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Home arrow Blog arrow February 2008 arrow February 10, 2008

February 10, 2008
WAWA Blog February 10, 2008: Paul and Ringo aren't The Beatles and Where are the Artists against Apartheid?

In 1965, The Beatles were banned from playing Israel by the authorities for fear they would corrupt the minds of Israeli youth.


In 1965 The Beatles released Rubber Soul and Lennon's, "The Word"

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
…In the beginning I misunderstood
But now I've got it, the word is good

Spread the word and you'll be free
Spread the word and be like me
Spread the work I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
… Every where I go I hear it said
In the good and bad books that I have read
… the word is just the way
...Now that I know what I feel must be right
I'm here to show everybody the light
…Have you heard the word is love?


"Love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism, but of practical realism. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, love is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil, and this can only be done through love. - Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957


In 1985, Artists United Against Apartheid was founded by Steven Van Zandt, of The E Street Band, after he traveled to South Africa. Van Zandt was pulled by his passion to learn more about American style Indian reservation apartheid which South Africa was modeled upon. While at Sun City, an interracial gambling resort in a bantustan, supposedly ruled by black Africans, Steven was inspired to create "Sun City". It managed to reach #38 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1985, although "about half of American radio stations never played it. The song was banned in South Africa." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artists_United_Against_Apartheid


"Israel has created a worse system of apartheid than anything that ever existed in South Africa, according to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights Prof. John Dugard, and South African government minister Ronnie Kasrils, among others. In 2005, inspired by the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, Palestinian civil society called for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) [1] against Israel until it fully complies with international law and recognizes the fundamental human rights of the people of Palestine." [www.PACBI.org, February 2, 2008]



"Over 40 Human Rights organizations from around the world who campaign for peace and justice for the Palestinian people have sent an open letter to the surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, and to the families of George Harrison and John Lennon, from which I excerpt:

We are writing to you to ask you to decline the invitation to join the celebrations marking the birth of the state of Israel in 1948.

What happened was not the peaceful creation of a safe haven for Jews escaping from Europe; it was the brutal ethnic cleansing and massacre of the Palestinians and the theft of their land. The United Nations decision in 1947 to partition Palestine allocated 55% of the Palestinian land for a Jewish state and 45 % for a Palestinian state. But even that gross settlement was not good enough for the Zionists who had targeted the whole of Palestine for the creation of a Jewish State - long before the Nazi atrocities. So, the Zionists took 78% of the land, brutally exiled or killed over 750,000 Arab Palestinians and destroyed over 400 of their villages in an ethnic cleansing operation that was driven by brutal terrorism.

…It is not only the Palestinians who remember these days of horror as the Nakba; Israeli historians themselves have documented these events in all their bloody detail. And little has changed since in 1967 Israel seized the remaining Palestinian territory (the West Bank and Gaza) and the brutal occupation continues.

The Beatles sang “All you need is love” but Israel believes that all it needs is racism and an army...As John put it, it is time to give peace a chance... [Signed by too many to list]



"Israel creates destructive facts on the ground…people from abroad come here and give us sermons on nonviolence and I appreciate it, but why don't they preach nonviolence to Israel and America?" -Reverend Dr. Mitri Raheb, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas church in Bethlehem to me, July 25, 2007.

Raheb also stated, "It's a miracle that the Palestinians are so nonviolent in spite of the abuse we live with on a daily basis. If you lived here every day you would get fed up too. The world assumes it is the Palestinians who are the violent ones, but nonviolence is who we are. If you operate in a system of violence you will also be violent when you go home.

"Palestinians who throw stones; and many think that is ok, but I say why do that? One day you will throw stones at Palestinians too and that is exactly what happened in Gaza, but the reason is the occupation! Where do you think Hamas learned to torture? In Israeli prisons from their captors!

"There is no way to end the violence without first ending the occupation. Our Palestinian government was boycotted… by America and the EU: this is violence! As long as the violence is exercised against us that is OK with the world. When the Presbyterians talked divestment the Zionist rose up and said 'you can't do that!'

"…people here are fed up with words; they hear one thing and see another with their eyes. They hear peace, peace, peace and for 85 years the politicians have been working for peace and the situation gets worse…

"Israel will continue building the wall, settlements and carving the West Bank into Swiss cheese; Israel gets the cheese and we Palestinians fall into the holes! Fifty million American dollars went to build the checkpoints to 'make our lives easier' we were told, but these checkpoints and terminals are not for people, they are for cattle!"

Martin Luther King Jr. warned, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy....History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."



Good and evil run through every human heart and in every opportunity. If Paul and Ringo decide to play Tel Aviv, may they also journey at least to Bethlehem, if not Hebron or Gaza.

Might that Israel's 60th birthday celebration lead the world to deep reflection and a remembering of all the events of '48 and '67 through the eyes of the indigenous people of one of the most troubled pieces of real estate in the world.

Might that in honoring the pain of the other lead to world wide repentance, and repenting is all about changing course spurred by humility and sorrow.

Lennon's 1967 "All You Need Is Love" extended the message of "The Word" and the world sang along, two weeks after the Six Day War,

All you need is love, all you need is love,

All you need is love, love, love is all you need.All you need is love (all together now)

All you need is love (everybody)

All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

Let it be love fired by compassion and compassion fueled by love as the way to be the change we want to see in the world.

Security for Israel can only be when there is justice for Palestine, and that requires an end to the occupation and equal human rights for all.


CPT's MISSION: "Getting in the Way." What would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war? Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) seeks to enlist the whole church in organized, nonviolent alternatives to war and places teams of trained peacemakers in regions of lethal conflict.



CPTnet
9 February 2008

HEBRON: First Station of the Cross—Jesus, accused by his enemies, stands condemned before Pilate

by Jean Fallon

As we recall Jesus standing before Pilate, who represents the Occupying Roman Forces, and the full weight of the Roman Empire, let us meditate on a scene happening in Hebron. Six Palestinian youths, between the ages of fifteen and nineteen, stand before the Israeli military, accused by a settler woman of breaking and entering her home.


Not knowing what would happen to them, they stood with their arms raised, hands on metal doors, legs apart, some of them still in the thin clothing they were wearing at home when soldiers came to arrest them. For close to four hours of standing in the cold, blindfolded and handcuffed, they endured a heckling crowd of settlers, before the police took them the police station, questioned them, and finally released them after midnight. At a checkpoint on their way home, a soldier tore up one of their IDs.

Six Palestinian teenagers… whose actual crime was breaking through a fence into an open square near the settlers’ housing area to look for scrap metal. Even though their families gave witness on their behalf, the word of a settler condemned them. Two are now facing a hearing and the rest have their names on the Israeli police list of potential terrorists.

For a photo of this incident, see
http://www.cpt.org/gallery/album234/
08_01_27_Six_Palestinian_teenagers_detained_for_three_hours






   
 
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"HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it."-St. Augustine

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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

" In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway."-Mother Teresa


“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased...to obey the laws of life.”- Lewis Mumford, 1946



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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