Rabbi Brant Rosen on recent “Jewish Nonviolence” Actions

Helena Cobban Blog, Jewish-American Affairs, Nonviolence, Palestine

Brant Rosen, who’s the Rabbi of Tzedek Chicago (in Chicago) and also the Midwest Regional Director for the American Friends Service Committee, was in Palestine with a group of fellow Jewish nonviolence activists in mid-July.

The actions the group undertook were coordinated by a relatively new organization, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, whose goal is to use the Jewish privilege that is so deeply embedded in Israeli law and practice to do concrete things to support Palestinians (and Israelis) resisting Israel’s now 49-year-long military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Rabbi Brant and the host/organizer of one of the actions in Hebron: Issa Amro, head of "Youth Against Settlements".

Rabbi Brant and the host/organizer of one of the actions in Hebron: Issa Amro, head of “Youth Against Settlements”.

I was able to talk to Rabbi Brant shortly after he had returned to Chicago. The little recording I made of our conversation is now the first episode in the podcast series we plan to launch here at Just World Educational. Check it out!

I urge you also to read the lovely accounts Rabbi Brant himself has of his time in the southern West Bank at his own “Shalom Rav” blog, here.

You can also see a very thoughtfully argued description of the CJNV’s activities in and around Hebron that the U.S. Jewish writer Peter Beinart penned in Ha’Aretz, here (behind paywall.) Beinart made a point of analogizing the actions the CJNV has been taking in the Southern West Bank to the actions so many social justice activists in the United States (including many Jewish Americans) took to confront segregation in the southern United States, back in the “Freedom Summer” of 1964.

(If you can get behind the Ha’Aretz paywall to read the piece, you’ll see Rabbi Brant featured in the photo at the top there, doing some heavy lifting in his pink cap.)

But do, anyway, head over to listen to our podcast.

JWE people, what is your view of the potential for such actions to help end Israel’s occupation of Arab land? We welcome your courteous comments below.