Saturday, July 22, 2006

An Open Letter to Hillel

Dear Hillel representatives at U of MD,
I was very disturbed to receive an email from the University of Maryland Hillel. The email urged students to sign a petition to Kofi Annan of the UN available online. The petition asked the UN to "join us in clearly and immediately reaffirming the right of Israel to defend its citizen."

Though apparently benevolent language in itself, this letter came in the context of an Israeli invasion and bombardment of Lebanon that has disproportionately affected civilians. Furthermore, as Kofi Annan and other UN representatives have been pushing for an immediate ceasefire, this petition can only be seen as a lobbying effort against the ceasefire to allow the Israeli military to continue the bombing and invasion of Lebanon.

While we no doubt agree about the immorality of Hizbollah's attacks on civilians., Israeli attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Lebanon (including civilian convoys, ambulance convoys, pharmaceutical factories, dairy facilities, apartment buildings, entire neighborhoods, and power plants) have killed 20 times as many civilians as Hizbollah has.

From all evidence, it appears that the Israeli military is purposefully targeting civilians in order to scare them out of Southern Lebanon. They are terrorizing the civilian population. This is terrorism. Bombing a civilian convoy, an ambulance or a hospital from tanks and plans is just as morally repugnant as strapping a pack of explosives on to bomb a bus, or launching an unguided missile into an Israeli city. Despite what the US representative to the UN John Bolton says, the killing of Lebanese civilians is every bit as immoral as the killing of Americans or Israelis.

This is not Tikkun Olum, this is not Tzedekah, this is not Mitzvot.

This does not represent Judaism, and I think it undermines the credibility of our religious leaders when they support the murder of God's children.

For photographic evidence of the carnage in Lebanon, please visit

Please ask, or better yet demand, that Hillel stand for peace, rather than war. Justice rather than vengeance.

Simon Fitzgerald
of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation
U of MD class of 2005


Saimon Fitzyerald said...

In light of recent events, one wonders how the petition to Kofi Annan will be taken.

dan said...

hey good letter dude