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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 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 February 2008 arrow February 16, 2008

February 16, 2008
WAWA Blog February 16, 2008: Thanks to Jim, Enrique and Voices of Wisdom for Gaza  

Please read and share this excellent statement from Rabbis for Human Rights North America on the Gaza Crisis. Collective punishment is wrong against the people of Gaza and it is wrong against the people of Sderot and surrounding Israeli communities. Both actions are against international law and Jewish religious teachings. Thank you Rabbis Walt and Serotta for your courage and vision to send this important message out to the American public. It is a timely followup to the Rabbis for Human Rights statement that was publicized about 2 weeks ago which we read at our interfaith prayer service on Gaza/Sderot at St Albans Church. It also calls on our government to play a much more active role in both this immediate humanitarian crisis and the longer term peace process. I wish that the Presidential candidates would have similar courage and speak out against BOTH of these atrocities.


Dear Supporters:
As Jews, committed to the dignity of all human beings, we affirm the human rights of those civilians in Gaza suffering from the Israeli blockade, and those in Sderot suffering from the attacks by Kassam rockets fired from Gaza.  Both the blockade and the shelling of civilian areas are serious human rights violations.  As American citizens, we urge our government to move both parties towards an end to hostility and violence.  We reaffirm the statement of our colleagues in Israel that any effort aimed only at one side in this conflict will not stop this unfolding desecration of all that we hold sacred.

Please share this statement with colleagues and friends and we encourage you to convey this message to your Senators and Congressional representatives.

May a new light shine upon Zion and upon all its inhabitants!

Rabbi Brian Walt
Executive Director, Rabbis For Human Rights-North America

Zion Will be Redeemed through Justice (Isaiah 1:27)

A Call for the End of Israel's Blockade of Gaza and Palestinian Rocket Attacks on Israeli Civilian Populations

A Statement by Rabbis for Human Rights-North America

As Rabbis in North America committed to supporting the security of Israel and the Jewish tradition of human rights, we join our Israeli colleagues of Rabbis for Human Rights in calling for an immediate cessation of the collective punishment through Israel's blockade of Gaza and Palestinians' firing of Kassam rockets into Israeli civilian areas. We join them in affirming that "Only a concerted effort aimed at getting all parties to honor God's Image within every human being, as well as international law, can stop this unfolding desecration of all that we hold sacred."

The recently imposed blockade by the Israeli Government has created a serious human rights crisis among the citizens of Gaza, impairing the health care infrastructure and the availability of critical fuel and supplies needed for the wellbeing of innocent civilians in the region. While the partial lifting of the blockade is a welcome sign, continuing the restrictions on civilian access to daily necessities violates the basic human rights of the residents of Gaza. The constant barrage of rockets on civilian populations, in Israel fired from Gaza with impunity, is also a violation of human rights with devastating and untenable impact on innocent civilians.

As Rabbis in North America, we call on the American government to do all it can to resolve the current crisis and to move the parties in a positive direction so they might provide security for their people on both sides of the conflict.

Many believe that a mutual ceasefire and negotiated agreement between the Israeli government and the Hamas authorities in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is the most realistic path to ensure the safety and human rights of people on both sides of the conflict. Neither military solutions nor occupation have led to the end of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and the loss of life and desecration of human rights continues. Until the day of peace between Israelis and Palestinians arrives, both parties, as well as the world leaders who influence them, must work to end the violent responses that exacerbate human suffering.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel in their desire for peace and security. We pray that our efforts to uphold human rights will bring an end to the suffering of Israelis in the Sderot region and civilians in Gaza and will fulfill the promise of the Holy land - "Zion will be redeemed through justice" (Isaiah 1:27).
Rabbis for Human Rights-North America
P.O. Box 1539
West Tisbury, Massachusetts 02575

Enrique compiled the following NEWS items

Amos Oz against Gaza invasion: `Ceasefire with Hamas`
Kol Israel radio
noted down [not verbatim] by Adam Keller
Feb. 12, 2008
Interview at the occasion of Amos Oz receiving the Dan David Prize
see also:

Oz: Israel must not invade Gaza. One day of invasion will cost more of Israeli casualties than seven years of Qassams. And also the invasion will not stop the Qassams. There were Qassam attacks also when the army was inside the Gaza Strip. And in addition there will be attacks on the occupying army, shootings, explosives, ambushes, suicide bombings.

Question: You say what we should not do, but what should we do to stop the Qassams?

Oz: A ceasefire with Hamas is possible. There is a political price to be paid, but the price of ceasefire is the smallest and the least lethal of all the alternatives we have.

Question: But how can we make ceasefire with a group which does not recognize Israel and seeks its destruction?

Oz: We had armistices for thirty years with Arab countries which did not recognize us, and declared their wish to destroy Israel, but the ceasefires worked.

Question: If it is possible, then why are our leaders not doing it?

Oz: Of course a leader has to choose between the alternatives. They know that ceasefire with Hamas will require a political price. I don't know whether they realize that the price is smaller than what the other alternatives will exact from us.

Question: As a left-winger, are you not angry with the Palestinians for not making things better for us?

Oz: First of all I am angry that they did not make things better for themselves, for the mistakes of the Palestinian leadership, and for the voters who voted for Hamas. But, by the way, they were not the majority. Only 35% voted for Hamas [Actually 44.45 per cent – Sol S.]. Only due to their twisted electoral system this was translated into a parliamentary majority. 65% of the Palestinians voted against Hamas. We should remember that.

Question: Is it not true that many supporters of the left-wing have moved to the center or even to the right-wing, because they feel that every concession of Israel is only answered by aggression and terrorism from the Palestinian side?

Oz: There is such a phenomenon, but I think much more significant is the move in the opposite direction. Olmert and Livni are now talking of two states for two peoples, like me and my friends talked twenty years ago and we were then isolated. Even Netanyahu and the other Likud leaders are saying things they would not have dreamed of saying 20 years ago.

Question: Do you have confidence in the government after the Winograd report?

Oz: The Winograd report was about whether the [2nd Lebanon] war was conducted well or badly, but I think the whole going to war was a mistake. When two soldiers were killed, and two others kidnapped that is a reason for a military operation of two or three days. It is not a reason for a full-scale war. But right now I don't see anything better than the present government. If we have elections nobody knows where it will lead.

Question: For lack of a better alternative?

Oz: Yes.

Question: Whenever negotiations start, there start also pressures inside the government coalition. Lieberman has already withdrawn, and Shas is putting all kind of conditions and pressures. Where will this lead?

Oz: That is really a big problem. There is a majority of 70 Knesset Members who are willing to support a historical compromise with the Palestinians, I mean with Abu Mazen and his people, the P.L.O. But because of all kind of small-minded party considerations this majority is not always manifesting itself.

Question: Minister Meir Sheetrit proposed to respond the Qassams by totally wiping out a neighborhood in Gaza. He said `we are not talking to the Gazans in the language which they understand; we should talk to them Gazan and not Hebrew.`

Oz: This is a hysterical reaction. What Sheetrit mentioned is not talking Hebrew, and also not Gazan. It is the language of monsters.

Question: Do you really think with everything which happens that there is a chance for ceasefire - let alone peace - with our Palestinian neighbors?

Oz: Yes, definitely, there is a very real chance for peace. The factor which is overlooked is that now the overwhelming majority of Israelis know what will be the solution, and also the overwhelming majority of Palestinians know it. Both sides know what the map will look like. The remaining differences are in the order of two kilometers here or there. What is mainly lacking is a brave leadership on both sides to implement what both sides know is the solution.



    Faceless Crimes

Aya Kaniuk and Tamar Goldschmidt-/Translated by Tal Haran-MahsanMilim-" In the evening, the coffee vendor was released. They came, threw everything he had on the ground, beat him up, threatened and detained him, and in the evening they released him. Until next time."

    The Arc of Insurgencies: An End Foreseen?

URI AVNEY-Counterpunch-" If not for the terrible tragedies we witness every day, we could smile at the pathetic helplessness of our politicians and generals, who are rushing around without knowing where their salvation should come from. What to do? To starve all of them? That has led to the collapse of the wall on the Gaza-Egypt border. Kill their leaders? We have already killed Sheik Ahmed Yassin and countless others. To execute the "Grand Operation" and re-occupy the entire Gaza strip? "

    Outsourcing Zionism
Neve Gordon and Erez Tzfadia- In These Times-"In the past year, the state has handed over the management of at least five checkpoints to corporate warriors—working for such companies as Notari Zion (Guardians of Zion), Shmira Ubitahon (Guarding and Security) and Modi'in Ezrachi (Civil Intelligence). But the difference between Israel Defense Force soldiers and hired guns is that the latter operate within the gray areas of the law. They are Israel's Blackwater."

    Elad and the Police have intensified their operations against the Palestinian citizens of Silwan
ICAHD-Urgent Release re: Silwan- " The association uses different means for its objectives: buying out houses legally or by forgery and deceit, utilizing a network of collaborators which destroys the community from within, and mainly using the archaeological excavations and growing tourism as means to oust the local residents....Any attempt by the local residents to stand up against Elad, is met by a swift operation of the Israeli police and security services (shin-bet)."

    Talking with Rachel Corrie`s Mom and Dad
Marcus Youssef-The Tyee (Vancouver)-" Our government is on record as saying the investigation was not credible, thorough or transparent. So when I hear in the media that this was just unequivocally an accident, when even the U.S. government says the investigation has not been adequate, I think that is a troubling distortion. "

    Israeli Military Conducts Major Operation in Beit Ummar
CPT-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-"So far, Israeli military have arrested 55 Palestinians and house to house searches are ongoing, along with sporadic clashes between military and local youth. The stone throwers are met with barrages of tear gas and 'rubber' bullets. ..and a store at the entrance of the village, adjacent to the military watchtower was demolished by the Israeli military. "

    Divestment Effort Not Aimed at Israel Itself
Susanne Hoder;United Methodist Church-Letter to the Forward-" United Methodists believe that the occupation endangers Israelis as well as Palestinians. The goal of selective divestment is to make sure our church is not profiting from an activity that violates United Methodist values. If we learn of companies that threaten Israel's security, we will be quick to recommend divestment from them as well."

    The Siege and the Chancellor
Yael Lotan- Hagada Hasmalit-"Germans should understand this - when their own people were killed or wounded by the local inhabitants in the Nazi-occupied countries they retaliated by wiping out entire villages - for example Oradour in France and Lidice in Czechoslovakia. So when an Israeli Cabinet minister proposes wiping out an entire Gaza neighborhood in retaliation for the Qassam casualties in Sderot, the idea should sound familiar to German ears. "

    PCHR Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory No. 07/2008
PCHR -Weekly Report-"During the reporting period, IOF killed 10 Palestinians, including 3 brothers and a school teacher, and an 11th one died from a previous wound in the Gaza Strip. IOF also wounded 40 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in the Gaza Strip, and 2 civilians in the West Bank."



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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.
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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.
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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

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