My Remarks at #AIPAC2016

My Remarks at #AIPAC2016
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, I HAVE HAD THE GREAT HONOR TO BE INVITED, ALONG WITH OTHER ACTIVISTS, TO THE WHITE HOUSE. AND BOTH TIMES, AS I ENTERED THE GATES, I FELT LIKE MY ANCESTORS WERE WATCHING ME, CRYING FROM HEAVEN THAT A CHILD OF THEIRS WOULD BE INVITED TO SUCH A PLACE OF POWER.

TODAY, AS WE PREPARE TO GO TO CAPITOL HILL, ONCE AGAIN I SENSE MY ANCESTORS WATCHING ME. BUT THIS TIME THEIR TEARS ARE SHED OUT OF DEEP WORRY, BECAUSE THE STABILITY AND STEADINESS OF OUR COUNTRY FEELS SO TENUOUS ---BECAUSE IN TOO MANY PLACES IN AMERICA TODAY, WE GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH SUSPICION - OR WORSE.

WE HAVE STOPPED LISTENING TO ONE ANOTHER.

WE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO RESPECT EACH OTHER WHEN WE DISAGREE.

FRIENDS, YOU AND I KNOW THAT THE PRO-ISRAEL COMMUNITY CANNOT AND MUST NOT EMBRACE THE POLITICS OF HATE, OF DIVISION AND DISTRUST, OF PARTISANSHIP AND POLARIZATION--- NOT NOW. NOT EVER.

JEWISH HISTORY TELLS US THAT HATRED IS WHAT TORE OUR HOME APART 2,000 YEARS AGO. AND TODAY, WE OWE OUR WORLD MUCH BETTER THAN THAT.

HAVE WE LEARNED THE PAINFUL LESSONS OF OUR OWN HISTORY, OR HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THE COMMUNAL COST OF HATE?

WE COME FROM SO MANY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS, AND THAT SHOULD BE THE BEAUTY AND STRENGTH OF OUR MOVEMENT.

WE ALL – PROGRESSIVES AND CONSERVATIVES -  ARE FUELED BY OUR PASSION TO KEEP THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN AMERICA AND ISRAEL ROCK SOLID.

WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH PASSION, WE MUST MAKE SURE THAT WE TRANSCEND PARTY POLITICS, AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE WORTH OF THOSE WITH WHOM WE DISAGREE SO THAT WE CAN  COMMIT TO ADDRESSING THE ISSUES THAT MATTER MOST TO ISRAEL’S FUTURE STRENGTH AND SURVIVAL.

AIPAC’S COMMITMENT TO BIPARTISANSHIP ISN’T JUST ABOUT US BEING MENTCHES IN THE WORLD.  BIPARTISANSHIP IS AN ETHICAL OBLIGATION TO SEE HUMANITY IN THE OTHER. 

FRIENDS, THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP ISRAEL STRONG AND TO BUILD A BELOVED COMMUNITY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES IS TO REGARD THE MULTIPLICITY OF VOICES WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR NATION AS SACRED.

AND SO AS WE MEET WITH OUR LEADERS TODAY TO TALK ABOUT WAYS TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE AMERICA AND ISRAEL STRONGER AND SAFEER, LET US BE MINDFUL OF THE VERY REAL RESPONSIBILITY WE CARRY.

MAY WE LEAD BY EXAMPLE – AN EXAMPLE THAT ALL OUR ANCESTORS WOULD BE PROUD OF.

THANK YOU.

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