18 thoughts on “Tikun Olam in The Nation – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Mazel Tov Richard – that’s an amazing accomplishment! I have to confess, since Joella was born I let my paper subscription lapse – I just ended up with a stack of unread magazines…

    It’s quite an accomplishment!

  2. Congratulations Richard

    I am wondering what you think of Philip Weiss(not related to me). A lot of classic antisemites pollute his posts with comments and I’m not so sure he isn’t anti-Jewish culture either.

  3. Richard,

    Congratulations on being published in The Nation, and I’m particularly pleased that it is your article on our Free Gaza Movement and our breaking the siege of Gaza that was your first. Hope you’ll have many more similarly important pieces published in The Nation.

    As an aside, a lot of people worked very hard for two years to break the siege, and most of us were women. Not to take anything away from Jeff, who joined us just before we sailed. His presence was invaluable to us and I enjoyed having him as a delightful fellow passenger on the FREE GAZA. (Jeff was one of the few who didn’t get seasick) It took courage for him to stand up to his government by sailing with us.

    Another aside, there were actually three Israelis on board our boats, including Palestinian Huwaida Arraf, who strangely wasn’t stopped when she returned to Israel through Ben Gurion, a few days after Jeff returned through the Eretz checkpoint.


  4. Yishar Koach, Richard. Well-done.
    Regarding Jeff – why not in a shul? You know the famous story: Why Jewish congregations across the US aren’t speaking about the injustices of the occupation? Well, the congregants are afraid to incur the wrath of the rabbi, and the rabbi – well he’s afraid that if he speaks up he’ll get fired by the congregation…
    Seriously, it’s worth giving it a try. Surprisingly, I succeeded in getting the rabbi of my shul to come to my house for Dr. Alice Rothchild’s presentation of her new book “Broken Promises, Broken Dreams” So you never know

  5. @Michael Weis: That’s a complicated question. I have enormous respect for Phil. But I don’t agree with all his views. I think his embrace of assimilation and acculturation is well, rather ridiculous. I don’t think the path to a better future for American Jews lies in losing our identity in the mainstream. In fact, to me that is a dead end.

    But aside from these views I think Phil is a true, good hearted warrior for the cause of sanity and Israeli Palestinian peace. I consider him a brother. In addition, he’s much less intellectually pugnacious than I and knows how to embrace all his readers, even those who disagree w. him. I respect that.

    Yes, Joachim Martillo does comment at his blog. And there are many of his views I dislike. But there is value in almost every human being, including ones we disagree strongly with. Phil gets that sometimes even better than I do.

  6. @Mary Hughes-Thompson: Thanks for correctly noting the hard work & inspiration of others who started this project.

    I’m astonished that the Palestinian wasn’t stopped at Ben Gurion. I’d guess that any Israeli participant would’ve been stopped as Jeff was whether it was at Erez or Ben Gurion. They really need to make an example of these people to discourage such future “shenanigans.”

  7. @s: Well, I didn’t organize the event & you can be sure yr question was the first one I asked myself. But since I’ll only be a guest at the event & not host or organizer I’ll leave that question for later.

    I certainly would’ve done this differently. But hey, I give credit to them for getting the event organized.

  8. What a surprise–Lisa Goldman published in the neocon Pajamas Media. How appropriate. If anyone is a sad clown I doubt it’s Lauren Booth, but rather Goldman herself.

    Of course, this coming after not reading the article.
    Unsurprisingly –
    spoken like the true class act that you are.

  9. Oh yeah so would you think of it? hurry go read right now before you look like a hypocrite.
    I met Lisa you classless labeler you – the only words are a nice, cool and measured woman.
    The mass tar and featherer – the same ‘human being’ that goes into hyperplexy when anyone labels him or anything he sympathizes with.

  10. @Benjamin Bratt: I would expect you to adore Lisa. You’re birds of a feather. She’s a clueless, rigid person who refused to feature my blog in Global Voices because I wasn’t Israeli, as if writing a blog about Israel required you to be Israeli. BTW, this was in violation of Global VOices editorial policy (though her editor at the time stood by her). As soon as she left, the next editor changed her policy & now various editors do feature my work at times.

    Lisa went to Lebanon and came back with a big story in which she interviewed a taxi driver and cafe owner about nothing in particular and concealed her national identity. I wouldn’t mind that so much if she’d at least come back w. an interesting story. Instead, her story was as vapid as she is.

    I get labelled all the time. I don’t mind labels as long as the labeller can justify the label. I’ve just justified my label for Lisa.

  11. To Richard and Mary Hughes-Thompson,

    Why don’t you think orgs like J-Street, NJDC, etc…back the Free Gaza movement more? It’s no secret that the Free Gaza movement is looking for funding and is not anywhere near its goals. Have you guys wondered about the reasons progressive groups aren’t trying to raise funds for the cause? Or are these groups not progressive enough in that they buy the line from AIPAC, etc.. that Free Gaza is a hate-Israel group dedicated only to embarassing Israel and not so much helping Palestinians?


  12. @rundmc:

    They don’t publicly back FGM because it’s not part of their organizational mission to do so. The groups you mentioned are trying to impact domestic U.S. politics, which is entirely different than what FGM does. Generally progressive groups raise money for themselves & not external groups. Some Jewish groups are quite supportive of FGM. But it IS true that FGM is viewed negatively by the Israel lobby & its supporters for obvious reasons. The idea that FGM is a “hate Israel group” is preposterous. Other than rightist propaganda what evidence do you have to support this?

  13. Richard-
    Why is the FGM having so much trouble raising funds from fellow progressives if they are not considered a fringe, extremist group by progressives in general? Like you wrote, only some Jewish groups are supportive of FGM – so why not more if the FGM is representative of progressive values? It seems that the RW movements that are against the FGM have influenced most progressives to be against the FGM. Or do you have a better reason for the poor financial support? It’s not like the FGM hasn’t received its fair share of press.

  14. @rundmc: Who says they are “having trouble?” They sent two boats to Gaza. They’re about to launch another voyage. Seems to be they’re doing just fine. Abie Nathan too was a peace visionary always strapped for cash. But he managed to accomplish much as FGM has. Unfortunately, it seems to be mostly the right wingers like Sheldon Adelson who have wads of cash to throw around in support of extremist Israeli politics. The left doesn’t have as many free spenders.

    FGM is not a “Jewish” group. Many progressive Jewish groups working around I-P issues prefer to support Jewish groups working on the cause for obvious reasons.

    Oh puh-leeze. Shurat Ha-Din or the Israeli foreign ministry has influenced Peace Now or Meretz not to be involved with FGM??? Don’t be ridiculous.

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