THE CHALLENGE FOR DIASPORA JEWRY: JEWISH VOICES OF HOPE
by Ted Schmidt
We in the resistance have learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the excluded, the ill treated, the powerless, the oppressed and despised… so that personal suffering has become a more useful key for understanding the world than personal happiness.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, April 1945, before his execution by the Nazis
Were I an Arab, and Arab with nationalist political consciousness . . . I would rise up against an immigration liable in the future to hand the country and all of its [Palestinian] Arab inhabitants over to Jewish rule. What [Palestinian] Arab cannot do his math and understand what [Jewish] immigration at the rate of 60,000 a year means to a Jewish state in all of Palestine.
David Ben Gurion Israel’s first Prime Minister
Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.
David Ben-Gurion 1938
You are called to make a difference. On behalf of all Palestinian children, I beg you; I beg you to be in touch with the Jews you know and to continue giving friendship and sympathy to them and to respect them as human beings. They need this more than anyone during these times of big decision-making. Ask them to be more reasonable in their perceptions of Palestinians and not to be automatic enemies of them. And, know, too, that if you are friends with Jews it does not mean you are automatically at enmity with Palestinians. What we need is one more common friend. Can you do that? Do you have the courage? Decide for yourself –and get your hands dirty for peace and justice.
From a recent speech by Palestinian Melkite bishop, Elias Chacour