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THE SILENCE OF THE SYNAGOGUE: THE ENDURING LEGACY OF RABBI REUBEN SLONIM

ted schmidt

by Ted Schmidt

We have to treat the local population with love and respect, justly and rightly. And what do our brothers in the land of Israel do? Just the opposite. Slaves they were in their country of exile and suddenly they find themselves in a boundless and anarchic freedom as is always the case with a slave who becomes a king and they behave toward the Arabs with hostility and cruelty…
Ahad Ha’am (d.1927)

Only an internal revolution can have the power to heal our people of their murderous sickness of causeless hatred…It is bound to bring complete ruin upon us. Only then will the old and young in our land realize how great was our responsibility to those miserable Arab refugees in whose towns we have settled Jews who were brought here from afar; whose homes we have inherited, whose fields we now sow and harvest; the fruits of whose gardens, orchards and vineyards we gather; and in whose cities that we robbed we put up houses of education, charity, and prayer, while we babble and rave about being the "People of the Book" and the "light of the nations…"
Martin Buber (d. 1965)

A Jewish Home in Palestine built up on bayonets and oppression [is] not worth having, even though it succeeds, whereas the very attempt to build it up peacefully, cooperatively, with understanding, education, and good will, [is] worth a great deal even though the attempt should fail."
Rabbi Judah L. Magnes, (d.1948) first president of the Hebrew University

After the Holocaust no statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of the burning children.
Irving Greenberg

Since September 28, 2000, 783 Palestinian children (under the age of 18) have been killed by the Israeli army and Israeli settlers, i.e. almost 22 percent of the total Palestinians killed (figure at 22 July 2006); 2660 Palestinian children have been permanently disabled due to Israeli attacks.
Palestine Monitor (www.palestinemonitor.org)

There must not be one law for the Jews and another for the Arabs . . . . the world will judge the Jewish state by what it will do for the Arabs.
Chaim Weizmann, first president of Israel, 1947

 

As the catastrophic, disproportionate Israeli assault on Lebanon began, one which saw it turned into a wasteland with 700,000 internal refugees and the civilian deaths tolling over one thousand, and Israeli deaths numbering thirty-seven, the words of a Jewish prophet was read aloud in Christian churches.

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