This morning, I received an email from a congregant expressing anger and frustration. He had just heard CBS News explain that the "situation in Israel and Gaza began yesterday with the killing of a high ranking Hamas leader." His frustration is shared by me and many, many others. What was really behind his anger was a request for what to do next. How should he respond? Well, I recommend writing letters, emails, tweeting on Twitter, sending Facebook messages/links. We need to respond in as many ways as is possible - as long as we are also being fair in our responses. When we feel that others are being inappropriately unfair, we need to take a step back, breathe, and make sure our responses are fair and clear.
I was just on a conference call with the Atlanta Israeli Consul General. Here are some FACTS:
1) Since 2009, 2500 rockets have been fired on the South of Israel (from Gaza).
2) In 2012 alone, 750 rockets have been fired on the South of Israel (from Gaza).
3) In the last 24 hours, 250 rockets have been fired on the South of Israel AND Metro Tel Aviv (from Gaza).
These are facts, not opinions. If we, as Americans (Jews and anyone of any faith) could imagine what would happen if the United States was bombarded with this kind of rocket barrage, could we also imagine what our response would be? Would we be encouraged by World Leaders to just sit back and do nothing? Of course not...we would act. Israel has been under fire for quite some time...and now she is responding - with the support of our U.S. Leaders, as it should be.
If you feel the journalists are not presenting a fair assessment of what is going on - write down specific times/dates of the unfair reporting. Write letters, send emails - outlining exactly when it occurred. Follow the news from a variety of sources (online and offline). NEVER depend on one source - because all of the news sources out there carry a bias.
Friends, may each of us continue to hope and pray for a day when all civilians (Israeli and neighbors) will live in a time of peace. Let us encourage our government leaders to support ALL innocent civilians. Remember, a human being is a human being - and each of us has the right to live in an environment which is safe and in which we may live our lives as we choose.
Pay attention - look, observe and have patience...all of us need this.
Rabbi Erin Boxt