Support Our Sponsors
www.EileenFleming.org

 

www.TheArabDailyNews.com

RSS Feed Now Available!
WAWA Daily Blog
Our Mission
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.

Contact Eileen Fleming:


Click here to contact
Eileen Fleming:


Eileen Fleming on YouTube

CUFI Conference

John Hagee Zionists
John Hagee CUFI
conference in Miami
Photo courtesy of a.e.

The Walls of Berlin and Bil'in
Abir Aramin Dead at 10
WAWA Photo Gallery
Eileen Fleming - We Are Wide Awake
Click here to view the
WAWA photo gallery

Photos of Israel Palestine
courtesy of Meir Vanunu,
Copyright 2007-08.

Photos of the Siege
courtesy of Guss,
Copyright 2008.

 


Garth Hewitt - From The Brokern Heart Of Gaza
Garth Hewitt:
From the Broken Heart
Of Gaza

FACTS ABOUT THE WALL from friends in Bethlehem

Read the truth about the Wall and what is happening today in the Holy City of Bethlehem.

Read more...


Eileen Fleming's Biography
                
Read more...


"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."
Unamuno


"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

"We have yet to begin to IMAGINE the power and potential of the Internet."
Charlie Rose, 2005

Only in Solidarity do "We have it in our power to begin the world again"
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

"You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32

DO SOMETHING!

 
Photo of George shown here
and in web site banner
courtesy of Debbie Hill, 2000.
 


DO SOMETHING!
Click Here
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 November 2007 arrow November 2, 2007

November 2, 2007
WAWA Blog  November 1, 2007: Keynote Address by Bishop Tutu: Who Blew the Doors off in Boston Last Weekend!
Friends of SABEEL - Conference - Boston 27th October 2007

 [WAWA NOTE: BOLD empahasis MINE!]

 
PALESTINE AND APARTHEID
 
By Bishop Tutu: Preamble

Dear Friends, it is a great privilege to be with you again since 2002.    As you know, my address then has recently been in the news because on the basis of a distortion of what I said, President Dease of St Thomas University decided I shouldn't visit his campus.  

It is good that he has since reversed his decision.  I commend him for his courage in admitting publicly that he was wrong.  It is never easy to do that.  I hope that he will reinstate Professor Cris Toffolo.  I have received the President's invitation in which he makes a very handsome apology which I have accepted.  I am happy to accept his invitation provided it can be fitted into my schedule and if Professor Toffolo is reinstated with no adverse comment in her academic file arising from this unfortunate episode.

 
I thank God for my Hebrew antecedents.   I thank God that I too am a descendant of Abraham.   I give thanks to God for the gift of the Holy Scriptures made up substantially of the Hebrew Scriptures forming what we conventionally refer to as our Old Testament.  

Even our New Testament which would be distinctively Christian, is incomprehensible without taking its Jewish setting seriously.  For instance Jesus is the Greek for Joshua who led God's people into the Promised Land and Christ is the Anointed One, in Hebrew - the Messiah, whose coming was predicted in the Jewish scriptures and who was longed for so poignantly by the Jews.


I tell you nothing you do not already know.  I refer to it all only to assert that spiritually  I am of Hebrew descent.   That legacy has been of crucial importance to me in our struggle against Apartheid. 

Our Anti-Apartheid Struggle

At the height of the struggle when apartheid's repression was at its most vicious and it seemed indeed as if the apartheid rulers were firmly ensconced in power, when they had all but knocked the stuffing out of their opponents and they were strutting the stage as invincible cocks of the walk, then we turned to the inspiration of our Hebrew tradition and antecedents.

We were able to revive and sustain our people's hope for their vindication and the ultimate triumph of good over evil, of freedom over injustice and oppression by our references to our biblical traditions.   It was often quite exhilarating.  

I remember once when there had been a massacre in one of our townships which had been instigated by a sinister Third Force linked to the apartheid security apparatus, our bishops suspended a session of Episcopal Synod to be there as Ezekiel had been with the stunned exiles, to be there in a ministry of presence, and we held a service in one of our ghetto township churches. 

The people were stunned, devastated by the naked violence of the massacre.  I preached and used Exodus 3:1-9, God's words which Yahweh asked Moses to announce to the children of Israel, I said, "Our God is not deaf - our God has heard our cries; our God is not stupid - God knows our suffering; our God is not blind -  God has seen and sees our pain and anguish and...yes, our God will come down and set us free."  

Yes, our God will come down to open the prison doors and lead our leaders from prison, lead them back from exile.  For we had learned from our Jewish tradition that God, our God, is notoriously biased, forever taking the side of the weak, the oppressed, the downtrodden against the kings and the powerful oppressors.  

Our God had been met first, not in the sanctuary, but in the mundane world of politics, taking the side of a rabble of slaves against the mighty Pharaoh.  

God is not neutral, God sided with Uriah the Hittite against his favourite, King David after his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah.  Thou art the man.  

Anywhere else the king could have got away with both actions, but not in Israel.   It really seemed as if the Jewish scriptures were written specifically for us.  

The story of Naboth's vineyard and King Ahab and Jezebel being confronted on Yahweh's behalf by Elijah seemed to have been written especially with our situation in mind, where blacks (not exclusively, but overwhelmingly) were shipped in their millions like so many pawns in population removal schemes and dumped in poverty stricken Bantustan homelands, hardly able to eke out a living,  cut off from the more affluent so-called white South Africa.


The widow, the orphan and the alien, who in most traditional societies would be the weakest of the weak seemed to be particular favourites with God who appeared to have a soft spot for them.  

And so worship of God's people however elaborate and ritually correct would be dismissed as an abomination, unless it made the worshipper have the sensitivity to care for God's favourites (Is.1:11-16).  

Even something so obviously religious as a fast was rejected out of hand by this God who could declaim that the kind of fast He wanted was that which fed the hungry, set free the captives - all thoroughly secular activities but which confirmed Yahweh's bias in favour of and concern for those who were hard done by, who were at the end of their tether, who were so low they could crawl under a snake.   We could multiply references to the prophets Amos, Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, et al.   It reverberated throughout the prophetic writings, this concern for the poor, the hungry, the downtrodden, the widow, the orphan, the alien.

 
But it was not just in the prophetic oracles.  It was so also in the Pentateuch, the Torah, the scriptures par excellence for God's chosen.  

Extraordinarily in what was perhaps the book most concerned for cultic ritual matters, Leviticus, where holiness referred most frequently to ritual cultic purity, the worshipper, the Israelite is bidden to be holy as Yahweh is holy and just when we imagined that this would be concerned with ritual holiness, we are brought up short that this is a holiness that plays itself out in a concern for the hungry, the poor.   "Be holy even as your God is holy", and so you must not glean your fields clean at harvest, leave something for the poor and hungry too  (Lev.19:1,98).   


Fantastic - God's special people must be holy but this is a holiness that expresses itself in mundane acts of caring, of kindness and compassion, of humanitarian concern. 

In Deuteronomy the motive for doing acts of kindness to God's favourites, the widow, the orphan and the alien is not emulating God's holiness, it is the memory of their former status as slaves in Egypt. That memory, it is implied, would prevent them from inflicting on others the kind of anguish they had experienced.   They would never do to others, it is assumed, what had been done to them.


I think they are words to be written in letters of gold as pertinent to the situation we are in. 

Deuteronomy 24:17-22

"You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow's garment in pledge; but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.
 
When you reap your harvest in your field, and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow; that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 
 
When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
 
When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.
 
You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this."
 
That is how the people of this God were expected to behave.  

If you were set to rule over these people as king these were as it were your marching orders, your manifesto, found in the book of Psalms (Psalm 72:1-4,12-14):

 
"Give the king thy justice, O God, and thy righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge thy people with righteousness, and the poor with justice!
 
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor!
 
For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
 
From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight."
 
The three sections of the Hebrew scriptures - the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings are unanimous in their depiction of the nature of the God revealed in these books.


It was exhilarating preaching to the oppressed and downtrodden.   The well to do, the powerful often complained that we were mixing religion with politics and we would declare that we were doing no more than in fact preaching the Gospel.   We would be accused of being political and I retorted "I don't know which Bible you are reading" and "I must say I have never heard the poor complain", "Bishop Tutu now you're being political!"   If anything they could possibly have said, "You are not political enough."

And God vindicated us.   Apartheid's rulers bit the dust as all oppressors have done always, for this is a moral universe, right and wrong matter.  It cannot happen that evil, injustice and oppression can have the last word.   No, ultimately goodness, justice, freedom - these will prevail.

What is this to the point?


I could have spent a great deal of time rehearsing what we all know.  How I experienced a deja vu when I saw a security check point which Palestinians had to negotiate most of their lives that I was reminded so painfully of the same checkpoints in apartheid South Africa, when arrogant white policemen treated almost all blacks like dirt, or, when someone pointed to a house in Jerusalem and said that used to be our home, but now it has been taken over by the Israelis, which made me recall so painfully similar statements in Cape Town by coloureds who had been thrown out of their homes and relocated in ghetto townships some distance from town.  I could have bemoaned the illegal wall that has encroached on Palestinian land, separated families, divided property and made what used to be a short walk to school turn into an expensive nightmare voyage running the gauntlet of checkpoints, etc.  I could have said there were things that even apartheid South Africa had not done, for example collective punishment.

I have not gone that route.  No, I have chosen a different approach.  My address is really a cri de Coeur, a cry of anguish from the heart, an impassioned plea to my spiritual relatives, the offspring of Abraham like me - please hear the call, the noble call of your scriptures, of our scriptures, to be with the God of the Exodus who took the side of a bunch of slaves against the powerful Pharaoh, be on the side of the God who intervened through His prophet Elijah on behalf of Naboth, hear the plea of your scriptures and stand with the God who intervened through his prophet Nathan on behalf of Uriah against King David.   Be on the side of the God who revealed a soft spot in his heart for the widow, the orphan and the alien, be on the side of the God whose "Spirit sends us out to preach good news to the poor." 

 Don't be found fighting against the God, your God, our God who hears the cry of the oppressed, who sees their anguish and who will always come down to deliver them.   Be not opposed to the God whose Spirit when it anoints you makes you concerned for the poor. This is your calling .

 If you disobey that calling, if you do not heed it, then as sure as anything one day you will come a cropper.   You will probably not succumb to an outside assault militarily.   With the unquestioning support of the USA you are probably impregnable.  But you who are called are they who are asked to deal with the oppressed, the weak the despised compassionately, caringly, remembering what happened to you in Egypt and much more recently in Germany.   Remember and act appropriately.   If you reject your calling you may survive for a long time, but you will find it is all corrosive inside and one day you will implode.


A recent report by a clinical psychologist Nufan Yishai Katrim at the Hebrew University speaks of how Israeli soldiers were gratuitously cruel and carried out acts of brutality to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.  When you uphold an unjust dispensation it corrodes your humanity.  In South Africa a former Cabinet Minister showed this.  When told of the death of Steve Biko in detention, he said it left him cold.

Thanks be to God for the many, many Jews who know what their divine calling is and who want the Israeli Government to live it out.  

We believe in a two state solution - of two sovereign, viable states each with contiguous borders guaranteed as secure by the international community.   We condemn acts of terrorism by whoever they are committed. The suicide bomber has to be condemned for targeting innocent civilians.  But equally must the Israelis be condemned for their acts of indiscriminate reprisal.   


We say please learn at least one positive lesson from apartheid South Africa.  Under Mr F W de Klerk who must be commended for his outstanding courage, they decided to negotiate, not with those they liked but with their sworn enemy and they found the security that had eluded them for so long and that had cost so much suffering and blood.   It came not from the barrel of a gun.  


No, it came when the legitimate aspirations and human rights of all were recognised and respected.   That was thirteen years ago and the peace is still holding.   Many had predicted that South Africa would be overwhelmed buy a catastrophic racial blood bath.  It did not happen.   It did not happen because they negotiated in good faith with their enemies.


Somebody has said if something happened once then clearly it is something possible. 

It happened in South Africa, why not in the Middle East?


The world needs the Jews, Jews who are faithful to their vocation that has meant so much for the world's morality, of its sense of what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is just and unjust, what is oppressive and what sets people free.   Jews are indispensable for a good compassionate, just and caring world.

And so are Palestinians.
 

Copyright Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.   All rights reserved.

   
 
Share/Save/Bookmark

Visitors since 07.22.05
Visitors: 29650597

"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

 "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust." - Aquinas

BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

Published 10/30/10

Order Books at
www.EileenFleming.org

Vanunu's Message to

Hillary Clinton re:
The Apartheid Wall



Order My Books
"Memoirs of a Nice
Irish-American
Girl's Life in
Occupied Territory"

AND
"Keep Hope Alive"
To order either book
click here.
Login Form
Become a registered member of this site to view archived articles and become a guest correspondent.

Username

Password

Remember me
Forgotten your password?
News Archive
Click here to view past articles of interest

View 30 Minutes with Vanunu and his Video Message to USA Christians
Articles Can Be Read Under VANUNU ARCHIVES  

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


Read more...

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 ceased...to 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
Digg The WAWA Site?
Help spread the news by letting digg.com know you digg our site!

posted 3/25/2009

Download New eBook
So, That was 54...
An e-book

Read Why
 

Copyright © 2004-2019 On Track Marketing | Site Design and Hosting by On Track Marketing.
Proud team member of: Global Market Consulting.


submit to reddit Share/Save/Bookmark