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19 thoughts on “Contact – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard — Pls send me your email or phone #. Thx (My Email wouldn;’t work. Received this: “Failed to send your message. Please try later or contact administrator by other way.” — Arthur

  2. “His jailers apparently did a lousy job of monitoring Prisoner X, as he was called and he hung himself from a bar in his cell.”

    Hi Richard, super maximum security places like this don’t have bars to tie anything onto, as that does not go well with suicide prevention. These places are pretty high tech also, they can monitor heart rate and breathing remotely and use algorithms hooked to an alarm as back up to a sleepy guard. You can’t hang yourself in these places. It’s against the rules and heads woud roll.

    The taking forever to have a hanging verified is bogus. The Intel folks think they bumped this guy off as the lesser of two evils. You can see that the family was no problem. Only one media outlet as tagged dad as an ADL guy as they want to keep the connection with the ADL and Israeli espionage off the radar.

    Remember the Aussies are in Murdoch land. I am working in my piece now and I am planning to go all the way that he was murdered. These dirt bags bring all these young kids over to screen them all for heavy and light spying work and the stupid parents are just clueless…or….they think its cool having a kid spy for Israel.

  3. Dear Richard.,

    It occurs to me that you might be interested in the statement below — signed by 55 rabbis and cantors by noon today (and more since) that I think is the only coherent statement of opposition to military attack on Syria put forth by a Jewish organization. It went out to readers of The Shalom Center ‘s Shalom Report this afternoon.

    Shalom, salaam, paz, peace! — Arthur

    Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Ph.D., director, The Shalom Center ; newest books, a revised edition of Seasons of Our Joy (Jewish Publ Soc, 2012) and Freedom Journeys: The Tale of Exodus & Wilderness Across Millennia, co-authored with Rabbi Phyllis Berman (Jewish Lights Publ., 2011). See also Waskow, “Jewish Environmental Ethics: Adam and Adamah,” in Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality (Elliot N. Dorff and Jonathan K. Crane, eds.; Oxford University Press, 2013).

    Rabbinic Statement on Syria:
    Seek Peace and Pursue It
    Dear friends,
    Beginning last Sunday, the morning after Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat, I began working by email and telephone with other rabbis whom I invited to join in crafting a Rabbinic Statement on the US and Syria.
    The statement itself and the signers follow (54 as of noon on September 11). . After it, you will find my comments on how it was crafted and on where we are now:

    A Rabbinic Statement: “Seek peace & pursue it,” through active non-military intervention.

    “What kind of person actually takes delight in life?
    Turn away from evil and take good action; seek peace and pursue it.
    (Psalm 34)

    Rabbi Hizkia taught:
    Great is shalom, peace, because about all the other mitzvot (commands) in the Torah it is written, “If the opportunity to do the mitzvah comes upon you, then you must do it, and if not, you are not bound to do it. But in the case of peace, it is written, Seek peace, and pursue it—seek it in the place where you are, and pursue after it in another place. (Vayikra Rabbah 9:9)

    Even if peace is running away from you, run after it.
    As Rabbis, we share with many many Jews a specially deep horror at the use of chemical weapons, rooted partly in our memory of how the Nazis used chemicals to annihilate millions.
    Yet we believe that a military attack on Syria is far more likely to bring on more horror and more violence, rather than less. We believe that acting for good to protect Syrians against the use of chemical weapons by any forces there—the regime or the rebels — and to press the regime’s allies to insist—not just advise – that it not use chemical weapons are far more likely to decrease the violence and horror.
    “Turn away from evil, take good action,” as Psalm 34 teaches.

    Mr. President: Turn away from plans for multiplying death in Syria; intervene instead with vigorous acts of good, acts of peace, acts of life.

    Members of Congress: Seek peace and pursue it, especially when it seems to be running away.

    Our Fellow Americans: Call 202.224-3121, ask for your Senators and Congressmember, and try hard to speak with a real live staffer: “Vote NO on military force. Undermine the Syrian military computer system without killing anyone, as the US undermined Iran’s nuclear research with the Stuxnet virus, killing no one. Make gas masks broadly available to protect the Syrian people (as they are being made available to millions of Israelis), rather than bombs to kill them. Through radio and Internet, send instructions for how to use them. Negotiate with Iran and Russia to use rheir clout to insist – not just advise — that the Syrian regime not use chemical weapons. In other words — intervene with nonlethal acts of vigorous good. Turn away from evil, actually take good action.”

    A US war against Syria means more death and disaster there. And for the American people, fewer teachers, fewer rotting bridges repaired, fewer solar and wind energy transmitters built, more “justification” for even thicker walls of secrecy around government with even thinner protections for the privacy of millions of citizens.

    And despite all the promises about “no boots on the ground,” very possibly more dead bodies, more lost arms, legs, genitals; more shattered minds; more souls lost and tormented.

    To all humanity:
    — May your actions to do good be recorded in the Book of Life and be sealed for receiving goodness! With blessings for a year of your own health, love, and peace; and in the world for fuller justice, greater freedom, growing peace, and a healing planet—

    Rabbi Rebecca Alpert
    Rabbi Rachel Barenblat
    Rabbi Leonard Beerman
    Rabbi Phyllis Berman
    Rabbi Les Bronstein
    Rabbi Samuel G. Broude
    Rabbi Simcha Daniel Burstyn
    Rabbi Joshua Chasan
    Rabbi Hillel Cohn
    Rabbi Meryl Crean
    Rabbi Diane Elliot
    Rabbi Michael Feinberg
    Rabbi Fern Feldman
    Rabbi Zev-Hayyim Feyer
    Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer
    Rabbi Everett Gendler
    Rabbi Shai Gluskin
    Rabbi A. Bruce Goldman
    Rabbi Julie Greenberg
    Rabbi Jarah Greenfield
    Rabbi Linda Holtzman
    Rabbi Margaret Holub
    Rabbinic Pastor Eve Ilsen
    Rabbi Shaya Isenberg
    Rabbi Miriam Jerris
    Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
    Rabbi Debra Kolodny
    Rabbi Michael Lerner
    Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
    Rabbi Ellen Lippmann
    Hazzan Abbe Lyons
    Rabbi David Mivasair
    Rabbi Yitzhak Nates
    Cantor Liat Pelman-Forst
    Rabbi Victor H. Reinstein
    Rabbinic Chaplain Stephanie Reith
    Cantor Richard Rosenfield
    Cantor Pamela Rothmann Sawyer
    Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
    Rabbi Chaim Leib Schneider
    Rabbi Gerald Serotta
    Rabbi Drorah Setel
    Rabbi David Shneyer
    Cantor Robin Sparr
    Rabbi Naomi Steinberg
    Rabbi Susan Talve
    Rabbi David Leipziger Teva
    Rabbi Arthur Waskow
    Rabbi Sheila Weinberg
    Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub
    Rabbi Alissa Wise
    Hazzan Gregory Yaroslow
    Rabbi Moshe Yehudai
    Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman
    After a lot of Godwrestling — honest sharing about our internal uncertainties as well as our different relationships in the world — eleven of us yesterday – Tuesday — agreed on a Statement.
    We had made achieving at least ten – a minyan – of initiators a test of going ahead with a public statement. A minyan, I should add, that was inclusive in matters of age, gender, stream of Judaism, etc.
    Yesterday we sent out “A Rabbinic Statement: Seek Peace and Pursue It” to the lists of rabbis, cantors, and rabbinic pastors that each of us has. As of noon today, there are 53 signers.
    This may seem a small proportion of the whole rabbinic community. Keep in mind that almost all the “official” Jewish organizations were supporting military action against Syria, that one of them was pouring hundreds of lobbyists onto Capitol Hill.
    Our rabbinic statement was creative, thinking outside the box of all the positions put forth by the White House, Congress, “official” Jewish organizations, and most of the media.
    One of its proposals – that the US work with the Syrian regime’s allies (Iran and Russia) to prevent the regime from using chemical weapons seemed visionary, “unrealistic,” when we wrote it.
    Now it is what Russia and the US are pursuing. Not so “unrealistic”!
    I believe the enormous upsurge of antiwar insistence from the American people forced the US government to seek diplomatic rather than military solutions. I am proud The Shalom Center’s work and this rabbinic statement were part of that upsurge.
    We need to stay alert against the pressure from Senators and generals itching for a war, for regime change, etc.,

    You can send public comments to #comments
    or write me privately through “Reply”

    With blessings for a new year of shalom, salaam, solh, paz, peace — Arthur

  4. What a beautiful, life-positive statement, Rabbi Waskow. I wish that the wages of peace will fall upon you and upon all of your signatories, like snow on northern firs in February, an immaculate scene. I wish that tomorrow you will all face the great light and be accepted by the deity of your choice. I would that all of us were as enlightened as you and your signatories, Rabbi Waskow. Thank you.

  5. Richard, just a question about the Persian ketubah on your twitter wall. Do you know any details about it? I have a family member with nearly the same one.

  6. mr. richard
    I’m working on a paper on the theme of war Hezbollah strategy in the 2006 war against Israel. please explain to me, how the strategy of Hezbollah against Israel in the second Lebanon war.
    thank you

  7. It would be most interesting to hear your views (and reasoned views of others) about the possible release of Jonathan Pollard. Personally, I am not inclined to think he should be released till he is old, toothless, and near death, and it certainly disgusts me to see that man used as a pawn in the never-ending, never-successful attempt to get Israel to do the right thing and stop the settlements. When he gets to Israel, will he be made out as a hero? Is so, that will boil my blood.

  8. Brisket, help!

    Hello… I live Seattle, am hosting (first time) Pesach for my family of 24 & need a good place to buy brisket meat. My Mom loves her recipe but you mentioned your wive’s is the best.

    Can you possibly help. I’d love to WOW my family. Many thanks! Lisa

  9. [comment deleted: this is precisely the reason why commenters must read the comment rules before publishing. I do not publish hasbara. I do not publish comments that are off-topic. I do not publish comments that don’t contain any substantive comment or argument. Worst of all, you spammed my Inbox by sending these links in 3 private e mail messages. Don’t waste my our own time. Follow the comment rules.]

  10. I am a retired English scientist. I have got myself into some serious historical research through my interest in the Israel-Palestine issue, particularly concerning the question of the borders of Israel at the time of its declaration on May 14, 1948. It involves events in both Tel Aviv and Washington on that day. My research so far has been published on Mondoweiss at

    I have sorted out the Washington side of the story. Eliahu Epstein, agent of the Jewish Agency, received a phone call from Clark Clifford, a close adviser to President Truman, saying that Truman would recognize Israel if he received a request to do so by noon (6 p.m in Tel Aviv). The letter making this request was actually drafted by Clifford working with David Ginsburg, the Jewish Agency lawyer. Clifford told Epstein that “it was particularly important to claim nothing beyond the boundaries outlined in the UN Resolution” [the UN partition plan]. Epstein also received a phone call from the State Department, asking if Israel wanted to claim any territory beyond the partition plan borders. Epstein replied: “No, and any territory taken until peace was achieved would be returned to the Arab state”. It was clear that Truman was unwilling to recognize Israel unless it declared on the partition plan borders. The letter was signed by Epstein and sent to the White House. Its first sentence reads:

    “My dear Mr. President: I have the honor to notify you that the State of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within the frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947.”

    Many people, perhaps even some readers of Tikun Olam, believe that Israel has never defined its borders. That is hasbara. Even the historian John B. Judis in his recent book Genesis, about Truman and Zionism, page 317, has got it wrong. Although he tells the story about Clifford and Ginsburg drafting the letter, he shows no knowledge of its content and provides no reference to its text.

    Where I think that you, Richard, and Tikun Olam readers may be able to help me is in filling in the details of events in Tel Aviv. What I know is mostly taken from an article by Shelly Kleiman on the Israel Government website:

    The National Administration (provisional government) met in Tel Aviv on May 12 and 13 to discuss the declaration of independence. There was a heated debate about borders. The first draft specified the partition plan borders. Ben-Gurion argued strongly that they should say nothing about borders, because it was his intention to capture territory outside those borders and incorporate it into the state. This was accepted in a narrow vote (5 to 4 with 4 absent). On May 13 Ben-Gurion went home and rewrote the declaration, removing all references to the partition plan. On May 14, there was a meeting of the National Council (provisional parliament) that approved the document on the second vote, so we know that changes were made. Kleiman does not tell us what they were, but if we look at the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel we see that references to the partition plan have been restored, right at the heart of the Declaration.

    What I would like to know is the text of Ben-Gurion’s and final versions of the Declaration (in English translation please) and the nature of the discussions at the meeting (if there is a record) including the arguments given for restoration of the partition plan. Kleiman’s article says that the various drafts are on display in Independence Hall in Tel-Aviv.

    I would be grateful for any information that can be provided on this topic. Hopefully, it will be possible to make a proper academic article for a history journal. Any help I receive would be acknowledged, or result in joint authorship.

    David Gerald Fincham

  11. A Disqus user named Robert Munro makes anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments all over MintPress, including your articles. I understand you are in charge there but can you request an admin to block him?

    He made comments such as these –
    Blaming Jews of all Bolshevism crimes.
    Some classic Gemara is genocidal.

    If you look at his profile you can find a lot more disturbing material


    1. @ Eilati: CORRECTION: Only Munro’s comments and responses to them were deleted. The other comments remain in this thread.

      The comment thread has been closed and all comments removed from my article on Dirar Abusisi. I wanted only Munro’s comments removed. But the editor decided to close the comment section entirely.

      I do not make such editorial decisions for Mint Press. You left a “not” out of your sentence implying that I do. So I can only request that they take action when such material presents itself.

      I note you complain about the anti-Semitic material there (& justifiably so) but about none of the smears against me, which I find almost as offensive. I find that interesting. Perhaps you yourself wrote some of it?

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