1

!"# %&''() *")+&+, -..-
*(/ 0+/ 1)20#34 53)026 0+/ 7+8&32#&8&3#

l reLurned from my annual Lrlp Lo lsrael searchlng for a reLurn Lo normalcy. 1he slgns of
Lhe war l lefL behlnd appeared everywhere. l venLured Lo WesL neck 8each Lo [oln my
frlends for a mornlng swlm ln Lhe Long lsland Sound. lL ls my laLesL flLness passlon: open
waLer swlmmlng. 1he parklng loL was fllled wlLh Lrucks and LenLs. ApparenLly WesL
neck 8each parklng loL ls Lhe sLaglng area for Lhe fllmlng of º8oyal Þalns," a show ofLen
fllmed ln Lhe PunLlngLon area. Cver Lhe years Lhere have been Llmes when our showers
and baLhrooms have been Lransformed lnLo a 1lkl 8ar. 1he slgns of Lhe weeks prlor
reappeared. My mlnd wandered Lo my frlends and acqualnLances walLlng aL Lhelr army
unlLs' sLaglng area on Caza's border for Lhe sLarL of Lhe ground offenslve. Cur parklng
loL appeared as such a Lrlfllng by comparlson. A sLaglng area for a bad 1v show. A
sLaglng area for Lroops readylng for baLLle. 64 lsraell soldlers were kllled ln acLlon.
2,200 Cazans dled ln rulns.

Cn anoLher day, l was aL Lhe offlce and Lhe cusLodlal sLaff was movlng furnlLure ln Lhe
floor above me (Lhls was aL 430 norLh 8roadway). Such rearranglng of Lhe Lables and
chalrs ln Lhe caLerlng hall Lhere ofLen made loud nolses ln our offlces below. 1here was
a loud bang. l saL up and LhoughL, ºl have Lo go Lo Lhe bomb shelLer." 1he war
conLlnues Lo flnd me. And Lhen l remembered where l was. 1o be honesL l never felL
LhreaLened or even afrald when l was ln !erusalem. lL was noL llke llfe sLopped. Cn Lhe
Lwo occaslons when l dld whaL l was supposed Lo do and followed proLocol, here ls whaL
happened. 1he slrens wenL off. l walked down Lhe sLalrs of my aparLmenL Lo Lhe
basemenL and greeLed whoever else was Lhere. We lnLroduced ourselves lf lL was our
flrsL meeLlng. 1hen came Lhe rouLlne. CounL Lhe exploslons (1-2-3-4) and laLer conflrm
Lhe news reporLs Lo see lf your counL was accuraLe. (ºlour rockeLs lnLercepLed ln Lhe
!erusalem area.") WalL 10 mlnuLes, say goodbye and Lhen reLurn Lo Lhe aparLmenL and
mosL lmporLanL of all conLlnue wlLh your day as lf noLhlng happened. Cur offlce sLaff
wlLh whom l Skyped LhoughL my aLLlLude was raLher cavaller. ln !erusalem however
where Lhere were 90 seconds of warnlng Lhere was llLLle cause for alarm. ln facL l wenL
for my scheduled run abouL an hour afLer Lhe second warnlng slren. And yeL l was
surprlsed how Lhose booms found Lhelr way lnLo my hearL.

Whlle Lhe aLLlLude of everyday lsraells mlghL be nonchalanL (whaL cholce do Lhey really
have?) Lhe declslon of Lhe lsraell governmenL Lo defend lLs clLlzens agalnsL such rockeL
aLLacks ls absoluLely [usL. lL ls Lhe rlghL, and obllgaLlon, of every naLlon Lo glve prlorlLy Lo
Lhe llves of lLs own clLlzens over Lhe llves of oLhers. ln Lhe course of one week alone
durlng !uly Pamas flred over 1,000 rockeLs. lf noL for lron uome (klppaL 8arzel), and Lhe
acLlvlsm of AlÞAC and Lhe supporL of Lhe uS Congress and ln Lhls case Lhe supporL of
ÞresldenL Cbama, Lhe summer would have been far dlfferenL. l would have been afrald
Lo conLlnue wlLh my day as lf noLhlng happened. All lsraells, llke Lhe clLlzens of SouLhern
lsrael who have only 13 seconds Lo run for cover, would have Lhen spenL Lhe beLLer parL
of Lhelr days and nlghLs ln shelLers.
2

SLlll Lhe hearL beaLs wlLh fear from Lhls summer of war. Many of us have spoken abouL
my experlences and our feellngs. We are angry abouL Lhe world's reacLlon and lLs
lndlfference Lo !ewlsh paln. We are maddened aL how qulckly lL Lakes up Lhe case of
lsrael's enemles. LeL me focus on Lhese lssues Lhls mornlng. llrsL an anclenL sLory. ?ou
know lL well.

When Lhe !ewlsh people were leavlng LgypLlan slavery Lhey reached Lhe shores of Lhe
Sea of 8eeds. Cod performed a mlracle and parLed Lhe sea so LhaL Lhey could cross Lhe
waLers Lo dry land. 1helr LgypLlan enemles pursued Lhem and were drowned ln Lhe sea.
We celebraLe Lhls mlracle every Llme we gaLher for servlces wlLh Lhe words of Ml
Chamocha. MosL people don'L Lhlnk abouL Lhls and mosL cerLalnly don'L dwell on Lhls
buL lf Lhe waLers [usL receded Lhen Lhe people were walklng Lhrough mud. l have been
Lhlnklng abouL LhaL lmage. lL occurs Lo me LhaL every mlracle has lLs mud, every mlracle
has lLs yuck.

l belleve Lhe creaLlon of Lhe sLaLe of lsrael ls a modern mlracle. lL sLlrs my !ewlsh hearL
ln ways LhaL l sLlll sLruggle Lo undersLand. And Lhls l also reallze, Lhls mlracle Loo has lLs
mud. And so Lhls mornlng we are golng Lo wade Lhrough some mud. We are golng Lo
geL a llLLle dlrLy and lL ls golng Lo be somewhaL uncomforLable and even messy. 1hls
sermon ls Lhe sLarLlng polnL of whaL l hope wlll be our conLlnulng debaLe. l really hope
LhaL some wlll reLurn Lhls afLernoon for our open dlscusslon abouL world evenLs. l hope
LhaL more wlll geL lnvolved ln our lsrael CommlLLee.

Pere ls Lhe flrsL blL of mud. 1heodor Perzl, Lhe founder of pollLlcal Zlonlsm, argued LhaL
Lhe creaLlon of Lhe !ewlsh sLaLe would forever solve Lhe problem of anLlsemlLlsm. Cops.
1haL was hls argumenL for why we needed a sLaLe for Lhe !ewlsh people. Pe dld noL
care one loLa lf lL was ln LreLz ?lsrael, Lhe land of lsrael. Pe dld noL Lhlnk we should even
speak Pebrew Lhere. Pls wrlLlngs grew ouL of hls reporLlng on Lhe ureyfus Lrlal ln
lrance. CapLaln ureyfus, a lrench !ew, was Lrled and convlcLed of Lreason for one
reason. 8ecause he was a !ew. Perzl came Lo belleve LhaL only lf we band LogeLher ln a
sLaLe of our own can we cure anLlsemlLlsm. WhaL blLLer lrony! ln our own age aLLacks
agalnsL !ews have become synonymous wlLh haLred of lsrael. uo l need Lo recounL Lhe
many examples from Lhls pasL summer? ºCas Lhe !ews" was shouLed aL a pro-
ÞalesLlnlan rally ln Cermany [usL monLhs ago. 1he movemenL on college campuses of
8oycoLL, ulvesLmenL and SancLlons of whlch Lhe ma[orlLy of my favorlLe rockers are also
supporLers (shouL ouL Lo Lhe 8olllng SLones, Þaul McCarLney, Lady Caga and Allcla keys
for playlng ln 1el Avlv) ls growlng sLronger. AL Lhe unlverslLy of Mlchlgan (Co 8lue!)
where my daughLer ls a sLudenL some !ewlsh sLudenLs were LargeLed wlLh evlcLlon
noLlces on Lhelr dorm room doors.

1he new ?ork 1lmes, whlch l sLlll read no maLLer how angry lL makes me on some days,
on Wednesday ln an arLlcle abouL Lhe mosL popular names ln lsrael (by Lhe way Lhe
answer ls Mohammed) offered Lhls seemlngly parenLheLlcal phrase: whaL Lhe lsraell
3
governmenL llkes Lo call Lhe !ewlsh sLaLe. WhaL? Are you klddlng? Llkes Lo call Lhe
!ewlsh sLaLe? l have never seen such clarlflcaLlons abouL Lhe many Musllm sLaLes
LhroughouL Lhe world. l have never read such off hand commenLs abouL our own naLlon
where Lhe ÞresldenL llghLs a ChrlsLmas Lree and holds an LasLer egg hunL on Lhe WhlLe
Pouse lawn. 1o be falr a Seder ls also held ln Lhls WhlLe Pouse. 1he polnL ls noL of
course abouL how lncluslve our governmenL may or may noL be. lsrael was founded on
Lhe dual prlnclples of belng !ewlsh and democraLlc. Such lnsldlous asldes sLrlke aL
lsrael's very leglLlmacy, whlch should always be a glven. lsrael was creaLed ouL of voLe
by Lhe unlLed naLlons, whlch Lhe unlLed SLaLes supporLed, and Lhe Arab world re[ecLed.
lLs leglLlmacy ls a glven. lLs accepLance among Lhe famlly of naLlons should be a
foregone concluslon. 1here ls leglLlmaLe crlLlclsms of lLs pollcles. ClLlzens of Lhe world
are free Lo proLesL lLs pollcles aL lsrael's embassles LhroughouL Lhe world. When Lhose
crlLlclsms become aLLacks agalnsL lLs leglLlmacy and lLs very belng, or meLasLaslze lnLo
crlLlclsm agalnsL !ews, Lhen Lhose words become anLlsemlLlc. 1he world appears aL ease
when !ews are vlcLlms buL aglLaLed when we galn power. 1here ls no sln ln wleldlng
power, especlally when defendlng our llves.

Cnly lsrael has Lo defend lLs rlghL Lo defend lLself. And so never before have we felL so
alone. lor Lhose around my age and younger we can scarcely remember a Llme when
anLlsemLlsm was so publlc and so vengeful. WhaL appears so clear frlends and nelghbors
are unable Lo undersLand. Who would slL ldly by, or walL weeks, or drop warnlng
leafleLs before a mlllLary sLrlke, whlle rockeLs are flred aL lLs clLlzens or Lunnels are dug
under lLs borders? Pow can we be rlghL and Lhe resL of Lhe world wrong? l wlll Lell you
how. 8ecause we are!

Pamas bears greaLer responslblllLy for Lhe desLrucLlon LhaL was vlslLed upon Caza Lhls
summer. Pere ls an organlzaLlon whose ralson d'eLre ls Lhe desLrucLlon of Lhe !ewlsh
sLaLe, whose very charLer makes use of Lhe vllesL of anLlsemlLlc Lropes. uld you know
LhaL 800,000 Lons of cemenL was used Lo consLrucL Lunnels whose sole purpose was Lo
murder !ews across Lhe border? ApparenLly LhaL ls enough cemenL Lo bulld Lhe
foundaLlons for elghL skyscrapers. WhaL beLLer loL could Pamas have bullL for lLs
clLlzens lf lL was noL slngularly focused on haLred, deaLh and desLrucLlon? uld you know
LhaL 130 ÞalesLlnlan chlldren dled ln accldenLs consLrucLlng Lhese Lunnels? lnvesLlgaLe
LhaL un Puman 8lghLs Councll!

Mahmoud Abbas' recenL speech aL Lhe un was dlsgusLlng ln lLs suggesLlons LhaL lsrael
engages ln lnLenLlonal genoclde. MlsLakes were cerLalnly made, buL genoclde? 1haL
suggesLs a fundamenLal mlsundersLandlng of hlsLory. LeL us be honesL. Pamas ls aL
faulL. uo noL Lhlnk LhaL Pamas flghLs lsrael because of seLLlemenLs ln Lhe WesL 8ank. lL
denles Lhe leglLlmacy of 1el Avlv. lL aLLacks Lhe Arab-!ewlsh coexlsLence so ofLen found
ln Palfa. SLlll lsrael cannoL wlpe lLs hands of care and concern for Lhe people of Caza.
2,200 Cazans dled. 1rue many were Pamas combaLanLs. 8uL many were noL. Chlldren
dled ln lsraell sLrlkes. Cf course l know LhaL Pamas flred lLs rockeLs from schools, LhaL
Pamas lnLenLlonally endangered lLs clLlzens. Powever we musL noL allow lLs followers'
4
haLred of us, or even Lhelr deslre for our desLrucLlon, Lo harden our hearLs. We musL
flghL Lhe Lendency Lo become callous and lndlfferenL Lo Lhe paln and sufferlng
surroundlng us. 1rue lsrael's responslblllLy ls flrsL and foremosL Lo lLs own clLlzens, buL
lLs lnLeresL, lLs care and concern musL exLend beyond lLs borders.

1he rabbls Leach. When Lhe LgypLlans were drownlng ln Lhe sea, Lhe angels ln heaven
began slnglng wlLh [oy. Cod rebuked Lhem and sald, ºMy chlldren are drownlng. My
chlldren are drownlng." Llle Wlesel sald: º1here are Lhe ÞalesLlnlans Lo whose pllghL l
am senslLlve buL whose meLhods l deplore. vlolence and Lerrorlsm are noL Lhe answer.
SomeLhlng musL be done abouL Lhelr sufferlng, and soon. l LrusL lsrael, for l have falLh ln
Lhe !ewlsh people. LeL lsrael be glven a chance, leL haLred and danger be removed from
her horlzons, and Lhere wlll be peace ln and around Lhe Poly Land." !"#$%& (%)*% (+,-%
.**%/0)1*% 2/%%*34 5%*%6$%+ 784 79:;< Pe spoke Lhose words ln 1986. SLlll Lrue. SLlll
sadly Lrue.

Some more mud. And Lhls ls where Lhls mornlng's enLerprlse grows uncomforLable.
lsraell seLLlers someLlmes evlcL ÞalesLlnlans from Lhelr homes. lsraell soldlers dld noL
always behave perfecLly. War by lLs very naLure ls lmperfecL and lmpreclse. And saylng
LhaL should noL make me an lsrael haLer, an lsrael basher. ?our cause can sLlll be [usL,
even lf your meLhods are noL always perfecL. LeL me also say, slnce now l am geLLlng up
Lo my knees ln Lhe mud, ÞresldenL Cbama ls rlghL when he calls for a ÞalesLlnlan sLaLe,
when he polnLs ouL LhaL malnLalnlng conLrol over Lhe WesL 8ank erodes lsrael's
democraLlc values. 8uL Lhls LruLh ls dlfflculL Lo hear because lL comes from a presldenL
who only belaLedly calls evll by lLs proper name. ÞresldenL Cbama's heslLancy Lo geL
lnvolved ln Syrla, hls apparenL LrusL of lran's lnLenLlons, hls only recenL and relucLanL
aLLacks on lSlS, makes one wonder lf he sLlll belleves LhaL he can reason wlLh evll. lSlS
cannoL be reasoned wlLh. Lvll cannoL be excused. lL can only be confronLed.

Þrlme MlnlsLer neLanyahu undersLands beLLer Lhe reallLles, he sees Lhe evlls LhaL
surround lsrael. SomeLlmes l wonder lf he only sees Lhe exLernal LhreaLs. Pe appears
unable Lo see Lhe dangers Lhe occupaLlon of Lhe WesL 8ank represenLs Lo lsrael's
characLer and soul. As my Leacher ?ossl kleln Palevl wroLe: ºl belleve LhaL lsrael's long-
Lerm survlval depends on endlng Lhe occupaLlon, on empowerlng our nelghbors. 1he
!ews dldn'L come home Lo deny anoLher people lLs sense of home." Pe capLures Lhe
amblvalence of many lsraells when he conLlnues, º8uL how Lo creaLe a ÞalesLlnlan sLaLe
ouLslde my wlndow LhaL could well be Laken over by Pamas? Pow Lo share Lhe
governlng of !erusalem wlLh a ÞalesLlnlan sLaLe - negoLlaLed, say, wlLh ÞalesLlnlan
AuLhorlLy head Mahmoud Abbas - when we could wake up one mornlng and dlscover
LhaL we are 'sharlng' our caplLal clLy wlLh a genocldal enemy?" !=>#? 5# @A+)%&,A B#/%C4
D. E,6%A4 2%/0%6$%+ 7F4 F87G<

ln lsrael such senLlmenLs led Lo a sense of despalr abouL Lhls summer's war. Pere we go
agaln. Þush Lhem back unLll nexL Llme, people sald. 1hey appeared Lo say, 1here ls no
end game. 8uL we are obllgaLed Lo ask, Where ls Lhe end game?. 1here ls only one way
3
ouL and LhaL ls Lo flgure ouL how Lo empower moderaLe ÞalesLlnlans (and l don'L mean
ÞalesLlnlans who l always love) Lo Lake over more and more rule of Lhe WesL 8ank (and
perhaps Caza), and Lo help such leaders galn more responslblllLy for Lhe everyday llves
of ÞalesLlnlans. ?ears ago l vlslLed Lhe soon Lo be compleLed ÞalesLlnlan clLy of 8awabl
ln Lhe hearL of Lhe ÞalesLlnlan conLrolled WesL 8ank. 1hls ls a planned clLy, lL ls hoped on
Lhe scale of Columbla, Maryland. lsraell auLhorlLles have ofLenLlmes Lhrown up
bureaucraLlc roadblocks agalnsL lLs compleLlon. 1o my mlnd Lhey should lnsLead be
shlpplng Lons and Lons of cemenL Lo 8awabl. Pelp lLs leaders reallze Lhelr dream of a
modern, plurallsLlc Arab clLy. 1hls would only furLher Lhe cause of peace. 1hls ls only
buL one example. A ÞalesLlnlan sLaLe, llvlng ln peace alongslde a !ewlsh sLaLe, ls ln
lsrael's lnLeresL. Many are saylng, º1here he goes agaln. WhaL a dreamer." CullLy.

1hls ls whaL l belleve. Come aL 3 pm and l lnvlLe you, Lhrow some mud. 8uL come
prepared Lo offer a suggesLlon for anoLher way ouL. Cbama ls rlghL. neLanyahu ls rlghL.
Cbama ls wrong. neLanyahu ls wrong. ls lL posslble LhaL Lwo leaders who appear so
dlameLrlcally opposed Lo each oLher could boLh be so rlghL and boLh be so wrong? ls lL
posslble Lhen LhaL Lhe LruLh could emerge lf Lhere were Lo be honesL debaLe and
dlscusslon? 1he sLaLus quo ls unsusLalnable. lL wlll erode our dreams for lsrael. lL wlll
brlng more desLrucLlon Lo Caza. Cod wlll agaln rebuke us. 8uL Zlonlsm ls abouL
rewrlLlng hlsLory and curslng desLlny. lsraells can wrlLe a new sLory. lL ls abouL noL
glvlng ln Lo faLe. PlsLory ls for us Lo crafL. We can redeem lL.

ÞarL of LhaL redempLlon beglns wlLh an honesL heshbon hanefesh, an accounLlng of our
own deeds. Powever rlghL was lsrael's foundlng, and agaln l belleve lL Lo be a mlracle,
we musL come Lo admlL LhaL ÞalesLlnlans were dlsplaced ln Lhose years. noL all lefL Lhelr
homes on Lhelr own accord. (8ead Arl ShavlL's new book lf you wanL Lo learn more
abouL Lhls.) As much as l mlghL wlsh oLherwlse l cannoL lnslsL LhaL ÞalesLlnlans refer Lo
lsrael's foundlng wlLh Lhe rhyLhms of my narraLlve. 1hey mlghL forever refer Lo whaL l
call ?om PaaLzmauL, lsrael lndependence uay, as Al nakbha, CaLasLrophe. Þeace cannoL
hlnge on Lhe squarlng of our narraLlves. Leon WleselLler observed: ºLLhlcal llfe ls Lhe
LransformaLlon of Lhere lnLo here. MenLally, we musL llve large lf we are Lo llve
slgnlflcanLly. 8uL l fear LhaL menLally we are llvlng small. ln our forelgn pollcy, we are
abandonlng Lhe world Lo lLs chaos and lLs cruelLy, and dlsquallfylng ourselves from
acLlng on behalf of Lhe largesL and Lhe mosL llberaLlng ldeals." !=HI J3,K#1LMA N+)O%
>I6)1 P,L30A .*0,O,A6 ,1 B3,1)4Q E"P4 R%$+I)+K 74 F87G< l ask, Can ÞalesLlnlans' Lhere
ever become our here?

LeL us hope LhaL ÞresldenL Cbama now undersLands, however belaLedly, LhaL we musL
someLlmes flghL for Lhese ldeals, LhaL we musL someLlmes defend Lhese dreams by
placlng soldlers ln harms way. LeL us also pray LhaL we come Lo recognlze LhaL Lhe ldeals
of remalnlng a vlbranL !ewlsh democracy hlnge noL only on Lhe sLorles LhaL we Lell our
chlldren, buL creaLlng Lhe space for peace Lo emerge. Þerhaps all we need ln Lhls day
and age ls some dlsLance and some borders. lf lsrael Lruly maLLers Lhen lL musL become
more Lhan mere Lalklng polnLs. lf we really love lsrael Lhen we musL noL be afrald Lo
6
wade Lhrough Lhe muck and argue abouL whaL ls besL for lLs securlLy and lLs characLer.
We musL care abouL preservlng lLs soul as well as lLs body.

Some mlghL be saylng, ºWhlle Lhe world Lhrows mud us, and worse rockeLs, we should
noL crlLlclze ourselves." 8uL such commenLs deny Lhe slgnlflcance of ?om klppur. lL ls a
day glven Lo self-examlnaLlon, lL ls a day LhaL Leaches LhaL we can only achleve
reconclllaLlon wlLh oLhers lf we honesLly examlne our ways. Al cheyL shechaLanu.lor
Lhe sln we have commlLLed. 1here are Lhose as well ln good measure. We are sLrong
enough Lo geL knee deep lnLo Lhe Lhlck of such debaLes.

l have Lwo dreams for lsrael. 1haL lL wlll see peace and forever llve ln securlLy and
safeLy. And LhaL lL wlll reallze lLs !ewlsh and democraLlc values. 1haL lL wlll noL be
!ewlsh Lo Lhe excluslon of lLs democraLlc prlnclples and noL democraLlc Lo Lhe excluslon
of lLs !ewlsh herlLage.

1he besL parL of Lhose swlms wlLh whlch l began Loday's sermon ls always Lhe reLurn
swlm home. We always Lry Lo rouLe our swlms so LhaL we swlm agalnsL Lhe Llde on Lhe
way ouL and wlLh Lhe Llde on Lhe way back. 1he Llde ls of course Lhls powerful, unseen
currenL LhaL can make for Lhe mosL challenglng or Lhe easlesL of swlms. 1here have
been days when Lhe dlfference beLween Lhe flghL Lo Lhe Lurn around polnL abouL a mlle
ouL and Lhe swlm back Lo Lhe beach was Len mlnuLes. 1hen Lhere ls noLhlng qulLe llke
LhaL reLurn swlm wlLh Lhe Llde pushlng you home.

l have read enough !ewlsh hlsLory Lo know LhaL we have always foughL Lhe currenLs and
Lldes of hlsLory, LhaL we have defled all expecLaLlons and persevered desplLe many
aLLempLs Lo desLroy us, LhaL once we only dreamed buL Loday we have before us Lhe
mlracle of a vlbranL !ewlsh democracy ln Lhe land promlsed Lo our forefaLhers, buL whaL
l would glve Lo even [usL once feel llke we were swlmmlng wlLh Lhe Llde, LhaL Lhe world
had our back and LhaL we were noL swlmmlng alone each and every year, LhaL Lhere was
no us and Lhem buL only one currenL and one Llde and lL carrled us LogeLher Loward
peace.

1haL's Lhe dream LhaL keeps me golng. 1haL's Lhe dream LhaL susLalns my soul. 1ake
comforL ln lL now. 1ake hearL ln dreams on Lhls day.

P)$$, 20%O%1 S#AT#?,0-
U*0#$%+ V4 F87G
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