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Shalit and Pearl and and Israel Rally

Below here are some of my comments from yesterday’s Israel Rally.  Though it was much longer than anticipated I think it was good to gather on behalf of Israel. It was the only Jewish Federation sponsored rally in the country this week. 

Even Governor Schwarzenegger came to show support for Israel. 

There were two poignant moments for me in the whole rally which rabbis, politicians and Israeli and Jewish leaders spoke.  First was the phone call with Noam Shalit, the father of captured IDF Soldier Gilad Shalit.  It is four years since Gilad was take captive by Hamas.  He is in solitary confinement and has not even been visited by the Red Cross in violation of the Geneva Conventions.  His father and family are extremely worried about his well being-as we all should be.   We can’t forget that he is being held hostage by the Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The second poignant moment was talking with and hearing speak-Judea Pearl.  This is the father of the murdered Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl.  You recall that Daniel was kidnapped beheaded by Al-Qaeda terrorists in part because he was Jewish.  Judea Pearl knows first hand the pain of losing a child.  He can relate to the situation of the Shalit family like none of us that were there.  And he speaks with a special authority made up of mourning and grief of the importance of standing up to the terrorists thugs like those on the Turkish ships.  His mission has been to leave many legacies in Daniel’s name including lectures, music and essay contests. He and I shared some special conversation behind the podium and he was glad to lend his support of Israel in their efforts to challenge terrorism.

Below are some of my comments.

י  שִׂמְחוּ אֶת-יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְגִילוּ בָהּ, כָּל-אֹהֲבֶיהָ; שִׂישׂוּ אִתָּהּ מָשׂוֹשׂ, כָּל-הַמִּתְאַבְּלִים עָלֶיהָ.

  10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for    joy with her, all ye that mourn for her;


These are words from this week’s Haftarah, from the book of Isaiah chapter 66

I come today to show my love of Israel and I hope you do too.

Even as I mourn the loss of life and the injured. We must never be insensitive as Jews to loss of life.   I come today to show my love of Israel even as the world mires itself in hate.

I come to show my love of Israel knowing Israel must defend her borders from violent attack by Hamas and others who would do her harm.  I come here saddened that the citizens of Gaza are oppressed by a terrorist regime bent on Israel’s destruction. 

I come today to show my love of Israel and hope you do too knowing that when civilians enter a military zone there is always great danger.  These flotilla of so-called civilians did not come in the name of peace they came in the name of provocation. Those on the Turkish ship that attacked Israeli Seals were not innocents—they were jihadists of the worst kind. 

I come to show my love of Israel even when the policies that created this incident turns the world’s attention from the true enemy of peace-Iran. The U.N. should be now focusing on increasing and strengthening Iran sanctions. But this incident has moved the world’s attention from one of the greatest threats to peace.  It is time to refocus the attention where it deserves to be –On Iran.

I come to show my love of Israel knowing Israel will continue to admit and bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.

I come to show my love of Israel praying today that Israel take seriously the call to examine this moment and examine how it executes its policies. It must do more to than blunder into a situation that is fraught from the beginning with the fingerprints of a media disaster.   It must do more to forge strong partnerships and strategic alliances.  But yet, It is not Israel’s fault that there is an intransigent and ineffectual Palestinian and Arab leadership that cannot and will not come to the negotiating table to strike a deal.  

I come here today to renounce every attempt to delegitimize Israel existence. The blame game must stop.   I come here committed more than ever to work for a just peace for Israel and for all of her peoples.

On behalf of the 350 plus Rabbis of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California–we share in this moment with all of you.