Friday, March 18, 2016

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

March 18, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump:

We are writing to you as you prepare to address the largest pro-Israel gathering in North America. We care deeply not only about America's relationship with Israel, but the values and character of this special land. We hope you will use this occasion to articulate the values that friends of Israel hold so dear. 

To begin, you should use this opportunity to categorically repudiate racism. There is simply no place for it in our shared discourse. As the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel enshrined in law its commitment to protect the rights all of its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. When the Jewish people returned to Israel after centuries of persecution and exile, they chose to pursue a path of inclusivity. Rather than perpetuate a culture of prejudice, they chose instead to create a culture of tolerance. Freedom of worship is sacrosanct in the Holy Land and upon its founding, Israel’s government vowed to safeguard the holy places of all religions. You should declare in no uncertain terms that bigotry is as dangerous as it is wrong.

We also call upon you to denounce the language of hatred and xenophobia. There is no mitzvah in the Torah repeated more often than the embrace of the stranger. The Jewish story is itself the history of exiles seeking shelter; of refugees seeking asylum. And since it became a sovereign nation, Israel has proudly stood by and supported peoples of all backgrounds in their times of need: From Haiti to Taiwan; from Sudan to Nepal. Jewish tradition demands that we look past what separates us and instead keep our eyes trained on our shared humanity.

Finally, you need to reassure our community that you understand that there can be no moral equivalency between a sovereign government acting in self-defense on the one hand and a terrorist organization committed to genocide on the other. The pro-Israel community is starving for peace. The notion of shalom represents one of our greatest aspirations – one for which we pray daily. But a lasting peace will only come with the help of a political ally who recognizes Israel's right to self-determination. Let your listeners know that you would never strong-arm Israel into negotiating a peace deal when Israel has no partner for peace.  

Mr. Trump: In these fraught times, make it clear to the pro-Israel community that you stand not only with Israel’s people, but with Israel’s principles. We cannot abide a discourse that inflames intolerance and foments fanaticism. The future of our people is too important.

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
Rabbi Herschel Billet
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Mark Dratch
Rabbi Ira Ebbin
Rabbi Yitzchok Feldman
Rabbi Joel Finkelstein
Rabbi Barry Gelman
Rabbi Yaakov Gibber
Rabbi Yaakov Glasser 
Rabbi Efrem Goldberg
Rabbi Zev Goldberg
Rabbi Ezra Goldschmiedt
Rabbi Moshe Grussgott
Rabbi Kenneth Hain
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld
Rabbi Joshua Hess
Rabbi Barry Kornblau
Rabbi Daniel Korobkin
Rabbi Doniel Z. Kramer
Rabbi Simcha Krauss
Rabbi Joel Landau
Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz
Rabbi Yosie Levine
Rabbi Marc Mandel
Rabbi Adam Mintz
Rabbi Jonathan Muskat
Rabbi Elazar Muskin
Rabbi Ariel Rackovsky
Rabbi Zev Reichman
Rabbi Shaul Robinson
Rabbi Zvi Romm
Rabbi Benjy Samuels
Rabbi Allen Schwartz
Rabbi Ronald Schwarzberg
Rabbi Mordechai Sevy
Rabbi Adam Starr
Rabbi Josh Strulowitz
Rabbi Mayer Waxman
Rabbi Jay Weinstein
Rabbi Michael Whitman
Rabbi Neil N. Winkler
Rabbi Alan J. Yuter
Rabbi Dovid Zirkind

No comments:

Post a Comment