Humanistic Jews around the world hold opinions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the entire political spectrum, from ardent Zionist to anti-Zionist. There is no consensus, and we don’t anticipate consensus anytime soon.
Considering how emotional the debate can get, the best we hope to achieve is respectful dialogue that incorporates our humanistic values, including empathy, compassion, reason, and rationality.
Over the years, the board of directors of the Society for Humanistic Judaism has written statements about Israel, often supportive and at times in response to violent flareups of the conflict. We have preserved those statements below, recognizing that they were written at a specific time and may no longer reflect current viewpoints of their authors.
Humanistic Judaism — as a belief system and a community — is big enough to be inclusive of all political viewpoints that utilize humanistic values, and we reject single-issue ideological “purity tests” from any direction. Let’s talk about it, respectfully.
One area where we do have near-consensus when it comes to Israel is in our call for greater religious pluralism, inclusive of secular Israelis and interfaith couples. We support the work of our sister organization in Israel, T’mura-IISHJ, which has ordained nearly 50 Secular Humanistic rabbis and is leading the struggle for social justice in Israel based on secular and humanistic values.
[PHOTO: Touring the Israeli-occupied West Bank town of Hebron with the organization Breaking the Silence, taken by SHJ executive director Paul Golin while on the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable trip to Israel/Palestine, November 2022.]
SHJ Board Resolutions About Israel
- General Statement on Israel
- SHJ Stands with Israel (July 21, 2014)
- Resolution: Condemning the American Studies Association’s Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (May 2014)
- Resolution: Endorsing a Moment of Silence at the 2012 Olympic Games in Commemoration of Israeli Athletes Murdered at Munich Games in 1972 (July 2012)
- Resolution: Supporting Israel’s Right and Responsibility to Defend its Citizens (May 2002)
- Resolution: Supporting the Mideast Peace Process (October 2000)