Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the traditional conclusion of Ramadan. A traditional greeting is Eid Mubarak- “A blessed Eid”. As Ramadan began, I was in Israel and this has marked one of the most blood-soaked periods in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that I can remember in my lifetime. I personally experienced Hamas missile attacks. Let me be clear; I stand squarely with my brothers and sisters in Israel, and this completely avoidable war was begun by Hamas in an effort to cause violence and death not only to Jews, but also to the Arab population that they rule with an iron fist.
But we are at war with Hamas and their kindred spirits, such as Islamic Jihad-we are not at war with Muslims and are not at war with Arabs as a whole. In my experience, we Jews share quite a bit with Muslims in terms of culture and beliefs, and were it not for this age-old conflict we would probably find much common ground. The day after I returned from Israel I met up with an American Muslim friend, and we agreed that Islam and Judaism share many principles, including the importance of tzedakah, prayer, penitence, and study (the word Quran is identical to the Hebrew word Qura’, which means “scripture”).
My people are at war with an enemy that seeks our destruction-Hamas and all those who support Hamas. I refuse to be at war with Islam, or with all Muslims. Eid Mubarak.