Culture, Global, Israel, Justice

Rabbis For Human Rights takes out ad in NYT for new campaign

Today, May 14, 60 years since the founding of the State of Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights – North America (RHR-NA), placed an ad on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times in support of the rights of Israelis and Palestinian and launching a year long campaign, In Pursuit of Justice, to support the work of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel .
The ad begins, “On this day, 60 years ago, the founders of Israel declared the State of Israel …will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel “, a quote from Israel ‘s Declaration of Independence .
The ad highlights the work of Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) , an organization of Israeli rabbis from all the movements of Judaism that strives to realize the vision of Israel ‘s Declaration of Independence by protecting the human rights of all who live in Israel – Jewish and Arab alike.
RHR replants olive trees that have been illegally uprooted on the West Bank and protects the rights of Palestinians to safely farm their lands; advocates for economic justice for all Israelis; defends Palestinian homes from demolition and discriminatory zoning; and educates Israeli students and soldiers in the Jewish tradition of human rights. With support from RHR’s In Pursuit of Justice: Two Trees Initiative, RHR will plant trees in the Occupied Territories , as well as in disadvantaged neighborhoods and environmentally sensitive areas in Israel . The planting of trees in the Occupied Territories and in Israel symbolizes the need to protect the rights of all, Israelis and Palestinians, and nurtures the possibility of peace and reconciliation.
“Sixty years ago today, the founders of Israel declared that this new, Jewish, democratic state would be ‘based on freedom, justice and peace’. We celebrate all the amazing achievement that Israel has
accomplished in sixty years, and we dedicate ourselves to support our colleagues and others in Israel working to realize the vision of freedom, justice and peace for all.. In ‘HaTikvah’, Israel ‘s national
anthem, we say ‘we have not lost our hope, our hope will not die’. The In Pursuit of Justice Campaign provides Americans of all faiths to with an opportunity to support a courageous group of rabbis working to fulfill the hope and to fulfill the moral of the founders of Israel ,” says RHR-NA chair, Rabbi Gerry Serotta.
RHR, and its affiliate, Rabbis for Human Rights- North America, does great work (lots of Jewschoolers present at their Conference on Human Rights two years ago. I have it on good authority that there will be another one scheduled soon…). Unfortunately, there seems to be a smear campaign (hey, they sometimes say Israel is in the wrong, of course they’re evil) to discredit them, rather than celebrate the amazing work that they do supporting not only Palestinian human rights, but also fighting the good fight against the destruction of the social supports in Israel for the poor and single parents, fighting for labor rights of resident workers and immigrants, and protecting Israelis of all colors, religions and orientations. You can download copies of the Two Trees flyer here.

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