Israel, Politics

Rallies to Support Israel

Following last month’s Boston rally and yesterday’s rally in Los Angeles, the JCRC in New York City will host a rally this Monday:

SUPPORT ISRAEL RALLY
Monday, July 17 at 12:00 Noon
Rally against terror and in solidarity with the government and people of Israel.
Across from the United Nations, First Avenue at 42nd Street.

I’m asking honestly here: does this sort of thing really make the people of Israel feel supported? Safer? Calmer? How much of the rally is for world change and how much for people talking to themselves? Will a large turnout at noon on a Monday indicate something to the world that wasn’t already said?

22 thoughts on “Rallies to Support Israel

  1. Well, that depends on what the intended purpose of a rally is. I think that maybe it’s more for awareness over here…personally after I attend things like rallies, I’m more spurred to other action, and at rallies you often learn of other oppurtunities for action with like-minded people. So maybe it won’t say something that’s already been said, but at a time when we really need it, I think a rally will generate some positive action here.

  2. Kung Fu Jew-
    How about, for example, efforts to mobilize a fundraising event for MDA and other medical needs in Israel?
    Clearly a rally won’t lead to a peace agreement, but just because you can’t change everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change something. (pardon the awful, unintended cliche).

  3. Perhaps it makes people feel better about themselves during a time of uncertainty and stress? And not in a selfish way, but in a way that just shows people that they are not alone, sitting, watching the news obessively, worrying about people they know and people they don’t know.
    And lastly, yes, it does show the press as well as passers by that we will not be paralyzed by fear.
    Sure these rallies do not “change” anything in solid terms. But they do support individuals during difficult times and strengthen our resolve.

  4. Personally, I think I have PTSD from too much pro-Israel rallying. Though I think it’s a wider malaise of being part of a community, for the most part, that spents so much time licking it’s wounds…holocaust, israel, holocaust, israel….
    And I feel guilty for saying this, but I’m getting much more milleage out of mindfulness meditation than I ever have out of prayer. Sorry rabbi.

  5. As an Israeli, I can say these rallies are not only useless but usually embarassing. Stop supporting us all the time, especially when you oppose our policies and call it supporting. Just – for once – make Judaism about your lives and not the Israelis.
    Isn’t that one of the big objectives of Jewschool?

  6. Stupid pro-Israel rallies…. it’s American Jews grandstanding for prestige and future donations – with a Greek Chorus.

  7. Yeah, really what have American Jews rallying ever really contributed to. Well, besides Civil Rights and the liberation of Soviet Jews. But besides those tiny things…what a pointless exercise.

  8. I think most rallies in general are held in order to make the participants feel better, and involved in something they have no control, or even influence over.

  9. Adam…for 99.9% of my friends, Israel serves as nothing more than a hockey team with an army. And from my Federation CJA experience, this is true for most of the community. Having little attachment to anything Jewish, folks get to “Rah Rah” every now and again for their team. It feels important, it’s not.
    Amit’s quote: “make Judaism about your lives and not the Israelis.” Should be next years Federation CJA slogan. Though Torah and Theology don’t raise nearly as much $$$ as “the sky is gonna fall” type slogans.

  10. Shtreimel,
    I definitely agree, and that is certainly part of the problem (one, that folks only mobilize when there is some sort of threat and, two that they focus on solely the conflict rather than spreading information about why, precisely, we support/love/feel connected to Eretz Yisrael).
    That said, for as much as Israelis try to distance themselves from American Jews, considering the Israeli reliance on American aid and support, they absolutely do need us to act as a voice of advocacy. Whether that reliance is ultimately healthy certainly can be debated, but right now they have no other outlet.

  11. Not sure which rally in Boston you mean, shamirpower–the link you provide doesn’t mention one, perhaps because a news story was archived. Last month, there was a standard Israel Day event. Do you mean last week, when there was a rally against Israeli action in Gaza to which the JCRC then organized a counter-protest?

  12. As the seemingly solitary non-Jew here, I have to say that some of us work for and donate to Israel year round. As for rallies, do remember that not everyone can live in Israel and work for the IDF as we may very well want to. Letters and money and rallies and such are what we can do, if you have a better way, do tell.

  13. I know plenty of real-life authentic Israelis who will be at the similar rally in DC. Please publicize:
    Wednesday, July 19, 12p.m. at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, DC (Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 13th and 14th streets). More infor on the Federation website: shalomdc dot org

  14. Things at DovBear were sleepy. Yesterday I was at a Tehillim service for Israel for the Orthodox community. It was important to go because it was important to pray with the community.
    NOTICE–the St. Louis rally for Israel will be at 6:30 pm today at the JCC. I felt it important to attend, although I cannot, because it brings Jews of different denominations together into a community based on support for Israel. The acknowledgement of common concern is positive. Because this baby thing was done other things to overcome sinas chinam may be easier.

  15. Many people in Israel have been stuck in shelters for 9 days, or, are unable to work while staying in other peopple’s houses in the South. Almost all Israelis are anxiously watching the news constantly. Amdist all the media criticism of Israel’s attempts to defend itself, it IS helpful to hear supportive voices from abroad. My nephew is in the army, assigned to helping victims of the shelling, which is an emotionally draining job for a 19 year old. Between one of his shifts he saw a pro-Isreal rally on TV. It did seem to boost his morale. This is a tough tough war, and while young Israeli’s are risking their lives in the army and civilians are suffering shelling, I really don’t think it would be too much of a waste of time for Americans (and Israelies) living in the US to attend a rally. If it heartens a few Israelis facing a very depressing situation, it’s worth it.

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