Petition seeks Jews critical of Gaza action


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A group of Jewish intellectuals and clergy is appealing to Jews who are "supportive of Israel but troubled by the Gaza campaign."

An advertisement soliciting signatures for a petition condemning Israel’s recent action in the Gaza Strip as "unjust" and creating a "humanitarian disaster" is set to appear Thursday in The New York Jewish Week.

"We condemn Hamas and Israel for violating the human rights of civilians on both sides, although we do not necessarily declare these violations to be morally or legally equivalent," the petition reads. "We affirm the rights of both Israeli and the Palestinian peoples to self-determination and self-defense, as we affirm the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

The petition is organized by two bloggers, Richard Silverstein and Jerry Haber, who have been critical of Israel’s policies on Palestinians.

Rabbis and cantors are among the 350 signatories to date, as well as leftist intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Murray Polner.

Organizers plan to run the ad in an Israeli newspaper as well.

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