Show Your Support For Israel
Dear TEE Members & Friends –
At the time of this writing, late Thursday evening, we hope and pray that the 72 hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that is due to take effect in a few hours will hold and usher in a time of quiet that is consistent with Israel’s security needs and a harbinger of a wider peace to come. By the time this note reaches you, our news sources will have made the results known.
In our own metropolitan area, a number of small, peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place. Such a protest is planned for this Friday evening near the Jewish Federation’s Beachwood building. This is no surprise. Please see the letter Below from our Federation leaders -we endorse and recommend its approach. Counter-protests and street confrontations do not help; they only increase the visibility of our detractors.
Because we need solidarity more than street confrontations, prayer and pride more than shouting matches -rabbinic colleagues and congregational leaders of all denominations and throughout Greater Cleveland are inviting their members and friends to show their support for Israel by attending Shabbat services this evening in an expression of pride in our Judaism, solidarity with Israel and connection to our Creator.
Our regular Friday evening reception is at 5:45pm, followed by services at 6:15pm.
May this truly be a Shabbat of Shalom!
Rabbi Steve Denker Judy H. Uram, President
Letter from Federation
Responding to Anti-Israel Protests
During times of crisis in Israel, the Jewish community in the United States is always out front in terms of support for Israel. We organize rallies, raise money for those in need in Israel, advocate for support from our elected officials, and share our thoughts with the media. Here in Cleveland, we have excelled in these areas thanks to the passionate support of Israel inherent in our local Jewish community. It is this passion and generosity that makes our community nationally recognized for its efforts on behalf of Israel.
When we are confronted with anti-Israel sentiment, it is tough to digest. Because our love of Israel is so deep, it seems impossible to turn our heads away from those whose views differ from ours. But while we should continue to lend our voices to the pro-Israel cries directed to the media and our government officials, we should not engage with those involved in anti-Israel protests. Engaging with these groups lends credence to their message and heightens their voices.
We know you have seen reports of a number of anti-Israel rallies over the past weeks. It is difficult to watch these rallies, but the best advice we have received is to publicly ignore them and not participate in any “counter-protest.” That can only lead to confrontation, which becomes the story, and our messaging will get lost. As one person put it, “counter-protests are stepping into their frame, rarely an advantageous position. It diminishes our credibility and increases theirs.”
This is not a case of “us against them” – it is about what we stand for. We stand for Israel, and we stand for peace. Please feel free to contact Debbie Klein at the Federation, 216-593-2900, with any questions or comments.
Reneé Chelm, Board Chair
Cheryl L. Davis, Chair, Community Relations Committee