What can you do to support Israel

Local television newscasts this week have shown at least two pro-Palestinian demonstrations, both including Jews on the left who marched with local Palestinians.

Where are the pro-Israel marchers?

Israel is in crisis. Israelis are afraid to leave their homes after seeing more than 40 of their friends and neighbors killed in ongoing suicide bombings in the past 10 days.

It's no wonder that Holocaust survivors are saying they feel as if a second Shoah is under way. To them, the Palestinians are attempting to purge the Mideast of Jews just as the Nazis tried to purge Europe.

On top of all that, world leader after world leader has lashed out at Israel while ignoring Palestinian terrorism. Only President Bush has supported Israel's efforts to put an end to terrorism.

It's no wonder Israel badly needs to hear more words of support, especially from Jews in America.

Yossi Amrani, Israeli consul general in San Francisco, called a meeting of Bay Area Jewish leaders Tuesday to discuss that very issue. He was concerned that little was being done here to rally those of us who support Israel.

Lots of ideas came out of that meeting. Some people are writing letters of thanks to Bush; others are writing letters to the editors of local newspapers. Plans are in the works for a rally in support of Israel, perhaps on April 17, Israel Independence Day. Also, an Israeli education day may be scheduled. Rabbis will be urged to plan events in their own synagogues.

As an example of what he thinks should be done locally, the consul general handed participants a letter from the president of the Seattle Jewish community, Dr. Michael Spektor.

Spektor outlines events already planned in Seattle. He suggests Jews write to their congressional representatives. He urges that they buy Israeli products and give to the federation.

He ends by saying, "I don't expect all Jews in Seattle will be in agreement with the policies of the current Israeli government. This call to action is simple. It says that regardless of your personal views, Israel is in a crisis and we need to come together in unity to support the people of Israel who are under attack."

He concludes: "In the words of the late Todd Beamer…'Let's roll.'"

And for those of us in the Bay Area, "let's roll" as well.