Sunday, January 11, 2009

More on Gaza: Song, Evanston rabbi, Jon Stewart, ELCA bishops, Free Gaza

  • A song for Gaza:
  • Jewish Voice for Peace - Evanston rabbi speaks out against Gaza bombing and Jon Stewart speaks out for peace: "Just a few days after the bombing of Gaza started, my rabbi, Rabbi Brant Rosen here in Evanston, Illinois had the courage to write something on his blog* that may forever change his life, and the lives of those around him. As I read it, I could literally feel the earth shift beneath my feet. He said, 'We good libereal Jews are ready to protest oppression and human-rights abuse anywhere in the world, but are all too willing to give Israel a pass. It's a fascinating double-standard, and one I understand all too well. I understand it because I've been just as responsible as anyone else for perpetratinbg it...So not more rationalizations. What Israel has been doing to the people of Gaza is an outrage. It has brought neither safety nor security to the people of Isarel and it has wrought nothing but misery and tragendy upon the people of Gaza. The earth is shifting on this issue when the people to whom we look for guidance about right and wrong, people like Rabbi Brant, finally speak the truth- that killing will not bring peace. Not for the Israelis, not for the Palestinians, not for anyone. Many people from my own congregation, including my own daughter, wrote him to say "Thank you, thank you for finally saying these words out loud." I felt something similar when I saw Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on Monday night. While almost all of the mainstream news in the United States has reported the story without any context whatsoever, repeating the lie that this is a simple case of Israel defending its people against irrational attacks, it was Jon Stewart, the main source of news for an entire generation of Americans, who got it right:
  • Free Gaza Ship leaves Larnaca, Cyprus, for Gaza, bringing doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and members of several European parliaments as well as medical supplies: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: For More Information, Please Contact:(Cyprus) Huwaida Arraf, +357 96 723 999 or +357 99 081 767 (Gaza) Ewa Jasiewicz, +972 598 700 497 (Egypt) Caoimhe Butterly, +20 121 027 072 Ramzi Kysia, +1 703 994 5422 (Cyprus, 11 January 2009) - The Free Gaza Movement ship, "SPIRIT OF HUMANITY," will leave Larnaca Port at 12:00 noon, Monday, 12 January, on an emergency mission to besieged Gaza. The ship will carry desperately needed doctors, journalists, human rights workers, and members of several European parliaments as well as medical supplies. This voyage marks Free Gaza's second attempt to break through the blockade since Israel began attacking the Gaza Strip on 27 December. Between August and December 2008, the Free Gaza Movement successfully challenged the Israeli blockade five times, landing the first international ships in the port of Gaza since 1967. Read more:
  • Lutheran Bishops Hear from Families of Middle East Conflict Victims JERUSALEM (ELCA) - One man mourns a daughter, the other grieves a father. Their losses put them on an unlikely path to friendship in an area of the world marked by Palestinian-Israeli strife. Rami Elhanan, an Israeli, and Mazen Faraj, a Palestinian, shared their stories recently with 45 bishops from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada visiting the Holy Land Jan. 6-13 to support Christians and promote peace. As the two men spoke, the bloodshed in Gaza continued to escalate, adding to the toll of about 7,000 lives already snuffed out by violence since 2000. The violence "will not stop until we talk," said Elhanan, who lives here. His 14-year-old daughter died in Jerusalem in 1997 in an attack by a Palestinian suicide bomber. Read more, with pictures:

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