Alarm Bell for the Collective Conscience

As perfect a 21st century Jewish mission statement as you are going to find – here’s a taste from a recent Ha’aretz editorial on the plight of Darfurian refugees who are currently seeking asylum in Israel:

Too soon we have forgotten the suffering that is the lot of the persecuted. Perhaps we have grown accustomed to concern ourselves only with our own plight after absorbing Jewish refugees since the founding of the state. Today, when we are more prosperous, when the reservoir of Jewish refugees has dried up, there is fortunately no reason to scan the globe for people who could be considered Jewish and coax them to come here. And there is no reason to remain indifferent to the suffering of non-Jews who could contribute to the State of Israel as much as any Jew.

Darfur and its refugees are like an alarm bell for the collective conscience, and that bell is supposed to ring also when non-Jews are suffering.

Another great take (again in Ha’aretz) comes from the venerable Israeli Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer.

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