...to defend the right of Israel to exist and defend itself; to create a place of peace and coexistence where no one is vilified, neither Jewish nor Palestinian; to share in the suffering of all who suffer, including Jews and Palestinians; to stand against the evil and hatred of terrorists, whose eyes are blind to the very will of the One whose name they blaspheme; to stand with the refugees, the wounded, the abducted, the murdered, the children, the elderly, the teenagers, the soldiers; and to walk with the One whose tears continue to fall, again and again, for the suffering and the sin of a world where people cannot walk together in peace and in love.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson here from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic studies, American Jewish University, the Holy Day of Sim Torah...has just ended. And yet again, Jews step out of their holiday to the news that there has been an attack on the state of Israel. This time, an attack of thousands of rockets launched by Hamas, apparently some attack from the North by Hezbollah as well. There have been casualties in the hundreds among Israelis. There have been Israelis taken prisoner by the terrorists and dragged away from their families, away from their lives to be held as hostages. For God knows what. In all of this, the level of destruction and fear has been awful. Terrorists paragliding into Israel, drove through fences, knocked down barricades, people who were civilians, elderly women, children, the sick, were shot and gunned down in front of their homes in cold blood.
Families were ripped apart and watched each other slaughtered. Let us be clear about this. This is terrorism of the worst kind. Deliberate murder meant to inspire terror among a civilian population and let it be noted that unique among the nations of the world, this isn't about changing a policy. This is about a eradicating an entire nation and an entire people. It's perfectly reasonable to criticize a country's policies, some aspects of its choices, but to claim that you want to wipe out an entire nation is unprecedented and hints at the fact that this comes not from political issues, but from sheer antisemitic hatred and bigotry. And so the civilized world has to rally together, and that means all people of goodwill. The fact is Israel and Israelis are not going away. The fact is that we will defend ourselves as we have to. And I now want to call upon you, Jews and non-Jews from wherever you are, to speak out in support of the right of Israel to defend itself in the interests, to not vilify an entire people, neither all Palestinians nor all Israelis, but to be able to continue to reach out to people who actually desire peace and coexistence,
For those people there has to be a place. And in the meantime, the Jewish people live. The state of Israel will do what it needs to do with the support of the United States, the American Jewish community, and God willing, your support.