I am writing this letter because I want people to know what I learned and saw firsthand in the “Holy Land.” I visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Haifa, the West Bank and a Bedouin village near Jericho in 2011. The Palestinian people I met there were warm, generous, highly educated, helpful and peaceful to me, an obviously Jewish woman. By contrast, most of the Israelis I saw seemed depressed, unfriendly and self-absorbed.
Since mid-June, my friends in Israel report that 900 Palestinians have been arrested and 70 have been killed in Gaza, including children, in response to three Israeli teenagers missing and found dead.
Yes, there are homemade rockets fired from Gaza into Israel that land outside of populated areas and, yes, a few Palestinians throw stones and, yes, terrible things like murdered teenagers happen. These actions are met with an overwhelming disproportionate response from a well-funded (3.1 billion U.S. tax dollars annually) Israeli army. When they respond with airstrikes, home demolitions, sniper fire and other violent tactics, everyone in the region suffers even more.
People need to know the Holy Land is not being kept holy by any measure.
A Jewish voice for peace.