Love of peace requires us to support the legitimate aspirations of the Jewish people and the Palestinian people for national self-expression.
- Rabbi Bradley Artson
Silence is assent. How often do we face acts of injustice or words of callousness with silence? These instances summon us to choose a side. We can either verbalize our opposition immediately, or —through our silence — we become allies of the oppression or bigotry we abhor. There is no neutrality. Silence is assent.
So we speak: Every nation has the right to protect its citizens from attack. As Israel defends its people, we pray for success in beating back Hamas's missiles, deliberately stored and launched among Palestinian civilians and deliberately aimed at Israeli civilian centers, and hold in our hearts the Israeli and Palestinian civilians whose lives are at risk. May the One who is peace grant us all peace.
Love of peace requires us to support the legitimate aspirations of the Jewish people and the Palestinian people for national self-expression. That same love of peace calls us to condemn kidnapping and murdering innocent teenagers, Palestinian or Israeli, and to condemn deliberately targeting civilians. That commitment to peace leads us to demand of the Palestinians: recognize the legitimacy of Israel and stop terror attacks and missile launches. It leads us to turn to Israel to rein in its extremists, to roll back the settlements, to continue to pursue peace negotiations. What is most godly about humanity is our knowledge of good and evil. That awareness, and our ability to act on our own moral impulse, represents an opportunity and a challenge. Today, we must all act with such bountiful justice that God can respond, “Behold, it is good!”
And, surely, nothing is more good than peace/shalom/salaam: God's most precious gift, and our most worthy aspiration. "Seek peace" when the opportunity presents itself. "Pursue it" when its attainment seems impossible. The work of peacemaking is holy work; in all moments, seek peace.