A Fragile Peace
September 2, 2014
Dear Friends of The Fellowship,
There’s a joke you’ll see on the Internet these days that reflects the Israeli people’s ability to inject some lighthearted humour into even the worst of times. It goes something like: What does the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel mean? It means we cease, they fire.
There’s a lot of truth to this joke. Hamas has rejected or violated 11 ceasefires during Operation Protective Edge. So, while the current ceasefire makes us cautiously hopeful – and also grateful for a time of quiet – we also have deep reservations.
As we continue to pray for a lasting peace, we know that one of our most critical tasks is to help Israel on the long road to recovery. It is time to rebuild, to restore shattered lives, to comfort and reassure those who have lost loved ones or livelihoods. And we remember, too, that even as Israel has been coping with the horrors of war, there are Jewish populations who live every day under threat of anti-Semitism, terrorism, and war. In the coming weeks and months, we will be continuing our massive effort to assist Jews in Ukraine, where rising civil unrest has turned into all-out war and people are in dire need of temporary protection and emergency assistance with aliyah (immigration to Israel).
Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, once said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” And so, with faith in a God Who can work miracles, we continue to believe that peace is possible, no matter how unlikely it may seem, and no matter how strongly our enemies may work against it. I thank each and every one of you who have supported the Jewish people during this crisis, and who continue to reach out to those in need around the world. We are truly partners in the pursuit of peace.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
President and Founder, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews® of Canada