Michael Walzer - A Call for Truth and Peace - Rosh Hashanah 2014/5775

Michael Walzer: Time for Israel and her supporters to do cheshbon nefesh -- an accounting of the soul

 

August 2014

 

Dear Friend,

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I write this letter as a blessed cease fire is just going into effect, — not the first cease fire, and I don’t know if this one will hold. But it may be, so we all hope, that the Gaza war is over. If not now, then very soon negotiations for a lasting cease fire or even for something that might look like peace will begin. I have no sense of how these negotiations will go, but all of us at Americans for Peace Now believe that this is an opportunity for Israel to act boldly to strengthen the Palestine Authority (PA) and its new unity government and, with its help, to prevent or strongly curtail the rearmament of Hamas and to open the way for reconstruction and economic development in Gaza. But Gaza is not alone. There can’t be a legitimate PA in Gaza unless Israel is ready to work with the PA in Ramallah for the two-state solution that we have been defending for so long. When you read this, you will know whether Israel and Palestine have moved closer, or farther away, from this necessary goal.

Meanwhile, we have to think about what is happening inside Israel itself. Before the war began, we followed with horror the news of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli boys and then of the murder of a Palestinian boy. Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah, and Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir: in our hearts, these are all “our boys,” who died deaths that no child should.

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APN helped me find my voice

Hannah Ehlers

Last semester, Ori Nir, APN’s Director of Communications and Public Engagement, came to American University to speak, and it was a jam-packed event. Some students came for the free pizza, but everyone stayed for Ori’s intelligent, open, and engaging conversation on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. That was when I knew I had to intern for APN.

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Interning this summer with APN has given me invaluable tools to continue being a leader on campus and in general, and has taught me how to effectively do my part to work for peace. It is imperative that APN is able to continue their powerful campus outreach and internship programs. Please support APN’s efforts to empower the next leaders of the Jewish community and the country. I hope to raise $5,000 to help APN do this. At this time of chaos and violence, it is especially important that APN has the resources it needs to continue reaching out to young students and leaders who envision a brighter future. With APN’s help, we will work to make that future a reality.

Sincerely,
Hannah Ehlers
Summer Intern, 2014
Americans for Peace Now

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His Words are Our Words

Hamze

I would like to bring your attention to an article featuring APN’s summer intern Hamze Awawdeh, a young Palestinian from Dura, just outside of Hebron which ran in The Forward and was picked up by Ha’aretz.

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Hamze is spending the summer with us as a part of our Joint Internship program with the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) . While we host a Palestinian intern, ATFP hosts an Israeli intern. For the past five years, through this program, Israeli and Palestinian students have worked jointly and forged close personal relationships.

This year, our intern is Hamze, and like all the interns we hosted in the past, Hamze gives us hope. No newcomer to working for peace, Hamze began the summer by writing a short piece for us on the meaning of Ramadan to him, which was picked up by the LA Jewish Journal. In it, he talks about his struggle to remain open to dialogue, and its importance for a better future for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Hamze’s words are our words as well. Americans for Peace Now works every day for this vision. Hamze is not alone: APN’s staff, our interns, our supporters – together, we are a community that works to enhance hope and build peace. Please support APN so that we can continue to foster young agents of hope like Hamze.

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Dror Moreh wrote this letter for Americans for Peace Now, because the only reasonable way to resolve the conflict is a two-state solution. And that's the message former Shin Bet directors make in his documentary The Gatekeepers.

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My Passover message: It would be immoral to give up

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soupGrowing up, Passover was my favorite holiday. I loved the Passover story about the Jews being saved from the evil Pharaoh in Egypt. I loved the miracle of the parting of the sea and survival crossing the desert (as a kid raised in the Arizona desert, I felt a special kinship with those early Israelites). I loved the Seder — especially the part where we dipped our fingers in the wine as we enumerated each plague. And I of course loved the food, particularly my mother’s matzo balls (sinkers, not floaters) and the red horseradish that always made me sniffle and sneeze — and which, invariably, somebody spilled on the tablecloth to leave a permanent beet juice stain.

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I KNOW where you live: A Purim message from Sara Ehrman, APN Board member

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I know where you live: A Purim message from Sara Ehrman, APN Board member

 

Our Jewish tradition assigns meaning to many milestones in life. At 12 or 13 we have a bat/bar mitzvah. At 15, it’s time to start studying Talmud. Forty is when you can study kabbalah.

But when you turn 95? Bupkas. Judaism has nothing to say.

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Peace Now's 'Price Tag' Tour

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Israel’s Peace Now movement took more than 150 Israelis to the West Bank Friday on a first-of-its-kind tour to learn about the extremist settlers’ violent campaign known as “Price Tag.”

Participants viewed Israeli military installations and Palestinian villages that are routinely vandalized by extremist settlers. Tour participants paid a solidarity visit to one of the Palestinian villages that has been a target of choice for the violent settlers, the village of Kusra near Nablus, where residents received them with flowers.

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Peace Now has been taking Israelis to the West Bank for years to show them up close what the occupation is doing to Palestinians and to their own society. Recently, because of the uptick in settler violence and because of the re-energized peace talks, Peace Now decided to boost this program by adding topical tours. Last week it was a tour to explore the “Price Tag” phenomenon. In the coming weeks Peace Now is planning tours to other trouble spots, featuring other maladies of the occupation.

These tours are expensive, but critically important.

Please support this program. You can help Peace Now expose the occupation to Israelis.

A contribution of $50 will sponsor two seats on the bus. For $100 you can send four Israelis for a day in the West Bank, and open their eyes to what their government does there in their name, and to what the settlers are doing to the Palestinians and to the future of the state of Israel. Join us now.

B'Shalom,

Debra DeLee
President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now

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Tu Bishvat: We are planting for the future.

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There is a story in the Talmud of a man who was walking along a road, and came upon an elderly man planting a carob tree. Seeing how old the gardener was, he asked him, "How long does this tree take to bear fruit?" The old man said, "70 years." The first man asked the gardener if he expected to live that long, and the man replied, "What I am planting, I am planting for my children, just as others planted for me."

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It is not what one says, but rather what one does...

Rabbi Sharon Brous

The stakes are high. While many persist in comparing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a schoolyard brawl, Israelis and Palestinians are struggling with matters of life and death. The question of the possibility of peace holds existential ramifications.

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Leonard Fein, Mik Moore

Mik Moore & Leonard Fein

Dear Friend of Israel,

Peace Now again?

No, not again: Peace Now still. Indeed, in words we rarely allow ourselves to use, Peace Now, now more than ever.

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