Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Local Jewish community supports Israel

From today's The Oklahoman:
Oklahoma City Jewish community backs Israel

The Oklahoma City Jewish faith community came together Monday to show support for Israel in its latest war.

The event, held at Temple B’nai Israel, 4901 N Pennsylvania, brought together representatives of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City, Chabad Community Center, Emanuel Synagogue, Temple B’nai and the Hillel Foundation at the University of Oklahoma.

About 300 people attended the event and leaders said they gathered to support the state of Israel’s decision to defend itself against the violence of Hamas militants.

"We are gathering tonight as one community to join the hundreds of voices across the country expressing our concern for all the victims of terror in Israel and Gaza, and to pray for just and lasting peace,” Marcy Price, the Jewish Federation’s program director, said Monday night.

"We assemble with one message, one voice and one heart together for Israel and we support Israel’s right to defend itself against continuous violence towards its citizens.”

‘No other way’

Asher Yarden, Israel consul general of the southwest, traveled from Houston to share his thoughts with those gathered. He said Israeli government officials felt they had no choice but to fire on Gaza after almost eight years of violent attacks by Hamas militants.

Price said the Jewish faith community is concerned about the loss of Palestinian lives "but we see no other way for Israel to protect itself.”

Yarden agreed.

"They (Hamas) are very clear the only way to establish an Islamic state is through jihad. They don’t care about human life. For us, every human life is important,” Yarden said.

Yarden said Israel has the support of many congressional leaders.

In a statement read at Monday’s gathering, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City, said Israel had "every right” to respond to terrorists.

Edie Roodman, the Jewish Federation’s executive director, has a daughter, Erielle, 25, who moved to Israel last year.

"I really believe Israel is doing what it has do,” she said. "No civilized country can leave its citizens unprotected.”


  1. Thank you for highlighting and quoting this article. By reading it, an idea finally clicked into place for me. I have long held that aggressors, such as Hamas, are responsible for all "collateral damage" when the intended victims take steps to destroy the aggressors.

    What the article helped me realize is that any organization (such as Hamas) that claims to be a government also thereby accepts the primary responsibility of a government: to protect its citizens from attacks.

    If the supposedly innocent civilians in Gaza are hurt, then it means the Gaza-Hamas government has failed in its job.

    Any government that cannot protect its citizens is morally responsible to getting them out of harm's way. E.g., Hamas, if it had been a benevolently motivated government (instead of malicious, exploitative gangsters) would have done everything it could to send at least the children and the elderly Gazans to other countries for refuge. The British did something like that during WWII, by sending some children to Canada.

  2. Of course.

    But instead of getting its "citizens" out of harm's way, it uses them as human shields.