You have to watch this short five minute film to believe it. Watch a village steadily stolen illegally by the Jewish National Fund, finally destroyed by the IDF and the State with hundreds of police, and then rebuilt and reclaimed by Jews and Arabs, citizens of Israel, together.
You don’t have to believe that this is exactly what the JNF has been doing for over a hundred years, you don’t have to read the long and complicated history through the eyes of Israel’s leading analysts like Tom Segev in One Palestine Complete, just look at five minutes of video to see the destruction of olive trees and the theft of land through planting ‘Jewish’ trees, donated by clueless American Jews, no doubt, as Arabs watch helplessly their entire village demolished. But then watch Jews and Arabs together rebuilding in a single day. Feel the power and the determination.
This is the day in the Jewish calendar that is the eve of destruction, commemorating all the catastrophes of the last 2500 years, the forced exiles, the crusades, the massacres, the pogroms, an authentically religious national day of mourning for millions of jewish innocents over the ages. Only what is different from profane forms of Jewish mourning, is that religious mourning looks inward, introspectively, not outward for scapegoats. And this is the difference between heaven and hell, the hell created by profane nationalism, and the heaven created by spiritual identity.
I heard a homily in a synagogue yesterday that turned my stomach so badly that I had to leave. It was a celebration of conquest, precisely at this time, an embrace of the conquerors of the Book of Joshua, as role models for a new husband and wife team celebrating their upcoming marriage.
But Judaism is not the Bible, something …
This introduces a kind of literary authoritative text in Judaism called a ‘P’sak’. A P’sak is quite similar to an Islamic Fatwa. Remember way back in the day, just a few years ago, when everyone in the West became obsessed with Fatwas that were supportive of harming civilians? What has emerged is a parallel development in the Israeli Jewish world. There are indications of some pretty terrible things emerging in the shadows of the radical Christian community that also parallel this. Protestants, for example, when they get nasty, don’t make legal decisions for a variety of theological reasons, but they do start ‘praying’, like praying for a president’s death. But that is not our subject right now.
A P’sak and a Fatwa have another thing in common, they are not as authoritative as they look from the outside because so many people claim this authority. On the other hand, it …
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
Stories of cooperation and affection have been suppressed by two groups, those whose interests lay in weaponizing religion for nationalist purposes, and enlightenment liberals who wanted to establish society on a secular basis jettisoning the usefulness of clerics as weavers of civil society. But the fact is that along with the harm done by benighted clerics and hierarchies there were also moments of beauty in history that have yet to be extensively documented.
This story below is typical of many today that suggest a new era of global civil society has arrived when Jews and Muslims team up to help Christians on Christmas. But it is not as new as some might imagine. Tales of cooperation, mutual study and reverence, abound in anecdotes passed down from history that our age of militancy has tended to suppress. For a variety of reasons most of us around the globe are trying to …
This is from our Associate and friend, “Unusual Pairs” Producer David Vyorst, who also created marcgopin.com! “The First Basket” is his first documentary film, about the Jewish social history of basketball. It’s a highly engaging and enlightening film, and I recommend it. What it shows is the resilience of cultures and minorities in difficult circumstances, the interesting merging of cultures through sports, and the ways in which the United States has offered unique opportunities to overcome barriers that are rife in other cultures in the world. Enjoy!
The Greatest Jewish Basketball Documentary in the World
is now available for Chanukah on DVD!!!
A “perception-altering new documentary”
-Gary Goldstein, The Los Angeles Times
“The First Basket is more than a triumphalist screw-you to those who think Jews don’t play sports. . .David Vyorst’s clear-eyed, jaunty documentary briskly walks us through the history of American Jews in …
After 40 Years of Wilderness, J Street Meets at the River’s Edge: Pro-Peace, Pro-Israel
By Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Tonight and for the next few days, in Washington DC, 1200 people are gathering in the name of a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” US policy. Because of my broken leg, I can’t be physically there. But my mind and spirit and 40 years of my work are there today.
Forty years ago, in the summer of 1969, I visited Israel for the first time. On the same trip, guided by a brilliant Israeli kibbutznik-sociologist, Dan Leon, I also visited Palestinian leaders in Hebron, East Jerusalem, and Gaza — old-fashioned notables, social workers, lawyers.
To a person, they told me they had marched and spoken out against occupation by Jordan or Egypt, and would oppose occupation by Israel. They said they had no objection to Israel as it had been before the 1967 war.
By Mallory Huggins
On Speaking of Faith, a weekly public radio program, Krista Tippett focuses on “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas.” This week, she talked with two women who illustrate the power of interfaith collaboration. Here’s an excerpt from the blog post about the women:
The Power of Listening and Engaging with the “Other”
By Krista Tippett
Malka and Aziza work with emerging leaders from different spheres of life and from both of their traditions. They make a core commitment “not to be enemies.” And that, of course, is the kind of lofty statement that can be hard to put into practice against the backdrop of reality. The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the dynamics of the post-9/11 world, the rise of Iran as a regional power — these are just a few of the developments that infuse and shape relationships between Jews and Muslims everywhere.
To read the whole article, …
From our good friends at the Backdoor Broadcasting Company in the United Kingdom:
This conference, the first of its kind in the UK, addresses the remarkable projects of certain groups working in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank involved in joint resistance to ongoing military conflict and occupation. Working for mental health and human rights on the front lines involving military aggression, internal group violence, systemic interference with basic human rights, brutalization on many fronts and deep pessimism on all sides, speakers will address any and all resources for combined resistance and shared hope, whether close to home or coming from abroad. The recent catastrophic attack on the civilian population of Gaza, at the eye of the storm of sites of conflict in Western eyes, makes this event both critical and significant.
* Survival and Non-Violent Resistance in Gaza and the West Bank
* Psychoactive …