Louis Bohté, onze vorige voorzitter, schrijft ons vanuit Bethlehem
 

Beste mensen,

Vrede en alle Goeds.

Bethlehem, 19 juli 2010

 foto's

Vorige week kregen we het beeld, dat Obama en Netanyahu weer beste maatjes zijn. Obama liet vervolgens weten, dat voor het einde van zijn eerste termijn, dwz voor eind 2012 vrede mogelijk is.
Begin afgelopen week maakte Netanyahu bekend, dat vrede in 2012 waarschijnlijk niet haalbaar is. Mijn conclusie is, dat Netanyahu Obama in zijn zak heeft en hem gewaarschuwd heeft, dat zijn herverkiezing alleen mogelijk is, als Obama Israël niet dwingt vrede met de Palestijnen te sluiten. Die boodschap geldt voor alle kandidaten na hem. Hiermee is in mijn ogen Obama het ultieme bewijs, dat politici niet in staat zijn vrede in het Midden Oosten te bewerkstellingen. Zie voor de twee posities voor 2012 het aanhangsel Obama.

Het klinkt somber, maar ik sta met deze conclusie niet alleen. In feite komt het Israeli Committe Against House Demolition tot dezelfde conclusie. Zie aanhangsel ICAHD denounces demolitions.

De politiek is moreel failliet getuige het bericht op teletekst, dat van de toegezegde gelden voor Haïti na de aardbeving nog geen 2% daadwerkelijk is overgemaakt. De mensen in Haïti mogen dan ook nog langer in tenten kamperen.

Waar zal dit toe leiden? Er zijn twee alternatieven. De ene is, dat civiele samenlevingen van overal ter wereld een rechtvaardige vrede weten af te dwingen. Ik kijk hierbij naar de bijdrage van de San Egidio gemeenschap in Rome, die een belangrijke bijdrage heeft geleverd aan de beëindiging van de burgeroorlog in Mozambique.

Een ander mogelijk antwoord kwam ik maandag aan het begin van de avond tegen. Ik had een bijeenkomst met Hajj en Jabra in het huis  van de laatste. Dit was aan de andere kant van Beit Jala. We liepen van Jabra’s huis terug naar Bethlehem, in het begin vergezeld door Jabra tot aan het gemeentehuis van Beit Jala. Toen Hajj en ik op een paar honderd meter van de stoplichten gekomen, die de grens tussen Beit Jala en Bethlehem markeren, riepen twee jongelui mij, die op een muurtje gezeten waren. Hajj maakte mij hierop attent. Wij staken de weg over en begonnen met hen te praten. Hajj fungeerde als tolk. Het gesprek begon met een vraag aan mij, of ik hen aan een vrouw kon helpen. Hierna lieten ze weten, dat ze geen werk en geen geld hadden en iets wilden leren. Ik kon hen alleen aanbieden Engels te leren. Als er helemaal niets voor hen mogelijk is, zo zeiden ze, was de enige uitweg een terrorist te worden. Een paar dagen later sprak Hajj een van hen opnieuw. Hij gaf te kennen met mij verder contact te willen hebben.
Hajj wil hier een rap-song over schrijven: geen opleiding, geen baan, geen geld, geen gezin, alternatief is terrorist worden.
Ik bezocht vrijdag mijn vriendin Hadassah, die weer goed opknapt na een ongelukkige val in haar huis en vertelde haar dit verhaal. Zij schreef ook een rap-lied over deze ontmoeting.

Een andere ontmoeting had ik onverwacht gisteren, toen ik Jack bezocht. Hij was niet thuis, zodat ik even tijd had voor zijn moeder en zijn dochter. Toen hij thuiskwam, was er een vriend bij hem, Mohammed, die mij vertelde, dat zijn grootvader en diens broer ontsnapt waren aan de slachting in Deir Yassin, een dorp vlak bij Jeruzalem, dat door de Joodse bende van Irgun onder leiding van Menahem Begin in april 1948 volledig werd uitgeroeid. Mohammed wil mij graag bij hem op bezoek in Al Arroub kamp aan de weg naar Hebron. Hij vertelde mij verder, dat Israël een prijs van $ 5.000 op zijn hoofd had gezet, maar hij heeft het overleefd. Wel heeft hij vier jaar in een Israëlische gevangenis gezeten. Hij heeft tijdens de belegering van de Geboortekerk in april 2002 in de kerk gezeten. Hij was lid van een groep van Al Aqsa brigade onder leiding van een man, die voor Israël bleek te werken. Volgens Mohammed is er voor de Palestijnen geen toekomst. Hij vertelde mij dat hij geen vrienden meer heeft. De meesten zijn dood. Naast zijn familie van twee broers en een zus heeft hij alleen Jack nog als vriend. Vroeger had hij dromen en idealen, maar die zijn nu verdwenen.

Ik heb Hajj een aantal liedjes uit de jaren 60 en 70 gegeven met tekst om zijn blik te verruimen. Zijn maatje Jabra krijgt ze ook. Het kan hen helpen hun Engels te ontwikkelen en hun gevoel voor het schrijven van rap-liedjes, want ik gaf ook de Engelstalige tekst van de liedjes erbij. Hajj was is zijn nopjes en genoot van de liedjes.

Jabra zijn familie gaat naar Amerika en hij gaat waarschijnlijk mee, maar hij is er niet blij mee. Hij heeft nog één semester te gaan voor zijn bachelors. Afgelopen woensdag zouden ze met zijn allen naar het consulaat in Jeruzalem gaan om de reis te regelen, maar omdat de checkpoint 2 uur gesloten bleef, waren zij te laat bij het consulaat.

Ik merk ook een schaduwzijde van het feit, dat ik in de samenleving geworteld ben. Ik krijg ook negatieve verhalen over medebroeders te horen, waar ik niet blij mee ben.

Leuk was het vrijgezellenfeest maandagavond en het bruiloftsfeest de avond erop. Ik had op de tweede avond aardig contact met twee jongelui: Bhaa van 14 en Mohammed van 11. Ze spraken redelijk Engels.

Woensdag bezocht de familie Oweineh en tot mijn verrassing was Imad, de tweede zoon, die in Parijs woont en werkt, ook aanwezig.

Het kapittel is nu afgelopen. Aan het eind was de minister generalis uit Rome overgekomen, het algemeen hoofd van alle franciscanen over de hele wereld. Hij kreeg een presentatie van de custodie, die hem duidelijk maakte hoe ingewikkeld de custodie in elkaar steekt: er zijn 50 huizen met in totaal 250 broeders. Vele huizen kennen een kleine communiteit. Komende week is er het zogeheten kapittelcongres. Dan worden allerlei benoemingen en verplaatsingen geregeld. Dit gebeurt onder leiding van de generale visitator, de broeder, die voorafgaand aan het kapittel alle broeders bezocht heeft. Verder is alleen het nieuwe bestuur hierbij betrokken.

Deze bijeenkomst begint donderdag en duurt 5 dagen. Het vindt plaats in Monte Falco in Italië. De reden is simpel, dat de generale visitator ondertussen minister provincialis van zijn provincie is geworden. Die provincie moet hij ook besturen. Monte Falco is dichter bij huis. Een voordeel hiervan is, dat gemakkelijker met broeders in Libanon en Syrië getelefoneerd kan worden.

Tijdens de finale van het WK zag ik de verzameling gele kaarten bij Nederland oplopen. Toen was het voor mij een kwestie van wachten op de rode kaart en het verlies van de wedstrijd. De avond erop kwam ik drie jonge Spanjaarden bij het internationaal Luthers centrum in Bethlehem. Het contact was heel gemoedelijk net als een paar dagen later met de plaatsvervangende custos, die ook een Spanjaard is.

Als bijlage stuur ik verder mee: van Tikkun het commentaar op de arrestatie van een Israëlische vrouw, die bij het gedeelte van de Klaagmuur, dat voor vrouwen bestemd is, uit de Torah, de vijf boeken van Moses, wilde bidden. Een groep orthodoxe Joden zijn hierop tegen. Een andere bijlage gaat over de invloed van het conflict hier op de Nederlandse samenleving: de Joods-Islamitische broedertwist. Ik kwam een bericht tegen, dat een aanzienlijk positiever beeld van paus Pius XII geeft. Hij heeft het leven van veel Joden gered.

Groeten uit Bethlehem,

Louis Bohté


De foto's van deze week

Israel bans Gaza woman from studying human rights in West Bank

The flow of goods into Gaza may have eased - but for Palestinians, restrictions on movement remain tight.

By Amira Hass

The day after Barack Obama praised Benjamin Netanyahu for easing the blockade of Gaza, the High Court of Justice supported the state's position that a lawyer from the Gaza Strip should not be allowed to leave it so she can study for a master's degree in human rights at Birzeit University in the West Bank. Justices Miriam Naor, Hanan Melcer and Isaac Amit wrote in a ruling they handed down on Wednesday, in the case of 29-year-old Fatma Sharif: "We are not convinced that under the present political and security situation, the personal circumstances [of the petitioner] justify intervention in the decision of the respondent [the defense minister]."

Since 2000, Israel has imposed a comprehensive ban on Gaza students who want to study in the West Bank, which has been upheld by the High Court. Even before instituting the formal prohibition, by the 1990s Israel had already imposed various restrictions on travel, which have become ever more stringent and led many Gazans to decide not to study at universities in the West Bank.

 

 

 

 Fatma Sharif

 Photo by: Haaretz

The academic year at Birzeit starts on August 15. Sharif wanted to get to the university by Thursday to arrange her registration, and was hoping that, with all the talk of easing the closure, the Israeli authorities would show understanding for her desire to specialize in human rights. On June 7 she asked for a travel permit, submitting her request to the Palestinian Civilian Committee, which is tasked with handing over the requests to Israel's Gaza coordination and liaison office. But the Palestinian committee, which acts under Israeli instructions, refused to accept the request since the liaison office deals only with travel requests that fall within the category of humanitarian or urgent medical needs.

On June 8, Sharif appealed to the coordinator of government activities in the territories and to the head of the liaison administration. She was informed on June 23 that "the request has been turned down because it does not meet the criteria that are set from time to time in accordance with the political and security situation." Sharif filed her High Court petition with the assistance of Nomi Heger, a lawyer with the advocacy group Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, but the court ruled in the state's favor.

The court agreed with the state's position that the June 20 statement by senior cabinet ministers about easing the blockade "did not say anything about extending the present policy about travel," a policy that allows Gazans to leave "only in humanitarian cases, with the emphasis on urgent medical cases."

Deputy State Prosecutor Ilil Amir said the announcement about easing the blockade referred to making things more efficient. "The relevant bodies are working to make the handling of humanitarian and medical requests more efficient from the procedural point of view," she said, explaining that this included "a shorter waiting period for dealing with the requests, devoting more work hours to the matter, shortening the time it takes for a security check, and so forth.

This decision is not intended to extend the criteria, and certainly it does not include allowing travel so that someone can engage in academic studies for a master's degree." Amir said several times that the High Court has previously upheld the state's position on this matter.

She said it was dangerous to allow students such as Sharif to travel to the West Bank because Israel has to deal with the efforts of terrorist organizations to set up "branches of the Gaza terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank." One of the ways Israel deals with this is by "restricting movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," she said.

Apparently it makes no difference that the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, where Sharif works, is one of the independent institutions in the Gaza Strip that regularly criticizes the Hamas government's acts of repression.

Let this be a deterrent

The Jerusalem site of the Supreme Court is not far from the Ofer military tribunal, located on land belonging to Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah. That was where military judge Netanel Benishu on Thursday - the day before the sixth anniversary of the International Court of Justice ruling against the route of the separation fence - ordered continued detention for Adeeb Abu Rahma from Bil'in. Abu Rahma, a 39-year-old taxi driver, was arrested on July 10, 2009, after participating in a demonstration against the separation fence, whose construction on village land has caused the destruction of fields and orchards that the villagers' fathers and grandfathers had worked.

His trial took almost a year, and he was eventually found guilty by another military judge, Aryeh Dorani, of three charges (all of which Abu Rahma denied ): inciting others to attack security forces and the fence, entering a closed military zone and, as Benishu phrased it, "activities against public order, since during his participation in the unrest he clashed with the security forces and threw a bottle of water and a flag at them." Dorani sentenced him to time served (the year he had already been in detention ) and a fine, along with a one-year suspended sentence.

Abu Rahma was supposed to be released on July 8. The military prosecution appealed what it called the "lightness" of the sentence and demanded that he remain in custody until the appeals court makes a decision.

It was not merely because of the danger Abu Rahma posed (by possibly throwing a bottle of water and a flag at the soldiers again ) that Benishu ordered the continued detention of someone who had already served his term, in contravention of a High Court decision that such a decision should be reached only in exceptional circumstances ). "The appeal is meant to establish what a fitting punishment is, in a unique case for which, so far, no general level of punishment has been established," Benishu ruled. In other words, the Abu Rahma verdict - the first in a series of trials for those who organize demonstrations against the separation fence - is supposed to serve as a deterrent. Let those who protest the theft of their lands know the price of throwing a bottle of water at our soldiers.

ICAHD DENOUNCES ’S ISRAELI DEMOLITIONS
(and American enabling)

July 14, 2010

After an unofficial nine-month “moratorium,” the Israeli government has returned with a vengeance to its policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. Yesterday, July 13, six homes were demolished in East Jerusalem.

In Jabal Mukaber, the homes of the Tawil family (15 people) and the Masrawi family (six people) were demolished. In Beit Hanina, the municipality demolished the home of the Rajabi family (6 people). And in Issawaiyeh, three homes in advanced stages of construction were demolished: one of the Dari family, another belonging to the Nasser family and a third of the Abu Rameileh family.   

Today, in the West Bank, a reservoir belonging to the Jabar family was demolished by the Civil Administration, and other buildings are threatened. (This, despite the fact that the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, which already has four large municipal swimming pools, is constructing a water park complete with an artificial lake.)

All this, plus municipal approval for the demolition of 22 homes in the Silwan neighborhood, continued pressure to remove Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah – and the approval by the municipality this week of 54 new housing units for the Pisgat Ze’ev settlement.

Despite claims that Palestinian houses, reservoirs and other buildings are “illegal,” demolition is merely another face of ethnic cleansing, since the Jerusalem municipality, the Ministry of Interior and the Civil Administration of the West Bank all deny Palestinians the right to build homes on their own property.  Although the pressure to demolish is constant – the Israeli authorities have demolished 24,000 Palestinian homes since 1967 and new orders are issued daily – the current wave of demolitions can only be explained only on the background of Prime minister Netanyahu’s visit to Washington a few weeks ago. For the past decade or so demolition orders can be executed only with the approval of the Prime Minister’s Office; these are not municipal-level decisions, even if the municipality presses for demolitions.

Only one of two explanations for the wave of demolitions is therefore possible. Either Israel has received a green (OK, blinking orange) light that the US will not object vociferously to demolitions – and, in fact, the State Department issued a mild statement describing the demolitions as “unhelpful,” the same term Hillary Clinton used when homes were demolished during her visit to Ramallah. Or Netanyahu, flush from his victory over Obama in the Biden affair, when Congress overwhelmingly supported the Israeli position of building settlements over that of their own Administration, felt free to return to his aggressive policies of “judaization.” Basking in the warm embrace he just received at the White House, Netanyahu knows he has nothing to fear from an increasingly weakened Obama Administration.

It is becoming obvious – if it wasn’t already – that the United States will not, or cannot “deliver” a just peace in Israel-Palestine. Even if an Administration tries to pursue a more critical line towards Israel, its hands will inevitably be tied by Congress. The time has come to pursue a “working around America” strategy, mobilizing the civil societies of Europe, Latin America, Africa and perhaps Asia as well to create a global consensus that either presses for a just solution to the conflict on its own, or prods the US to become constructively involved by virtue of its international isolation. The present wave of demolitions demonstrates the bankruptcy and ineffectiveness of the American “approach.” 24,000 demolitions later (and counting), it is time to look elsewhere.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is based in Jerusalem and has chapters in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Please visit our websites:
www.icahd.org
www.icahduk.org
www.icahdusa.org

Israeli Orthodox Establishment  have woman arrested for carrying Torah near "The Wall," only one dimension of how they are defaming Judaism, God and Israel

by Rabbi Michael Lerner

The latest outrage came today when Anat Hoffman, a leader of the Women of the Wall, Jewish women who want to pray at "the Wall" (the remaining part of the ancient Temple, now a wall that sits directly at the western edge of the Temple Mount in a plaza which is also frequently used for Israel state occasions including induction into the Army), was arrested. The charge was suspicion that she might be planning to disobey a recent order of the Israeli courts prohibiting women from reading the Torah at the Wall--a suspicion based on the fact that she was carrying the Torah near the Wall. Though Orthodox law prohibits men and women from praying together, there is nothing in traditional Jewish law that would forbid women from praying in a women's section at the Wall. But the Orthodox leadership in Israel has once again extended Jewish law in an oppressive and patriarchal direction. Tikkun recently co-sponsored a talk by Anat Hoffman in San Francisco, and we consider her one of our heroes in Israel--not only for her work in defending the rights of women, but for her previous work when, as a representative of the Meretz party she was elected to the Jerusalem city council and there championed the rights of Palestinians and the poor (including the Orthodox poor, of whom there are many in Jerusalem). The Union of Reform Judaism can be proud that they hired Anat Hoffman as the director of the Jerusalem office of the Religious Action Center.  You can read more about her arrest at www.tikkun.org/article.php/ (and please see below the poem relevant to this incident written by Dr. Abby Caplan, a member of Tikkun's Network of Spiritual Progressives and an organizer for Women of the Wall support groups in the U.S. which Tikkun strongly endorses).

     Let me by clear that not all Orthodox Jews agree with the Orthodox leadership on this or other points mentioned below. There are people like Rabbi Avi Weiss who is trying to extend women's rights in orthodoxy by ordaining Jewish women, leaders like Rabbi Yehuda Amital z"l, who passed away this weekend but who was the founder of a peace party in Israel called Meimad, independent thinkers like orthodox Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard whose writings sometimes appear in Tikkun, and an Orthodox Feminist Alliance that has been courageous on this issue and which has received the support of some rabbis in the US and Israel.

     I stress this point because sometimes people blame the ultra-orthodox for being responsible for the Israeli settlement policies, when in fact it has been largely secular Israeli hard-line nationalists like Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu who extended the policies of settlement originally created by the Labor Zionists when they were in power after the conquest of the West Bank and Gaza during the Six Day war in 1967.

      Nevertheless, today it is various branches of the  Orthodox communities  in Israel who are amongt the most vociferous groups supporting the settlers, opposing territorial compromise, and demeaning Palestinians, Arabs, and non-Jews. What a disgrace to Judaism and God that these people should put the various commandments to pursue peace (not only in Torah, but a whole section of the Mishnah urges compromises on a variety of issues "for the sake of the path of peace"--meepney darkey hashalom), and the commands to love the Other (ve'ahavta la'ger) as subordinate to their desire to hold on to the real estate (and no, there is no such command in Torah--the whole land belongs to God, the Torah repeatedly stresses, not to the Jewish people who are there only on condition that they live according to the principles of Torah which include loving the stranger/Other--and if there is a command not to sell or give away the land, the Jewish religious path would sensibly be to give the Palestinian people a long term lease on the land for the next thousand years in return for them living in peace with Israel).

        And then there is the repeated attempts by the Orthodox establishment to keep homosexuals from marching in Jerusalem to demonstrate their existence as Jews and to call for full legal equality. Israel as a whole is one of the most gay-tolerant countries in the world.

       As I've shown in my book Jewish Renewal, all these paths that the Orthodox take are actually without real foundation in Judaism (see for example my discussion of homosexuality).

       If all this wasn't bad enough, a group of Israeli rabbis have now publicly circulated a call for Israelis to not rent rooms to immigrants in Tel Aviv, and provided a set of crazy rationales for this behavior. These immigrants were brought legally to Israel in order to fill the low-paying  jobs that the Israeli government was no longer allowing Palesitnians from the West Bank and Gaza to fill. They are people of color, easily recognized, and targeting them is more about racism than about Jewish law. You can read about this also and the editorial about it from Ha'aretz at www.tikkun.org/article.php/ct#1 (the third item down on that list).

     Put all these offenses together and you get a picture of Israel that is far more repulsive than its actual reality. The Orthodox establishment in Israel, together with many (not all) of the West Bank settlers, are doing their best to create an image of Israel as a land of sexist, racist, homophobic and ultra-nationalist chauvinists. Just as we don't blame all Americans for the morally outrageous wars of Empire that the US has pursued since it violently overthrew the democratically elected regime in Iran in 1953, and subsequently has engaged in violent interventions and wars of aggression in Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Afghanistan and through drones in Pakistan, even though we do all have SOME MORAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SOME REASON TO REPENT for paying taxes to that government rather than resisting, so we don't blame all Israelis for the behavior of its government which has chosen to give the Orthodox a much greater power in shaping Israeli policy than their numbers would require in a democracy (though we reject the notion of calling Israel a democracy so long as it rules over the West Bank and doesn't grant Palestinians who live there a vote in the Israeli Knesset elections). But we do believe that all Jews ought to be atoning for the way the State that calls itself "the State of the Jewish people" has treated Palestinians (though we in the past have called upon Palestinians as well to religiously atone for the ways that they have treated the Jewish people, particularly when it was we who were the minority and homeless before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, but subsequently with terrorist attacks on innocent civilians including the attempts to bomb Sderot and other southern Israeli civilian locations). Nothing is ever just one way and not another--and just as we call for compassion for the Jewish people and the American people despite our many failings, we also call for compassion for the Palestinian people, the Arabs, the Muslims, and indeed everyone else on the planet and compassion for the Earth itself.

     But as a rabbi, I have another concern: that the Israeli government and the Orthodox Establishment in Israel, together with many (not all) Orthodox rabbis and just ordinary laypeople in the Orthodox world, plus their champions in this country, are giving Judaism, God, and Israel a horrible name in the world that will take generations if not centuries to repair. For those of us who see God's message as a message of love, compassion, generosity, kindness, ethical and ecological responsibility, forgiveness, and caring for all people on the planet as embodiments of God, this development is a tragedy. We say this while nevertheless embracing the humanity and fundamental decency of all whom we criticize in this article and in Tikkun magazine, ready to forgive the moment that they acknowledge their wrong-doing and make public repentance for it, and in the meantime praying to God to forgive them for the hurt they are doing to Judaism, to the Jewish people, to women, to homosexuals, to immigrants, to people of color, and ultimately to all of us on the planet.  Yet we also call for Jews to use the coming Tisha b'Av, the day dedicated to mourning for the destruction of Jewish life in the holy land that has happened twice before when Jews abandoned God's message of love, justice, peace and generosity, to focus on mourning for the way that our people have so strayed from the very point of being Jewish in the first place, and thereby are earning a tragic outcome for all of us on the planet as predicted by our prophets and concretized in the first chapter of the book of Isaiah which Jews worldwide will read this coming Sabbath! And that atonement will continue for us on the High Holidays (see the Sept/Oct issue of Tikkun, and if you still haven't subscribed, please please please do so now by clicking here

If you wish to be part of this kind of Judaism, or support it in the Jewish world (and you don't have to be Jewish to support this tendency in the Jewish world), you can join (even as a distance member who may never come to any of our services) Beyt Tikkun Synagogue at www.beyttikkun.org or the Tikkun Community at www.tikkun.org . If you would like to come to experience a religious service based on this way of thinking, come to celebrate the Jewish High Holidays with us in Berkeley, California (dates and details at www.beyttikkun.org). If you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Ba'hai, wicca, or secular humanist with a spiritual bent, you can find others who think in this same way about your own traditions by joining the Network of Spiritual Progressives at www.spiritualprogressives.org. Join us--we need your support!!!

************************************************************************

Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun Magazine and chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He is also chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives and the author of 11 books, including Healing Israel/Palestine and The Socialism of Fools: Anti-Semitism on the Left. He welcomes responses from members of the Tikkun Community or the Network of Spiritual Progressives by emailing him at RabbiLerner@tikkun.org.

P.S. a poem in honor of Anat Hoffman, arrested for carrying a Torah near the Wall in Jerusalem by Abby Caplan, M.D.

Tzelofhad's Daughters

for Anat

The five daughters of Tzelofhad,
Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, Tirtzah
Strong Bible women, sisters,
Stood together, sand between toes,
Toe to toe with their male elders,
Just in sight of the Promised Land. 

Our father died and left no sons.
Give us our inheritance! they insisted.
Moses, confused, did not know what to do,
Except to simply ask
God, who said,
The plea is just!
Give them their share!
And it was made so.
In the Torah, it is written.

Now the great great-granddaughters of centuries of
Daughters of Tzelofhad, grown women with daughters,
And granddaughters of their own
Stand before the stones of
The Western Wall, what remains of the great Temple.
These are Women of the Wall.
They tender prayers to God
And plead their case.
Give us our share, our place before the Wall,
To pray freely, as full Jews,
This is our inheritance!

But those who rule do not ask God what is just,
Will not think to listen for
God's answer, instead
Allow the pitch of chairs,
Prayer books ripped from mothers' hands,
Allow the din of curses raining down
Upon the daughters of the hot desert sands. 

Abby Caplin
© 2010 Abby Caplin. All rights reserved.

Here's also a link to the "Silver Thread Ritual," which got posted on Ritualwell.org: http://www.ritualwell.org/shabbat/shabbatlife/PrimaryObject.2010-05-12.4923

Abby Caplin MD, MA
Mind-Body Medicine and Counseling
San Francisco, CA

Copyright 2010 Tikkun Magazine. Tikkun is a registered trademark.
2342 Shattuck Avenue, #1200
Berkeley, CA 94704
510-644-1200
Fax 510-644-1255

Joods-Islamitische broedertwist
gaat ook aan Nederland niet voorbij

Thomas von der Dunk, 15-07-2010 13:59 (Volkskrant)

Er is discussie omtrent de vraag of er enige samenhang bestaat met de Israëlische bezetting en spanningen tussen moslims en joden hier. En of je dat dan ook mag zeggen. Die samenhang bestaat

De eigen Israëlische onderzoekscommissie heeft haar rapport over de aanval op de Gaza-vloot gereed, en volgens haar is er niet zoveel aan de hand. Het doodschieten van negen activisten was niet onrechtmatig, en de gemaakte fouten betroffen hooguit gebrekkige coördinatie en voorbereiding. Tja. Aldus de slager die zijn eigen slachting keurt.

Landverraad
Israël wil van enig internationaal onderzoek niets weten. Het land sluit geestelijk steeds meer de luiken, en ook interne kritiek wordt in toenemen­de mate als landverraad gezien. Dissidente denkers worden als nieuwe Spinoza's maatschappe­lijk uitgestoten, of zelfs gerechte­lijk vervolgd, zoals de zaak-Kamm illustreert. Een discussie over het eigen isolement durft men niet aan.

Dwars door het Palestijnse vraagstuk heen - maar er op allerlei manieren ook mee verbonden - speelt de toenemende invloed van de orthodoxie. Israël dreigt, mede als gevolg van de extreemhoge kinderfokpercentages in ultrareligieuze kring, steeds meer een theocratie te worden, een beetje een joods Iran. Gezien de wederzijdse haat tussen beide landen is dat een fraai staaltje van ironie van de geschiedenis.

Steniging
Zoals je het in Teheran als vrouw niet moet wagen om een vreemde man te begeren, indien je geen steniging in naam van Allah wil riskeren, zo kun je je in Jeruzalem zaterdag beter niet per auto in bepaald wijken wagen, want anders krijg je daar ook dwars door de ruit een steen tegen je kop.

Al in Numeri 15:35 respectieve­lijk Deuteronomium 22:24 werd zoiets niet alleen als passende straf voor het sprokkelen van hout op sabbat, maar ook voor overspel van harte door Jahweh aan Mozes aanbevolen, dus de gemeenschap­pelijke inspiratie­bronnen van de joodsislamitische cultuur in het Midden-Oosten zijn eerbiedwekkend oud. Voor beschaaf­de moderne mensen zijn fundamentalistische joden en moslims qua maatschappijopvatting dan ook broeders in het Kwaad.

Het christendom, dat op zijn beurt de seculiere joden sinds hun emancipatie in de negentiende eeuw sterk heeft beïnvloed, staat daar, omdat het vooral in het koelere Europa en niet in de hete Sinai- of Mekkawoestijn moreel vorm gekregen heeft, verder vandaan. Geen toeval dat Jodendom en islam nog het barbaarse ritueel van de mannenbesnijdenis gemeen hebben teneinde iedere baby voor altijd als lid van hun groep te markeren, en dat bij christenen door de symbolische handeling van de doop vervangen is.

Kloof
Die enorme interne kloof tussen seculiere en religieuze joden zal direct de Israëlische politiek gaan domineren en het land verscheuren, zodra het tot een vrede met de buren komt. Israël heeft de oorlog nodig om te vermijden dat zijn inwoners elkaar te lijf gaan - mede daarom maakt het met dat hele zogenaamde vredesproces geen haast.

Ongetwijfeld vormt dat ook de achtergrond van het feit dat die onderzoekscommissie zich aan de ware politieke vraagstukken niet heeft durven branden. De vraag, of de Israëlische aanval op deze wijze gewettigd was, is namelijk in feite een vrij onwezenlijke afgeleide van een veel wezenlijker vraag: of de Gazavloot gewettigd was, of het verboden is om steun te verlenen aan het verzet van een volk tegen zijn onderdrukkers, wanneer dat al veertig jaar lang in een soort openluchtgevangenis opgeslo­ten zit.

Moreel recht
Hebben de Palestijnen niet gewoon het morele recht om zich, net als andere volkeren dat in het verleden hebben gedaan wier belangrijkste outlaws - van Willem van Oranje tegen Spanje tot Bung Soekarno tegen Nederland - nu als nationale aartsvaders op de postzegels prijken, desnoods met geweld tegen hun voortgaande beroving te weren, als het Westen en de hele zogeheten internationale gemeenschap alleen maar wat tegen­sput­tert wanneer er voor een zoveelste historische koning David-pretpark - ook geen stenigingabolitionist - toevallig net weer Palestijnse huizen moeten worden plat gebulldozerd, maar verder in de praktijk niet echt iets doet?

Interne vrede
Dat is ook voor ónze interne vrede niet zonder belang, zoals de afgelopen jaren met de spanningen tussen joden en moslims, en de regelmatige belaging van Amsterdamse joden door Marokkaanse jongeren gebleken is.

Er is hier een paar weken terug enige discussie ontstaan omtrent de vraag of er enige samenhang bestaat met de Israëlische bezetting, en of je dat dan ook mocht zeggen.

Geen toeval dat Jodendom en islam nog het barbaarse ritueel van de mannenbesnijdenis gemeen (Opvallend daarbij was dat vooral de sympathisanten van een bepaalde partij die anders altijd roepen dat je alles moet kunnen zeggen, heel boos bleken toen dít werd gezegd)

Natuurlijk bestaat er tussen beide samenhang, of we dat nu leuk en legitiem vinden of niet. Vanouds worden individuen door anderen ook afgerekend op wat het collectief doet: hoeveel Duitsers die pas ver na de Oorlog hebben leren fietsen, zijn niet jarenlang door Nederlanders aange­sproken op het feit dat hun opa ooit hún fiets had ontvreemd?

Landroofpolitiek
Even­goed als het verklaarbaar is dat veel moslims na 11 september er collectief op werden aangekeken, wanneer ze zich niet allemaal onvoor­waardelijk solidair met Amerika verklaarden en ook maar een greintje begrip voor Al Qaida-terrorisme betoonden, zo is het ook verklaarbaar dat joden door moslims kritisch worden bezien zolang te velen van hen - op zich vanwege de Holocaust evenzeer historisch verklaarbaar - Israël feitelijk door dik en dun blijven verdedigen, door de stelselmatige landroofpolitiek rond Jeruzalem en op de Jordaanoever niet onder ogen te willen zien.

Dat is uiteraard geen legitimatie voor het lastigvallen (of erger) van joden met keppeltjes op straat door Marokkaanse straatjongens, maar dat geldt even­zeer voor het uitschelden van gehoofddoekte moslima's door de, in het voetspoor van pro-Israël profeet Wilders, even haatdragende PVV-aanhang.

p.s. Naar ik begrepen heb vond de Grachtentocht doorgang mede op verzoek van ons verslagen nationale elftal zelf. Wat krijgen we nou? Per geblindeerde bus naar de Stopera voor een boetepreek van burgemeester Eberhard van der Laan was passender geweest. Plus veertien zweepslagen op beide voetzolen op de Dam, voor elke gele kaart één, om in de geest van het bovenstaande te blijven.

Obama: Israeli-Palestinian peace possible before end of my first term

By Jonathan Lis

U.S. President Barack Obama said he believed that Benjamin Netanyahu could reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians in his current term and denied having treated the Israeli prime minister with hostility at their first meetings.
Obama was speaking with Yonit Levy of Channel 2 News in his first interview with an Israeli media outlet since being elected president.
"I think [Netanyahu] is somebody who understands that we've got a fairly narrow window of opportunity," Obama said in the interview that was held on Wednesday and aired last night.
"On the Palestinian side, moderates like Abu Mazen [President Mahmoud Abbas] and [Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad are, I think, willing to make the concessions and engage in negotiations that can result in peace. But their time frame in power may be limited if they aren't able to deliver for their people," he said, speaking one day after he described his White House meeting with Netanyahu as "excellent."

 

U.S. President Barack Obama. “It is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon,” he said in an interview with Channel 2.

Photo by: AFP

According to Obama, "There's a constant contest between moderates and rejectionists within the Arab world. And then there's the demographic challenges that Israel is going to be facing if it wants to remain not only a Jewish state but a democratic state .... We probably won't have a better opportunity than we have right now."
Obama also said he believed that Israel would not try to surprise the United States with a unilateral attack on Iran.
"I think the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is sufficiently strong that neither of us try to surprise each other, but we try to coordinate on issues of mutual concern," Obama said.
Obama gave the interview in a bid to advance the peace process and restore Israelis' confidence in relations between the two countries.
Asked about his attitude toward Israel, Obama said, "This surfaced even before I was elected president. Ironically, I've got a chief of staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political adviser is somebody who is a descendent of Holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish American community was probably what propelled me to the U.S. Senate."

He was also asked about suspicions about him.
"Some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion. Some of it may have to do with the fact that I have actively reached out to the Muslim community, and I think that sometimes, particularly in the Middle East, there's the feeling of the friend of my enemy must be my enemy. And the truth of the matter is, is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and the dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West."

Asked If Netanyuahu could achieve peace, Obama said, "I think that not only is Prime Minister Netanyahu a smart and savvy politician, but the fact that he is not perceived as a dove in some ways can be helpful in the sense that any successful peace will have to include the hawks and the doves, on both sides. And in the same way that Richard Nixon here in the United States was able to go to China because he had very strong anti-communist credentials, I think Prime Minister Netanyahu may be very well positioned to bring this about."
He added that Israel will have to overcome many hurdles to effect the change required to "secure Israel for another 60 years."

The U.S. president sidestepped the question of whether his country would pressure Israel to extend a current 10-month construction freeze in West Bank settlements. The moratorium is set to expire in September, and Netanyahu has announced that he would not extend the deadline. The United States, however, views Israeli settlement construction as a serious obstacle to peace efforts.

Talking about Iran, Obama said he has said consistently "that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon, that we'e going to do everything we can to prevent that from happening. What I've also tried to do is build an international consensus so that Iran can't somehow play a victim, can't suggest somehow that they're being singled out by the West."


In interview with U.S. television, Netanyahu also calls Iran the 'ultimate terrorist threat today' and says it is a mistake to think its nuclear ambitions can be contained.
By Reuters
, Published 19:31 11.07.10

Netanyahu doubts Mideast peace deal possible by 2012

In interview with U.S. television, Netanyahu also calls Iran the 'ultimate terrorist threat today' and says it is a mistake to think its nuclear ambitions can be contained.

By Reuters Tags: Israel news Iran nuclear

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he did not envision a negotiated Middle East peace settlement within the next two years, despite his Palestinian counterpart's declared intentions to set up infrastructure for a state by 2011.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has set a goal of building the institutions of a Palestinian state within a year. He has also said Palestinians could declare statehood unilaterally if the diplomatic deadlock continues.

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Asked in an interview on U.S. television if there can be a Palestinian state by 2012, Netanyahu said: "I think there can be a solution. It may be implemented over time, because time is an important factor of getting the solution, both in terms of security arrangements and other things that would be difficult if they're not allowed to take place over time."
"Can we have a negotiated peace? Yes. Can it be implemented by 2012? I think it's going to take longer than that," he told Fox News on Sunday.
Netanyahu met U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House last Tuesday and both leaders said they hoped face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would begin soon.
Israel and the Palestinians are currently negotiating indirectly through Obama's special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell. Netanyahu promised publicly in Washington to take "concrete steps" within weeks to persuade the Palestinians to upgrade the peace talks.
The prime minister said Sunday that he would travel to Egypt this week for talks on the matter with President Hosni Mubarak.
During the interview with Fox, Netanyahu called Iran "the ultimate terrorist threat today", telling U.S. television it was a mistake to think Tehran's nuclear ambitions could be contained.
Netanyahu told his interviewer that Iran was "just moving on with its efforts" to develop nuclear weapons - a prospect he called "very, very dangerous."
Asked whether he thought a nuclear Iran could be contained, he said: "No, I don't. I think that's a mistake, and I think people fall into a misconception."
"I don't think you can rely on Iran," Netanyahu said in a taped interview. "And we should not allow irrational regimes like Iran to have nuclear weapons. It's the ultimate terrorist threat today."
Netanyahu declined to say whether he had any deadline for allowing diplomacy with Iran to run its course.
"We always reserve the right to defend ourselves," he said, reiterating a core policy of Israel, which does not confirm or deny widely held beliefs that it has the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. But the United States and its allies fear Tehran is pursuing an atomic weapons program and have pushed a series of United Nations and unilateral sanctions against Iran.
"There's only been one time that Iran actually stopped the program and that was when it feared U.S. military action," Netanyahu said.
"So when the president [Obama] says that he's determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and that all options are on the table, I think that's the right statement of policy."
Netanyahu did not directly answer a question about a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East but accused Iran, Iraq and Libya of violating a non-proliferation pact.
"So I think we should stay focused on the real problem in the Middle East," he said. "It's not Israel. It's these dictatorships that are developing nuclear weapons with the specific goal of wiping Israel away."

'Pope Pius XII saved thousands of Jews'

New research has found that Pope Pius XII may have facilitated the exodus of about 200,000 Jews from Germany shortly after Kristallnacht, the Daily Telegraph reports.

By Haaretz Service
Published 16:04 07.07.10

New research has found that Pope Pius XII may have arranged the exodus of about 200,000 Jews from Germany just three weeks after Kristallnacht, the Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
The research is being carried out by Dr. Michael Hesemann, a German historian who is combing through the Vatican archives for the Pave the Way Foundation, a U.S.-based interfaith group.

Pope Pius XII has been widely criticized for his silence during the Holocaust and his failure to explicitly denounce the Holocaust, the Nazi regime or to excommunicate Hitler.
The new research, however, shows that the perception of Pius XII as "Hitler's Pope" may be historically incorrect.

 

 

Pope Pius XII

Photo by: AP

Kristallnacht, known as "The Night of Broken Glass", took place on November 9-10, 1938. Ninety-one Jews in Germany and Austria were killed in anti-Jewish pogroms and tens of thousands were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Thousands of homes, buildings and synagogues were destroyed.

Hesemann said that Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli – the future Pius XII – wrote a letter on November 30, 1938, urging Catholic archbishops throughout the world to apply for visas for "non-Aryan Catholics" and Jewish converts to Christianity who wanted to flee Germany.

According to Hesemann, there is evidence that the visas would have been given to ordinary Jews and that the terms "converted Jews" and "non-Aryan Catholics" were a cover to prevent the Nazis from discovering the true purpose of the visas.

Elliot Hershberg, the chairman of the Pave the Way Foundation, was quoted in the Daily Telegraph report saying: “We believe that many Jews who were successful in leaving Europe may not have had any idea that their visas and travel documents were obtained through these Vatican efforts. Everything we have found thus far seems to indicate the known negative perception of Pope Pius XII is wrong.”