Hundreds more rabbis demand ceasefire as call gains mainstream traction

Hundreds more rabbis demand ceasefire as call gains mainstream traction

The Forward reports:

More than 450 rabbis called on President Joe Biden Friday to end the war in Gaza, adding momentum to growing calls for a ceasefire among liberal American Jews who have become deeply uncomfortable with Israel’s military operation.

“There is no military solution to this conflict,” the rabbis, including leaders of large synagogues, stated in a letter organized by T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights group. “A ceasefire is the only reliable, proven means for securing the release of the remaining hostages and ensuring the provision of desperately needed humanitarian relief to Gaza.”

Pro-Palestinian activists, including some progressive Jews, rallied behind the call for a ceasefire almost immediately after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack that killed an estimated 1,200 people in southern Israel.

But despite regular criticism of the Israeli government, liberal Jewish groups like T’ruah, a network of more than 2,300 rabbis, have been reluctant to use the “ceasefire” language — and affiliate themselves with the larger protest movement against Israel — even as they began expressing doubts about Israel’s war effort in the late fall and winter.

That reluctance appears to have diminished in recent weeks. A February poll found that 50% of American Jews supported a ceasefire, compared to 34% that opposed it. Rabbis for Ceasefire, an independent group formed in late October with several dozen clergy behind it, now has 311 signatories. [Continue reading…]

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