This week, yet again, I've found myself standing up for Israel in a literary community (in this case, a Listserv) that I don't believe should be focusing on Middle East politics in the first place. One of the reasons I began this blog was to provide myself with an outlet to express the love and support for Israel that is part of my Jewish self.
In that spirit, I am dedicating this post to listing resources I recommend for anyone who wants to stand up for Israel at this difficult time. What is happening in Gaza is tragic in so many ways, for so many people, Israelis and Palestinians alike, but the fault rests squarely with Hamas. Period. Israel needs the world's support, not its vilification.
Any of the organizations listed below can also provide you with background, news, and other information that can help you try to understand what is happening in Gaza, which is essential as you may attempt to discuss the situation with others. But these groups can also help you take concrete, immediate actions to support Israel. They've already helped me do so.
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
--The Union is working with Keren B'Kavod, a project of the Israel Religious Action Center, and other agencies to help the victimized residents of Southern Israel who "have been under constant attack from rockets fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza." As the URJ notes, "the problems will only get worse as violence in the region continues." Click here to donate to help.
--Pray for Israel. The URJ's Prayers for Israel page includes "Prayers for the State of Israel, Prayers On Behalf of Israeli Defense Forces, Prayers for Peace, Prayers in Song, and Modern Readings and Poems on Israel."
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
--Tired of how the UN treats Israel? Angered by suggestions of "equivalency" between Hamas's terrorism and Israel's efforts to rid the world of that terrorism? Sign the ADL's "Letter of Outrage to the United Nations."
--Express your support for Israel to the members of your congressional delegation.
(SWU is "an international education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources.")
--Attend a pro-Israel rally. SWU lists rallies taking place in the United States and other countries here.
--Download pro-Israel posters, signs, and icons, all accessible via the SWU homepage.