Rabbi Alissa Wise: How do we want future generations to live?

Posted on Nov 2, 2018

Image: Rabbi Alissa Wise, Deputy Director

Rabbi Alissa Wise, Deputy Director

What a searing week. I still can barely wrap my head around the shooting in Pittsburgh. And then this morning I woke up to the news that someone sprayed disgusting antisemitic slogans across a major synagogue in Brooklyn – a place my friends and I have met and prayed.

We are in a moment of profound moral reckoning as a community – as a society, even as a planet. We are being challenged to answer: how do we want the future generations to live?

So I’m beyond disappointed that New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced he’s going to support the long-stalled Federal Gag Bill (aka the Israel anti-Boycott Act) as a “response” to rising antisemitism.

It will only take a minute and it could make a big difference: can you call his office now, (202) 224-3224, and click here to Tweet directly at Senator Booker and tell him to STAND ASIDE.

This is a sad, wrong, and truly dangerous decision. The Israel anti-Boycott Act isn’t about fighting antisemitism. It’s about criminalizing advocacy for Palestinian rights.

And I can’t get over the idea of that being put forward as a response to anti-Jewish violence.

I believe Jews do need solidarity, care, and protection right now. And I feel lucky to be getting so much, especially from Muslim and Palestinian partners here in the US and in Palestine who have been a far greater comfort than any Israeli leader who’s somehow “welcomed” Trump to Pittsburgh on my behalf.

So now, to have self-described progressive leader offer support by attacking Palestinians and silencing me? It’s not right.

And the last part that makes the entire thing especially galling is how much momentum Booker’s vote carries on this bill. We need to send a strong message not only to Booker, but to any senator who might think this is a good idea post Pittsburgh.

But I have hope, because together we can give him a clear out. If he returns to simply standing aside, this anti-democratic bill would be stalled again, and he’d be able to show he really gets it: Palestinian rights are core to the progressive agenda.

Before shabbat begins: let’s try to get 100 calls and tweets into Senator Booker’s office to tell them loud and clear: Supporting Palestinian rights is not antisemitic. Muzzling human rights defenders does not protect Jews.

Call his office now, (202) 224-3224, and click here to Tweet directly at Senator Booker.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Alissa Wise
Deputy Director

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