agreement which President Abbas turned down. I am confident Abbas would rush to accept a new version of that proposal.
The essence of the Jewish experience on this planet is that Jews never turn down another Jew who seeks to pray with them. That is how Jews survived two thousand years of persecution. I feel sadness at the behavior of these St. Louis Jews. as a Jew my heart is always open to fellow Jews. I believe that attitude is Jewish.