As we write, we are facing very difficult times in Israel. Hamas rockets are raining down for the 12th day in a row, marking the largest attack on Israel since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The URJ stands firmly with our siblings in Israel – Jews and non-Jews alike – who are the victims of this deadly onslaught by Hamas. At the same time, the images of Gazans suffering because of Israel’s necessary strikes to eradicate Hamas’s military infrastructures reflect a painful and tragic loss of life. While some see this conflict in only stark black and white terms, it is intensely complex.
To help navigate this complexity, we offer the following resource guide, including material that may be helpful in laying out the context and nuances of this latest round of violence between Hamas and Israel.
- May 2021: Exploring the Current Israeli-Palestinian Crisis: This curated collection from the Jewish Education Project is ongoing and will be updated with new resources as they are published.
- From Jerusalem to Gaza: The Unfolding Israeli-Palestinian Crisis: Israel Policy Forum shares a resource explaining how a fight over pending evictions of Palestinian residents from an East Jerusalem neighborhood spiraled into fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas over Gaza.
- For Heaven's Sake Podcast: "Special Episode: Welcome to the Israeli Rollercoaster": Riots by Arab Israelis, the burning of synagogues, Jewish and Arab lynch mobs roaming the streets, and the seeming end of hope for coexistence between Israel's citizens. How did we get here? Where do we go next? Rabbi Dr, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain talk about how one can respond to a moment like this.
- Can I be a Liberal and a Zionist? A Three-Part Series: Makom developed this series to help teens develop a more multifaceted understanding of their guiding values, of Israel, and of the world at large.
- "Israel’s unraveling": Vox.com reports that the wave of riots sweeping Israeli cities reflects the damage done by a decade of divisive right-wing government.
- "Israelis, Palestinians and Their Neighbors Worry: Is This the Big One?" (New York Times, May 11, by Thomas L. Friedman)
- "For Trump, Hamas and Bibi, It Is Always Jan. 6: Netanyahu and Hamas both have a similar understanding of what it takes to remain in power. (New York Times, May 16, by Thomas L. Friedman)
- "Israel’s Real Existential Threat": "More than the missiles, I worry about the terror we have internalized. How will we overcome the hatred and fear?" (New York Times, May 17, by Yossi Klein Halevi)
- "I grew up in a mixed Jewish-Arab city. Violence there frightens me more than rockets from Gaza": The long process of healing requires an honest attempt at a more equitable relationship between the state and its Arab citizens. (Times of Israel, May 15, by Tomer Persico)
- "The key to understanding Hamas" (Times of Israel, May 18, by Douglas Feith)
Political and Historical
- A concise piece posted to Facebook: Ittay Flescher, an Australian/Israeli journalist and educator, shares helpful resources for looking at news and how to how to make sense of the deluge of information available.