SAUPJ and SAAPR statement regarding the political status of the West Bank
Progressive Jews in South Africa join with Jews in Israel and all over the Diaspora with deep concern regarding the unilateral plans to establish Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank through annexation.
This moment calls for our movement to clarify our position concerning this decision of the Israeli government. And let us be clear – Jewish communities are by nature places of great diversity. Our Progressive communities are even more diverse. This is how it should be. Our Houses of Prayer are a safe space for all.
Whilst we recognise the constant threat to the security of the inhabitants of Israel, our members are united in calling out for a new way forward for the Middle East, one that will see all its people feel safe and protected and able to enjoy the fruits of peace. This decision will not lead to peace, but rather to increased hatred and enmity. It can only be seen as evidence of the current Israeli leadership’s rejection of a just solution to the conflict.
The State of Israel is a project of the entire Jewish nation, we are Arevim, liable, and MeOravim, involved. These are our people. Held liable for what happens in the Holy Land, this action makes it impossible for South African Jews to support an action founded on unilateral separation, segregation and military annexation.
South Africa, with all its problems, has a story that the people of Israel and Palestine can be encouraged by. We are aware of the many efforts undertaken by civil society organisations to promote the prophetic vision of Justice and Peace. We support these, endorse these and recognise that this is where we South African Jews, can be further involved in the efforts toward democracy and reconciliation in the Holy Land.
In this regard, our national organisations, the South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) and the South African Association of Progressive Rabbis (SAAPR) recently endorsed the vision statement of Hiddush – Center for Religious Freedom and Equality, regarding the Jewish and democratic identity of the State of Israel. That is to be found here:
We pray for the sake of Zion and hope that soon the words of Isaiah will come to pass:
“וַהֲבִיאוֹתִים אֶל-הַר קָדְשִׁי, וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים בְּבֵית תְּפִלָּתִי…
כִּי בֵיתִי, בֵּית-תְּפִלָּה יִקָּרֵא לְכָל-הָעַמִּים.
I will bring them to my holy mountain, and give them joy in my house of prayer…
for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”
(Isaiah 56:7 ‘ישעיהו נ”ו: ז’-ח)
Sunday, 21 June 2020