Jewish Journal


July 30, 2010

Facts on the Ground



Symbols are not as important as the things they represent, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that.  Take the current disagreement over the proposal to construct a mosque at the World Trade Center site.  The Anti-Defamation League says it opposes the plan; JStreet favors it.  Of course the deeper issue is not Cordoba House or its planned programming about (among other things) Arab-Jewish relations.  The building is being debated because of what it stands for.

A guest column in todays’s Jerusalem Post takes the opposite approach.  Ari Hart, co-founder of the Orthodox social-justice organization Uri l’Tzedek,  writes about the planned encirclement of the Palestinian village of Walaja by an extension of the separation barrier.  For him it is not a metaphor for some abstract policy question.  It’s about the lives and livelihoods of 2000 human beings.  It’s well worth reading—both because of the issues it raises, and because it is a model of placing human concerns over rhetorical ones.

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