Yesterday I ran into a Palestinian pal downtown, one of just the plain old nicest guys I know. (Guilty, perhaps, only of being disturbingly attractive, but that's not his fault.)
I stood and listened as he ... well, it's this thing humans do: when we witness something unbelievably horrible, we seem to need to talk about it over and over. Such things just don't make sense, so we keep repeating the details, trying to get a grip.
I listened as he told me about Gaza, how he has friends and family there, how he learned that some of them have been killed, he can't get through to others. His shock reminded me of how I felt after my mother's suicide.
"I never liked Hamas!" he said. " I don't like their religious views. But... Who is defending us? I'll tell you, this is not about religion. There are Israeli Jews who protest what their government is doing! They marched and blocked the air strip in Tel Aviv to stop the jets that attack my people. They are doing more for us than Saudi Arabia. What are they doing to help us? Nothing!"
I just listened, the way you would if you were standing with someone who's just seen their family wiped out.
When I went home, I looked up Israeli protests and found, among other things, this:
"Demonstration against the Madness"
"On the third Saturday of the war, while the Israeli cabinet was in session, discussing the cease-fire proposal, 3000 Israeli citizens marched from Tel-Aviv to Jaffa in protest against the war."
I don't know anything about the group that posted this, Gush Shalom: Israel Peace Bloc. They say they are "the hard core of the Israeli peace movement."
I was glad to read on the site Uri Avnery's column of Jan. 24, 2009:
"On The Wrong Side"
"Of all the beautiful phrases in Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, these are the words that stuck in my mind: “You are on the wrong side of history.”
He was talking about the tyrannical regimes of the world. But we, too, should ponder these words...."
(More along these lines in post above, about Rabbis for Human Rights.)