“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for November 3rd, 2008

Greens Move.

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I should have noticed this before, but Greens Against the Boycott of Israel have moved to become Greens Engage.

I wish them well but I think they have an uphill struggle.

I would suggest that anyone interested in Green issues should read the Daily (Maybe) blog. Jim, the proprietor, covers a wide range of topics and as a consequences simulates some thoughtful responses from other Greens.

Written by modernityblog

03/11/2008 at 18:57

Posted in Uncategorized

Melodramic Olive Trees.

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Events in the Middle East are often portrayed in the Western media as almost a 1920’s silent Melodrama, complete with arch villain, a faultless hero and a poor heroine that desperately needs saving, as John McDonnell’s EDM shows.

However, the people and circumstances of the region don’t reflection those ill fitting caricatures, as the Torygraph reports:

“But in the middle of Malik’s grove was an unexpected peacemaker – a lanky, long-bearded Israeli rabbi who has made it his mission to lead Jewish volunteers into the West Bank to shield Palestinian farmers as they bring in their crops. He speaks to the soldiers in calm but firm Hebrew, and they turn away after issuing a warning – another day’s work for Arik Ascherman, executive director of Israel’s Rabbis for Human Rights movement.

“I want to give credit to the security services, they are being more active this year against these attacks. But it’s a real tide of settler violence this year and they are just overwhelmed,” said Mr Ascherman, 48, who has been running the olive harvest campaign since 2002. “I’ve been beaten by security forces. I’ve been attacked by settlers. I’ve had my car stolen by Palestinians – it’s equal opportunity out here in the West Bank. But I think it’s a risk worth taking.

“As a Jew, as a rabbi, as an Israeli and as a Zionist, it’s the right thing to do.”

The spike in violence is blamed on a radical Right-wing Israeli fringe which has recently begun a campaign of protests to counter progress in peace talks, in which Israel is expected to halt settlement growth in return for a Palestinian crackdown on militant groups.

The Israeli volunteers – some of whom refuse to work with international volunteers seen as radically anti-Israel – beg to differ. Aid agencies estimate some 2,000 Israeli volunteers helped with last year’s Palestinian olive harvest.

“Friends ask me if I’m afraid to go to the West Bank and I say I’m afraid when I see the settlers,” said Netanya Ginsburg, 69, a volunteer from Rabbis for Human Rights, pausing from stripping olives from a branch.

“One day I had a pot of animal urine and feces thrown in my face. I’ve been threatened by kids who wanted to throw stones at me,” said the South African-born retired librarian, who has been in Israel 45 years.

“But our policy is non-violent, not physical, just verbal. Arik believes in helping these people and that’s good enough for me.”

Read more about the Rabbis for Human Rights then go read the simplistic EDM.

Written by modernityblog

03/11/2008 at 04:42

Posted in Uncategorized