Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rabbis for Human Rights Help Palestinian Farmers

There are courageous and dedicated Israelis who are working for justice for Palestinians. Rabbis for Human Rights works for human rights for all, “giving voice to the Zionist ideal and the Jewish religious tradition of human rights.” I cringe when I hear people refer to the situation as “so complicated.” What is complicated about the situation in Israel/Palestine is not how to create justice for all parties—there have been many good plans offered for this—what is complicated is understanding the people and what is happening on the ground. What is complicated is that we Americans want to put everyone in categories, label them good or evil, and be done with it (or, worse, send in the guns and tanks). In Israel/Palestine, like everywhere, the actions of individuals are as diverse as the people

In the Palestinian village of Awarta near Nablus in the northern West Bank, Rabbis for Human Rights has been working to make life easier for farmers—showing up to accompany the farmers, who are subject to attack by settlers living in the Palestinian area. IDF soldiers are inclined to protect settlers and often disregard the rights of the farmers to work their land. in yesterday’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristoff does a good story on one such encounter:

This is one action by one Jewish Israeli organization—there are many more stories like this one……hope for peace in these days of negotiations at Sharm el Sheikh.

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