“There was a bush all aflame, yet the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2)
On Wednesday, two days after the Israeli army killed 60 Palestinians in Gaza and injured thousands more, a few IfNotNow supporters in Boston added a 🔥 to their names on Twitter. Six days later, literally hundreds of Jews have joined in. What does it mean?
The IfNotNow logo is inspired by the burning bush, a flame of intense heat and light that was not a mechanism of destruction, but rather a force of inspiration and transformation. Just as Moses was commanded to return to Egypt and fight for the liberation of his people, we as young Jews feel called to take responsibility for the future of our community.
That obligation has never felt heavier than over the past week, as the most prominent Jewish leaders and institutions either ignored the Israeli army’s murder in Gaza or made excuses for it.
Enough. After 70 years of “Israel, right or wrong”, after 50 years of Occupation, enough. You do not speak for us, Jared Kushner. You do not speak for us, AIPAC. When you applaud President Trump for opening his embassy of occupation and death in Jerusalem, you do not speak for us, Senator Schumer. So we’re speaking for ourselves, and here’s what we have to say:
🔥 We know the liberation of our Jewish community is bound with the liberation of all people, especially those in Israel/Palestine. After everything we have been through as a people we are understandably desperate for safety, but walls and wars will only lead to more bloodshed. The Jewish future demands Palestinian freedom, and the denial of this simple fact puts us all in danger. If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?
🔥 Our opposition to the Occupation is an embrace, not a rejection, of Jewish values and Jewish history. After thousands of years we know the profound trauma of expulsion and discrimination, so it is unconscionable for us to look away as these same miseries are inflicted on Palestinians. We cannot take away their rights in order to ensure ours. If we are only for ourselves, what are we?
🔥 This is a moment of burning urgency. Palestinians protesters are being killed. Gaza City will soon run out of food and water. Hate crime attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank are on the rise. But in this dire moment, we see young Jews rising up and speaking out like never before. And how could we not? If not now, when?
Join the hundreds of Jews who’ve already added a 🔥 to their name on social media to show their support for freedom and dignity for *all*.