As our relationship to Israel increasingly divides our community rather than uniting us, our instinct is often to create polarizing ideological and political boundaries that define “legitimate” and “illegitimate” views on Israel. Meanwhile, the facts on the ground in Israel itself are changing every day, and there is often a chasm between the rules we use to govern the Israel discourse and the realities of Israel itself.
What would happen if we considered using “moral” red lines as opposed to “political” red lines to define the discourse? How might we make the case for the integrity of community – and the possibility of pluralism – around such a divisive set of political issues? And how can we ensure that our Jewish communities do not become an additional tragic casualty of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is the President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and a leading thinker and author on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, the value of the Jewish past to the Jewish present and questions of leadership and change in American Jewish life. Yehuda leads the efforts of the Institute across the North American Jewish communal landscape and teaches widely in the Institute’s many platforms for rabbis, lay leaders, Jewish professionals and leaders of other faith communities.