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April 16, 2009
April 16, 2009: Message to the Pope and The Eyes of the Storm 
Ten Hard Facts Confronting Pope Benedict On His Visit
by Deal W. Hudson   
16 April 2009
InsideCatholic.com

Pope Benedict, his entourage and the international media are preparing to visit the Holy Land May 8-15. Pope Benedict XVI will undoubtedly encourage further peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
 
But the prospect of a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict has become more remote, as the situation on the ground is constantly changing. Here are the facts as they stand now, and which will confront the Holy Father when he arrives in Amman, Jordan on May 8:

1. The world's oldest Christian community -- the Christians of historic Palestine -- will be gone within two generations if the Church does not act to protect them.

2. Estimates show that more than 10 percent of the Palestinian Christian community on the West Bank has immigrated in the last five years alone. There is a corresponding number of Palestinian Christians leaving from towns like Nazareth and East Jerusalem located within Israel.

3. Tension with Muslims is not the primary reason for the exodus -- only 11 percent of Palestinian Christians cite it as a reason for immigration. In fact, these communities have historically coexisted peacefully, along with indigenous Jewish communities, for centuries before the birth of the modern Israeli conflict.

4. Palestinian Muslims are also leaving the West Bank for the same reason as Palestinian Christians: Living under a military occupation reflecting an unresolved geopolitical conflict destroys any hope of a future for their children.

5. Palestinian Christians have very little freedom of movement. Most have never worshipped in Jerusalem's holy places, even though Bethlehem and Jerusalem are only a few miles apart and were historically connected for years. A system of segregated roads exists for Palestinians and Israelis, and checkpoints prevent Palestinians from traveling even between their own communities entirely within the West Bank. Many Israelis and official international observers say that these checkpoints and segregated roads are not there for Israel's legitimate security interests, but to enable its illegal settlements to continue expanding.

6. Palestinians have been the subject of frequent attack -- often with civilians and their homes in the direct line of fire. Since 1967, the Israeli army demolished more than 20,000 Palestinian houses, uprooted more than 3,000,000 trees, revoked residency rights of more than 6,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem, imprisoned more than 700,000 Palestinians for various periods of time, and killed or assassinated 15,000.
 
7. Since Israel removed its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2004, Israeli settlements have expanded at their fastest rate in history. Moreover, Israel has issued plans to build more than 150,000 illegal housing units in Israeli settlements. In 2008, amidst the "settlement freeze" agreed upon in the 2007 Annapolis framework, tenders for new settlement building increased by 550 percent. Actual settlement construction has increased by 30 percent since the launching of the new round of peace talks.

8. After Israel removed all of its settlers and its permanent military presence from Gaza, it actually tightened its control over the area, devastating the economy and destabilizing the political situation, and then increased its settlements at the fastest rate in history. Since it removed 8,000 settlers from Gaza, over 50,000 new settlers have come to the West Bank in less than 3 years. The Israeli army is still in effective control of 24 percent of the land along Gaza's northern and eastern borders.
 
9. Since negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians began in 1993, Israeli GDP has increased by an estimated 250 percent, while Palestinian GDP has decreased by more than 40 percent. Palestinians have been locked in a series of virtual, disconnected, and militarily controlled "cantons." This makes a fertile soil for extremists.

10. Israel's 21-day incursion into Gaza left an immense humanitarian crisis: More than 50,800 Gazans were left homeless; 80 percent of the population are now dependent on assistance; between 35 and 60 percent of the agriculture industry was wrecked (60 percent of the agricultural land in the north of the Strip may no longer be arable); 219 factories were destroyed or severely damaged; 48 percent of the 122 health facilities assessed were found to be damaged or destroyed; 15 of Gaza's 27 hospitals and 41 primary health care centers suffered damages; 14,000 homes, 68 government buildings, and 31 NGOs were either totally or partially damaged -- as a result, an estimated 600,000 tons of concrete rubble will need to be removed.

The communities of Israel and Palestine are historically interdependent. Each must have the ability to live in dignity within its own community. The Church must offer a universal message of hope, while not neglecting to care for its own. Indeed, the fate of Palestinian Christians and the Holy Land itself are irrevocably linked to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
 
Benedict XVI, more than anyone else, understands the transformative power of faith and will bring that message to all the children of Abraham in the Holy Land.
 
Deal W. Hudson is the director of InsideCatholic.com and the author of Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States (Simon and Schuster).

<http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5818&Itemid=48>


Last week's Haaretz, featured the following on the front page of the well-read weekend section. It chronicles the process of settlement and dispossession in Silwan, the Palestinian village in East Jerusalem just outside the walls of the Old City, which was re-named "The City of David" by those seeking to annex it to West Jerusalem.

Aggressive Jewish settlers, backed by foreign money passing through a shadowy public/private NGO with the acquiescence and support of Israel coupled with arrests and harrassment of the indigenous people and building up bogus archaeological and biblical claims as facts on the ground are laid down.

What is happening in Silwan happened in Hebron.

Two years ago, no one had heard of Silwan, and now it is "The Very Eye of the Storm" and my reflection follows:


The Very Eye of the Storm
Akiva Eldar

Jawad Siam pulled out a brochure issued by the Jerusalem municipality heralding development plans for his place of residence, the village of Silwan in East Jerusalem. He pointed to the map in the brochure, where the neighborhood's streets were marked. "You see this, Hashiloah Road?" he asked. "All these years, it was called Ein Silwan Street. 'Ma'alot Ir David' Street? That was Wadi Helwa Street. The street next to it, 'Malkitzedek,' used to be Al-Mistar Street."

From two small rooms, not far from the Old City walls, Siam and his colleagues in Silwan's Ein Helwa neighborhood committee, as well as a small group of Jewish friends, are waging a tenacious struggle on one of the world's most volatile battlefields. As he sees it, the "conversion" of the street names, the settling of Jews there with the encouragement of rightist organizations, and the municipality's intention to demolish dozens of buildings in the neighborhood, are merely a prelude to an eventual transfer plan. The real goal, he believes, is the expulsion of Ein Helwa's 5,000 residents, part of a goal of reducing the Palestinian presence in the area.

Silwan, which the Israeli authorities call the City of David or Kfar Hashiloah, lies in the heart of the "holy basin" surrounding the Old City. Here is where Jewish-Palestinian struggles over houses, religion and culture are steadily multiplying: Right-wing organizations keep taking over yet another building and another site, sometimes with the municipality's assistance; straw men tempt Palestinians into selling their homes; petitions to the Supreme Court come on the heels of allegations of libel; archaeologists clash over these organizations' control of antiquities' sites in the area; and the police try to undermine every official Palestinian activity, including cultural ones.

According to the so-called Clinton initiative, presented during the 2000 Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Silwan was supposed to become part of the future Palestinian capital. The international community remains concerned about the ongoing attempt to upset the holy basin's delicate balance. Many diplomats tour the area and send detailed reports back to their home capitals.

For years, this balance was preserved by a moderate mayor (Teddy Kollek) and cautious governments (like that of Yitzhak Rabin). In September 1996, the combination of a right-wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and a right-wing mayor, Ehud Olmert, led to the opening of the Western Wall tunnel. This "festive" event culminated with bloody disturbances in the territories, in which 16 Israeli soldiers and more than 60 Palestinians were killed.

The current blend of the old-new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jerusalem's relatively untried mayor, Nir Barkat, as well as the fact that several government ministries (infrastructure, construction and housing) are in the hands of right-wing parties, may herald an increase in the level of tension in the city as a whole and in the holy basin in particular. Last year, before the local elections, Barkat took a well-publicized tour of Jerusalem's Palestinian neighborhoods, accompanied by activists from right-wing organizations, including David Barry, the head of the Elad organization, which promotes Jewish settlement in the city's eastern part. As mayor, one of his first acts was to resume the construction of 230 apartments for Jews in Abu Dis (Kidmat Zion). He also issued demolition orders for dozens of illegal buildings in Silwan that house hundreds of Palestinian residents.

In the meantime, due in part to American pressure, the municipality has frozen the plan to demolish the buildings in the area it calls Gan Hamelekh (David's Garden). "The mayor's approach to upholding and enforcing the law has nothing to do with city residents' national identity," city hall said in a statement two days ago. "He intends to continue upholding the law in the west and east of the city without bias. The enforcement policy in the Gan Hamelekh area was examined by the courts, which found nothing wrong."

The hand of God?

In an article published on the Arutz Sheva Web site, Matti Dan, chairman of the Ateret Cohanim organization, was quoted as saying, "God promised Jerusalem to us. Our generation is responsible for fulfilling the victory of the Six-Day War and strengthening settlement in Jerusalem."

The article tells of 43 sites that Dan and his friends have "redeemed" from Palestinians in the Old City's Muslim and Christian quarters. About a decade ago, Ateret Cohanim began expanding its activity outside the Old City walls, by taking over abandoned properties - both buildings and land - that belonged to Jews before 1948. Thus Jews settled in Silwan, the Mount of Olives (Beit Orot), Sheikh Jarra (Shimon Hatzadik), Ras al-Amud (Ma'aleh Zeitim), Abu Dis and A-Tur. According to data from the Ir Amim organization for an equitable and stable Jerusalem, about 2,500 Israelis now live in the holy basin and the Old City (not including the Jewish Quarter), about 400 of them in the City of David and a similar number in Ras al-Amud.

"The hand of God is clearly visible here," Dan boasted. "The Saudis and the Europeans are investing millions in East Jerusalem in order to stop us, and we're standing up to them alone." The same article quotes Ateret Cohanim sources as saying that, "There is a consensus about Jerusalem ... also in the highest places, even if this is somewhat obscured. We receive full backing that isn't reported in the newspapers. Even those who say otherwise in the media open their doors to us when it's about building Jerusalem."

City Engineer Uri Sheetrit first gave the order to demolish the illegal buildings in Silwan in 2004, explaining that the reasons had nothing to do with urban planning. "Jerusalem's beginnings lie in the City of David tel. These remnants have much international and national value and give the city its standing as one of the world's most important cities," he said. "Emek Hamelekh - together with the City of David tel - constitutes a complete archaeological unit." The experience of recent years shows that Jews will settle in places that Palestinians have been forced to leave.

These kinds of declarations infuriate attorney Daniel Seidemann of Ir Amim. In a recent opinion, he wrote that the planning and building laws have become the main means for reducing Palestinian living space in East Jerusalem: Since 1967, Israel has appropriated 35 percent of the land in East Jerusalem in order to build 50,000 apartments for Jews; at the same time, not a single new neighborhood has been built for the Palestinians, despite the fact that their population in East Jerusalem has nearly quadrupled. During all those years, only 600 apartments were built with government support in the existing Palestinian neighborhoods. The Palestinians' natural growth rate in the city means that 1,500 new apartments are needed every year.

According to Seidemann, most of the lands still in Palestinian possession cannot be built upon due to bureaucratic delays heaped on by Israel. The construction potential within the Palestinian neighborhoods has been practically exhausted. Even Palestinians who live in an area for which there is an approved master plan end up so frustrated by the legal, economic and bureaucratic obstacles that they eventually resort to the risk of building without a license. East Jerusalem is the only place in Israel where a unit from the Interior Ministry, rather than the local authority, operates for the purpose of enforcing building laws (vis-a-vis the Palestinians, that is). Thus, even when the municipality freezes the house demolitions, they are still carried out by order of the Interior Ministry.

Archaeological takeover

In addition to staking their claim in the residential neighborhoods in and around the Old City, the organizations Elad and Ateret Cohanim have begun taking over the numerous archaeological sites scattered throughout the area. The City of David national park lies south of the Old City. "Today, 70 percent of the hill in the City of David is in Jewish hands, and the idea is to acquire buildings on the Mount Zion hill next to it, in order to create a continuum with the Jewish Quarter," Elad founder Barry said in a recent interview.

In 1998, the Environmental Protection Ministry ordered the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to place the park's management in the hands of Elad, which argued that it had acquired a majority of the lands there. The order was issued in defiance of protest from the Antiquities Authority, which was upset about the idea of a sensitive archaeological site being run by a politically motivated organization. To this day, it is not clear why the ministry decided to act as it did. Dalia Itzik, who was the environment minister at the time, said this week that she does not recall the matter. The INPA says its standard practice is to transfer sites located on private lands to the landowners' management. However, last year, then-construction and housing minister Ze'ev Boim wrote that the territory of the park given to Elad is not owned by it, but instead belongs to the state and the Jewish National Fund.

At the end of 2000, the national park was returned to the INPA's jurisdiction. The state prosecutor informed the Supreme Court that it had not been proper to grant authorization to Elad, and so it was annulled. But in 2002, the INPA once again transferred most of the park's assets to the control of Elad, including the Herodian tunnel beneath the Armon Hanatziv ridge and the visitors' center in Ya'ar Hashalom (the Peace Forest). The Authority could not provide an explanation for this decision.

The registrar of nonprofit organizations says the symbiotic relationship between Elad and the INPA is also evident in the fact that Elad's Evyatar Cohen, the director of the visitors' center, is also the director of the INPA's Jerusalem district. An INPA spokeswoman responded that Cohen first went through a "cooling-off" period after his activity in the Elad organization. The symbols of both bodies also appeared not long ago on a sign announcing the construction of a new information center on the Mount of Olives, outside the bounds of the national park. Following an inquiry from Peace Now, the INPA's symbol was removed.

Archaeologists opposed to Elad's activity say the organization's guided tours of the site, given to many Israel Defense Forces soldiers, emphasize the place's Jewish history. Prof. Benjamin Z. Kedar, chairman of the board of the Antiquities Authority, recently confirmed that Elad is "an organization with a declared ideological agenda, which presents the history of the City of David in a biased way." In response, the organization said that most visitors are accompanied by its guides and that any guides who expressed themselves politically were dealt with severely.

According to the High Court petition recently filed by Peace Now, at least, Elad is building a shopping center and events hall within the bounds of the park, under cover of the archaeological excavations in the area of the park known as Henyon Givati. In the wake of the petition, the court has ordered all work on the site suspended, apart from the excavations.

Elad claims that "Henyon Givati is a private area and the rights to it are registered in the land registry." In response to a request from Meretz city council member Pepe Alalo, Yossi Havilio, the Jerusalem municipality's legal counsel, said this week that he has asked the official in charge of municipal assets to confirm whether city hall, which leased the lot for 30 years (until 2006), had indeed transferred the rights elsewhere and why.

Bleak reality

This week, in a small room in the local community center, Jawad met with several Israeli archaeologists who offer tourists with guided tours meant to exposed them to the bleak reality in Jerusalem. They composed an open letter to Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor, who turned down their request that she issue an injunction against a continuation of the "development works" in the neighborhood, which they believe are designed to improve the lives of the Jewish residents. She determined that it would be unsafe to stop the work, now that it is under way.

"Imagine how you would feel," they wrote the justice, "if one day you were to fall under the power of a group of new residents, whose civil status is higher than your own and that of your family, and who enjoy heavyweight economic backing, including that of the municipal authorities, and have guards stationed outside their homes day and night who roam the streets, armed, and frighten your children."


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1076058.html

On November 23, 2008 I wrote:

[Occupied East Jerusalem] Less than a five minute walk from my room at the Ambassador Hotel [and less than ten minutes to the Old City] Fawziya Khurd and international supporters began living in a tent, because the Israeli police enforced a court order to throw her and her spouse, Mohammed out of their home, which they had been living in since 1956. The day before my last visit, Mrs. Khurd/Um Kammal [mother of Kammal] became a widow when Mohammad expired secondary to the stress of home eviction by Israel.

At 3:30 AM on November 9, 2008, Reverend Richard Toll was awakened in his hotel room in the neighborhood when the Israeli Occupying Forces/IOF broke down the door of the home of the Al Khurd family. Rev. Toll told me [during the final day of Sabeel’s 7th Annual Conference: The Nakba: Memory, Reality and Beyond] that he was jarred awake by a woman’s pain filled scream that was indescribable.

 
The Al Khurd family have lived in their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood since the days when east Jerusalem was under Jordanian control. The United Nations upon contract with Jordan, allotted them the land after they became refugees when they were expelled from their home in west Jerusalem by Zionists during the 1948 war.

Hasib Nashashibi, of the Ensan Center for Democracy and Human Rights-an NGO coalition of
Palestinian Muslim and Christians- explained to me, “When Jordan controlled this land and the UN granted privileges to the Palestinian refugees including those from west Jerusalem, such as education, health care, and relief and development; they also allowed the refugees to give up not all privileges and receive a home and land deed instead. Jordan never fulfilled their obligation to send the written documentation that these west Jerusalem refugees are land owners and not tenants. Now the Israeli’s are trying to make them refugees for the second time!”

In 2001 a group of settlers broke into the west wing of the Khurd family home while the couple were at the hospital due to Mr. Khurd's ill health. Mr. Khurd went back to the hospital suffering from the emotional stress and physical problems and died the day after his wife welcomed me with a smile and invited me in to share a meal with the neighbors and many international supporters.

Family and neighbors offer Mrs. Khurd sanctuary but the internationals sleep in the tent every night to maintain a presence on the rented land and to support the other twenty-seven Palestinian families in the neighborhood who have received orders from Israel to evacuate their dwellings-in one home alone 52 people are currently residing.

A few days ago, three internationals were arrested, interrogated and then released. They returned to the neighborhood, but were not on site during my visits.

Background:

Since East Jerusalem’s occupation by Israel in 1967, the Oriental Jews Associations and the Knesseth Yisrael Association have been waging a brutal take over of the Khurds’ home, claiming that the land originally belonged to Jews.

In 1972, they succeeded to register the land in their name with the Israeli Land registrar.

In 1999, settlers burst into the home and set up an occupation in a wing of the house that

belonged to the couple’s son, Raed.

The Khurd family hired lawyers and have spent a fortune in court battles.

In 2006, the Israeli court finally revoked the claim of ownership by the settlers.

On February 25, 2007 the Israeli Supreme Court issued an order to evict the settlers; but it was never enforced!

The settlers-most of them are from America- have been stealing homes from Palestinians in the neighborhoods around the Old City of Jerusalem which if not challenged and prevented, will pre-empt any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

The settlers current desire is to cleanse more than 500 Palestinians from the neighborhood and build 200 apartheid apartments for Jewish only colonists.

This hurdle of injustice by the Israeli Government has lit a fire in the international community.

One of them is Axel Weissenfels, from Austria, a government that allows their young people to opt out of military service and choose nonviolent civil service in foreign countries instead.

Axel informed me, “I have been in occupied east Jerusalem for nine months now and will probably stay beyond my one year commitment. I am working for the Society for Austrian Arab Relations in the Old City in the Art Foundation, doing workshops with the children. We gave the children in the neighborhood cameras and we will soon display an exhibit of their work right here on this site. I have slept here the last three nights on a mattress [on the hard rocky ground].

“America should know how their tax dollars are being spent [$7-10 Million per day] which go to continue the military occupation of Palestinians. The Palestinians are simple and righteous people; they do the correct things and all they want is to live in peace.

“If the USA would stop paying all those millions to Israel the occupation would end and America would have the money for health care and caring for their poor.”

 Adnan Husseini, Governor of east Jerusalem, while on his way out of the tent, sent this message to America, “We hope that the U.S.A. will focus more attention to the Israeli Palestinian conflict and help us have peace. When Palestine receives justice the international community, Israel and U.S.A. will also have peace. The American people are excellent people and we wish the New Year will change this situation for the benefit of everyone. All the best to America and good luck!”


We the people of America do not need luck; we need to wake up and understand that Israel is only a democracy if you are a Jew.

In Israeli law, all of Jerusalem, including the eastern half of the city, is considered to be the “indivisible” capital of the Jewish state and has set up a block against Palestinian negotiators to make a deal on the division of Jerusalem.

Settlers are claiming land all over occupied East Jerusalem based on title deeds that pre-existed 1948, when Israel became a state and began to ethnically cleanse the land of Palestinians, destroyed 531 Palestinian villages and 750,000 Palestinians became refugees.

President George W. Bush became a willing collaborator in this on going injustice in his infamous 2004 exchange of letters with Ariel Sharon. Bush affirmed that Israel would not be expected to return to the armistice lines of 1949. Instead, Bush declared that Israel would be able to hold on to its “population centers” in the West Bank. This is the empire’s Orwellian spin to attempt to justify the established settlement blocs; every one of them are illegal under international law!

Among the failures of Annapolis is the incessant construction of colonies on the land of Palestinians.

Palestinians are denied building permits to build upon their legally owned land.

Ehud Barak, Defense Minister and leader of the Labor Party, personally approved hundreds of new apartments for the settlers within the last few months.

“Michshol Hafrada” is Hebrew for "The Separation Wall" and that translates to Apartheid Wall in Afrikaan.

The Apartheid Wall has divided Palestinians from Palestinians and has stolen their aquifers, denies them access to their land, jobs, families and holy sites and consumes over $1.25 Million USA Tax dollars every day- a 2006 estimate!

Looking at a map of the so called Holy Land today it is clear to see that Palestine has been divided into enclaves; Bantustans!

 
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out

And to whom I was likely to give offence.

Something there is that does not love a wall,

That wants it down.-Robert Frost

Over a quarter of a million Jewish colonists live in East Jerusalem-and according to international law-all the settlements are illegal as is the Apartheid Wall.

Jewish only colonies have been implanted to divide the indigenous Palestinian neighborhoods throughout occupied territory. Over 100,000 indigenous Palestinians are trapped by the Apartheid Wall and are tortured at over 600 checkpoints that deny them access to their land, jobs, families and holy sites.

Evictions and home demolitions have become the status quo in the so called Holy Land, for since 1967, over 18,000 dwellings -averaging eleven people per unit- have been bulldozed by Israeli forces because they interfere with settlement expansion.

Israel attempts to justify their immoral actions with three distinct categories:

1. Collective Punishment-homes of suspected terrorists-in reality that is anyone who opposes the occupation- and the families of suicide/homicide bombers. These punitive actions amount to 15% of the over 18,000 homes destroyed since 1967.

2. Administrative demolitions for lack of building permits- which Israel refuses to issue-account for 25%. In occupied east Jerusalem one out of four Palestinian homes have a demolition order.

3. “Security” reasons-the blanket response to all of Israel’s injustices and illegal actions.

Backed by USA blind allegiance and silent collusion with the Israeli courts and government, it will take international outrage to unite and change course, for the Obama Administration is being filled with Zionist Hawks!

I made my first visit to the Al Kurd family tents on November 19, 2008 and met a few Italians who had come to entertain the oppressed and nonviolent people of the neighborhood.

Alex and Francesco, are two clowns from the street theater project called Charlatani Without Borders. They had arrived in occupied territory two weeks prior to offer some creative relief from the misery of military occupation. A chain link fence surrounded the property and there were two tents at that time.

When I returned on November 22nd, I learned that the Israeli forces had bulldozed the chain link fence down and one of the tents that that the nonviolent internationals had been staying in.

 
The site is only a few hundred yards from the Al Khurd’s home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Israeli authorities attempt to justify their actions by claiming the tents were erected without permission on state land.

What will it take for the world to say ENOUGH!?!





 
   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



“Any nation that year after year continues to raise the Defense budget while cutting social programs to the neediest is a nation approaching spiritual death.” - Rev. MLK
Establishment of Israel
"On the day of the termination of the British mandate and on the strength of the United Nations General Assembly declare The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations." - May 14, 1948. The Declaration of the Establishment of Israel
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posted 3/25/2009

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