13 thoughts on “Israeli Peace Activists Post Electricity Cut Off Notices to Bring Issue of Gaza Back Home – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. So, in your world the IDF is this heinous perpetrator of war crimes. And a veteran of the German 6th army is just a kindly accordion player. Interesting.

  2. Bravo seconded.

    I am reading Bertrand Russell on Jewish religious development (in History of Western Philosophy) and he quotes translator Townsend saying that had the Maccabbees not resisted, Judaism could have faded away, therefore no Christianity, therefore no Islam, no monotheism generally.

    I don’t know whether to give thanks or wish they’d sat on their bums.

  3. …In your world the IDF is this heinous perpetrator of war crimes. And a veteran of the German 6th army is just a kindly accordion player.

    First, those in the Israeli military and government who engage in collective punishment of the civilian population of Gaza are guilty of violating the Geneva Conventions. Second, I wrote about a charming Hanukah book written by a German Jewish woman in which she depicts her friendship with a former Wermacht soldier on Hanukah. If you have a problem with the book or the girl’s relationship with the ex-soldier I suggest you take it up with her, not me.

    I don’t know that I would’ve been able to have such a relationship with such a person. But unlike you, I don’t censor her for doing so. Perhaps you should wait until you’ve walked in the shoes of such a German Jewish girl having lost her grandparents to Hitler’s Holocaust. Maybe then you would have the right to issue moral judgment. Till then, I think your views are best ignored.

    And instead of being such a spoil sport why don’t you buy the book and read it to your child or grandchild & let them tell you how much they cherish it. Then maybe you’ll get into the Hanukah spirit (if that’s even possible).

  4. Glenn,
    Very interesting idea.
    One could make a good argument that monotheism has been the cause of more misery than any other concept – to humans, to non-human animals, and to the earth.
    Not a popular argument, but one that can be supported with a reading of history.

    I’ve always liked Bertrand Russell, altho haven’t read him.


  5. The Israeli peace activists are indeed a light onto their nation. I have read of many of their attempts to expose the heinous treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. In a recent article in US News and World Report (9/24/07), a member of Checkpoint Watch, an organization of female Israeli monitors, took action against a member of the IDF “who would urinate on the shoes of Palestinian women. It took us many months of complaining to the Army before he was taken off checkpoint duty.”

    Do Israelis have any concern that their barbaric treatment of Palestinians creates Muslim hatred of the United States?

  6. Jeanne,
    “Do Israelis have any concern that their barbaric treatment of Palestinians creates Muslim hatred of the United States?”

    My experience is that the Israelis don’t care. Nor do they care about the humanitarian argument. Nor do they even care -from a self-centered viewpoint – of the effects of this barbarism on Israeli society.
    They, or most of them, along with supporters here in US, justify everything in terms of “security”. There is no way to have a logical argument against this framing. At least I have never been successful. If they don’t listen to me, and I am a Jew, and they are not moved by humanitarian or self-interest concerns, then one can not be surprised when a very tiny number of Gazans turn to violence.

    What else is left?


  7. Ellen asked, “What else is left?”

    I think we all are keenly aware that we would be in the “resistance” whether it would have been Europe during the Nazi occupation, South Africa during Apartheid, Palestine under Israeli occupation, Tiananmen Square etc. etc. etc. I think each of us could have been with Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman in Mississippi. That we have been so fortunate is all the more reason to speak out for those who are living under repressive occupation.

    Richard, I know you have many Israeli friends who must be in the peace movement. How can we express our appreciation for their constant stuggle on behalf of the Palestinians?

  8. Jeanne,
    I think you make a good point.
    I don’t know about you, but I cannot put myself in the same rank as the people you mention.
    The difference is in having right thoughts versus doing right actions.
    The closest thing I know to resistance in US is Jews Against the Occupation, who perform civil disobedience, and go to jail. Does it do anything toward the goal that we all share? I don’t know. But it is at least an act of conscience.

    I don’t consider myself writing on a computer to be an act of resistance.
    I sometimes think that if there’d been blogging in the days of the Civil Rights Movement, African-American people would still be sitting in the back of the bus.


  9. Ellen, I agree that we cannot put outselves in the same catagory as those I mentioned. But I have often thought of my reaction had I been in those places of oppression, and I fear that I would have been somewhere in the resistance. My friends, and those of my children, were mainly Jewish. So I often wondered what would have happened in my neighborhood. I know that we could not have turned away those children if the SS was coming — whatever the consequences. And I know that if it were my children who were threatened, my Jewish friends would have hidden them. At any rate, it would have been HELL for all of us. That we have not been placed in those circumstances, makes it all the more important that we join with those forces who fight oppression.

  10. I don’t consider myself writing on a computer to be an act of resistance.

    But it is. I think I have an impact though it may be small. In fact, I think that the internet can prevent or inhibit some of the worst injustices because it enhances awareness & spreads information so quickly.

    Regarding Jeanne’s comments about resistance…you should take a look at my friend, Mark Klempner’s wonderful book, The Heart Has Reasons, about five Dutch Christians who harbored Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. They were ordinary people (though all politically progressive) who acted extraordinarily in extraordinary times. No one knows how they might react in a similar situation, but at least these five individuals answered the call to humanity, God bless ’em.

  11. I would like to think that if the Rosa Parks incident had been captured on YouTube, then Jim Crow would have fallen that much faster, but this is just speculation on my part.

  12. I for one think as many Jews as possible should voice their opposition to the occupation on the web and in any other venues that they can. I think that bloggers like Richard and Jerry Haber do a great service in getting the word out and exposing people to uncomfortable truths. My experience has been that most Jews in America are really not aware of what happens in Israel, and the little that they really do know is lost in the noise of all the heinous things that some of the Palestinians and Hezbollah do. A pox upon both their houses is often the best you can hope for from these folks, which is often not enough to get them to take serious action. That may be changing.

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