Month: January 2010
Folks, many of you may have seen this, but we have friends in the world who cannot directly access the Jerusalem Post piece. So here it is. Lauren is an amazing interviewer. She interviewed me for nine hours, longest interview of my life:
By LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER
This week, Orthodox American rabbi Marc Gopin saw his coexistence work in Syria bear fruit. What turns a Soloveitchik disciple into an unofficial diplomat to the Arab…Somewhere between the shtetls of Eastern Europe and sites across the Levant, Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, 52, has found his calling.
Heading the George Mason University Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia, he is not waiting for a peace treaty to cause change. Gopin gets on a plane and heads for trouble spots wherever he can find openings. He meets with sheikhs, heads of state …
This is a great example of how people need to take charge of global foreign policy. The Jews of Turkey are modelling the way in which citizens need to take charge of their own fate, to make the case for their own needs, and in so doing, call upon political leaders to stop using religion, ethnicity or such cultural differences as weapons. They are also deeply concerned by the over-identification of a state and its policies with a people or a religion. This must change to make everyone safe and help states to take responsibility for their own policies. None of us should be held hostage to state policies but should be empowered to represent ourselves and our basic needs.
Turkey’s Jews Urge Calm After Spat With Israel
On Wednesday, a major Jewish American group raised concerns about rising anti-Semitism in Turkey, criticizing statements by Turkish government officials and the
A group of young Somali refugee musicians living in Kenya called Waayaha Cusub (New Era) are slowly gaining local popularity for their songs of reconciliation and peace. They started their group in 2004 and have been singing in opposition to all atrocities against Somalis and criticizing the leadership of the country for sacrificing lives in the quest for power.
Most recently, in December 2009, they released a song called “Ha is Dilin” (Don’t Kill Yourself). In the video, one of the female singers is pleading with a young man who is wearing a suicide vest. By the end, the would-be suicide bomber takes off the vest and walks away. The chorus of the song is:
“Don’t blow yourself up brother, don’t commit a blasphemous act and anger the lord, don’t hate your people and make them hate you.”
Their anti-violence message, mixed gender composition (especially since females are unveiled), …
“None but a noble man treats women in an honorable manner. And none but an ignoble treats women disgracefully.”
– The Prophet Muhammad (At-Tirmithy)
Last year, I was approached by MarcGopin.com to write a column focusing on positive incremental change.
While I am always in favor of an optimistic approach, I confess that it is sometimes hard to remain positive. This is especially difficult considering the many challenges women – and especially Muslim women – continue to face in establishing and preserving their rights.
For example, it is true that the tribal practice of honor killing – in which women are slain to restore the “honor” of their families and communities – is not exclusive to Islamic societies and even existed in pre-Islamic times. However, it is also true that the perpetrators of these crimes are often Muslim – and their victims, numbering in the thousands each year, are Muslim …
Hamas advocating dialogue through children’s cartoon? Not exactly.
By Roi Ben-Yehuda
From France 24’s The Observers:
Last month, on the controversial Palestinian children’s program, “The Pioneers of Tomorrow”, a cartoon was aired (on the Hamas owned Al-Aqsa TV) ostensibly aimed at teaching kids Islamic values. The cartoon features a conversation between a Palestinian boy and a young Israeli Jewish settler. Through their dialogue and interaction, the Jewish settler learns to question everything negative he had been taught about Palestinians.
The problem is that while the cartoon is designed to empower Palestinian children, it does so through the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes. This is not all together uncharacteristic for the Hamas run TV program: Past episodes of the show, for example, have shown a cute and cuddly rabbit who desires to kill and eat Jews. Yet, unlike previous shows, the message of this cartoon is less than …