New from T’ruah
August 24, 2015
As a rabbinic organization committed to human rights and the pursuit of justice in both Israel and the United States, we are deeply concerned about the likelihood that U.S. tax exempt donations are being used to finance terrorism within Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Today, T'ruah filed a request to the Office of the New York State Attorney General to investigate the American fundraising arm of Honenu and its fiscal sponsor, the Central Fund of Israel, regarding their use of charitable funds to support of Israeli Jews who have engaged in terrorist activities.
Honenu declares its primary purpose as legal defense for Israeli Jews accused of terrorist activities. If this were Honenu's only activity, we would have no complaint. Everyone deserves a fair trial with a lawyer. But Honenu also admits to making cash payments to Israelis convicted of terrorist acts and to their families.
Our filing can be read by clicking here.
Read more about this issue in the JTA article here.
“In the wake of the horrific terrorist bombing that killed an 18-month-old and his father, and left his mother and brother in critical condition, we in the U.S. Jewish community must examine our own responsibility for such crimes,” T’ruah’s executive director, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, told JTA after the group sent its complaint to the attorney general.
“We have no complaint with the use of money for legal assistance; Honenu itself admits that the money also goes for general support of those accused or convicted of these horrific crimes,” she said. But, “just as we would be furious to learn of tax-exempt money going to Hamas or ISIS, we must not allow U.S. taxpayers to subsidize money that is given strings-free to members of our own people who are accused or convicted of terror.”
T'ruah expresses our horror at the "price tag" ("tag mechir") attack last night in the northern West Bank, in which Jewish terrorists murdered an 18-month-old baby, Ali Saad Daobasa, seriously wounded his parents and four-year-old brother, and destroyed their home and that of another Palestinian family.
The words "revenge" and "long live the Messiah" were spray-painted in Hebrew on the side of their home.
We have already heard condemnations of this attack from Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli Defense Forces, Knesset members from across the political spectrum, and even Dani Dayan, head of the settler Yesha Council. These condemnations cast the perpetrators as independent actors, who do not represent Israel or the Jewish people. But such condemnations mean little without action to change the systems that make attacks such as these far too routine.
The attackers may be "bad weeds" but they grow from a poisonous context that is funded and tolerated by the State--through its military, its parliament, and even its official rabbinate.
Just as we do not dismiss Palestinian terrorists as “bad apples,” we cannot ignore the systems that have produced these perpetrators. These include first and foremost the occupation, which trivializes Palestinian lives and destroys Israel’s soul; the privileging of the demands of settlers over both Palestinians and other Israelis; an educational system that teaches only one side of the story; rabbis and communal leaders who preach hate; settlements and yeshivot that cultivate people who feel empowered and entitled to carry out horrific crimes; and different legal systems for Palestinians and Israelis, within which perpetrators of "price tag" attacks are rarely arrested and even more rarely convicted.
July 31, 2015
אל מלא רחמים שוכן במרומים, המצא מנוחה נכונה תחת כנפי השכינה במעלות קדושים וטהורים כזוהר הרקיע מזהירים את נשמת עלי סעד דוואבשה שנרצח בפעולת איבה וטרור בארץ ישראל. ארץ אל תכסי דמו "רבת שכנה לה נפשי עם שונא שלום" (תה' קכ:ו) "ידינו דמים מלאו. נרחץ נזדכה נסיר רוע מעללינו מנגד עינך נחדל הרע. למדו היטב דרשו משפט" (על פי ישעיהו א:טז-יז) ובכן בעל הרחמים יסתירהו בסתר כנפיו לעולמים ויצרור בצרור החיים את נשמתו ה' הוא נחלתו וינוח בשלום על משכבו ונאמר אמן.
God, filled with compassion, dwelling in infinity, grant complete rest, in Your sheltering Presence, among the holy and the pure, shining like the radiance of the firmament, to the soul of Ali Saad Daobasa who was murdered in a hateful act of terror in the land of Israel. Let the land not conceal his blood, “My soul has too long dwelled with those who hate peace.” (Psalms 120:6) "Our hands are full of blood. Let us wash ourselves, cleanse ourselves, and put away the evil of our doings before your eyes. Let us cease to do evil. Learn to do well and to seek justice." Thus, Compassionate One, we ask that he finds perfect peace in Your eternal embrace. May his soul be bound up in the bond of life. You are now his inheritance. And may he rest in peace. And we say: Amen.