Tuesday, 3 August 2010


In a world that has seen so many organisations and groups spring up known as 'Rabbis for every cause under the sun except the Jewish State of Israel', it came as a relief to hear about the founding of 'RABBIS FOR ISRAEL'.

This new movement is the brainchild of Rabbi Michael Boyden.
Michael is the spiritual head of Kehilat Yonatan Reform Congregation in Hod HaSharon in central Israel. He is also the director of the National Rabbinic Court of the Israel Council of Progressive Rabbis.

The facebook message from this movement says  "Rabbis for Israel is a forum of rabbis from all streams, who are deeply concerned by the drift in much of world opinion that has made it legitimate to single out Israel for blame and censure in respect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict".

Explaining the event which stirred Rabbi Boyden into forming this group was the coverage of the recent Turkish flotilla incident by the international media.

"It was clear that many within Jewish communities did not understand what Israel is dealing with, and the complexities of issues here", he explained to the Jerusalem Post.

One remarkable early achievement for Rabbis for Israel has been the signatures of Othodox, Conservative, Reform, ReConstructionist, and Chabad rabbis to the movements mission statement.

The statement emphasises 'that Israel has a legitimate right to exist as a soverign, democratic, Jewish state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people. We support a peaceful and just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will recognise two independent states, a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace, security, and prosperity".

"We call upon the Arab and Muslim world to accept unequivocally and publicly Israel's permanent right to exist in peace".

"Any resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict will require Israel to cede sovereignty over most of the West Bank and will need to address the aspirations of both Israeli and Palestinians concerning Jerusalem, a city that is holy to three religions".

The rabbis appealed to both Christian and Muslim religious leaders "to establish frameworks within their own communities to oppose messages of hatred and violence against Israel, to work toward developing a spirit of mutual understanding, tolerance, and peace with Jews, and to encourage the strengthening of peaceful relationships and partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians".

Michael Boyden is reaching out to rabbis worldwide.
" The upcoming High Holidays are an opportunity to pass on the message and talk about the reality of conflict with their communities".

Any religious leader wishing to make contact with Rabbis for Israel should contact Rabbi Michael Boyden directly, or through me and I will pass your message to Michael.

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