Support Our Sponsors

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.


Eileen Fleming's Biography

"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

"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


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

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 March 2008 arrow March 8, 2008

March 8, 2008
WAWA Blog March 8, 2008: Oh, Jerusalem! And what some wise Jews are saying

From Jewish Peace News:

As has been widely reported, a gunman in Jerusalem opened fire at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva yesterday, killing 8 students (most of them children) and wounding at least 9. At a time like this, there are two different sets responsibilities to the victims: one is to mourn the brutal deaths of these boys and young men.  At the same time, we need to work to prevent this sort of thing from happening again, which requires us to understand the context in which this act of terrorism occurred.  Failing to understand this atrocity within the overall context of the occupation reinforces the right-wing line that Palestinian violence is motivated simply by anti-Semitism, blood hatred, or Biblical feuds.

Although the gunman’s specific motives are unclear, this killing comes at a moment that the New York Times somewhat delicately describes as a time of “tension”.  Israel’s latest attack on Gaza has left over 130 Palestinians dead, half of them civilians.  Just yesterday, a 20 day-old infant was buried after being shot in the head by Israeli soldiers.  Another contextualizing factor is the nature of the yeshiva where the attack took place, a key institution in the militant settlers’ movement, which has been stealing land from Palestinians in the occupied territories for decades, believing God intended the land for Jews. 

These horrific killings are utterly unjustifiable, and Hamas’ praise for the operation is both contemptible and chilling.  It is important not to let this sort illegitimate act of terrorist violence obscure the legitimate and urgent grievances of the Palestinian people under occupation and in exile.   It is vital to keep this in mind, because whatever the specific motivations of the gunman might have been, terrorist violence like this is almost always a symptom of Israel’s expansionist
 policies and is unlikely to end until the occupation is over.

Below are the following pieces:

1) A contextualization by Ali Abunimah

2) An explanation about the nature of the yeshiva from Ha’aretz

3) An article reporting the condemnation of the killings by the
 Organization of the Islamic Conference

4) A statement by the Coalition Against the Gaza Siege

Judith Norman


By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 7 March 2008

Compared with the international silence that surrounded Israel's recent massacres of Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Gaza Strip, condemnation and condolences for the victims of the shooting attack that killed eight students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem has been swift.

"I have just spoken with [Israeli] Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert to extend my deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and to the people of Israel," US President George W. Bush said. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added his "condemnation" and "condolences," as did EU High
 Representative Javier Solana.

The day before the Jerusalem attack, Amira Abu 'Aser was buried in Gaza. She had lived just 20 days on this earth before being shot in the head by Israeli occupation forces who attacked the house of friends she and her family were visiting. Needless to say, she had not been firing rockets at Sderot when she was killed. One of the house's inhabitants was found the next day, shot dead and his head crushed by an army jeep, an apparent victim of an extrajudicial murder by Israeli forces.

But confirming their status in the eyes of the "international community" as less than complete human beings, neither Amira's killing, nor any of the dozens of Palestinian civilian victims of Israel's onslaught in Gaza have merited condemnation or condolences.

The fallacy that lies behind the differential concern for the lives of innocent Israelis and Palestinians is that the massacre in Jerusalem and the massacres in Gaza can be separated. Israeli deaths are "terrorism," while Palestinian deaths are merely an unfortunate consequence of the fight against "terrorism." But the two are intricately linked, and what happened in Jerusalem is a direct consequence of what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for decades.

Let me be clear that the killing of civilians, Israeli or Palestinian, is wrong, repugnant, and cannot bring this one-hundred-year war caused by the Zionist colonization of Palestine to an end. There will be an Israeli propaganda effort -- as always -- to present Palestinian violence as being simply motivated by hatred, and divorced from the context of brutal occupation that Palestinians live under. What greater proof could you need than an attack on religious students, devoting their life to
 the study of the Torah?

We cannot expect much analysis in the media of why the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva might have been chosen as a target. Was it mere coincidence that the school, named for Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, and led after his death by his son Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, is the ideological cradle of the militant, Jewish supremacist settler movement Gush Emunim?

Unlike other sects in Israel which sought exemption of their students from military service, Gush Emunim encouraged its followers to join the army and become the armed wing of religious nationalist Zionism. Gush Emunim settlers, many of them, like Moshe Levinger, graduates of Mercaz
 HaRav, founded the most extreme and racist settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including the notorious colonies in and near Hebron whose inhabitants have made life miserable for Palestinians in the city and forced many of them out of their homes. It is the militant settlers of Gush Emunim who still honor Baruch Goldstein who murdered 29 Palestinians in Hebron in February 1994.

It is in Hebron that the Gush Emunim settlers spray "Arabs to the gas chambers" on Palestinian houses.

It is possible that the Mercaz HaRav gunman did not know or care about any of this, that any target he could identify as Israeli would have satisfied his desire to exact revenge.

In 2002, Israeli army chief Moshe Yaalon declared that "the Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people." This would be achieved by the massive and constant application of force until they got the message. The same philosophy was elaborated in 2004 by Professor Arnon Soffer, one of the architects, with former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, of the 2005 Gaza "disengagement."

Soffer, an avid supporter of turning Gaza into a hermetically-sealed pen for unwanted Palestinians, explained that if Palestinians fire a single rocket over the fence into Israel, "we will fire 10 in response. And women and children will be killed, and houses will be destroyed. After the fifth such incident, Palestinian mothers won't allow their husbands to shoot Qassams [rockets], because they will know what's waiting for them."

Soffer predicted that in a few years' time, "when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it's going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam." With Palestinians closed in, "The pressure at the border will be awful," Soffer predicted. "It's going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day."

To be fair, Soffer did display a human side: "The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings" ("It's the demography, stupid," The Jerusalem Post, 21 May 2004).

For decades Israel has been exercizing with ever-escalating brutality this deliberate strategy to crush through force and starvation a civilian population in rebellion against colonial rule. To Israel's vexation, the Palestinians are not playing their part. After sixty years of expulsions, massacres, assassinations of their leaders, colonization, torture, and mass imprisonment, the Palestinians have utterly failed to understand that they are a "defeated people."

The vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank endure unprecedented oppression by the Israeli army and settlers without resorting to violence in response, but they maintain an inextinguishable determination to endure until they regain their rights. If the methods the Palestinian resistance has sometimes used are reprehensible, they have also been typical for anti-colonial resistance movements throughout time, as William Polk shows in his book Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism and Guerilla War from the American Revolution to Iraq, and Robert Pape demonstrated through his study of suicide bombing in
 Dying to Win.

Is it not time for the rest of the world to step in and force Israel at last to understand the same thing, so that the senseless bloodshed can finally stop and all the people of the country -- Israelis and Palestinians -- can begin to imagine a future other than an endless parade of funerals?

-- Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).

Mercaz Harav - the flagship of national-religious yeshivas
By Yair Sheleg

The Mercaz Harav rabbinic college is the most prominent yeshiva in the religious Zionist world. It trained the movement's leading rabbis as well as many yeshiva heads, city rabbis, and teachers in religious colleges and high schools. The school was central in shaping the evolution of religious Zionism.

As the flagship of national-religious yeshivas, the religious right is bound to attribute greater symbolic meaning to a terrorist attack here than anywhere else.

Founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, then chief Ashkenazi rabbi during the British Mandate, it is seen as the first yeshiva to be Zionist in spirit.

Rabbi Kook called it "the central world yeshiva," wishing to set it as a model for a new yeshiva concept, integrating traditional Talmud studies with Jewish philosophy, Bible and even Jewish history, geography and literature. The last three subjects were never actually taught there.

After its founder's death in 1935 it was named Mercaz Harav after him, and became synonymous with Rabbi Kook's teachings.

In its first decades the college had few students and at times it was not clear whether it would survive. The turning point came in the '50s, when graduates of Bnei Akiva religious schools and high-school yeshivas seeking higher religious education flocked to Mercaz Harav, the only Zionist yeshiva.

The prominent Beni Akiva rabbi Moshe Zvi Neria, a student of Rabbi Kook's, encouraged students to go to Mercaz Harav, which was headed from 1952 by Rabbi Abraham Kook's son, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, until his death in 1982.

The foundations for the religious settlements in the West Bank were forged in Mercaz Harav, whose student Hanan Porat set out to restore the Jewish settlement in Gush Etzion immediately after the Six-Day War. The founders of Gush Emunim, a religious political movement that encouraged Jewish settlement of land they believe God promised the Jews, came from Mercaz Harav after the Yom Kippur War.

Rabbi Kook encouraged his students to go out and fight for the settlements in the West Bank. He himself took active part in these struggles.

Rabbi Kook was very strict about modest clothes for women and the separation of men and women.

After his death in 1982, his successor Rabbi Avraham Shapira, who also served as chief rabbi, clashed with Kook's favorite student Rabbi Zvi Tau. Tau's people said that Shapira, who came from an ultra-Orthodox background, was wiping out the college's unique theological character and turning it into another run-of-the-mill yeshiva.

The clash led to an official split in 1997, after Shapira introduced to the yeshiva a teachers' training institute, which Tau and his people saw as an "idol in the temple."

Tau and his people left and established the Har Mor rabbinic college, which became quite powerful and dominant. Last year, after Shapira's death, his son Rabbi Yaakov Shapira succeeded him as yeshiva head.

The yeshiva's well-known graduates include Rabbi Haim Druckman, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Zfania Drori, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Rabbi Yoel Bin-Noon and Rabbi Hanan Porat. Other graduates include the Irgun's first commander David Raziel and Maariv
 newspaper founder Azriel Carlebach.

Today, the yeshiva has about 500 students, including 200 students in the yeshiva's kollel (post-graduate division).

07/03/2008 16:15 JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, March 7 (AFP)

 Islamic organisation condemns Jerusalem attack

The Islamic world's biggest political bloc on Friday condemned the killing of eight Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem religious school,  saying it abhorred "violence and terror."

In a rare reaction to an anti-Israeli attack, the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference expressed "grave concern over,  and condemned the recent killings of students in the west Jerusalem,"  a statement released here said.

OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also "reiterated the position of the OIC against any act of violence and terror anywhere  in the world," the statement added.

The OIC includes Iran, which is steadfastly hostile to Israel.

But Ihsanoglu said he hoped "that this condemnation of the OIC would  open up the eyes of those who remained silent during the violence directed against innocent civilians, including children of Palestine."

"This vicious cycle of killing must be stopped," the statement said.

He urged "all parties concerned to act with calm and restraint in the face of this tragic event."

Eight students, most aged 15 and 16, were shot dead late Thursday at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, a theological school in predominantly  Jewish west Jerusalem. Another nine were wounded.

The gunman, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, was shot dead by police.

The Coalition Against the Gaza Siege
Press Release, March 7, 2008

Bloodshed does not compensate for bloodshed-Ceasefire Now!

The Coalition Against the Gaza Siege calls for an immediate end to the killing and violence, on both sides of the conflict. Bloodshed does not compensate for bloodshed, and revenge is no solution.

Any attack on, wounding or killing of unarmed civilians - as happened in the attack on the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva as during the IDF attacks and bombings of Gaza and in the shooting of missiles at Sderot, Ashkelon and the Western Negev - must end forthwith.

It is the civilians on both sides who are exposed to harm and who pay the full price for the manoeuvres of the political and military leaderships.

We call upon the leaderships, of both sides, including all organizations and parties, to cease all violence immediately.

We call upon the international community and the world public opinion to firmly demand an end to the mutual killing and bloodshed.

In order to achieve that, we call for a full and mutual ceasefire, as a first step negotiating an end to the occupation and an end to the conflict between the two peoples, to a full peace which is the only hope for our future.

Contact: Adi Dagan 0508-575730, Adam Keller 0506-709603, Angela Godfrey
 054-7366393, Yaakov Manor 050-5733276

Jewish Peace News editors:
Joel Beinin
Racheli Gai
Rela Mazali
Sarah Anne Minkin
Judith Norman
Lincoln Shlensky
Alistair Welchman

Jewish Peace News sends its news clippings only to subscribers. To subscribe, go to

Murders at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem
    by Rabbi Michael Lerner
    Editor, Tikkun    

Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives unequivocally condemn the killings of students at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem today. Just as last week we prayed for a speedy recovery of Israelis and Palestinians wounded in the fighting in Gaza and the bombings of Sderot, so today we pray for a speedy recovery for those who were injured in this ghastly attack. The wounds of two thousand years of exile and the holocaust are inevitably restimulated by this kind of attack, and tragically the price will likely be paid by Palestinian civilians, who in turn will fight back and then the price will be paid by other Israelis. Thus the seemingly endless cycle of violence will continue.
We at Tikkun feel equally grieving for the people killed by vicious and immoral terrorists at the Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav (the ultra-nationalist religious center that developed the ideology which inspired religious Zionists to believe that they had a God-given right to settle and hold on to the territories without regard to the consequences for the Palestinian people already living there)  as we do for the victims of Israeli terror (which in the past week killed 120 people, many of them children, many of them sitting in their homes when Israeli troops randomly fire-bombed and murdered them, as documented by the same international human rights organizations that today condemned the attack in Jerusalem by terrorists). We understand that these killings can only be understood in the context of the 60 year old struggle between these two communities, and that nothing short of a full peace accord that will require a new open-heartedness on both sides can possibly break this horrible cycle of violence. We have no sympathy for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah or those in Israel who advocate violence as a solution or those in the military who announced that they were going to implement a Shoa on the Palestinian people in Gaza, or any of the extremists in the Palestinian world or the Israeli world who seek to disrupt and derail any movement toward peace.
  We similarly mourn the people in Sderot and Ashkelon terrorized by bombs from Hamas, as we did for those people who die in the Gaza and West Bank areas because the check points prevent them from getting to the doctors they need, and the many children suffering from malnutrition because of Israel's slow starvation of the country and cutting off of supplies. Of course there is no "moral equivalency" here, because as Talmud and other religious and spiritual traditions teach,  every single life lost is a unique tragedy, and no life lost can be compared to or the loss justified in terms of the life lost of others.
 From our standpoint, all violence, whether overt or built into the institutions of economic and political reality, is a sin and unacceptable, whether done by the powerful or the powerless. Violence is the wrong path. So this week in Beyt Tikkun  synagogue we will say kaddish for the young men killed at the yeshivat ha rav, and for the people killed in Gaza by Israeli troops, Israelis killed in Sderot and Ashkelon, and for the million two hundred thousand Iraqis killed by the US occupation of Iraq and the 4000 American soldiers killed in that war. And all the victims of wars in Africa and Asia, all the victims of oppression and murder in China and Tibet, all the victims of oppression in Saudi Arabia and Iran and Lebanon and Syria and Egypt.
         When will they ever learn?  Violence doesn't solve anything. It doesn't create safety. The way to security is through a. recognizing "the other" as part of you, not an alien but as a fundamental part of "the unity of all being" created in the image of God and deserving just as much as we deserve, and entitled to live at the same standard of living and with the same political rights as we have and receiving the same compassion we would give to our friends; b. the Strategy of Generosity that we in the US have to initiate and the Global Marshall Plan that makes it concrete (see; and c. public acts of repentance and atonement that both sides need to take to acknowledge the cruelty and hurt that they have visited on the other side.
         Till that happens the killings will go on, and the partisans on each side will always blame the other, and each will ignore the history that has led to the specific act of violence that they are focused on, and each will proclaim that any one who does not side exclusively with their side is a traitor and an evil person.
          All this talk, though, doesn't really reveal how much those of us in the Tikkun community are grieving for all the pain and suffering, how deeply sad and depressed it makes us, and how very much we wish we could ease the suffering on all sides of this struggle. May all of them be comforted along with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and the whole world!
         Rabbi Michael Lerner
         Editor, Tikkun Magazine
         Chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives


Visitors since 07.22.05
Visitors: 35152560

"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

Vanunu's Message to

Hillary Clinton re:
The Apartheid Wall

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

"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.



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  


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.


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

posted 3/25/2009

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

Read Why

Copyright © 2004-2022 On Track Marketing | Site Design and Hosting by On Track Marketing.
Proud team member of: Global Market Consulting.

submit to reddit Share/Save/Bookmark