Liberal Jewish groups have had a less full throated reaction to the hoopla surrounding Israel’s 60th, tempering their celebrations with reminders of the still unfulfilled promise of Israel’s creation. Rabbis For Human Rights-North America’s celebration, held Thursday at the southwest entrance to Central Park, billed itself as an “alternative” ceremony.
Debbie Friedman was there, guitar in hand, as were about 60 others. Two trees were planted for peace, echoing RHR’s work protecting Palestinian olive trees. And Rabbi Gordon Tucker taught from RHR’s new Talmudic-style commentary on Israel’s Declaration of Independence:
RHR, like its Israeli counterpart, has been criticized for seeming to be more concerned with Palestinian rights than Jewish ones. Thursday’s ceremony cleverly focused on Israel’s founding document, holding the country to the very standards it has established for itself. Though I wonder if I was the only one who felt the singing of Hatikva at the end was something of an afterthought.