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WAWA/WeAreWideAwake is my Public Service to America as a muckracker who has journeyed seven times to Israel Palestine since June 2005. WAWA is dedicated to confronting media and governments that shield the whole truth.

We who Are Wide Awake are compelled by the "fierce urgency of Now" [Rev MLK, Jr.] to raise awareness and promote the human dialogue about many of the crucial issues of our day: the state of our Union and in protection of democracy, what life is like under military occupation in Palestine, the Christian EXODUS from the Holy Land, and spirituality-from a Theologically Liberated Christian Anarchist POV.

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"We're on a mission from God."
The Blues Brothers

"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all...and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave...a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils."
George Washington's Farewell Address - 1796

"My aim is to agitate & disturb people. I'm not selling bread, I'm selling yeast."

"Imagine All the People Sharing All the World."
John Lennon

"If enough Christians followed the gospel, they could bring any state to its knees." 
Father Philip Francis Berrigan 

"You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."
Tom Petty

"If I can't dance, it's not my revolution."
Emma Goldman

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Charlie Rose, 2005

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Tom Paine

"Never doubt that a few, thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." 
Margaret Mead

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John 8:32


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Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that, among these, are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it. -July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence


Home arrow Blog arrow December 2009 arrow December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009
December 2, 2009: The EU and if the church is NOT for the poor and oppressed-it is NOT The Church 
The big news today is
that the current holder of the rotating European Union presidency, Sweden, put together a draft document calling for the division of Jerusalem between Israel and a future Palestinian state and implies that the EU would recognize a Palestinian state with borders on the 1967 ‘green line’ -1949 Armistice line, including the West Bank and Gaza.

The document is great news for those seeking a just end to the Israeli Palestinian  conflict, but
Israel claims that such a move would further harm the chances of renewing the Mideast 'peace' process.

Please read more:

In November 2006, Father Manuel, the parish priest at the Latin Church and school in Gaza warned the world:

"Gaza cannot sleep! The people are suffering unbelievably. They are hungry, thirsty, have no electricity or clean water. They are suffering constant bombardments and sonic booms from low flying aircraft. They need food: bread and water. Children and babies are hungry...people have no money to buy food. The price of food has doubled and tripled due to the situation. We cannot drink water from the ground here as it is salty and not hygienic. People must buy water to drink. They have no income, no opportunities to get food and water from outside and no opportunities to secure money inside of Gaza. They have no hope.

"Without electricity children are afraid. No light at night. No oil or candles...Thirsty children are crying, afraid and desperate...Many children have been violently thrown from their beds at night from the sonic booms. Many arms and legs have been broken. These planes fly low over Gaza and then reach the speed of sound. This shakes the ground and creates shock waves like an earthquake that causes people to be thrown from their bed. I, myself weigh 120 kilos and was almost thrown from my bed due to the shock wave produced by a low flying jet that made a sonic boom.

"Gaza cannot sleep...the cries of hungry children, the sullen faces of broken men and women who are just sitting in their hungry emptiness with no light, no hope, no love. These actions are War Crimes!"

Stuart Littlewood is an author and photographer based in the UK who wrote:

Open letter to: The Most Rev. and the Rt. Hon. the Archbishop of Canterbury, Spiritual leader of the Anglican Church

By Stuart Littlewood – London

Dear Archbishop,

Two years ago, on returning from Gaza and the West Bank, I wrote about the dire conditions and the British government's complicity in the crippling blockade, and reminded prime minister Gordon Brown that Gaza was formerly entrusted to Britain under mandate, which was reason for us to feel a special responsibility.

I urged him: “Go see for yourselves the misery, the human tragedy and the devastation you have heaped on these nice people. Feel the pain and weep.
“Then amaze us. Do something courageous for once. Lift the cruel siege. End the 90 years of betrayal that has so shamed Britain."

That was before the horrific blitzkrieg launched by Israel last December/January, in which at least 350 children were murdered and thousands more maimed or made homeless. Gazans have to exist in circumstances that are simply indescribable. You know that the Strip is still under daily bombardment, the promised reconstruction has still not begun, all borders remain sealed to form a vast concentration camp and marauding Israeli warships machine-gun Gaza fishermen in their own waters.

Today I was disgusted to learn that chocolate, which few can afford but all regard as a great delicacy, especially at Muslim holy festivals such as Eid, is prohibited by Israel and banned from entering Gaza. It has to be smuggled in at great risk through the tunnel system. (See Maan News)

Gaza and the rest of the Holy Land, one would have thought, are constantly in the mind of the Church, whose purpose and inspiration are founded there. I have seen no statement about Gaza on your website since 31 December last year, when the slaughter had barely begun. So the challenge issued to Gordon Brown might just as well be addressed to your goodself …

What courageous thing will you and your colleagues do this Christmas-time to intervene and bring humanity, practical relief and spiritual help to all those Christian and Muslim families who for years have been so cruelly oppressed and abused by the Israeli regime and its supporters?

I am reminded of your Inter-Faith Committee's statement 'In Co-operation for the Common Good', which talks of a commitment to heal wounds of misunderstanding where they are found. All those who signed it are pledged to "draw on the fundamental values held in common and on the wisdom of our respective faiths to continue to work for the wellbeing of our society [and] our wider global community..."

I have also seen your 2008 Faith in Human Rights statement, on the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which seeks to "address major threats to the full realization of human rights".

As you know, the people of Gaza have for decades been denied a list of human rights as long as your arm.

Archbishop, you are a leading advocate of dialogue between the different faiths with the view that religious belief and practice have immense contributions to make to the common good. Furthermore the Church of England and the Churches of the global Anglican Communion increasingly face the need to engage with people and communities of other religions, and you personally are leading that process of engagement here and abroad.

Gaza and the rest of the Holy Land are a prime and urgent test for the engagement you speak of. Why not visit the Strip? Ask Brown and Blair to fix it, and don't take 'no' for an answer. Galvanise the government and remind them of their Christian duty to defend and protect the weak: somebody should. Of course, that is the duty of all decent men, Christian or not. 

See Mr Haniyeh. Imagine it: archbishop meets imam and prime minister of a people under continual terror attack – the forgotten children of a lesser God, apparently – while the international community stands idly by. That would be one very interesting conversation, ground-breaking and symbolic enough to make a difference… and, dare one suggest, bring a smile to the face of God.

Wish I could be there to report it.-Stuart Littlewood

Where Do We Go From Here?

November 2009

By Warren Clark, Executive Director Churches for Middle East Peace

 Last year Aaron David Miller wrote in my copy of his book, "The Much Too Promised Land" the inscription, "For Warren, who knows how hard the road to Arab-Israeli peace can be".  

In truth, I did not in fact appreciate how difficult it is to bring two sides together, even if it is clearly in the interests of Israel, the Palestinians, and the United States. In the past few weeks momentum has been lost in peace efforts, reducing expectations and strengthening the status quo, leaving a dangerous and unstable situation.

President Obama's early appointment of George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace and his conciliatory Cairo speech to the Muslim world sparked optimism about prospects for a peace agreement. Later Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed for the first time, although in qualified terms, to the principle of creation of a Palestinian state. There was talk of reaching an agreement for peace within two years, before U.S. and Israeli election cycles limit negotiating room.

The issue that has become the focus of attention and controversy, as so often in the past, is the ongoing expansion of Israeli settlements into the Palestinian territories.   The current U.S. position is  that it views settlements as "illegitimate", that it believes settlement construction activity should "stop", and that the "occupation" of Palestinian territories by Israel  that began in 1967 should "end".  However, at a much anticipated meeting in September at the UN, President Obama, Netanyahu, and Abbas failed to achieve a positive result.   The President said comprehensive talks should proceed, even if there is not a complete stop in all settlement activity.

Palestinian negotiators have been unwilling to enter into negotiations as long as settlements continue to expand, especially in East Jerusalem.   The Palestinians have been here before.  During much of the 1990s as the Oslo "peace process" talks went on, construction of Israeli settlements expanded rapidly, creating "facts on the ground" at the expense of Palestinian territory.  The process resembled a slow motion invasion and displacement of one people by another.  For Palestinians Netanyahu's offer to start talks now while settlements continue to expand resembles too much the failed formula of the past.

The call by the President for talks to begin without a settlement freeze and praise by Secretary Clinton of Israeli's offer of "restraint" on settlement activity in the West Bank (but not in East Jerusalem)  means that for now the political pressure is off. There is no longer the incentive to make the hard decisions that will be required in any real peace agreement.  For now Israel can continue to expand settlements and displace Palestinians in East Jerusalem at little political cost. 

Matters were complicated by the release of the Goldstone report in October that detailed credible allegations of war crimes by both Israel and Hamas during the Gaza fighting in December 2008 and January 2009. Israel has said it cannot enter into peace negotiations while there are threats of sanctions against it.  The U.S. and others have called for independent, credible investigations of the allegations by Israel and the Palestinians, while seeking to eliminate the possibility of sanctions against Israel by keeping consideration of the report out of the UN Security Council.

It may be that the current constellation of political forces means that peace talks are just not feasible at this time.  The ability of the U.S. to bring about change is demonstrably limited. Both Israel and the Palestinians have political divisions that only they can heal. Recalling the failed Camp David summit in 2000, it should be clear that talks that are not adequately prepared and supported can backfire.

Meanwhile, Israeli government plans are continuing to surround the Old City of Jerusalem with a theme park and more settlements.  Ethnic pressures continue. According to the UN, some 103 Palestinian residences in East Jerusalem have been destroyed since Obama became President, leaving 581 persons homeless.

For now the U.S. seems without an actionable strategy for Israel-Palestine peace.  U.S. and Israeli failure to support creation of a viable Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem threatens the end of a democratic Jewish majority state of Israel with secure and recognized borders. Either there will be a new U.S. initiative that will change equations or inaction will lead to renewed violence.

There are several possibilities for U.S. action:

    * There could be Presidential speech putting forward detailed "suggestions" on terms of final status issues as President Clinton did in January 2001.

    * There could be a U.S. call for a regional security conference of Israel and the Arab states plus Turkey, much as the U.S. did after the first Gulf war in 1992.  It could promote the 2002 Arab peace plan that also was endorsed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, including Iran.

    * The U.S. could support de facto an approach similar to the "Fayyad Plan" for bottom up economic, security and administrative development and capacity building by the Palestinian Authority for two years, leading to a stronger Palestinian entity that could negotiate more successfully with Israel on final status issues. Fayyad has suggested that if there is no peace agreement with Israel at the end of that time there could be a unilateral declaration of a sovereignty of Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders.

While we are in a policy pause for now, I expect some broad U.S. proposal early next year.  Obama has come up against harsh political realities, but justice, logic and the interests of all parties argue for progress. The President seems determined to persist.  Many remain unconvinced that an acceptable political formula can be found, and with good reason, but in time the perception may grow that there are no acceptable alternatives.

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa

“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946

The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright

“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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