CONFLICT DEESCALATION IN JERUSALEM AND HEBRON: JUST A THOUGHTWe need a rapid response team, perhaps through an app, of respected observers of violent incidents in both communities, people who know and trust each other, to rapidly investigate and disseminate the facts as best they know them, in order for whatever reactions that occur be based on better knowledge of all the facts. Perhaps the app could be open, but with a respected panel who can immediately detect those on the app with consistent disinformation.This is a suggestion for a new tactic of precision popular journalism across enemy lines. I know journalists on both sides who are committed to their profession and also to peace, and I know many on both sides who have a firm interest in saving lives always as a priority. I also know the
There are important next steps being debated for what states can and should do to stop the current war, and set the stage for ending the current cycle of violence. That is not my subject. I thought recently that leaders are followers and followers are leaders, and neither knows it. The fact is that people and their individual initiatives have much more impact on the course of history than is acknowledged by government officials, by cynics, and by those too apathetic, too callous, or too fearful to act. If you are in that category, do not read forward. Just go back to Al Jazeera, Fox and CNN and choose a side. Or go back to Jon Stewart and have a good laugh.
Here is what is necessary, efforts that have worked before in history in changing the available information available to all parties so that more rational and more morally …
Tonight I remember lonely days on the empty streets of Jerusalem years ago at the height of the suicide bombing. I remember exactly what I felt as I walked Emek Refaim, and buses passed me with travelers too poor or to brave to avoid the danger of travel. As they passed, I thought to myself about their eyes, I gazed into their eyes, and I thought I saw ghosts, about to die. I wondered if the blast would hit me as they drove past and our blood and souls would mix in eternity. They did not die that night, and neither did I, I think. Once a ghost always a ghost. I am the walking dead of this conflict between Arab and Jew. I carry them all with me in my soul, and I wait to join them one day.
What more can I do but feel their lives …
Rebellion is only freedom when there is a path, and the path is compassion. Otherwise the new master is hate.
Rebellion is the mirror image of the oppressor, unless there is vision, and unless the vision is compassion.
Peaceful vision of a peaceful path. Otherwise, rebellion is merely an image of the oppressor.
Heroes of peace grow like wildflowers. But they flower only through those who follow them. Otherwise they are crucified, or, worse, ignored.
Heroes of peace are simply mirrors of populations ready to love. Until they are ready, not even God can shake them.
Peace only calls the ‘every person’, and then heroes merely lead the way when the ‘every person’ is tired of not listening to the angel within.
An Abraham is always pursuing teenagers to slaughter and fulfill his vision, a Voice is always suggesting alternatives, while Sarah and Hagar drown in a sea …
Reflecting on 2010, it’s clear that racism in Israel has reared its ugly head. A recent poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 51 percent of Israelis support equal rights between Jews and Arabs, while 53 percent think the state should encourage Arabs to emigrate from the country. Thepoll also established that Jewish Israelis find the idea of living next to an Arab more troubling than any other minority, and that in the event of war, 33 percent of Israelis support the idea of putting Arabs into internment camps.
In the last few months, these findings were given concrete expression in a number of incidents. These include:
A religious ruling signed and endorsed by 50 state-appointed rabbis forbidding Jews from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, head of the Yeshiva in Ashdod and one of the endorsers …
Recent sputterings of a peace process between Israel and Palestine, the termination of Israel’s settlement building freeze causing a demise of said peace process — again — has produced a loud, global yawn. What else is new in this endless conflict? Negotiations cannot succeed without a vision, and there is no widely shared vision of peace among these people that could truly spur their politicians forward.
The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of the past that create brutal behavior in the present. One way forward may be to suspend skepticism for just a moment, to free the mind to build a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved. Armed with this imaginative exercise it might become easier to lobby for practical ways forward.
Let’s imagine the following: official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza
The hardest part of building peace for the future is freeing oneself from the wounds of war, the mutual recriminations of the present, the painful memories of a lost past, and the unreasonable fantasies of a world where one’s enemies magically disappear. Sometimes the way forward is to free the mind to build a different world, a world of practical possibilities should peace be achieved.
Let’s imagine the following: a full peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, official creation of a state of Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital, a shared civil regime for the quarter mile of the Holy Basin in the Old City of Jerusalem that is overseen by Israeli and Palestinian Jews, Muslims and Christians, and a way for every Palestinian refugee camp’s residents to be awarded citizenship and compensation in a variety of countries including Palestine itself.
The first …
Excellent article, speaks for itself
Growing up in the West Bank, Mujahid Sarsur knew next to nothing about the Holocaust and saw little ground to sympathize with a people he saw as his occupier. 2010. But thanks to an Israeli roommate overseas, the 21-year-old Palestinian student learned about the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews during World War II and discovered a new understanding of his Israeli neighbors.Now he wants other Arabs to do the same. Sarsur heads one of a handful of Palestinian grass-roots groups seeking knowledge about the Holocaust.On Wednesday, he led a delegation of 22 students to Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. The students, fasting for Ramadan, listened closely to their Arabic-speaking guide’s explanations, and were left wide-eyed by the gruesome images of the death camps.
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 …
On June 21, 2009 will be the third annual Jerusalem Hug. The Jerusalem Hug is will occur from 4-11 pm, in the Old City. The hug begins with two facilitated listening circles, one in an open air plaza south of the Jaffa Gate and another at Palm Trees' Garden (Suk Al Falahin) west of the Damascus Gate.