All hail the Peacemakers 21
A senior Palestinian official on Sunday condemned a deadly shooting the previous day at a California synagogue as a “cowardly hate crime” and called anti-Semitism evil.
Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed in the shooting at the Chabad synagogue Saturday, and three others were wounded when white nationalist John Earnest opened fire during Passover services on Saturday morning, according to authorities.
Tears streaming down her face, the little girl in front of me crawled over the ruins of her home looking for toys and school books that could be salvaged from among the rubble and destruction. The night before, the Israeli army had evacuated her family from their house, set explosives, and destroyed their home.
It was 2001, and it was the first time I witnessed the devastation wrought by Israel’s decades-old home demolition policy. During the nearly two decades since then, I’ve talked with hundreds of Palestinians who have been forced out of their homes by the Israeli government. Their stories are all unique, but the result of Israel’s home demolition policy is always the same – destruction and suffering within families and communities.
The soldiers have no choice but to shoot. They have no choice but to hit demonstrators, stone throwers and paramedics who volunteer during confrontations, to kill and wound those who brandish knives. Surprise that the soldiers fire even at youths who are handcuffed and blindfolded belongs to a different era.
When I left Youngstown, Ohio for Palestine over two decades ago, serious conversations about Palestinians were fringe, if not taboo. Those who knew anything about the topic didn’t want to discuss it, while others were simply uninformed (I’ll never forget meeting Americans who thought I was from Pakistan).
Fast forward to today, Palestine and Israel are openly discussed, from college campuses across the country to the airwaves of the Public Broadcasting Service, which recently aired a new documentary, Naila and the Uprising, a story of a courageous, non-violent women’s movement that formed the heart of the Palestinian struggle for freedom during the 1987 uprising, known as the First Intifada.
Yesterday, Representative Rashida Tlaib was smeared as an anti-Semite by Donald Trump and company. The accusation is false, but that’s not news. Republicans have been using the anti-Semitism charge cynically for some time. What is new, bitterly ironic, and quite sad, is that not only did Tlaib say nothing at all anti-Semitic, but what she did say was remarkably philo-Semitic. She made a morally courageous attempt to reach out to American Jews, a statement of almost heartbreaking moral generosity—and for that, she is being called “anti-Semitic.” Read more: https://forward.com/opinion/424296/rashida-tlaibs-comments-werent-anti-s...
“What justifies / the great despair / is the simple, clear-cut fact / that we really have nowhere else to go.” This line from the poem “Power of Attorney” by Israeli writer and artist David Avidan was first published in 1960. In 1960, there really was nowhere else to go. The Cold War was at its height. Europe had just begun to recover from the destruction inflicted on it by World War II and in the United States, Jews were still not admitted as members of country clubs.