In times of war, it is critical to challenge the logic of those who paint the violence as "inevitable," and also to treat as newsworthy those citizens who actively challenge the conventional narrative from within Israel.
As personal as this war might be for many in the diaspora, it is crucial for our community to promote an environment that fosters respectful dialogue and debate. But more leaders on both sides must continue to advocate for respectful dialogue in order for change to come.
Are we going to stand back and spectate while the ugly foundations of a modern day dystopia are laid in front of our eyes? Or will our common humanity unite us and compel us to act to help save the people of Gaza?
Amidst all of this violence, a different kind of violence infiltrates our television screens, radio waves and news feeds. The war of words between both sides rages far beyond the small square footage of Israel and Gaza.
If one doesn't have the facts, the cagey and deceptive news media can persuade one to false conclusions: they make it sound as if two equal military adversaries are exchanging fire: the reality and devastation on the ground in Gaza dispels all such dubious insinuations.
You can never achieve a lasting peace if a major player in the conflict is excluded from the process. If Netanyahu will not muster the courage for a creative long-term strategy, the next escalation with Hamas is only a matter of time.
The deplorable and frightening violence erupting in Israel and in the occupied territories is not an inevitable blood feud. It is the logical outcome of leaders who cannot come to the table to negotiate peace for the sake of their people.
George Orwell wrote in his masterpiece 1984 that "the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war." Rarely has this been as true as in Operation Pillar of Defense.
The Zionist experiment has emerged -- quietly and vibrantly -- as a clear demonstration of the power of progressive values. Let's stand with those who continue to uphold our deepest principles, even in the face of the most belligerent anti-liberal provocations.
I believe that those who desire peace for all Israelis and all Palestinians are in the majority--but they have to speak up. They can no longer remain a silent and ineffective majority and continue to let their crazies dominate the conversation and run the show.
It didn't take more than 18 hours after the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated when the usual Facebook and Twitter updates were replaced with status updates ranging from exclamations of "Sending peace to the Middle East!" to updates of a distinctly different kind.
I feel sad for the innocent sufferers on both sides of this battle. I want this to end and want the Gazan Palestinians and the Israelis to know calm and security, even if the region is not yet ready for a total peace.