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Home arrow Blog arrow April 2008 arrow April 14, 2008

April 14, 2008
WAWA Blog April 14, 2008: Hope, Despair, Free Radicals, Justice + Mercy Kiss, and me on call in radio midnight tonight

It was on the second Saturday in September, 2007, while in Arlington, Virginia, at George Mason University attending the 6th annual US Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, that I first met
Keren Batiyov and she replied after we were all asked our organizational affiliations,

"I am here as a free radical."


 

Free radical, Keren Batiyov, is also a poet, writer, a nonviolent activist with ISM/International Solidarity, and a Russian history maven. Keren was born and bred in a fundamentalist Christian home, but at the age of 40 connected with her Jewish roots and converted Jesus from God back into his originally understood role of divine prophet; and a prophet can best be understood as one who points out impending doom and provokes people to remember God.

That Article can be read @

http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=668&Itemid=179


Keren Batiyov also presented the following Panel Presentation:

Jews of Conscience: Voices of Justice and Peace, Hope and Obligation
Marquette University

Justice and Mercy Will Kiss National Conference
September 22-24, 2005

I believe that people relate to, and identify with, stories. In the sharing of our stories we not only catch a glimpse of each other’s humanity, we are invited to partake and participate in it, as well. So today I will tell you stories – how I came to identify as a Jew of Conscience, what that identification means to me, and how it translates into daily life and living.

Unlike Marc, Hedy, and Jennifer who were born Jewish, I am a convert. I came to Judaism not through a relationship or marriage but by way of a spiritual journey. I was forty when I converted and I can still recall, sixteen years later, the feeling of finally having arrived at home, wondering how and why I had been born into a Christian fundamentalist family when I had obviously been Jewish from the beginning.

I was drawn to Judaism because of its long tradition of justice, ethics, and dissent; its emphasis on education, study, and questioning everything, including God. The prophetic tradition of Judaism resonated deeply within me. What do I mean by the prophetic tradition? I refer to the commands of the prophets that we seek peace and pursue justice; that we stand for and with the oppressed – whoever and wherever they are; and that we not do to another anything that we would not want done to ourselves.

About six years ago I began to sense that I was not hearing the entire story about the Israel/Palestine conflict from the Jewish community. So I set out to study and read as much as I could. I read Jewish historians, sociologists, linguists, political scientists, activists, rabbis, politicians, journalists, and theologians – and I regularly read Ha’aretz. It was also during this initial phase that I discovered the writings of Marc Ellis, whose statement you heard earlier. The more I read, the more disparity I saw between what I was hearing from the mainstream Jewish community and our media and what I was reading from those with first-hand knowledge. The more I read, the more I began to question, to voice my questions, and eventually to speak out against the abuses of the Israeli occupation. And then I discovered the lengths to which the organized mainstream Jewish community would go in order to bully and intimidate those who criticized Israel.

I worked for a Jewish organization at the time and I was told to shut up about the Israel-Palestine conflict; that if I continued to speak publicly about it, I would lose my job. I have been called “self-hating” and “a deadly enemy of the Jewish community”; I have had my Jewishness impugned; I have been asked if I would have also supported Hitler; and I have been accused, in a letter to the local rabbis and Jewish community leaders of the “crime” of hugging Muslim women.

According to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the prophets were also hated and considered traitorous. In his book, The Prophets, Heschel says, “The striking surprise is that the prophets of Israel were tolerated at all by their people. To the patriots, they seemed pernicious; to the pious multitude, blasphemous; to the men in authority, seditious.”  But what does it say about our Jewish community, when justice is discarded for nationalism? What does it say about our Jewish community when we, as Jews, are commanded to question everything, including God – in fact Israel means “God wrestler.” So what does it say about our Jewish community when we are commanded to question, and argue with God, but we are forbidden to question or criticize Israel?

I am persona non grata in my local Jewish community and for several years I have had no temple or synagogue at which to worship. I walked out of my Rabbi’s sermon on Rosh Hashanah immediately after 911 because he took a sharp turn to the right, both on the Israel-Palestine conflict  and on US policies. Though I spoke with him before withdrawing my membership I could not, in good conscience, continue to support that temple with my money or my presence.

Being a Jew of conscience also invites loneliness and isolation. Contrary to what people might like to believe, I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hmmm, I wonder what I can do today to stir up trouble in the Jewish community.” My voice was activated by a sense of justice, a deep commitment to the precepts of the Judaism to which I had converted, an outrage that political Zionism was not only attempting to hijack Judaism, it was oppressing another people.  For me, there was no choice – I had to speak out.

After several years of studying the conflict and doing some local activism, I knew that as a Jew of conscience it was incumbent upon me to do more. The studying and local activism continued, and does to this day, but I also knew that it was time to physically stand in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Despite the fact that Zionism is not Judaism and Judaism is not Zionism, Palestinians know that it is Israelis who oppress and humiliate them, and most Israelis are Jews. It was important to me to put a different face on Judaism – the face of justice and ethics – the face that drew me to Judaism in the first place.

Because I am a pacifist I looked for groups that reflected that philosophy and I eventually chose to work with the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led group based on the non-violent action and resistance principles of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. ISM was founded approximately four years ago by Palestinians and is supported by Israeli and international activists. In October, 2004 I journeyed to Palestine to work with ISM during the Olive Harvest. I was stationed near Nablus at Balata Refugee Camp.

Now I come to the point in my presentation where I have struggled mightily with what to tell you. Because of time constraints there is no way I can give you more than a thumbnail image of life on the West Bank. So what do I tell you?

Do I tell you about the 312 miles (and increasing) of Jewish-only roads? Apart-ride, I call them. Do I tell you about the 500 checkpoints on the West Bank, an area slightly smaller than Delaware? Do I tell you that 39 people died at checkpoints in 2004 due to denial or delay? Do I tell you about the 360, 000 olive trees that have been uprooted and destroyed? Or do I tell you about the 4,100 homes that have been demolished during this Intifada alone?

Do I tell you about the trenches that are dug – some of them miles long, 16 feet wide and 9 feet deep – to separate Palestinian farmers from their lands – to make life increasingly difficult for Palestinians? Do I tell you how sewer lines are severed when these trenches are dug, polluting Palestinian streams and water supplies? We hear a great deal about “security;” that Israel only acts from security needs – so do I tell you about the 500 dumpsters that were arbitrarily destroyed in Nablus?

Do I tell you that Israelis consume six times as much water as Palestinians are allowed? That while Israeli settlements, (settlements illegal under international law), have no shortage of water for drinking, washing, maintenance of swimming pools and irrigating freely, Palestinians frequently are without water, some villages for several weeks at a time; that many children have kidney problems due to the lack of water? Do I tell you that the water denied the Palestinians comes from their aquifers on their land?

Do I tell you about the olive trees that haven’t been tended for three to four years because Israel will not permit farmers to work their fields – that trees that used to bear 40-50 kilos per tree are now bearing 10 kilos? Do I tell you that farmers must have a permit to harvest their crops and if they are lucky enough to obtain a permit, they are granted only two to three days to bring in their entire harvest? And do I tell you that even with the permit, there is no guarantee that they will not be harassed or prevented from harvesting by soldiers and/or settlers?

Do I tell you about the day that our group was brutally attacked by Israeli soldiers as we threw our bodies over our Palestinian coordinator, Mohamed, to protect him from arrest? Do I tell you how the soldiers viciously beat and kicked almost everyone on the human pile covering Mohamed – that they only withdrew after one of the soldiers pointed his gun at the head of an ISMer from Sweden, who was beaten and on the ground; that it was only then that the commanding officer yelled,  “Dai, dai,” (Enough, enough)?  Should I tell you how I sensed that Mohamed, until that incident, viewed me with skepticism for I had made no secret of the fact that I was a Jew? Or perhaps I should tell you that he came to me afterward and thanked me for covering his body; that he extended his hand to me to shake – and this was during Ramadan when, among other proscriptions, contact with the opposite sex is prohibited.

Do I tell you that there are almost 9,000 Palestinian political prisoners? That many are arrested and held on administrative detention, meaning they can be held for six months without charge? Do I tell you that at the end of six months, another six months can be added? And another, and another; that some Palestinians have been held for three and four years without ever a charge brought against them? Do I tell you about the prisoners who are tortured; that some men return to their communities sterile, as a result of the tortures?

Should tell you that seven of Mohamed’s friends, including his best friend, have been murdered by the Israeli army; that I saw the pictures of his best friend whose body was rendered like charred hamburger and his face blown away –  by an Apache missile.   Or maybe I should tell you that when I asked Mohamed why he chose to work with ISM, a non-violent resistance group, given the violent deaths of his friends at the hands of the Israeli army, he quietly replied, “Because I have a hope for peace.”

Do I tell you that Israelis have killed almost four times as many Palestinians as Palestinians have killed Israelis during this Intifada? That Palestinian children represent 22% of the fatalities and 42% of the injuries? That Israeli soldiers are ordered to kill unarmed civilians, including children? That half of the child fatalities are from wounds, sniper wounds, to the chest or the head? Do I tell you about fellow-ISMer Karen, from England, who when she saw Israeli snipers on the roof in Balata Refugee Camp and saw that one of them had his gun trained on her, held up her hands and cried “Stop, don’t shoot – Internationals”? Do I tell you that the sniper didn’t shoot her, but moved his gun and shot dead a 12-year old Palestinian boy near her?

What do I tell you? And how do I even begin to tell you?
 
Before leaving Palestine, I predicted that the hardest work would begin upon my return home – sharing my experience, exposing the ugliness of occupation, and providing an alternative Jewish voice to that of mainstream American Jewish mythmaking and denial. I also had promises to keep – promises to the Palestinians and to fellow-ISMers whom I left behind – that I would tell their stories; that I would send others to take my place.

Back in Harrisburg, PA, my first dose of reality came when my local newspaper said that they would only do a story about my ISM experience as long as it was not “political.” I was stunned. As long as it was not political? Everything is political, even breathing, and I didn’t see them avoiding that. The reason they gave was that they took too much flak from members of “the community” whenever they published anything that was “perceived” as pro-Palestinian. I knew exactly which community they were referring to and I find it shameful that within my Jewish community there are such ideological bullies and thugs.

I came away from Palestine with a feeling of fullness, as well as a sense of emptiness. The fullness came from all the graciousness and kindness I was shown by the Palestinians. Arab hospitality is no misnomer. I was also deeply inspired by their resilience and their ability to maintain hope and dignity in the presence of daily humiliations and gross injustice.

I spent much of the winter hibernating, reflecting, reading, and trying to pinpoint the source of my feeling of loss. I finally realized that it was my hope for a just peace for the Palestinian people that had perished – and I was grieving. I see so many parallels between what Israel is doing to the Palestinians and what we, the US, did to our Native American population. My fear is that unless Israel does a complete about-face, and soon, those Palestinians who are not murdered or ethnically cleansed (42% of Israelis openly advocate transfer and another 17% think it a good idea) will end up on Bantustan-like reservations, broken and beholden for their mere existence to any meager scraps that Israel might throw to them.

Yet, at the same moment I realized that I had no hope, simultaneously obligation stepped in. It didn’t matter how I felt, I was obligated to continue standing for and with the Palestinians. In the absence of hope there is obligation. Marc Ellis, in the final paragraph of his book, Toward A Jewish Theology of Liberation, says that “If we throw strategy to the wind and end our hope for victory, then we are free to be faithful.”

Free to be faithful – I don’t know that it could be conveyed more beautifully --- we’re not called to be effective, we’re called to be faithful – because there are no guarantees of outcome – because there will be times when hope is hidden or lost or even destroyed. I’m sure the prophets knew the chances of being heard and heeded were pretty slim. I’m not convinced they always had hope, in fact I don’t recall that God ever commanded us to have hope – but we are commanded over and over to pursue justice, to deal justly with every human being. The prophets were faithful, constant – they took their obligations to speak truth to power very seriously. It wasn’t, and isn’t, about outcomes or return-on-investment, it’s about doing what is right and just only because it is right and just. This is what it means to be a Jew of conscience, a person of conscience. Hope is a luxury; obligation and faithfulness are essentials.

In Marc Ellis’ statement he spoke of the need for a reckoning with Jewish history and a confession to the Palestinian people. I want to close with a prayer that I wrote several years ago in anticipation of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews – a time when we seek forgiveness from God – but only in first seeking the forgiveness of those whom we have wronged can we presume to ask forgiveness from God. Perhaps one day Israel will make such a confession.

T’shuvah* For A Nation

God forgive us
for hostility toward those we perceive
to be not like ourselves;
for judging the powerless contemptible—
though it was we who rendered them so;
for believing that we are better, more deserving,
and even entitled, because our own suffering has been so great.

God forgive us
for turning our pain into a grisly weapon
with which we torment others;
for perpetuating the poisonous cycle—
from abused to abuser;
for despising the stranger, the refugee, the homeless—
for forgetting that we have been all of these.

God forgive us
for the thousands we have displaced and discounted;
for the land we have confiscated
and the homes we have demolished;
for the trees we have uprooted, and the water withheld;
for the hearts, and bones, and promises we have broken;
for the hatred we have engendered.

God forgive us
for invoking your name to justify revenge
and ethnic cleansing;
for citing Security to legitimize murder and torture;
for exploiting the Holocaust to defend doing to others
what has been done to us.

God forgive us
for the blinders we so carefully fabricate
to hide our eyes
from the humanity of the people we call enemy;
the same whom history records as kin.

God forgive us
for euphemisms, Orwellian doublespeak, and outright lies;
for hiring high-powered firms to sell myths
of innocence and righteousness;
for seeking a face lift for our image
instead of atonement for our soul.

May God forgive us.
May those we have so terribly wronged
forgive us.
 

*Repentance   
 

©Keren Batiyov   

"LOVE and Faithfulness shall meet; Justice and Peace Shall Kiss"- Psalm 85:10

Despair Follows: Genocide announced

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM IN ISRAEL


10 - 16 April 2008
Issue No. 892



Bombs would fall under other circumstances, but when influential rabbis call for the total annihilation of the Palestinians the world watches without blinking, writes Saleh Al-Naami

"All of the Palestinians must be killed; men, women, infants, and even their beasts." This was the religious opinion issued one week ago by Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, director of the Tsomet Institute, a long-established religious institute attended by students and soldiers in the Israeli settlements of the West Bank. In an article published by numerous religious Israeli newspapers two weeks ago and run by the liberal Haaretz on 26 March, Rosen asserted that there is evidence in the Torah to justify this stand. Rosen, an authority able to issue religious opinions for Jews, wrote that Palestinians are like the nation of Amalekites that attacked the Israelite tribes on their way to Jerusalem after they had fled from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. He wrote that the Lord sent down in the Torah a ruling that allowed the Jews to kill the Amalekites, and that this ruling is known in Jewish jurisprudence.

Rosen's article, which created a lot of noise in Israel, included the text of the ruling in the Torah: "Annihilate the Amalekites from the beginning to the end. Kill them and wrest them from their possessions. Show them no mercy. Kill continuously, one after the other. Leave no child, plant, or tree. Kill their beasts, from camels to donkeys." Rosen adds that the Amalekites are not a particular race or religion, but rather all those who hate the Jews for religious or national motives. Rosen goes as far as saying that the "Amalekites will remain as long as there are Jews. In every age Amalekites will surface from other races to attack the Jews, and thus the war against them must be global." He urges application of the "Amalekites ruling" and says that the Jews must undertake to implement it in all eras because it is a "divine commandment".

Rosen does not hesitate to define the "Amalekites of this age" as the Palestinians. He writes, "those who kill students as they recite the Torah, and fire missiles on the city of Siderot, spread terror in the hearts of men and women. Those who dance over blood are the Amalekites, and we must respond with counter-hatred. We must uproot any trace of humanitarianism in dealing with them so that we emerge victorious."

The true outrage is that most of those authorised to issue Jewish religious opinions support the view of Rabbi Rosen, as confirmed by Haaretz newspaper. At the head of those supporting his opinion is Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the leading religious authority in Israel's religious national current, and former chief Eastern rabbi for Israel. Rosen's opinion also has the support of Rabbi Dov Lior, president of the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Safed and a candidate for the post of chief rabbi of Israel. A number of political leaders in Israel have also shown enthusiasm for the opinion, including Ori Lubiansky, head of the Jerusalem municipality.

There is no dispute among observers in Israel that the shooting in Jerusalem three weeks ago that killed eight Jewish students in a religious school was pivotal for Jewish authorities issuing religious opinions of a racist, hateful nature. The day following the Jerusalem incident, a number of rabbis led by Daniel Satobsky issued a religious opinion calling on Jewish youth and "all those who believe in the Torah" to take revenge on the Palestinians as hastily as possible. A week following the operation, a group of leading rabbis issued an unprecedented religious opinion permitting the Israeli army to bomb Palestinian civilian areas. The opinion is issued by the "Association of Rabbis of the Land of Israel" and states that Jewish religious law permits the bombing of Palestinian civilian residential areas if they are a source of attacks on Jewish residential areas. It reads, "when the residents of cities bordering settlements and Jewish centres fire shells at Jewish settlements with the aim of death and destruction, the Torah permits for shells to be fired on the sources of firing even if civilian residents are present there."

The opinion adds that sometimes it is necessary to respond with shelling to sources of fire immediately, without granting the Palestinian public prior warning. A week ago, Rabbi Eliyahu Kinvinsky, the second most senior authority in the Orthodox religious current, issued a religious opinion prohibiting the employment of Arabs, particularly in religious schools. This religious opinion followed another that had been issued by Rabbi Lior prohibiting the employment of Arabs and the renting of residential apartments to them in Jewish neighbourhoods. In order to provide a climate that allows Jewish extremist organisations to continue attacking Palestinian citizens, Rabbi Israel Ariel, one of the most prominent rabbis in the West Bank settlement complex, recently issued a religious opinion prohibiting religious Jews involved in attacks against Palestinians to appear before Israeli civil courts. According to this opinion, they must instead demand to appear before Torah courts that rule by Jewish religious law.

Haaretz newspaper noted that what Rabbi Ariel was trying to achieve through this religious opinion has in fact already taken place. The first instance of such a court in Kfar Saba ordered the release of a young Jewish woman called Tsevia Teshrael who attacked a Palestinian farmer in the middle of the West Bank. And there are Jewish religious authorities that glorify killing and praise terrorists, such as Rabbi Yitzhaq Ginsburg, a top rabbi in Israel who published a book entitled Baruch the Hero in memoriam of Baruch Goldstein, who committed the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994 when he opened fire and killed 29 Palestinians as they were performing the dawn prayer in Hebron in the southern West Bank. Ginsburg considers his act "honourable and glorious".

The danger of these religious opinions lies in the fact that the religious authorities issuing them have wide respect among religious Jewish youth. And while only 28 per cent of Israel's population is religious, more than 50 per cent of Israelis define themselves as conservative and grant major significance to opinions issued by Jewish religious authorities. According to a study conducted by the Social Sciences Department of Bar Elon University, more than 90 per cent of those who identify as religious believe that if state laws and government orders are incongruous with the content of religious opinions issued by rabbis, they must overlook the former and act in accordance with the latter.

What grants the racist religious opinions a deeper and far-reaching impact is the fact that for the last decade followers of the Zionist religious current, who form nearly 10 per cent of the population, have been seeking to take control of the army and security institutions. They are doing so through volunteering for service in special combat units. The spokesperson's office in the Israeli army says that although the percentage of followers of this current is low in the state's demographic makeup, they form more than 50 per cent of the officers in the Israeli army and more than 60 per cent of its special unit commanders. According to an opinion poll of religious officers and soldiers supervised by the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya and published last year, more than 95 per cent of religious soldiers and officers say that they will execute orders from the elected government and their leaders in the army only if they are in harmony with the religious opinions issued by leading rabbis and religious authorities.

Wasil Taha, Arab Knesset member from the Tajammu Party led by Azmi Bishara, says that these religious opinions lead to the committal of crimes. He mentions religious opinions issued by a number of rabbis in mid-1995 that led to the assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at that time. "If that's what happens when religious opinions urge attacks against Jewish leaders such as Rabin, what will the situation be like when they urge attacks against Palestinian leaders and the Palestinian public?" he asks. "We, as Arab leaders, have begun to feel a lack of security following this flood of religious opinions, and we realise that the matter requires a great deal of caution in our movements as we are certain that there are those who seek to implement these opinions," he told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Taha dismisses those who ask about the role of the government and Israeli political cadre in confronting these extremist religious opinions. "The ministers in the Israeli government and the Knesset members compete to incite against the Palestinian public and don't hesitate to threaten expulsion of the Palestinians who live on their land in Israel and carry Israeli citizenship outside of Israel's borders, just as former deputy premier Avigdor Lieberman and representative Evi Etam did," Taha said. He notes that Palestinian citizens within Israel have begun to take extreme precautionary measures since the issue of these religious opinions, including security measures around mosques and public institutions and informing officials of public demonstrations so that members of Jewish terrorist organisations can be prevented from attacking participants. Taha holds that the sectors of the Palestinian population most likely to be harmed by these religious opinions are those living in the various cities populated by both Jews and Palestinians, such as Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramleh and Jerusalem.

Palestinian writer and researcher Abdul-Hakim Mufid, from the city Um Fahem, holds that the religious opinions of rabbis have gained major significance due to the harmony between official rhetoric and that of the rabbis. Mufid notes that official Israeli establishments have not tried to confront the "fascist" rhetoric expressed in these religious opinions even though they are capable of doing so. "Most of the rabbis who issue tyrannical religious opinions are official employees in state institutions and receive salaries from them. And the state has not held these rabbis accountable or sought to prohibit the issue of such opinions," he told the Weekly.

Mufid points out that when the official political institution is in a crisis, the Zionist consensus behind these religious opinions grows more intense, and offers as an example the religious opinions relied upon by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the early 1980s to justify his call to forcefully expel the Palestinians. Mufid adds that Israel in practice encourages all those who kill Palestinians, and points to the way that the Israeli government dealt with the recommendations of the Orr Commission that investigated the Israeli police's killing of 13 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in October of 2000. The government closed the file even though the commission confirmed that the police had acted aggressively towards the Palestinian citizens. Mufid suggests that what makes the racist rhetoric the rabbis insist upon influential is the silence of leftist and liberal voices, and the lack of any direct mobilisation against it.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved 

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/892/re72.htm


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

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BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu's Freedom of Speech Trial

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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.


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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 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
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posted 3/25/2009

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