Remove Militarist Prayers and Symbols from Our Synagogues

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Dan Fischer
Dan Fischer signed this petition

We call on our synagogues to remove from our sanctuaries and prayer services all words and symbols that promote militarism and settler-colonial nationalism. These include conventional versions of the "Prayer for Our Armed Forces," "Prayer for the State of Israel," and "Prayer for our Country," as well as the display of the U.S. and Israeli flags in our sanctuaries during worship.

By placing national flags next to the Torah scrolls, we produce a toxic mixture of religion and nationalism. By praying for God to strengthen the U.S. and Israeli militaries, we ignore the rights of these countries' victims.

These words and symbols not only disrupt the sanctity of our spiritual practice, but they also can inspire deadly consequences beyond the synagogue walls. Messages of narrow nationalism and war are not lost on the adults, teenagers, and children with whom we congregate. They affect how we treat others, how we share information, how we vote, and how we contribute money. According to the Jerusalem Post, we Jews contribute about 50% of the Democrats' donations and 20% of the Republicans ( https://bit.ly/2H4uqzO ). If we prayed with words of internationalism and peace, we could help make a real difference in our community and perhaps even in the policy of the world's most powerful country and in the policy of its allied Israeli government.