Dear Fellow Progressive Jews,
I really hate referencing a Mel Gibson movie at this moment but reading and listening to some of my fellow travelers on the left asking for a “ceasefire now” is adding to an ineffable pain I know so many of us are experiencing. In Hacksaw Ridge the film focuses on the horror of war through the story and eyes of Desmond Doss, who was a conscientious objector in World War Two as a medic. When Doss finds himself facing battle on Okinawa at Hacksaw Ridge he doesn’t abandon his own strongly held belief in non-violence and he joins the fight amongst his brothers. Doss did not carry a weapon into battle as he climbed up the ridge. Carrying only a bible on his person he saved close to 100 lives shuttling his wounded brothers down the ridge to a field hospital below. He fought without fighting and did what he was morally obligated to do at that moment…save lives while the battle was already raging. And this war – our war on Hamas – is now raging.
We Jews outside the land of Israel aren’t carrying weapons in this war but we do hold our faith and prayers of peace. We have the power to send stretchers for the wounded, to send money for humanitarian concerns across borders, and to advocate for Israel’s right to defend itself in this war. A war that started with Hamas’ wholesale slaughter of innocents and will sadly see more innocents die now on both sides. This is not a war of choice but like Doss, we need to be in the battle and not abandon our brothers and sisters in this fight.
My example here certainly has some faults but it is my hope you understand the spirit of the thing.
Calling for a cease-fire now is bad timing.
Have faith in Israel.
Carry your values into battle with our family miles away but don’t oppose the fight now.