Monday, September 1, 2014



The Nazis, the Fascists, the Cossacks, the Bolsheviks, the hatred against Jews all over Europe - born out of envy and greed - the massacres, gave the Jewish people good reason to seek a homeland  - a safe place to live. And the Bible told us that Palestine was our native land, our natural, historical home. 

The whole world looked the other way while the Nazis and the Soviets slaughtered millions of innocent Jewish men, women and children - just because they were Jews. Those who didn't actually butcher and burn Jewish babies, did nothing to stop the Holocaust. Only a precious few - Righteous Gentiles - risked their own lives and the lives of their own families, to save Jewish people from the Nazis.

So, the Jewish people of Europe needed a safe place to call home. Some fools suggested they all move to a far off island. Yes. There are such fools. Such fools also wanted Negro people to move to a far off island and that plan came close to fruition.

But there can be no justification for the greed and arrogance that Israel is demonstrating today. Yes, the people of Israel must be safe. They must be able to live, to eat and to sleep and go to school and work in their fields without fear. But I think Israel has gone too far in manipulating the situation and oppressing the Palestinian people.

Yes, Israel must defend itself from people who are determined to annihilate them, to drive them into the sea. But this rabbi and author brings little known facts to light. He reminds us of the shadowy politics and bloody history of the State of Israel. 

We who are old enough to remember the 1940's, remember that the early Israeli "heroes", were also heartless terrorists who killed without mercy - Irgun, the Stern Gang. Let us not pretend that Jews are angels. Even in biblical times, our heroes killed without mercy, Jews are not saints.

But we do have a religion full of noble ethics and a basic foundation that tells us we have no right to be unjust or cruel. Our religion forbids us to harm the innocent. Unlike the enemy, we do not teach our children to love death, but to live ethically and enrich the world. Tikun Olam ! Heal the world.

The Jewish people and our friends must rebuild Israel on that foundation or they are no better than our enemies. If Jews are not more decent, more noble than those who want us dead, do we deserve to live in peace?

As Jews, we have to check our mirrors and ask ourselves if, in our fear and zeal, we have lost something of our Yiddishkeit, our Jewish values, and our souls. We must not become as evil as those who hate us ... or what are we?

We Jewish people who do not live in Israel cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Government of Israel whom we do not elect. But we who live in democracies around the world and enjoy freedom do have a responsibility to speak up when we see injustice - in the middle east - or anywhere else. Silence is not acceptable.

Phyllis Carter



September 1, 2014

Today, a special with Henry Siegman, the former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the nation's "big three" Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League. Henry Siegman was born in 1930 in Frankfurt, Germany. Three years later, the Nazis came to power. After fleeing Nazi troops in Belgium, his family eventually moved to the United States. His father was a leader of the European Zionist movement, pushing for the creation of a Jewish state. In New York, Siegman studied and was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi by Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. He later became head of the Synagogue Council of America. After his time at the American Jewish Congress, Siegman became a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He now serves as president of the U.S./Middle East Project.

Over the years, Siegman has become a vocal critic of Israel's policies in the Occupied Territories and has urged Israel to engage with Hamas. He has called the Palestinian struggle for a state "the mirror image of the Zionist movement" that led to the founding of Israel in 1948. In July, wrote an op-ed for Politico headlined, "Israel Provoked This War." Democracy Now! hosts Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh sat down with him on July 29 — in the midst of Israel's offensive in Gaza.

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