[URJBiennial] The Crisis in Darfur
[URJBiennial] Rabbi Marmur on Heschel

[URJBiennial] Voting

In Friday afternoon's plenary session we voted on several resolutions. None were close enough to require paper votes; they were all voice votes, and all of them passed. The list included resolutions on Global Poverty and the Polticization of Science in the United States (we're against both of those) and Jewish Military Chaplains and Jewish Military Personnel and their Families (we support them).

My favorite comment was on the resolution to support Voting Rights in the District of Columbia:  "The resolution was endorsed by the Dalai Lama. Can we do less?" That was the whole comment, right there. Ahh, the pleasure of a pithy comment during a long plenary!

The resolution which engendered the greatest discussion was the Resolution on the War in Iraq. Most of the comments were in favor of the resolution (which, writ large, condemns the war and asks the Bush administration for greater transparency and for a clear exit strategy); a few folks clearly felt it didn't go far enough. Here are a couple of representative comments on that one:

"As a Vietnam Veteran I find it difficult to speak dispassionately about this resolution...Forty years ago...I asked myself, 'Why in God's name are we here?' I couldn't justify the carnage and death...There are just wars and there are unjust wars. You can hate war, as I do, and yet honor the bravery of those who serve, as I do....This is not a just war."

"I am voting for this resolution to support our troops, who put themselves in harm's way and who we as a nation are failing so miserably. Yet I am saddened that this resolution speaks not with moral clarity...but to the war's popularity and lack thereof, and success and lack thereof. I ask, when will we have an opportunity as a Union to speak about the justice of this war? To speak unambiguously about how wrong this war was in the beginning and continues to be?"

Since I'm leaving early on Sunday, I won't be present to vote on the resolutions relating to international human rights, torture, and the Confederate flag. It's interesting being a delegate, even though our votes haven't been close and I've been largely aligned with the prevailing mindset; I like feeling a part of the decision-making process, even though I know these resolutions are largely formalities.

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