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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.

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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 May 2008 arrow May 11, 2008

May 11, 2008
WAWA Blog May 11, 2008: MOTHER'S DAY UPDATE! Messages from two 21st century Jewish prophets...
MOTHER'S DAY UPDATE! This news made mine.

PSC Media Release: Saturday 10 May 2008
London protest calls for Free Palestine

 

Thousands marched through London, sixty years after the Palestinian Nakba, to demand an end to the siege on Gaza, an end to Israeli occupation, and for the right of return of refugees.

 The demonstration, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative and the Palestinian Forum in Britain, was supported by trade unions UNISON, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Unite the Union, Communication Workers Union, GMB, TSSA, RMT, Fire Brigades Union, and the National Union of Miners, who joined organisations such as the Association of Palestinian Community UK, Amos Trust, Friends of Al Aqsa UK, Palestinian Return Centre, War on Want, Jewish Socialist Group, Pax Christi, Stop the War Coalition, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Britain Palestine Twinning Network, ICAHDUK, Friends of Lebanon, Federation of Student Islamic Societies, and Midlands Palestinian Community Association.

 

Dr Mustafa Barghouti, elected Palestinian Legislative Council member, told the rally of the situation of Apartheid existing in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: "Israeli citizens make 30 times what Palestinians do, settlers take 48 times the water of Palestinians, Palestinians are denied entry to Jerusalem..." He said that the 'peace process' of Annapolis was an illusion: "Since then Israeli attacks have tripled and even more checkpoints have been set up." He stressed the importance of re-establishing Palestinian unity and accused western governments of hypocrisy, in undermining democracy in Palestine, but supporting an Apartheid state.

 

Speakers also included Richard Burden MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine, who reminded people of the ongoing plight of the refugees from 1948, especially those in Gaza: "Gaza is dotted with masses of cesspits of raw sewage, as deadly as any bomb or missile." Like many speakers, he called for the lifting of the siege of Gaza and withdrawal from all the Occupied Territories: "The peace process cannot work while people are imprisoned in their own land." Both he and Caroline Lucas stressed Israel cannot continue to enjoy a privileged trading relationship with Europe while it persists in violating international law.

 

Referring to the founding of Israel, Tony Benn said: "Nothing that happened in the WWII can justify Israel's seizure of Palestinian land." He found room some optimism: "Wherever you go you find people understand increasingly what is happening to the Palestinian people. There will never be peace in the Middle East till the Palestinians are treated decently."

 

Manuel Hassassian, the General Delegate to the UK said: "Our problem is not a humanitarian problem, it is a political problem, which must have a political solution." He also said: "The right of return is a sacred right for the Palestinians. Jerusalem is our capital, and we will never compromise on Jerusalem."

 

Respect MP George Galloway reminded the crowd of Britain's historic responsibility for the tragedy inflicted on the Palestinian people, from the time of Balfour onwards, and remembered the "thousands upon thousands of martyrs" created over decades; he also demanded the release of Marwan Barghouti and other political prisoners, and declared: "If there is no justice in Palestine there can be no peace in Palestine, and peace in Palestine is the key to peace throughout the Middle East."

 

Video messages came from a PLC member from Gaza, Dr Jamal Al-Khoudary, and from Ismail Haniyeh.- END -

For more information please call:

Jenny Najar or Sarah Colborne: 0207 700 6192

Or Email:

Or visit: www.palestinecampaign.org

 

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK.


 







A prophet does not necessarily predict the future, but they do point out danger and provoke us to remember God.



Thanks to Jim V. in D.C. for forwarding the following articles

http://www.christiancentury.org/article.lasso?id=4723

May 06, 2008

 

Reform Jewish leader calls Hagee 'extremist' unworthy of support


The president of the 1.5-million-member Reform Judaism movement called controversial Texas pastor John Hagee an "extremist" and urged fellow rabbis to shun his high-profile support of Israel.

Eric Yoffie, head of the Union for Reform Judaism, denounced Hagee, head of the Christians United for Israel, at an April 2 meeting of Reform rabbis in Cincinnati.

The rabbi accused Hagee of fostering religious intolerance between evangelical Christians and people of other faiths, as well as exacerbating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by vigorously opposing a two-state solution.

What Hagee and his allies "mean by support of Israel and what we mean by support of Israel are two very different things," Yoffie said. "Their vision of Israel rejects a two-state solution, rejects the possibility of a democratic Israel, and supports the permanent occupation of all Arab [territory] now controlled by Israel."

Hagee has endorsed Senator John McCain's White House bid, but Yoffie asserted that the pastor and the adherents of his two-year-old organization "do not represent most evangelicals, do not represent most Republicans and do not represent the American heartland."

The pastor defended himself April 7 on a conference call from Israel. Hagee said that statements accusing him of making critical comments about the Catholic Church and being insensitive to Muslims have taken his remarks out of context. "It saddens me that Rabbi Yoffie failed to exhibit the very [sensitivity] of which he spoke," said Hagee.

"Israel is not a vassal state of the U.S.," Hagee said. "They are a free and independent democracy whose citizens should determine their own destiny."

The San Antonio megachurch pastor, who angered some Catholics last year with his book Jerusalem Countdown, has denied that on other occasions he has described Catholicism as "a false cult" and an "apostate church."

A longstanding dilemma over this ardent brand of evangelical support for Israel, often called Christian Zionism, has worried not only the Reform wing of Judaism but also many in centrist Conservative Judaism.

"On the one hand, there's a desire to have as strong a support for Israel as possible," said Rabbi Joel Meyers, who heads the Rabbinical Assembly, an umbrella group of Conservative rabbis. "On the other hand, there's concern that no one wants to back any religious extremist," Meyers said in an interview. "And some of the comments coming from some of the leaders of the evangelical movement are certainly extreme when they talk about other faiths. That makes a lot of people, including myself, very uneasy."

Christian Zionism has various interpretations, but its central belief is that ancient Israel must be restored to bring about Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. Most Christian Zionists believe that during the second coming, Jews will either convert to Christianity or perish.

While Israel's birth in 1948 seemed to many to fulfill biblical prophecy, Christian Zionists believe that an intact Israel must also include Judea and Samaria—the predominantly Palestinian West Bank, captured by Israel in 1967. They have therefore resisted the return of any land to the Palestinians as part of a peace deal. And a war with Iran, some say, could usher in Armageddon.

In Jerusalem, Hagee tends to find more backing among Orthodox Jews. Two influential Israelis defended Hagee after Yoffie's criticism. Hagee is a "man of courage," said Benny Elon, a Knesset member and chair of the Christian Allies Caucus.

Elon, a rabbi, said also that he told the pastor that he's "the right man in the right time in the right place."

Yoffie's remarks were called politically motivated by Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of Efrat. "Yoffie was unfortunately letting his particular brand of Israeli politics get in the way of seeing a magnificent outpouring of support on the part of the evangelical community," Riskin said.

"I've been working with Pastor Hagee a long time and I've never heard him take a philosophical stand on any particular political posture Israel should take," Riskin added. -Religion News Service



5 Myths About Being 'Pro-Israel'

By Jeremy Ben-Ami
Sunday, May 11, 2008; B03
Washington Post

Six decades ago, my father fought alongside Menachem Begin for Israel's independence. If you'd have told him back then that politicians in the world's last superpower would be jockeying today to see who can be more 'pro-Israel,' he would have laughed at you. Grateful as I am for decades of U.S. friendship to Israel, I have to wonder, as the state my father helped found turns 60, just who is defining what it means to be pro-Israel in the United States these days.

Some purported keepers of that flame claim that supporting Israel means reflexively supporting every Israeli action and implacably opposing every Israeli foe -- adopting the talking points of neoconservatives and the most right-wing elements of the American Jewish and Christian Zionist communities. Criticize or question Israeli behavior and you're labeled 'anti-Israel,' or worse. But unquestioning encouragement for short-sighted Israeli policies such as expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank isn't real friendship. (Would a true friend not only let you drive home drunk but offer you their Porsche and a shot of tequila for the road?) Israel needs real friends, not enablers. And forging a healthy friendship with Israel requires bursting some myths about what it means to be pro-Israel.

1. American Jews choose to back candidates largely on the basis of their stance on Israel.

This urban legend has somehow become a tenet of American Politics 101, which is why politicians work so hard to earn the pro-Israel label in the first place. But it's a self-serving fable, cultivated by a tiny minority of politically conservative American Jews who actually are single-issue voters. Most Jewish voters make their political choices the way other Americans do: based on their views on the full spectrum of domestic and foreign policy issues.

Moreover, the American Jewish community still has a markedly progressive bent. Exit polls suggest that nearly 80 percent of Jewish Americans voted for John F. Kerry over George W. Bush in 2004; some 70 percent of them were opposed to the Iraq war in 2005, according to the American Jewish Committee; and polls show that most American Jews say they favor a more balanced U.S. Middle East policy that's aimed at achieving peace.

2. To be strong on Israel, you have to be harsh to the Palestinians.

Wrong, and counterproductive to boot. One popular way for members of Congress to earn their pro-Israel stripes is to come down as hard as possible on the Palestinians, by using economic and diplomatic pressure or giving the Israelis a freer hand for military strikes. That may satisfy some primal urge to lash out at Israel's foes, but it does Israel more harm than good.

As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has argued, Israel's survival depends on offering the Palestinians a more hopeful future built on political sovereignty and economic development. As long as Palestinians despair of a decent and dignified life, Israel will be at war. And as long as the only channel for the Palestinians' ingenuity is building better rockets, not even the Great Wall of China will protect Israel's cities from their wrath. Helping the Palestinians achieve a viable, prosperous state is one of the most pro-Israel things an American politician can do.

3. The Rev. John Hagee and his fellow Christian Zionists are good for the Jews.

Hardly. Are Israel and American Jewry really so desperate that we must cozy up to people whose messianic dreams entail having us all killed or converted to Christianity? Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel, and his ilk believe that Israel dare not cede any territory in the quest for peace, claiming that the Bible promised all of the holy land to the Jews. In other words, Christian Zionists look at the trade-offs that Israel must make to achieve peace -- and hope to thwart them. Then again, peace is not what these folks have in mind; they hope that Israel will seek to permanently expand its borders, thereby goading the Arabs into a war that will become the catalyst for Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. Do your ambitions for Israel extend beyond turning it into the fuel for the fire of the 'End of Days'? Then Hagee and company are not -- repeat, not -- your friends.

4. Talking peace with your enemies demonstrates weakness.

You don't need an advanced degree in international relations to recognize that pursuing peace only with people you like is pointless. Most Israelis know this; a recent poll in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz found that two-thirds of Israelis favor cease-fire negotiations between their government and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, exactly because Hamas is such a bitter foe. But in Washington, we self-righteously refuse to engage -- even indirectly -- with Hamas, Iran or Syria.

Hamas won the most recent Palestinian national elections in a landslide. Do we seriously think that it can be erased from the political landscape simply by assassinations and sanctions? Precisely because Hamas and Iran represent the most worrisome strategic challenges to Israel, responsible friends of Israel who'd like to see it live in security for its next 60 years should be engaging with them to search for alternatives to war.

5. George W. Bush is the best friend Israel has ever had.

Not even close. The president has acted as Israel's exclusive corner man when he should have been refereeing the fight. That choice weakened Israel's long-term security.

Israel needs U.S. help to maintain its military edge over its foes, but it also needs the United States to contain Arab-Israeli crises and broker peace. Israel's existing peace pacts owe much to Washington's ability to bridge the mistrust among parties in the Middle East. So when the United States abandons the role of effective broker and acts only as Israel's amen choir, as it has throughout Bush's tenure, the United States dims Israel's prospects of winning security through diplomacy. The best gift that Israel's friends here could give this gallant, embattled democracy on its milestone birthday would be returning the United States to its leading role in active diplomacy to end the conflicts in the Middle East -- and help a secure, thriving Israel find a permanent, accepted home among the community of nations.



Jeremy Ben-Ami is executive director of J Street, a lobby and political action committee that promotes peace and security in the Middle East.

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

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