Thursday, February 7, 2008
Israeli Peace and Diversity Week at UC Berkeley
Am Yisrael Chai! This week marks Tikva SFI's "Israeli Peace and Diversity Week," a celebration of the optimistic and tolerant spirit that Israel has always borne even as terror attacks continue to plague its people on a daily basis. On Wednesday, a mob of Jewish students and other supporters congregated in the middle of Sproul Plaza in a rally to show solidarity with Israel, as they sang Israeli songs and chanted "Israel wants peace!", in the process effectively dwarfing an adjacent anti-Israel rally. Today, the members of Tikva put on a presentation in front of Sproul Hall that dramatized the plight of the inhabitants of the Israeli town of Sderot, into which terrorists from Gaza shoot rockets every day. Other events during the week included movie screenings such as Brooke Goldstein's "The Making of a Martyr, " a documentary which shows how the Palestinian educational system encourages child suicide bombing, thus highlighting the severe need for Palestinian educational reform. The final event, called "The Path to Peace," will take place along Sproul and will highlight the numerous times throughout Israel's history that it has sought to achieve peace with its neighbors. Ultimately, the week is a reminder of how amazing a country Israel is, how diverse are the people that make up its borders, how Israelis hope for peace even as they cope physically and emotionally when another rocket almost destroys another Israeli house. Judging by the sheer numbers of Jews who came to show support for Israel this week, and the passion and energy that pervaded the events, it appears that a strong pro-Israel presence has once again returned to Berkeley. BARUCH HASHEM, BERKELEY NOSHEM!!!!