Yesterday I happened to catch a re-run of one of Christiane Amanpour’s CNN series, God’s Warriors, which portrays the hate oriented sects of the three major Western religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, bent on hate and killing programs directed variously at each other.

The one yesterday did the extremists Jewish settlers set on driving all “Arabs” out of “Judea and Sumaria” (the West Bank, etc. where the residuum of Palestinians live under the Israeli occupation) by any means necessary, including murdering them!

Had I only this portrait of contemporary Israel, I would, indeed, consider it to be a bandit nation.  Fortunately, many of the people and organizations that I respect most are Israeli — Peace Now and a host of fine people struggling to maintain sanity in the face of Israel’s haters.  The list is long and I would refer those who wish to pursue it to the 70 odd links on the Israel_Palestine Yahoo group below my signature.

I post regularly the concerns of people working for peace and do what I can to contribute myself.  I am now retired from Brooklyn College, but several decades back we found ourselves being haunted by one of the principal haters-to-be of Israel, Meir Kahane, founder of the violent Jewish Defense League: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meir_Kahane  Kahane moved to Israel where his party was outlawed and was assassinated on one of his return visits to NYC.  When he was trying to stir up hatreds at our campus a corresponding hate group was circulating the notorious anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, formulated to stir up pogroms in Tzarist Russia:

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/prototoc.html

A group of us faculty and students, deeply disturbed by this hate game, founded what we called the Multicultural Action Committee which proceeded to counter the haters with information.  One of my colleagues, a leading scholar of modern German history and an escapee from the Holocaust, Renate Bridenthal, along with students put together a short history of the Protocols which could be widely distributed.  Our group arranged meetings over the next few years to inform students and to counter potential violent outbreaks on our campus — very much a port of entry from all parts of the world and particularly from all the Middle Eastern countries involved in conflicts there.  It worked well and our administration, at first wary of us, eventually expressed its gratitude at our good efforts.

I mention all of this for the benefit of others who may need to be both informed about the history of hatred stemming out of our otherwise peace-oriented major Western religions and as an example of a move that is preferable to setting up just a lobbying group for this side versus the other.

Israel has a good number of peace efforts following the model of shared exchanges and useful published materials periodically.  See for instance:

Bitter Lemons: http://www.bitterlemons.org/

The Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation:

http://www.centerpeace.org/

The Coalition of Women for Peace: http://coalitionofwomen.org/home

The Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture:

http://www.pij.org/index.php

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East:  http://www.pij.org/index.php“>href=”http://www.pij.org/index.php”>http://www.pij.org/index.php

This is a short list.  There are many other individuals and groups doing their best to restore peace and justice here and there.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CollegeConversation
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Israel_Palestine
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