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In crisis, humanity should unite us

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    Open Letter to Noor Ali Saturday, January 31, 2009 http://zionistsout.blogspot.com/ On January 30, 2009, the Ann Arbor News published an op-ed piece by Noor
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2009
      Open Letter to Noor Ali
      Saturday, January 31, 2009

      On January 30, 2009, the Ann Arbor News published an op-ed piece by
      Noor Ali entitled "In crisis, humanity should unite us." This open
      letter is a response to that op-ed.

      Dear Noor Ali:

      In the Ann Arbor News, you write about Tamar Weaver, "a Jewish
      Israeli American who attends the Beth Israel Congregation" and
      her "concern for humanity." If Tamar Weaver has a "concern for
      humanity" then why is she a member of the Beth Israel Congregation
      where they affirm "without any hesitation or equivocation the
      legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish
      state," where they send their children to Israel and pose them with
      armed Israeli soldiers, and where the Rabbi explains to the
      congregation how to justify torture under Jewish religious law?

      Noor, how about supporting the call by 171 Palestinian civil society
      organizations for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against
      Israel until it complies with international humanitarian law? How
      about respecting the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and
      Cultural Boycott of Israel by boycotting and protesting the Israeli
      apartheid dance company coming to Ann Arbor in two weeks. See how
      long Tamar Weaver and her pals stay friends and in dialogue with you
      if you come out strongly in favor of those two nonviolent Palestinian
      campaigns (to see why it is wrong to have dialogue with Zionists
      read "When Dialogue is NOT our Hope" by Joseph Phelps in the
      Mennonite Conciliation Service's journal, Conciliation Quarterly).

      You write that an "ongoing peace" lies in "mutual dialogue and
      respectful, honest and difficult negotiation." And you invoke the
      memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. The Rev. King didn't spend
      a whole lot of his time in dialogue groups with KKK members and their
      sympathizers. Zionism is every bit as racist as the KKK's ideology
      ever was and Zionists have undoubtedly killed, maimed, and
      immiserated far more people. Most, probably all, of your Jewish
      friends in the Common Ground for Peace for Palestine and Israel task
      force (which replaced a task force that supported BDS) are Zionists,
      i.e. they support a Jewish state in +78% of Palestine.

      No, the Rev. King wasn't focused on dialogue; rather, he organized
      and participated in direct action campaigns to confront racism and it
      supporters. Now, the Rev. King did engage in negotiation but his
      negotiation was not for negotiation's sake but it was based on making
      demands for justice. What demands are you making in the Common Ground
      task force? Here's something he wrote in the "Letter from Birmingham
      Jail" about the relationship between negotiation and direct action:
      You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so
      forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in
      calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct
      action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and
      foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused
      to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to
      dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the
      creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister
      may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of
      the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but
      there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is
      necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to
      create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the
      bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative
      analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for
      nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that
      will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to
      the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

      The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so
      crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I
      therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. ...

      There are millions of Palestinians and their descendants living in
      forced exile from their homeland. 78% of Palestine was violently
      occupied in 1948 and the rest was occupied in 1967. So, my question
      to you is what are you doing to "create such a crisis and foster such
      a tension" that Americans can no longer ignore and silently abet the
      US government's wholesale support of Palestinian dispossession and
      misery? Are you working "to create a situation so crisis-packed" in
      the Common Ground task force, the ICPJ, or Ann Arbor that people will
      be compelled to accept and work for the just demands of the BDS
      campaign for full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, an end
      to the occupation of the lands seized in 1967, and the return of
      Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN GA Resolution 194? If not
      then I suppose that Frederick Douglass described you aptly more than
      150 years ago:

      If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to
      favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops
      without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and
      lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many
      waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical
      one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a
      struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and
      it never will.

      Perhaps, you think I am an extremist. If so, I would wear the title
      proudly. Here's what the Rev. King had to say in the "Letter from
      Birmingham Jail" on that subject:

      But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an
      extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually
      gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an
      extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do
      good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
      you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let
      justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing
      stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear
      in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an
      extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And
      John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make
      a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation
      cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We
      hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created
      equal ..." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but
      what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or
      for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or
      for the extension of justice?

      Noor, I hope you will aspire to be an extremist for love and for the
      extension of justice. The Rev. King didn't get labelled as such an
      extremist by engaging in interminable dialogue with White racists and
      their sympathizers and neither will you earn such a privilege by
      engaging in interminable dialogue with Zionists and their


      Michelle J. Kinnucan


      Other Voices: In crisis, humanity should unite us
      by Noor Ali
      Friday January 30, 2009, 11:49 AM

      As a Palestinian and an American, looking at the Israeli-Palestinian
      conflict objectively has been difficult. Having studied in Ramallah,
      West Bank, for four years during high school, I know what it feels
      like to get stuck in the middle of this conflict. It is only after I
      experienced the conflict, first hand, that I felt it was crucial to
      build bridges between all faiths.

      If there is one thing I have learned from my current studies in
      social work, it's that: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
      everywhere." (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)

      The current situation in Gaza has brought about many emotions from
      both sides of the conflict, but one question is critical: Whom are we
      arguing for? While political debates most often get us nowhere but
      deeper into the sea of hatred, and are no more than a blame game, it
      becomes increasingly important to shift the discussion onto the most
      important issue: humanity.

      Innocent lives have been lost to a battle that they were caught in
      the middle of. While a cease-fire is in order as of last week, little
      has changed for the Gazan people. The fact that the civilians of Gaza
      have no food, water, electricity or gas, and are in dire need of
      medical supplies, should be reason enough for us, as Americans, to
      look for a better solution to help these helpless, and now homeless,

      That is what brought me into social work, and my current internship
      position at the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. At ICPJ, I
      have had the honor of working with the Common Ground for Peace for
      Palestine and Israel task force. There, my hope for a solution
      between all faiths, including Jews, Christians and Muslims, was
      renewed. Furthermore, a possibility of peace between Palestinians and
      Israelis, one that I had begun to lose faith in in light of the
      current situation, was reborn.

      At ICPJ and in the Common Ground for Peace task force, I have had the
      chance to meet a number of very interesting people, one of which was
      Tamar Weaver. Tamar is a Jewish Israeli American who attends the Beth
      Israel Congregation. She was born in Israel and is now a retired
      computer programmer. She also believes that the most important issue
      is humanity, as evident by her statement, "The children of Gaza do
      not throw rockets. The children of Sderot do not starve Gaza."

      Just as Tamar and I have a shared common concern for humanity, at
      Common Ground we see that numerous religious and spiritual groups
      have a concern for stopping the violence. Many of these
      organizations - Islamic, Jewish and Christian - agree on one main
      goal, and that is to do "whatever we can to encourage a cease-fire
      and access to humanitarian aid for all of the victims." Now that a
      cease-fire has been accomplished, we must focus on the humanitarian
      needs of the affected people.

      Specifically, CAIR, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, and World Council of
      Churches have all come out with statements on the current conflict
      emphasizing the incredible loss of human life; and they all find
      common ground in their call for an end to the violence. At times of
      crisis, we are reminded that our common humanity unites us more
      powerfully than any disagreement divides us.

      Last week, the University of Michigan had a number of events in
      celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday and the message that
      he conveyed. One message that I have taken away from the speakers was
      that "with privilege comes great responsibility." As Americans with
      so many privileges in comparison to the people of Gaza, we must take
      the responsibility upon ourselves to work for an ongoing peace, which
      lies in mutual dialogue and respectful, honest and difficult
      negotiation. With so many people suffering from the aftermath of this
      horrific conflict, it is imperative that we do not forget that,
      although there is a cease-fire, many times, it is what comes after a
      war that is worst of all.

      Finally, in light of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, I believe
      we should also keep in mind that "an individual has not started
      living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his
      individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." As
      a person of faith, and one who believes in peace and social justice,
      these words resonate with me everyday, as I watch the suffering of
      Palestinians and Israelis continue. I hope that, in this effort, I
      have started living, and wish all citizens of humanity to start
      living, as well.

      In Peace.



      Maybe if the "good people" of Gaza hadn't elected a terrorist
      organization to represent them all this wouldn't be going on?

      Posted by Rebbapragada on 01/31/09 at 11:23AM
      I wish that the author who eloquently spoke about the humanitarian
      crisis in Gaza has also shed some 'light'(known in Arabic as 'NOOR')
      upon those dark tunnels that are used for getting arms,ammunition,
      and rockets.These tunnels are apparently no good to deliver the much
      needed medicines, and food.The humans who fund the weapons are not
      capable of getting over their individualistic concerns and promote
      the welfare of all humanity.

      Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice should speak to the
      government of IRAN and ask them to account for the military
      assistance that they are providing to terror groups in Gaza and
      Lebanon.I do hope that they would be pleased to hear about Rev.Martin
      Luther King Jr.


      It is with great sadness that I note the naivety of a well-meaning
      person, in this case a Palestinian, who, like Abbas, is talking to
      Zionists in a friendly way, giving away the basic human rights and
      dignities she has NO right to give away. Noor, if you can't stand up
      for American values of equality and justice, please don't represent
      us. Those of us who are loyal to the United States and its
      Constitution are working to end our relationship with the genocidal
      racist state of Israel and its agents. Anyone who attends Beth Israel
      is by definition a genocidal racist. The children of Sredot are there
      because their parents are genocidal racists who are pocketing US tax
      money to get low interest mortgages on condos built on stolen
      property, from which the original owners were removed by gunpoint.

      As the previous comments reveal, you simply cannot compromise with
      genocidal racists. Those Zionists who are smiling at your face are
      laughing inside because they agree with the genocidalists that the
      lawfully elected government of Palestine has no right to arm itself
      or defend itself or even to pay its schoolteachers.

      It's really sad that the only Palestinian voice they can find in Ann
      Arbor is someone who totally rejects American values of freedom and
      equality for Jew and Gentile, Arab and European, who wants to
      dialogue with the supporters of Israel's apartheid instead of doing
      the right thing.

      Cut off all ties to Zionists and Israel, boycott their products and
      boycott stores that support Israel by carrying their blood-stained



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