Monday, September 14, 2009

Responses to the Jeff Halper Post!

Dear Friend,
New "freinds" John and Joyce Petro give a thoughtful response to my (yesterday's) post from Jeff Halper. It is worth reading. And I'm including my response. Peace. Justice. Love. JRK


You have some very good points. Let us add a couple of comments.

First of all, we definitely went to Israel and Palestine with a very pro-Palestinian bias. To our surprise, Palestinian leaders we met, like Naim Ateek. Sabeel, and Mitri Raheb, Lutheran Christmas Church, strongly cautioned us from taking too strong of a pro-Palestinian stance. We must be open to the fears and views of the Jewish people. They emphasized to us time and time again, that the main hope was to build bridges with firm anchors on both sides, or on all three sides if you view Palestinians divided between Christian and Muslims.

Secondly, we must accept the fact that the Jews do have legitimate concerns. They have good reason to fear that many, if not most Palestinians, still wish to push them into the sea. Although the Palestinian are for the most part, innocent victims of the oppression they must endure, they, too, must make major concessions.

This all being said, the Zionist agenda to dispossess the Palestinians of their land is totally unacceptable. Peace, just peace, will come slowly and only when rational leaders on all sides work for peacemaking in the true sense of the word. The preferred solution would be one state, but for the time being this would be unacceptable to the Jews, since this would mean that Israel would no longer [be] a Jewish state.

I will say that the mild economic boycott related to withdrawing funds from companies supporting Israel expansionist goals may be beginning to work. The Swedish company that is installing the light rail through East Jerusalem has withdrawn its participation, bringing to halt the construction of the light rail. The company was losing too many big contracts elsewhere, particularly in Europe. Even Caterpillar is beginning to respond to the pressure. However, Motorola still is fully involved by providing the hardware and software to keep the Israeli war machine going. The Presbyterians led the way with this and took a lot of flack in the process. I wish I had more detailed information about the things that I mentioned above, since I am primarily passing on second-hand reports given me by a Muslim friend.
John and Joyce Petro

Dear John and Joyce,
Thank you sincerely for your cautionary words.

Well spoken. Jeff Halper is only one part of the puzzle. But I think the Jeff Blankfort piece I sent out earlier was even more inflammatory. I was hesitant for a long while before sending his post along.

There are legitimate Israeli fears. But their fears are the fears of the tyrant, who fears his subjects will rebel and overthrow her tyranny and callous disregard for the dignity of the subjects they seek to dominate.

If only Obama's admin could begin uses the power of the purse just a little bit more. It is politically suicidal I know, we all know, but it is one piece of the puzzle. European companies getting the message is good. BDS might be impossible politically right now, I understand that.

Are you guys going to be in Ft Thomas for the IPMN meeting (Oct 22-24?) Hope to meet you there.

The pendulum swinging from Israeli oppression to Pal oppression is real, and even likely, given the realities of power politics as practiced in today's world. Even inevitable. Which makes Israeli "fears" very substantial indeed. As always, strong leaders are required to hold back the influence of "extremists". A just peace is our goal, with mutual dignity extended to fellow human beings along the "Way".

Let's stay in touch. JRK

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