Don’t assume Boston-area Jews are united in support of Israel
Rabbi Marc Baker, head of Combined Jewish Philanthropies, said at a rally in support of Israel last Wednesday in Copley Square, “We’ll stand together as one people with one heart, just like we’ll do at Mount Sinai in a few days,” conveying his opinion that Boston-area Jews are unified in their unqualified support for the actions of the state of Israel in this moment (“Calls for peace, justice as Mideast violence erupts,” Metro, May 13). In fact, at least as many people, if not more, gathered later that evening outside of the CJP office to express the opposite: outrage at the organization’s spinelessness in failing to condemn apartheid and ethnic cleansing in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.
What Baker was referring to is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, in which the story says that the people of Israel gather to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai. I don’t know which Torah Baker and his colleagues at CJP are receiving, but many of us stand ready to receive the word of justice and solidarity with Palestinians.
Sarah Rose O’Connor
What would we do if rockets targeted New York or Los Angeles?
Much has already been said and written about the latest conflagration consuming Israel and the Palestinians. As has previously been the case, Israel is widely condemned for its response to the rocket barrage targeting population centers in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and southern Israel. Try for a moment, however, to imagine what the massive US response to protect Americans would be if these hundreds upon hundreds of rockets were targeting Washington, New York City, or Los Angeles. With that in mind, before the reflexive condemnation, what would you sanction if you were making the response decisions in Israel?
Think about how we refer to the casualties
The language about the casualties in Israel was misleading in a front-page article last week (“Mideast rocked as violence worsens,” May 13). While the toll since has mounted, the article reported that “67 Palestinians . . . have died” whereas Hamas rockets “killed at least six Israeli civilians.” In fact, 67 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli bombs. Both sides have killed people. The Palestinians didn’t simply die.