From Barak to Trump.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli journalist, writer, peace activist, former member of the Knesset, and the founder of Gush Shalom.
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Its title was “Our Jerusalem”. It started with the words: “Jerusalem is ours, Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims, Christians and Jews.”

It went on: “Our Jerusalem Is a mosaic of all the cultures, all the religions and all the periods that enriched the city, from earliest antiquity to this very day – Canaanites and Jebusites and Israelites, Jews and Hellenes, Romans and Byzantines, Christians and Muslims, Arabs and Mamelukes, Othmanlis and Britons, Palestinians and Israelis.

“Our Jerusalem must be united, open to all, and belonging to all its inhabitants, without borders and barbed wire in its midst.”

And the practical conclusion: “Our Jerusalem must be the capital of the two states that will live side by side in this country – West Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of the State of Palestine.”

I wish I could nail this Manifesto to the doors of the White House.

HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

EHUD BARAK has “broken the silence”. He has published an article in The New York Times attacking our prime minister in the most abrasive terms.

397px-uriavnery-e1353140505941Uri Avnery

In other words, he has done exactly the same as the group of ex-soldiers who call themselves “Breaking the Silence”, who are accused of washing our dirty linen abroad. They expose war crimes to which they have been witnesses, or even participants.

But apart from the attack on Binyamin Netanyahu, Barak has used the article to publish his Peace Plan.

A former chief-of-staff of the Israeli army and a former prime minister, Barak is obviously planning a comeback, and his peace plan is part of the effort. There seems to be, anyhow, open season for Peace Plans in our region.

I respect the intelligence of Barak. Many years ago, when he was still the deputy…

View original post 1,598 more words

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An Interview Of Eileen Fleming.

By Jerry Alatalo

s. Eileen Fleming has kindly agreed to participate in our interview project/series after we offered her an invitation. We strongly recommend viewing her powerful documentary film,“We Americans and the U.S.S. Liberty”, including interviews of the Liberty’s survivors, on the events surrounding the deadly 1967 false flag attack on the U.S.S. Liberty by Israeli forces, and carried out in collusion with U.S. President Lyndon Johnson.

Ms. Fleming’s insights are particularly timely given the recent major announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump regarding Jerusalem. Thank you Eileen for sharing your thoughts in the following words and images.

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Question 1.) What was your primary motivation for entering the world of blogging on the worldwide web?

My childhood dream was to be a reporter.

As a child I was inspired by Saints Francis and Teresa, but I wanted to grow up and be like Brenda Starr, a comic book character.

In keeping a long story short:

I had a very brief career in journalism in my youth but NOT until I was 50 years old did I begin to live my childhood dream!

The events of 11 September 2001, was the catalyst that made it possible for it led to my first of eight investigative journeys to both sides of The Wall in the Holy Land beginning in 2005.

While in east Jerusalem, a serendipitous meeting with Israel’s nuclear whistle blower Mordechai Vanunu, [who had been freed in 2004 from 18 years behind bars to 24/7 surveillance] reignited my childhood dream as it grew it up!

It happened when I asked Vanunu to tell me about his childhood in Marrakesh.

When Vanunu asked, “Have you seen that Dorothy Day movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much?

I laughed as I replied, “You mean the Doris Day movie where she sings Que Sera Sera?

Vanunu nodded, “That’s the one. The opening scenes are from where I grew up…”

Vanunu kept talking but I was already imagining walking in the footsteps of Dorothy Day who co-founded The Catholic Worker newspaper, which agitated church and state.

My first two questions to Vanunu:

Before I departed Jerusalem I told Vanunu and vowed to God I would tell, as in write the Vanunu Saga UNTIL Israel allows Vanunu the right to leave the state.

I have kept my word HERE and HERE

Question 2.) How would you describe yourself with regard to spirituality?

With a poem I wrote in 2005:

The more I learn, of less I am certain, except for the need to remain open to the Mystery we call God;

Creator of unfathomable diversity,

Artist of intricate details who crafted verdant mountains where fragile flowers dwell

Who designed the ocean depths where no human eyes have yet to read their deepest tales.

So it is with us, unknown realities within: The Divine indwells;

Thirstily seeking us as we search hungrily for what we desire to possess:

Peace of mind and life to the full.

So many voices in the world striving to convince, when all that really matters is the peace that can be within: Begins with Detachment from outcome—just do your best!

When one lets go of the need to control and to self-defend
When one has a heart for the poor and oppressed
When one seeks and sees The Divine within all creatures and events
When one trusts The Holy is in control-although the daily news denies it.
When one accepts The Other has a plan and desires to find it.
When one comes to understand The Eternal Mystery is more than any concept
And welcomes the diversity of men rather than deny them.
When one accepts we will not stand on any accomplishment,
But on our motives and the love that drives it.

When one is aware that evil as well as good cut through every human heart
And learns to make friends with silence:

The Light is ever present to guide us.

Silent time in nature is as necessary as bread,
Prayer is poetry and service her manifestation.

To forgive is divine and necessary to be divinely forgiven.
And therein lies the peace that passes all understanding.

And every drop of dew are but tears from heaven,
Shed each day a new,
For me, for you
For what we did and did not do
To help bring in The Kingdom.

The Kingdom comes from above and it comes from within: IMAGINE a kingdom of sisterhood of all nations and all men.

Question 3.) What were some of the most memorable transforming points across the years (reactions to world events, books, personal contacts, mystical experiences, etc.) in the developing of your current spiritual perspective?

I could write articles and books on that topic, and as I already have, I repeat myself now:

Do You Want to Be Healed?

In May of 2005, just prior to my first journey to Israel Palestine I phoned Mother Agapia Stephanopolous, a Russian Orthodox nun and the administrator of the Orthodox School of Bethany in Jerusalem, to schedule an appointment for Spiritual Direction and to discuss our mutual feelings about The Wall.

Mother Agapia is the sister of ABC News commentator, George Stephanopolous, and she had recently and passionately informed Congress about the fact that, “Israel is destroying the local Christian community.”

On April 18, 2005, Robert Novak’s article “Walling off Christianity” reported on the nun’s letter to Congress and how East Jerusalem had been cut off from the rest of the West Bank. Mother Agapia predicted, “It is only a matter of time before Christians and Muslims will be unable to survive culturally and economically.”

Mother Agapia spoke bluntly about the nine yards high wall of Israeli concrete that have “shattered” the Christian communities.

She told Novak, “I witness the strangulation of East Jerusalem, and the deprivation of her non-Jewish residents’ religious rights every day. Even the United States seems to have been taken in by Israeli spin.”

On my very first afternoon in Jerusalem, on June 12, 2005, the nun met me at the Ambassador Hotel in East Jerusalem and I told her that I hadn’t been taken in by the spin, but what could I possibly do? She had no answer.

I also told her of the surreal experience I had that very morning while wandering around in the Old City. I had landed in Tel Aviv with ten other members of the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace just a few hours before dawn on that Sunday morn. We all checked into our rooms at the Ambassador; they all crashed, but I was wide awake.

As soon as the sun rose I began to explore, and after attending mass at St.George Cathedral I wandered around the Old City, which was eerily empty. I stumbled upon the site of the Pool of Bethsaida and experienced déjà vu, which was more real than imaginary.

Between 2000 and 2001, I was a first year student in the Episcopal Diocese of Orlando’s Formation Program for Spiritual Directors. I knew going into the program I would never be hanging out a shingle as a Spiritual Director that I was there for other reasons. I was drawn to the program because of the curriculum; to deepen my prayer life and study the lives of the saints. During the first year all the students attended three weekend retreats.

On the second night of the second retreat, we had a guided meditation on the story of Jesus at the Pool of Bethsaida.

I remember it as clearly now as I experienced it then.

There were seven of us in the class and we were instructed to close our eyes, listen to the story and allow our imagination to lead us to respond to the character that called to us.

Our leader prefaced the story from John 5:1-6, by telling the legend of the angel from heaven who would descend and agitate the waters of the Pool of Bethsaida.

Only the first leper, blind, or invalid who made it into the water would receive a healing. One day while Jesus was there, he walked by a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years.

Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?”

The man answered he had no friends to help him get into the water first.

Jesus asked him again, “Do you want to be healed?”

Our leader then went silent, and in my imagination I was immediately upon the back of that agitating angel.

I hadn’t thought of that experience until four years later when I found myself at the site of the Pool of Bethsaida.

What triggered the memory of that guided meditation was the recollection of a dream I had had a few weeks after that day we call 9/11.

In my dream I had stood at the edge of a dried up pool where crumbling stone columns were overgrown with vines and weeds and scores of doves and pigeons nested and flew. To my right was a large shade tree, but to my left I saw a few square squat dwellings with large satellite dishes attached to them. I remembered thinking the moment I woke up from that dream what a strange place it was, but then I quickly forgot all about it.

That is, until the afternoon of June 12, 2005, four years later, when I found myself standing at the edge of a dried up pool where crumbling stone columns were overgrown with vines and weeds and scores of doves and pigeons nested and flew. To my right was a large shade tree, but to my left I saw a few square squat dwellings with large satellite dishes attached to them. What a strange place I thought, how could it be that I had seen this scene in a dream a few weeks after that day we call 9/11?

On the afternoon of my very first day in Jerusalem, I told Mother Agapia about my dream and what I had seen at the Pool of Bethsaida. She shrugged and smiled, then told me about the Jerusalem Interfaith Peace Conference with satellite link to the world that was happening the Sunday after the Thursday I was scheduled to return to the USA. I knew immediately that I needed to attend and after saying goodbye to Mother Agapia, I phoned my husband to get his OK.

On June 26, 2006, I attended the world wide satellite linked Interfaith Peace Conference at Jerusalem’s Notre Dame Cathedral. Dan Rather moderated from Washington DC and the Holy Land interfaith panel were all moderates attempting to reclaim the battlefield of ideas from extremists on both sides.

Reverend Theodore Hessburgh, President Emeritus University of Notre Dame began the evening with a pledge and a summons:

“The Peace of the world begins in Jerusalem.”

Dr. Tsvia Walden, Board of Director of the Peres Center and Geneva Initiative stated, “There is a need for a third party in the negotiations that could enable both sides to trust each other. There are more people in this region interested in making concessions, they all want peace so desperately.”

The Coordinator of World Bank emergency services to the PA, Rania Kharma informed the world, “We all need to be the bridges to our leaders that justice, equality, and human rights will bring peace. Give people justice and they will reward you with peace.”

Sheik Imad Falouiji warned, “Religions must go back to their origins. God commands us to love each other and live together. This Holy Land was given to all people. This land is on fire. There is an occupation that must be removed. The language of peace cannot succeed without justice for all.”

The Rt. Rev. Bishop Riah Abu Assal affirmed, “Peace is an act. Blessed are the peacemakers not the peace talkers. Peace is possible in the Holy Land. The root cause for the lack of peace since 1967 is the occupation. For peace to make progress in the Middle East we need to deal with the root cause…Religion was not meant to bring death. All those involved in searching for peace should commit themselves to work for justice and truth.”

Throughout the entire evening, I kept remembering what President Bush promised in his Second Inaugural Address:

“In the long run, there is no justice without FREEDOM.There can be no human rights without LIBERTY. All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for liberty, we stand with you.”

Question 4.) What is your greatest wish for readers as a consequence after reading/considering your writings?

To THINK and then Do Something!

Question 5.) Can you offer any advice to people having a difficult time dealing with government and media lies, especially as it pertains to so many average citizens who hold erroneous perceptions on important events and situations around the Earth?

For those who are conscious of the lies and alert to rapidly changing events and feeling stressed, I recommend the Practices of Yoga Nidra, Mindfulness and Breath Work.

As everyone can practice Yoga Nidra and reap enormous benefits, I offer this excerpt from WABI SABI BODY: ETERNAL SPIRIT:

Yoga Nidra or “yogic sleep” is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation, which produces the deepest possible states of relaxation while maintaining fully conscious.

The term Yoga Nidra comes from two Sanskrit words, yoga meaning union or one-pointed awareness, and nidrameans sleep. Yoga Nidra is not sleep, as we know it, but a conscious sleep.

The ancient sleep based guided meditation relaxes, rejuvenates and renews the physical body by bringing brain waves down from Beta-which is wide awake- to Alpha which begin as soon as you close your eyes to Theta-light sleep and even Delta waves indicating deep sleep –yet you remain conscious!

This technique frees the THINKING mind to reconnect to the FEELING body, which effortlessly changes one’s relationship to pain, stress and habits.

The National Institute of Mental Health states that about forty-million Americans will suffer from anxiety.

In one study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the top ten selling prescription drugs listed are all lifestyle (and lifetime) drugs, with the number one prescription drug being pain medicine. Each of these issues:  depression, anxiety and physical pain are either stressed caused or stressed exacerbated.  The practice of Yoga Nidra is a proven, effective, simple and inexpensive tool for treating all of these conditions…

Eileen Fleming, Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for USA’s TADN writes HERE

Eileen Fleming produced the UNCENSORED “30 Minutes with Vanunu” Mordechai, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower

Contact her HERE 

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Thank you again, Eileen. Peace.

Ilan Pappe: “Israel Has Lost The Moral Argument.”

By Jerry Alatalo

any academics, political analysts, peace activists, experts in global affairs and others consider the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict the most important international relations challenge of our time. Israel-born Jewish Professor Ilan Pappe (currently lecturing in the United Kingdom) is one of thousands of men and women academicians on Earth who firmly hold that belief. He has written a new book “Ten Myths About Israel”, a (in his words) “concise pocketbook” for those interested in learning about the situation. He visited Seattle, Washington in the northwest region of the United States recently to speak about the long-endured, at times seemingly insoluble problems – along with his vision for a solution.

During an interview while in Seattle, Professor Pappe shared both his personal experiences and knowledge of the conflict as well as some little-known facts making it clear that major changes in Israel’s political system are necessary. His view is authoritative as its foundation is the raw historic truth: Israel is the only national government on Earth implementing apartheid policies and conditions, with the example most recently seen – and rightly abolished – of South Africa.

Professor Ilan Pappe draws similarities between the settler colonialist history of America, the inhumane, genocidal treatment of Native Americans and Israel’s Zionist factions’ treatment of the indigenous Palestinian people, in particular since 1967. With experience as a professor in Israeli universities before becoming essentially thrown out of his country, he describes the role of education in Israel as a large factor responsible for perpetuation of the conflict.

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“The whole education system is built on dehumanization of the Palestinians, so even liberal Israelis are Israelis who regard the Palestinians as aliens, but they are tolerant enough to let them be there, or have some of the land. There’s a basic misunderstanding… even the more liberal Zionists – that Zionism emigrated into the homeland of someone else, not that these natives emigrated. They’re not immigrants.”

“Not that we should treat immigrants in some bad way… Of course, we shouldn’t. But it’s funny that the whole liberal discourse in Israel about the Palestinians is the discourse of immigrants. So, if you’re a liberal person… you tolerate immigrants. You’re willing to let them be absorbed into the society. But this is not the situation – these (Palestinians) are not immigrants. You (Israelis) are the immigrants, and you have to ask the Palestinians to allow you to stay.”

“And this is something very difficult; after 100 years of oppression, to understand that the oppressor needs the legitimacy from the oppressed is very difficult to accept.”

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Often Israel is described as the “only democracy in the Middle East”. This is one of the myths which Professor writes about in his new book, “Ten Myths About Israel”, upon which he by use of analogy says:

“If one-fifth (20%) of the American population would have been under military rule, meaning that only a military person would determine your basic rights, you would not call the United States a democracy.”

“In many ways Israel reminds me of South Africa because whites in South Africa enjoyed a certain level of democracy but the Africans did not enjoy any level of democracy. And the same is true of Israel. So, you can say that for the Jews in Israel, Israel is a democracy, but anyone who is not a Jew is a 2nd-rate, if not a 3rd-rate citizen.”

“There are practices which are not officially admitted, but very known to everyone, that discriminate against you. I will give you one fact that I think is very important, and which most of your listeners probably do not know. I’m talking pre-1967 borders, to make it clear. According to Israeli law most of the land belongs to the Jewish agency. According to the law of the Jewish agency, it is not allowed to sell land to non-Jews. So, 97% of the land of Israel is not for sale to the Palestinian citizens of Israel who are 20% of the population.”

“So they have no access to buy land, to purchase land, to expand… In fact, in the past 70 years only Jewish settlements and Jewish towns have been built – not one Palestinian citizen. Another example… We have a law in Israel which allows a Jewish community to reject the presence of a Palestinian citizen, or citizens, from their midst because they are… the only reason is they are Palestinians – they are not Jewish.”

“Imagine if there would be a neighborhood in Seattle which could be by law decided that African-Americans could not live there. I’m talking about official racism. I’m not talking about informal racism that exists in every society; I don’t think Israel is unique in that. But I think it’s quite unique for a country that pertains to be the only democracy in the Middle east to have laws that discriminate against people just because of their identity.”

“That for me is the definition of an undemocratic society.”

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After the interviewer asked Professor Pappe toward the end of the interview for his views on what is the best option to resolve the conflict, he responded:

“The first thing I believe even before one-state solution – and I’ve devoted my life to this – is to convince the international community, that it’s in the interests of the international community, to put pressure on Israel to first of all change its immediate policies of oppression, even before we talk about a solution, in order to create conducive circumstances for a solution. We need to get the Israelis out of the life of the Palestinians in the West Bank, to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip, to stop the discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, and to seriously consider the right of the Palestinian refugees to come home.”

“Now, if I take all these three basic rights that Israel violates, the rights to live in peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a democracy inside Israel, and the right to come back home for the refugees, I can only see one political outcome that will enable us to implement these right – and that’s one democratic state for all. Because I think, otherwise, any other political solution would perpetuate it, would make it even worse than it is today. When I say worse it means mainly for the Palestinians, but I also think it’s not very positive for the Jews.”

“So I think that for everyone we should live democratically as you here in the United States, as human beings regardless of our identity, religious identity, national identity, gender or color. One person, one vote… I’m willing to take a bi-national state if that is what people want. It’s much better than what we have today. Maybe people would want a collective identity; I can appreciate it, especially on the Jewish side because they’ve built a culture of their own. I think a lot of Palestinians would go along with this. “

“But the state has to be a state for everyone, and should not be divided, or be partitioned. And the 3rd generation of settlers and the native people have a very good chance of making Palestine, and Israel – or whatever we will call it – one of the best places on Earth.”  

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(Thank you to TalkingStickTV at YouTube)