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Reforming the Future
Louis Frankenthaler, Israel
March 18, 2002
The CCAR (the Central Conference of American Rabbis) has just been meeting in Jerusalem. The Reform movement's history of support for progressive agendas in the United States and in Israel is well documented and to be commended. At this
time the CCAR and the Reform movement have the singular opportunity to make a difference, save lives, and salvage the Jewish character of Israel.
Reform rabbis have written of the barbarism associated with occupation and that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is no different.
This statement has taken on a new level of relevance as more and more of us (Jews and Arabs as one) continue to die in vain, sacrificed on the altar of the occupation. Reform Judaism, which
is the champion of ethical monotheism, must not be blinded by the paganism practiced by Israel's leaders today. They lead a country that claims to be Jewish, yet continues to worship at the altars of occupation, Greater Israel and militarism. They practice human sacrifice, wasting our lives, not for the sake of security or peace, but in order to hold on to what is not theirs and to wage an unjust war-one we have already lost and that has been lost countless times over in human history.
The CCAR has no choice but to come out with an ethical statement calling for an immediate end to the occupation and to cease any and all support for Israel as long as Israel continues on its death march. While struggling for religious freedom in Israel for all Jews, the CCAR and all of American Jewry must realize that the oppression associated with Jewish religious coercion and the oppression of the occupation are two sides of the same coin.
Louis Frankenthaler is a Reform rabbi.
Letter to the Editor, Ha'aretz, March 18, 2002.