General, Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

On Rosh Khodesh & the Ceasefire: A meditation to open ourselves to the power of Elul

No Comments 26 August 2014

On Tuesday and Wednesday, August 26th and 27th,  we mark the new Jewish month of Elul, a month set apart from the others as a time of deep soul searching and repentance in preparation for the upcoming Jewish High Holidays. The marking of the new month, referred to as Rosh Khodesh Elul, this year has coincided with the announcing of a new ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel, effectively (hopefully) ending  Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.  Continue Reading

Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

Gaza: Strive for peace and pursue it: By Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann

No Comments 20 August 2014

Rabbi Yehiel Grenniman, director of our human rights in the occupied territories department, recently had his thoughts on the Gaza war published by CNN International.

Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann at the Tag Meir demonstration against vengeance and violence in Jerusalem

Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann at the Tag Meir demonstration against vengeance and violence in Jerusalem following the revenge murder of 16 year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir

 

From CNN.com:

My son has recently been released from active reserve duty in the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, and the two sides are again talking about a serious ceasefire. I am relieved to have my son back and to see that we are talking instead of shooting, and pray that this latest round of negotiations succeeds in bringing us stability and progress towards peace.

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Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

Human rights organizations and Gaza: Breaking down the myths

No Comments 17 August 2014

There are many false myths regarding the positions of human rights organizations on the current operation in Gaza, as well as the ones which preceded it. These myths are disseminated by all sorts of organizations with the goal of undermining the legitimacy of human rights organizations in Israel. We thought we would make some order in this mess. We cannot speak for all human rights organizations, only for Rabbis for Human Rights, though we believe that a significant portion of what is written here reflects, to a large extent, the positions of many organizations as well as the spirit of international humanitarian law. International humanitarian law coincidentally or not so coincidentally overlaps important Jewish principles, and principles of common sense,  facilitating a smart balance between security needs/military considerations and concern for the civilian population on the other side. Continue Reading

Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

Questioning not if the army is moral, but if the policy is moral

2 Comments 17 August 2014

As part of RHR’s effort to engage in a dialogue with the Israeli settler community, the following opinion piece on the IDF and morality will be published in a local print paper in the Israeli settlement Ariel shortly. Please continue to look  for additional pieces in this series alongside the responses by the settler communities themselves. Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

Why we oppose Capital Punishment

No Comments 07 August 2014

Capital punishment during peacetime was abolished by Israel in 1954. However, the use of the death penalty remains an option for particular crimes including genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and treason. Military Courts in the territories also have the option of its use. However,  historically the courts are very hesitant to utilize capital punishment and there has not been an execution in Israel since Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi,  in 1962, and before that, there was only one other execution for a man (falsely) accused of treason in 1948. Continue Reading

Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

We simply cannot allow such ideas to pass our lips: A response to Rabbi Lior

2 Comments 03 August 2014

Last week Rabbi Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, claimed that “erasing” the entire Gaza Strip in order to ensure the safety of Israel’s South is permissible by Jewish law. RHR Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann responds to his repulsive claims.

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General, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

Urgent letter: Cellular warning service not available in Bedouin communities

No Comments 30 July 2014

Yesterday (July 29th 2014), Rabbis for Human Rights and other organizations promoting rights for Bedouins in the Negev sent an urgent letter to the Home Front Command, protesting that the cellular rocket fire warning service is not available in unrecognized Bedouin communities.

The disturbing situation in which communities lack both protected areas and sirens  is difficult to remedy in the immediate future, but it seems that the absence of a cellular warning is an easier matter to fix. Therefore,  it’s all the more puzzling to us that the system is not programmed to provide warnings to citizens of these communities. “Disputes over planning issues are no reason to disregard human life,” argue the signatories to the letter: Rabbis for Human Rights, the Forum for Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, and AJEEC-NISPED. Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

When justice blinds: by Rabbi Arik Ascherman

2 Comments 30 July 2014

I believe that we Israelis are justified in defending ourselves against Hamas rockets and tunnels, and I strongly suspect that in the process of doing so we have unnecessarily committed grave breaches of international law and my understanding of Jewish morality. I don’t see any contradiction between these two beliefs. I fervently hope I am wrong about the latter, but find that increasingly unlikely.

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General, Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

Whose Land is it? A year for us to get things right in the Holy Land

1 Comment 29 July 2014

As part of Rabbis for Human Rights’ series featuring the reflections, both human rights related and not,  of our staff and rabbis during Operation Protective Shield, Yonatan Shefa, RHR’s assistant director of human rights in the Occupied Territories, challenges us to see the Sabbatical year as an opportunity to achieve a deep, lasting and just peace.   Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories, Reflections from RHR Rabbis & Staff

Promise: Can we see the light amidst all the darkness?

No Comments 27 July 2014

 As part of Rabbis for Human Rights’ series  featuring the reflections, both human rights related and not,  of our staff and rabbis during Operation Protective Shield, Yonatan Shefa, Assistant Director of Human Rights in the Occupied Territories for RHR, challenges us in this very personal piece to live up to God’s promise to the Jewish people by destroying the cancer that seems to be eating away at us. Continue Reading

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