Letter to Editor of The Jerusalem Post in response to article by Rabbi David Forman

To the Editor of the Jerusalem Post
August 31, 2009

Rabbi Forman’s personal attack upon the leaders of Ta’anit Tzedek-Jewish Fast for Gaza (Jerusalem Post August 28, 2009) was more than disappointing, but it does give us an opportunity to explain our deep concern regarding the Israeli blockade on Gaza of food, medicines and electricity.

The primary goal of Ta’anit Tzedek is simply to end the Israeli blockade of these basic human necessities. We support the right of the Israeli government to stop the transport of armaments into Gaza, but their blockade of food and other basic necessities, an act of collective punishment of an entire people, causes suffering including inadequate nutrition for children, the denial of medical care to the sick, inadequate fuel and electricity, and damage to the public health system. This suffering does not in any way ensure greater security for Israelis but rather continues the cycle of hatred which further endangers Israeli lives.

Among our sources of information are reports of such respected Israeli human rights organizations as B’tzelem, Gisha and Physicians for Human Rights in Israel. If Rabbi Forman believes these organizations are mistaken in their facts, he should argue the substance. If we are wrong, we will stop the fast. If it is true that Israel’s blockade has caused a humanitarian disaster, as we believe it is, we will continue our monthly fast until it is stopped.

Rabbi Forman suggests that our actions are “anti-Israel bordering on anti-Semitism.” For us there is no higher love of the Jewish state than our than our holding her up to the most central of our Jewish values.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Brian Walt
Rabbi Brant Rosen
Coordinators, Taanit Tzedek-Jewish Fast for Gaza