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Home arrow Blog arrow February 2008 arrow February 2, 2008

February 2, 2008
WAWA Blog February 2, 2008: Obama's paper trail, WHAT his Rabbi overlooked and ABC=Anybody But Clinton!

I love and admire Rabbi Lerner, I have been a supporter of his TIKKUN organization and Network of Spiritual progressives.


But I have disagreed with him before and I do once more.

Rabbi L thinks the right of return to Palestinians is off the table,

But human beings have RIGHTS and governments have OBLIGATIONS!


Israel's statehood was based on upholding the UN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS:

Article 13.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.




Rabbi L is apparently ignoring parts of Obama's paper trail which follows his endorsement of the 'Black Kennedy' who must be pushed by we the people for justice, equal human rights and peace further than he has yet dared to go:


Obama's Jewish Problem
    by Rabbi Michael Lerner

    In the days leading up to the Super Tuesday presidential primary sweepstakes, the Obama campaign has been making a special effort to reach out to Jewish voters.  Representatives of the campaign have been visiting Jewish retirement homes, synagogues, and wherever else they can find a willing audience.  Faced with Clinton campaigners making charges that he is not sufficiently pro-Israel,  Obama himself wrote a letter to U.S.  Ambassador to the U.N. Khalizad last week urging that the U.S. reject any resolution critiquing Israel's cut off of fuel and food to a  million residents of Gaza "that does not fully condemn the rocket assaults Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel."

    It's a problem that won't go away. Jewish voters are only 2% of the U.S. population, but they are mostly concentrated in the states with the highest number of delegate and electoral votes (New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois), they contribute financially to politicians disproportionately to their percentage of the voters, and they are often in key roles as opinion shapers in the communities in which they work or live.

    Democratic Party appeals to the Jewish vote  are not much different than the appeals that happens to other constituencies like the labor movement, the women's movement,  Latino voters, African Americans, farmers, seniors or children, or Republican pandering to the anti-immigrants, Southern whites, or Catholic and Evangelical anti-abortion voters. They are as American as apple pie, even at the times when "appealing" slides into "pandering."

    What puts Obama into difficulty is that his actual beliefs make this attempt to appeal to Jews difficult when it comes to Israel.

    Obama is a spiritual progressive. He believes that human beings are equally valuable whether they are white or black, American or Asian or African or European. Apply that to the Middle East and you get policy inclinations very different from those which have been insisted upon by the Israel Lobby, supported by most of the establishment Jewish institutions, and through the power of their organized pressure, have become the dominant policy supported by both parties in rare unanimity.

    So while spiritual progressives like us at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives have been insisting that the best path to Israeli security is a peace treaty with the Palestinian people and an approach that seeks mutual open-hearted repentance for the way each side has treated each other, the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that is both politically and economically viable, reparations for Palestinians refugees, and a South-Africa model of "truth and reconciliation" in both Israel and Palestine, the Democratic Party and Republican Party have traditionally vied during the election period for which could appear more militant in its support for Israeli power and less sympathetic to the Palestinian people.  While spiritual progressives support a Middle Path that is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, the extreme partisans on both sides see us as abandoning their interests and covertly siding with the other.

    Underlying this is a deeper ideological conflict. After the Vietnam war, there was a terrible fear among conservatives and the military-industrial complex that the peace movement might use the moral outrage at that war to mobilize for disarmament. Jewish neo-cons,fearful that a disarmed U.S. would be unable to play a central role in protecting Israel, took the leadership in warning against a "Vietnam syndrome." Security for the U.S. and Israel , they argued, comes from military strength, and those who seek peace, disarmament, and reconciliation with antagonists are naďve, utopian, dangerous and de facto anti-American or anti-Israel.

We spiritual progressives,  on the other hand, believe that the strategy of dominating the other does not lead to homeland security either for the U.S. or for Israel, whose interests would better be served by a strategy of generosity, caring for the well-being of the other, and reaching out with open-heartedness to acknowledge the unintentional pain that we have caused others and seeking forgiveness for that. We have seen that the path of "toughness" doesn't work, doesn't yield security, but only intensifies the losses on both sides. Concretely, the Network of Spiritual Progressives is beginning a campaign for a Global Marshall Plan that would allocate 1-2% of the GDP of the U.S. every year for the next twenty to once and for all end domestic and global hunger, poverty, homelessness, inadequate education, inadequate health care, and repair the global environment.  This is far more likely to dry up the cesspools of hatred against the U.S. from which terrorists are able to recruit their suicide bombers. The fact is that the strategy of domination has been tried for thousands of years, and it has never brought anyone security, so it's time to try the strategy of generosity.

    In recent days, we at Tikkun magazine have had hundreds of emails from young Jews distraught at the television images of tens of thousands of Palestinians breaking out of the prison camp that Gaza has become, desperate for food, fuel and other goods that have been denied entry into Gaza by the Israeli army. A new generation of young Jews no longer blindly adopts the strategy of domination or salutes to the policies of the current government of Israel.  It is these Jews who are the future, but they do not yet control the institutions of Jewish life. They understand that Israel will be far more secure if it adopts a strategy of generosity, and stops trying to show how "tough" it really is, but they also despair about Israel ever "getting it" in time to save itself from policies that further inflame hatred against it by human-rights respecting people around the world. No matter how much these young Jews may agree that Palestinian acts of terror or Hamas shelling of Sderot are also ugly and morally inexcusable acts, they understand that the overwhelming power of the Israeli military gives Israel the obligation to take the first definitive steps toward peace by embracing the kind of Progressive Middle Path that we articulate at Tikkun.

    Obams's problem is that his spiritual progressive worldview is in conflict with the demands of the older generation of Jews who control the Jewish institutions and define what it is to be pro-Jewish, while his base consists of many young Jews who support him precisely because he is willing to publicly stand for the values that they hold. We can expect that this tension will be central should Obama win the nomination. But once in office, whether Obama actually pursues policies that are in accord with his highest beliefs as a spiritual progressive, or whether he finds it "too unrealistic" to try to buck the spineless Democrats who will bow to the Israel Lobby automatically, depends on whether we can build a powerful enough movement of ordinary citizens to push for a peace that provides security for Israel and justice for the Palestinian people. Obama has made it clear he would want to do that.


Rabbi Michael Lerner is editor of Tikkun magazine www.tikkun.org, national chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) at www.spiritualprogressives.org, and author of 11 books, most recently The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right.  He is the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue-without-walls in San Francisco and Berkeley www.beyttikkun.org.




 
The text of Obama's letter to the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad.
A photocopy of the signed letter is at

http://jewishstanda rd.net//content_ images/ObamaLett erbig.jpg


1.23.2008

Dear Ambassador Khalilzad,

I understand that today the U.N. Security Council met regarding the situation in Gaza, and that a resolution or statement could be forthcoming from the Council in short order.

I urge you to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter that does not fully condemn the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in Southern Israel for over two years.

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this. Gaza is governed by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction, and Israeli civilians are being bombarded by rockets on an almost daily basis. That is unacceptable and Israel has a right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks against Israel, and should make clear that Israel has the right to defend itself against such actions. If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama
United States Senator



THE FACTS ARE THAT THE UN SAYS:

Israel is allowing only 41% of Gaza's food requirements
Israel grants only 1 in 7 patients access to urgent treatment outside Gaza
Israel denies medication and hospital supplies to Gaza

Israel is not allowing enough fuel to treat and pump clean water in Gaza
Israel's cruelty has caused more than 70 deaths of untreated Gaza patients since June

BARACK OBAMA SAYS: "We have to understand why Israel is forced (sic) to do this"


WAWA is a Christian and she says:

Denying food to 1.5 million civilians is a crime and morally and ethically repugnant.

Denying medicine to sick and dying people is a crime and morally and ethically repugnant.

Israel's actions are collective punishment; a crime and morally and ethically repugnant.

Why doesn't Obama and Rabbi L condemn it?

Why are the 'leaders' in the USA who claim to be Christian silent?

Christians believe God is LOVE and "Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing......Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers." -Dorothy Day


Denying food, medicine and other essential supplies is despicable and does nothing to harm fighters or the Hamas government in Gaza.

It only harms civilians, one half of whom are children. Does Obama consider them disposable?

Obama's defense of Israel's cruelty deserves action.

Presidential candidates are way more sensitive to criticism than elected leaders.

Your call has the potential
to make Palestinian rights an issue; and that is THE WAY to TIKKUN: which is Hebrew for HEAL, MEND and TRANSFORM the world.


Jimmy Carter said the Israeli Palestinian conflict is THE ISSUE ALL the candidates should address and we the people must rise up and make them do the right thing.


PLEASE CALL THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN for leaders MUST be led and ABC=ANYBODY BUT CLINTON!

(866) 675-2008
Choose option 6, then talk to a volunteer




   
 
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