Finding it hard to keep up with all the information regarding the current events in Israel? Overwhelmed? Confused?
Here are some helpful resources for you to better understand Israel and its current crisis. Thanks to The Union for Reform Judaism and Jewish Federation of Broward County for putting them together.
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.
- “We Hold All of These Truths” by Rabbi Rick Jacobs
- A video message from Rabbi Rick Jacobs from the Union for Reform Judaism
- “A Prayer for Peace” by Rabbi Josh Weinberg
- “Choosing Vision Over Victimhood” by Rabbi Marc J. Rosenstein
Israel: Story & History:
- 1948 Israeli War of Independence
- History of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict
- Why I Am A Zionist
- Is Israel an Occupying Power?
- Does Israel Act as an Apartheid State?
- What Is Hamas
- The First Intifada
- The Second Intifada
- “Where are your Jews?” — Hillel Neuer speech to the U.N.
- What are the Israeli settlements? – Series
Current Events – Israel Crisis 2021:
Why: Why Did This Start?
- Briefing with Dr. Michael Oren, former Ambassador of Israel to the U.S.
- What is Happening in the Conflict with IDF International Media Spokesperson Lt-Colonel Jonathan Conricus
- The Causes Behind the Conflict (watch from minute 7, connection problems led to a late start)
- Israel: A Concise History of A Nation Reborn
- The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland―Then, Now, Tomorrow
- Exodus: A Novel of Israel
- Like Dreamers: Paratroopers Reunited Jerusalem
Israel & Antisemitism
- How can we act effectively today?
- Contribute to Israel directly thorough the Emergency Fund.
- Educate yourself. Share these resources with others so they can do the same:
- Urge Members of Congress to Stand with Israel – sign on your behalf, and share with at least one more friend/family member, preferably those who live in other areas across the U.S. to allow a wider outreach to elected officials.
- How can we act effectively for the long term?
Get involved. Make sure you know what resources you have available to you.