[Hpn] Fwd: 'Jewish Opinion': B'ruch ha'ba, Arik
Wed, 07 Feb 2001 05:21:33 -0500
Hey Folks, This isn't exactly about homelessness, But it is about strife.I
think it is well worth reading, and thinking over
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>Subject: 'Jewish Opinion': B'ruch ha'ba, Arik
>Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2001 06:14:29
> Jewish Opinion
> a news messenger for peace
> B’ruch ha’ba, Arik!
>Everyone knows the truth in their hearts, and they know it is true because
>of it’s simplicity, that the only way to have peace is to share what you
>have with everyone else, till no one feels left out.
>People who’ve tried know that you make peace by drinking lots of little
>cups of coffee with the other guy, for a very long time. And you do it by
>eating together at a fellafel stand, and by getting to know shopkeepers,
>and then getting to know their families.
>And this kind of real peace-making need never be beyond family to family.
>It is the Jewish style, the Arab style, the style of the shtetl and of the
>desert. It is the way we humans have always done it, though few with the
>formalized warmth of the Arabs, or the tenacity of the Jews.
>Gandhi teaches that the critical thing is not really the goals, since
>whether we achieve them is not up to us; but the means used to get there.
>“As the means, so the ends.” So while we can argue over goals, we have no
>disagreement over means: they must be nonviolent, as both sides wish to
>stop losing their children; they must involve an immediate recognition on
>the part of both peoples that their role in history, their role in the
>modern world, their attachment to the Land, is too similar to be
>coincidental. Jacob and Esau must acknowledge their brotherhood.
>When the Palestinians claim to be the ‘Jews of the Middle-East,’ they are
>right; beyond the experiences of Holocaust and ‘The Catastrophe,’ of
>dispossession and being refugees, the similarities in culture, in ways of
>eating, raising children, these are paramount. How much difference is
>there between shopkeepers, Jewish or Arab, taxi drivers, Jewish or Arab?
>Further, no one wants Jews. No one wants Palestinians.
>Israel planted 200,000 Jews in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. And the Arabs
>have been throwing rocks, ambushing settlers, ever since. Now it’s open
>warfare. But what if we’d also settled 200,000 Palestinian refugees from
>Lebanon, opposite the Jewish Settlements, outside Ramallah and Nablus, what
>if we’d allowed them to develop as cities, given them equal land,
>apartments, infrastructure, industrial incentives, etc., along with “Jewish
>settlements.” Would the Palestinians still be opposing ‘Israeli
>expansionism,’ or would they be cheering it? Throwing rocks, or forming
>internet startups? We sowed the wind…
>So what do we have to do? You, me, the Jewish People, the Palestinian
>People. What is the bitter pill?
>First, all killing must stop. The settlers in Gaza should be joined by a
>new group of Jews, Nonviolent Redemption Workers, Israel’s answer to
>suicide-bombers, Jews who have come to Gaza to say “I’m here to help the
>widow and orphan, as the LORD commanded me.” to say, “You are my brother,
>and whatever we call it, we live in a Holy Land,” and “I’ve got as much
>guts as any suicide bomber, but I’m for peace and love, not killing. And
>that is what Judaism IS.”
>And then the IDF retreats far out of the range of any Palestinians with
>guns, and Jews stop shooting. And the Gaza Jews can go over to Sheba
>hospital and offer to help the overwhelmed trauma staff there, and can day
>after day make a pilgrimage to the home of every person killed by the IDF,
>to find out who they were, what they left behind, to absorb the pain, to be
>a witness. For to be a true witness is the Beginning of Justice.
>And sadly, some Jews should sit in front of the shuk in Gaza in sackcloth
>and ashes, in mourning, in repentance, but primarily out of Fear of the
>LORD. Day after day, doing what Jonah told us, what Ezekiel told us, if
>it’s Redemption we seek.
>And if this was tried, and if the Arabs didn’t kill all the Jewish
>volunteers, then it would be the beginning of Jews living in Gaza. Not in
>a settlement, not protected by guns and soldiers, but accepted by the
>people. If Jews wanted to live in Gaza, it had to start that way, all
>And what is true for Gaza is equally true for the West Bank, for Judea and
>Samaria. The Jews in the center of Hebron should be augmented by a group
>of Jewish volunteers, just as dedicated, just as fanatic, just as Jewish
>and Zionist, but people who recognize what the situation is: Jews moved
>into these towns and were bad neighbors, and the towns have suffered
>because of the Jewish presence, and if Jews are going to remain, these
>volunteers have to be very creative, and very inspired, and very full of
>love for humanity. Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah, all these cities are full of
>people in crisis, people in mourning, people injured and trying to recover,
> civil order has broken down, there are severe shortages, hardships, so
>many things that help is needed for.
>Israel needs Jews willing to give their lives for what they believe in. We
>have soldiers; now we need Nonviolent Seekers after Redemption. Let the
>Jewish volunteers in Hebron and Ramallah walk around with no guns, no
>radios, nothing in their hearts but willingness to try and make things
>better—and Palestinians will respect them, because they respect the courage
>of people who go on suicide missions, it is part of their culture that they
>have used against us, and that we now can use to reach them.
>Where do you get these volunteers? One person goes first, and others
>watch, see what happens, and some come and join, and then others, and
>perhaps you could get fifty in Gaza, fifty in the West Bank, and it would
>make such a difference. But the first step always has to be the first
>person. Gandhi refused to get off the train in South Africa. Rosa Parks
>didn’t get off the bus in America.
>And behind them have to be the resources of the Jewish People. The ability
>to make the changes in Gaza and the West Bank that have to be: equality,
>of environment, of infrastructure, of opportunities, and of Participation
>in the Future.
>Because nothing will work if we all don’t realize that the goals of all
>‘freedom fighters’ have to be met; that we have to give Everybody freedom.
>Just as the British forced the Jews into a ‘freedom fight,’ so Israel has
>forced the Palestinians into a ‘freedom fight.’ And it doesn’t take two
>countries to have freedom. It takes one Free Country. One democratic
>country that is built on Faith. Faith in the brotherhood of man, faith in
>the unknowable future, faith that if we treat each other as best we can,
>things will get better, faith that this is the Holy Land, the Promised
>Land, the Light unto the Nations, this is where we will sit under our vines
>and fig-trees, and none will make us afraid.
>This was a separation, not a divorce, we still are family, we still are
>brothers and sisters, we still are the children of Abraham. If we don’t
>learn to live together under the same tent, there will be no Redemption,
>and then Judaism, and Islam, and Christianity, and humanity itself, will no
>But if Israel was founded in War, it was founded on Dreams too, and if War
>persists, so can Dreams.
>It would appear that the illusion of a false-peace, based on a ‘Palestinian
>State,’ did for a while make the dream of Redemption, based on the
>unification of the Land of Israel, seem very far in the future; and that
>the level of violence in this ‘war,’ terrible as it is, does revive the
>possibility of unification, of freedom for two peoples in one country, of
>reconciliation instead of separation, of the possibility of Redemption.
>And from the Jewish people, some have to go to Gaza, and the West Bank, and
>show the Arabs that we believe in Kiddush HaShem, martyrdom for the
>Sanctification of His Name, just as strongly as they believe in the Rewards
>of the Suicide-Bomber. That not only are our faiths equally strong, but
>that we seek the same goals: to live in a Holy Land, a place where the next
>stage in evolution, the brotherhood-of-man, the recognition of the Oneness
>of Living Things, is demonstrated in the love shared between the Arabs and
>An historical note: Jewish Opinion was first started in 1978; it was
>subtitled “A Newsletter for Peace,” and was named after Gandhi’s first
>newsletter, which he started in South Africa, called Indian Opinion.
>Publication ceased during 1982-85, when we were in Israel, and started
>again in 1986. Years ago we visited I.F. Stone, who told us that an
>individual newsletter without advertising could not overcome postal costs,
>and of course he was right, and we ceased publishing in June 1992.
>But two things happened: the situation in Israel has become so desperate
>that it is no longer possible to ‘reserve an opinion;’ and the Internet
>has overcome the cost factor. If you think these ideas are at least worth
>thinking about, send them on to friends.
>If there are future issues, and you don’t want to receive them, please
>e-mail us at:
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