Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

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Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November…


There’s a lot of talk of Revolution going around this fifth of November.

The thing we need to remember is, as Albert Einstein once said “A problem is never solved at the level at which it was created. ”

Or, as Audre Lourde expressed it “You can’t tear down the Master’s house using the Master’s tools. ”

If you are tired of the dominator model of society you will never conquer it externally using bombs and guns.

First, it must be cleared from our internal landscape.

For those who believe anarchy is the answer.  The essential meaning of anarchy is ‘None has power over another’ .

So no put downs, no violence,  no focus on being “right” or who is “right”.  It’s hard to switch mental gears after a lifetime in this culture but it is possible to decolonize our minds.


When we learn to think as fully functional parts of the systems we live within,  our awareness takes on new levels and new breadth.

We are no longer confined to the mental and emotional boxes the dominator culture kept us in.

We are Free.


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NRA Demands Convicted Stalkers And Abusive Boyfriends Be Allowed To Own Guns

Thank you for posting this! I’ve recently lost friends because they insisted that ANY mention of sensible gun regulations was “pushing for a gun ban”. I grew up on a farm using guns and I know plenty of responsible gun owners who DO emphatically support and promote sensible regulations like this that help minimize criminal gun use while not actually banning guns. Perhaps if someone is concerned with owning weapons, they will learn the restraint and self control necessary to avoid random violence that could result in restrictions. This could only be a good thing since such restraint is necessary to being a responsible gun owner.

The Fifth Column

NRA VP Wayne LaPierre caricature. Caricature of Wayne La Pierre by Donkey Hotey cc 2012

This is how we know the NRA is not interested in gun safety or gun regulations.  Their agenda is to placate the gun manufacturers.  It’s always been that way and it looks like it always will…

Addicting Info

The night is dark, every breeze stirs the summer bushes and startles her. Is he there? Or is she imagining things? If only the street light were closer to her car. She tells herself that she only needs to make it 12 more steps to her car. And then she is there. Her hand trembles so badly that she drops her keys. But finally she is inside her car, locks the doors and leans back letting out a slow sigh of relief.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” comes a familiar voice from the backseat. She can feel the cold muzzle of his…

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Presbyterian Divestment – A Jewish Perspective by Cantor Mich ael Davis, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council | Tikkun


Until all areas of oppression, genocide and state sponsored terror against the disadvantaged are cleansed of this spiritual and moral cancer, we will not have peace or progress toward a just and prosperous future for all.

If you can do nothing else at least remember the forgotten people who are suffering invisibly from Palestine to Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, much of Africa and South America and the Pacific, in even the US and Canada the ongoing genocide of First Nations has yet to let up.

We can speak out. We can pray. We can boycott and divest from companies who profit from these miseries.

I disagree with this author on one point- I believe that boycott and divestment from Israeli corporations that profit from the occupation is also a valid choice that respects the Israeli companies and people who oppose the occupation instead of acting as though Israeli citizens and Jewish people are a monolithic entity like the Borg.

Imho it is racist to lump ALL of ANY ethnic group into such a monolithic nonsense.

People are individuals with hearts, minds and moral choice-how insulting to act as though Israeli citizens cannot choose to themselves divest from and boycott corporations that are endangering their lives by placing profits ahead of human rights and safety of everyone in the region!

Editor’s Note: We invited the Relgious Action Center of the Reform Movement and J Street, both of which have opposed the Presbyterian divestment, to respond to those who support the Presbyterian resoluiton. Neither agreed to do so. Tikkun has sought to be a safe space in which both sides could present their thinking. But it’s hard to get the two sides in the Jewish world to sit together and discuss the issues, since anyone who supports even the very limited form of divestment proposed by the Presbyterians is, as J Street’s Jeremy Ben Ami said recently, crossing “a red line” and hence, in the view of the Jewish establishment, automatically suspect of being anti-Semitic. We believe a public debate is a more healthy way to conduct this discussion, and so we are disappointed that neither J Street nor the Reform Movement accepted our invitation..–Rabbi Michael Lerner

Presbyterian Divestment – A Jewish Perspective
by Cantor Michael Davis, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council


The first time I wore a kippa and talit outside of a synagogue setting was four year ago outside a hotel in downtown Chicago overlooking the Chicago river. I was singing with a group of my colleagues, local Reform cantors, to protest the mistreatment of hotel workers. I had the privilege of getting to know worker leaders, edit a national clergy report into worker conditions and organize my fellow clergy in Chicago. This was an exciting time – we took over the lobby of a Hyatt hotel with a flashmob, met with senior executives, collaborated with Christian clergy, traveled to other cities and on and on. Last summer, four years after their last contract expired, the Hyatt workers finally won a fair labor contract from management.

The lessons I learned from this successful worker justice campaign have relevance for me in thinking about how to end Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank.

The lasting lesson this experience taught me was that in any dispute between two parties of disparate power, the more powerful party will object to the involvement of third parties. In the case of the Hyatt labor dispute, management argued that this should be resolved between management and labor; the public should stay out of it. Israel, is by far, the more powerful side in the Israel-Palestine conflict: militarily, financially, politically. In Israel’s case, American Jews are told that only the Israelis have the right to an opinion on the Palestinians. After all, their future is at stake not ours. Americans, including Jews, have been accused of anti-Semitism or being fellow travelers of Jew-haters. We are told to stay out of it.


Yet our involvement in Israel-Palestine as Jews and as Americans is necessary and valuable. In the case of Hyatt, management was clearly disturbed by the public’s engagement with the issue. Hyatt Corporation’s most senior executives devoted many hours to meetings with clergy – particularly rabbis – who supported the workers. In the case of Israel, the international movement speaking up for Palestinian human rights is of great concern to Israel.

In Detroit, in a couple of days, the Presbyterian General Assembly will debate divesting from three companies that are complicit in Israel’s military occupation and colonization of the West Bank.


I, an Israeli national who served three years in the IDF, and who has served the Jewish cmmunity in Chicago for over 20 years, support the right of our Presbyterian friends to freely explore their conscience on divesting from American companies that benefit from Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank. I will be at the Presbyterian General Assembly arguing for divestment. I believe, along with a growing number of Jews and Israelis that BDS is the best non-violent option to stop the downward spiral to inevitable violence. For Jews – and for Christians – divestment is a principled position. As a supporter of BDS myself, I know how much effort the mainstream Jewish community is putting into shutting down this debate and excluding BDS supporters from the Jewish community. I would challenge those who are trying

to shut down the Presbyterian debate to show how the motives of those supporting divestment are anything less than honest. This is unworthy of us as Jews and particularly egregious when directed at our Christian neighbors.

First, we should note that under international and American law, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is illegal. Any business involved in the occupation is therefore illegal too. That alone should be enough to keep American companies away from the Occupation. The Israeli government argues that the occupation is necessary in order to keep Israel safe. How does building Jewish cities on stolen Palestinian land or the daily harassment and humiliation of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians make Israelis more safe? All indications are that antagonizing Palestinians imperils Israeli lives.

But more importantly, for us as Americans and Jews, the argument itself is irrelevant. The law does not recognize Israel’s perceived self-interest as legitimate grounds for making another population suffer. Jewish tradition teaches the same lesson. On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, we read of the education of the Prophet Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to prophesy to the city of Nineveh: let them repent their evil ways and be saved. But Jonah boards a boat to escape that mission. Rashi on the first verse of the Book of Jonah explains Jonah’s thinking: “the non-Jews will likely repent. If I prophesy to them, they will turn to God. And so, I will have shown Israel in a poor light since the Jews do not heed the words of the prophets”. Jonah was willing to let a non-Jewish city be destroyed, fearing what saving them might mean for the Jews. The ancient rabbis selected this reading for Yom Kippur to teach us that even when saving others in immediate danger now may imperil Jews later, we must choose to save our fellow human beings. If that is the reason for the Occupation, then Jewish tradition rejects that argument.

Let us also remember that the Presbyterian resolution does not call for divestment from the State of Israel, from Israeli companies, from individual Israelis or even from Jewish-owned companies. Rather the resolution calls for divestment from three American multinationals implicated in documented human rights abuses.

The Presbyterian General Assembly will consider divestment from three companies: Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola.

Caterpillar (CAT) sells heavy equipment used by the Israeli government in military and police actions to demolish Palestinian homes and agricultural lands. It also sells heavy equipment used in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the construction of illegal Israeli settlements, roads solely used by illegal Israeli seIlers, and the construction of the Separation Wall extending across the 1967 “Green Line” into East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The number of outstanding demolition orders in East Jerusalem alone has been estimated at up to 20,000.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) provides biometric ID equipment to monitor only Palestinians at several checkpoints inside the West Bank. 2.4 million West Bank Palestinians are required to

submit to lengthy waits as well as the mandatory biometric scanning, while Israelis and other passport holders transit without scanning or comparable delays. The biometric ID is also used to regulate residency rights of non-Jews in Jerusalem. Since 1967, Israel has revoked more than 14,000 Jerusalem residency cards, with 4,557 being revoked in 2008 alone. HPQ sells hardware to the Israeli Navy that enables it to maintain the ongoing naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. This blockade has included interdicting humanitarian supplies and attacking Palestinian fishermen.

Motorola Solutions (MSI) Motorola Solutions provided an integrated communications system, known as “Mountain Rose,” to the Israeli government which uses it for military communications. It also provided ruggedized cell phones to the Israeli army utilized in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The company also sold wide-area surveillance systems for installation in the illegal Israeli settlements.

Plainly put, corporate revenue is built on the back of Palestinian suffering. And Jewish tradition is clear in its rejection of ill-gained profits.

Caterpillar profits from the destruction of Palestinian homes and the uprooting of Palestinian orchards by supplying the armor-plated and weaponized bulldozers that are used for such demolition work. Destroying homes is not a Jewish value.

Motorola Solutions profits from many aspects of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including developing perimeter surveillance systems installed around dozens of Jewish- only settlements in the West Bank, built on Palestinian land. Defending stolen property is not a Jewish value.

Hewlett-Packard provides ongoing support and maintenance to a biometric ID system installed in Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank which deprive Palestinians of the freedom of movement in their own land, allows the Israeli military occupation to grant or deny special privileges to the civilians under its control, and denies residency rights to a number of nonJews in Jerusalem by virtue of not being Jewish. Discrimination and segregation are not Jewish values.

Christians, like Jews, have a special interest in what happens in the Holy Land and a special responsibility to its peoples. The Presbyterian Church should be free debate the issues on their merits without fear of being branded as anti-Semites or any of the other harsh responses that have been circulating recently in the Jewish community. Friends allow friends to have their own opinion and to freely discuss their ethical choices.

Let us show our Christian neighbors the same respect that we expect and enjoy from them. Hillel said: Love your neighbor as yourself, this is the whole Torah.


To Support Israelis Fighting The Occupation, Presbyterians Should Vote “YES” On Divestment by M.J. Rosenb erg

A number of people have written to ask if I support the motion before the Presbyterian Church to divest from three companies which produce machinery Israel uses to sustain the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza.The companies are Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola.

Why those three companies?

Caterpillar manufactures the bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes to make way for settlements. Hewlett-Packard supplies Israel with the hardware to maintain the blockade of Gaza and the software to enable Israel to segregate and separate Palestinians at West Bank checkpoints. Motorola provides the surveillance equipment used to monitor Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank.

These three are to the occupation what Dow Chemical was to the U.S. war in Vietnam.

The Presbyterian Church, with some $9 billion in investment assets, is being asked to divest from all three companies,

Actually, I don’t understand why any religious group would invest in any of these companies in the first place. All three are members in good standing of the military industrial complex and have been involved in unsavory activities around the globe. But that argument is for another day.

Right now, the Presbyterian Church has the opportunity to say NO to the occupation in a tangible, concrete way. It has the opportunity to support Palestinians without harming Israelis. I can hardly imagine any progressive voting NO on this resolution, choosing big corporations over the people of both Palestine and Israel.

Don’t overlook the latter: the Israelis. There are hundreds of thousands, maybe a few million. good Israelis who are desperate for outside help to end the occupation. Due to the quirks of their political system, they are saddled with Binyamin Netanyahu and his coalition of religious extremists and settlers. Time after time, they have looked to the United States for help and, time after time, the Netanyahu government and its lobby have blocked the Obama administration from providing any.

This resolution provides hope.

For the record, I oppose the Boycott, Divestment & Sanction of Israel in general because I believe that the BDS approach targets all Israelis, not just the government and certainly not just the occupation. The Presbyterian resolution targets only the occupation which is fair and right. If I thought it was anti-Israel in any way, I would not support it. But I believe that being pro-Israel requires opposing the occupation.

This resolution is pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian and, above all, pro-peace. It must be approved. Voting “NO” is a vote for the occupation.


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Inelia Benz | In My Defense

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If my life is in danger, or someone in my environment is in physical or psychological danger from an aggressor, I will defend myself, or them, without question. But when it comes to defending my integrity, my name, my work, pride, or anything else, I will simply walk away even if affected by it.

Sometimes, I do get affected, there is an emotional charge to being “betrayed” by someone who professed their friendship, for example. Or someone who goes behind my back and speaks against me so that they are liked by others, while pretending to be my friend and supporter. Or someone who would viciously attack me on the internet (often anonymously of course), in order to feel important, or get some attention, or because my power and influence threatens them. It does upset me sometimes. But instead of reacting to that upsetness, what I do is process it, the disappointment and pain, and continue on my path.

It’s hard though. When we receive a negative energy of engagement in the form of insults or attacks it often incurs a cost. This cost is the effect it has on the “small self”.

And I DO have a small self. It’s not very influential in my life, but it does affect me at times. It wasn’t always there, but at some point in linear time I created it in order to understand what other’s are going through in this life. Most of the suffering, stress, pain, fights, and conflicts we experience are due to the small self in us and/or others.

Take a look at a conflict you are in right now. Step back and see if it has any bearing to your physical survival. If it does not, then it’s about the small self.

Some cultures will teach that people should kill to defend their pride, their honor or their family’s honor. Or be severely punished if they dishonor themselves or their family. But what is honor, and pride but an egoic projection of importance?

Often, we use the story of all the physical, emotional and psychological attacks we have received throughout our lives to validate our own brutality.

The nature of attacks

Most personal (non life threatening) attacks have very basic patterns. Three of these patters are:

1. The making oneself right by making the other wrong.

2. Validating oneself by invalidating another.

3. Reacting to an unconscious (or conscious) fear.

In my experience, number one is the most prevalent in our society. It is, in fact, encouraged. We find this being used in politics and debates of all sorts in science, religion, and social organizations and think tanks around the world.

More than once, I have received messages and emails “demanding that I respond” to some claim or other that I am [enter comment making me wrong here]. Or that I defend or validate my views on things. I don’t respond to or answer these messages now, but have done so in the past due to giving in to external pressure. I tend not to give in to external pressures these days.

Recently, a friend of mine told me that he has seen that the more powerful, confident and capable I appear to become as a publicly known individual, the more vicious and insidious the attacks get. This is simply a reflection of number 3 above. People are afraid of influential individuals. They are afraid of power (and with good cause), and are afraid of being conned. The energetic attack (at a mystical level) has also increased tremendously every month since I accepted the mission to become publicly known so as to deliver the message of empowerment to the masses.

How we deal with mystical attacks is pretty much the same as we deal with overt attacks. We process any effect they may have in us, and we move on. Retaliation, defense, or “justice” is irrelevant. and would only feed into the attack and the lowering of our vibration.

If we spend any time defending, attacking our attackers or getting payback, we are simply feeding the aggression cycle. All that energy is much better spent inspiring and empowering others.

How does observing our defenses empower the planet?

Conflict and war, at any level, lowers our human collective vibration. It doesn’t matter whether you are shouting at your dog, or shooting bullets at an enemy. The energy of conflict goes against our nature and it is only there through heavy programming.

The past week, as I was recuperating from long hours on airplanes, I watched several shows on TV. I was shocked at the normalization of violence. And the brutality of the violence depicted.

In one show, a film about a gangster family in witness protection relocated to France, showed children and adults being brutally beaten up by the protagonists. It was supposed to be funny because the kids and adults who were brutalized had said something wrong to the protagonists, or done some minor wrong to them. In another show, an extremely popular TV series, the level of violence was simply incredible. It included rape, sexual abuse, brutal murders children, men and women, and extreme psychological abuse. All “normalized” in some fantasy time and geographical area.

Reality TV is popular because is conflict driven. Violence of many kinds are depicted, even physical fights.

And it doesn’t stop at TV shows, most computer games are about killing other people, creatures or monsters.

But here’s the thing, the programming to be and act from a place of aggression and violence cannot succeed unless we subscribe to it. Once we see that it is simply programming, that it is indeed an attempt by a faction of the human collective to walk a low vibrational and highly addictive path, then we can simply switch that programming off.

How do we switch it off? We make a list, and observe, all the areas where we feel wronged, where we are defending ourselves, where we are attacking others. We observe each item on our list until we see the larger picture. Until we are no longer energetically affected by the conflict or attack. Until we no longer “want to do something about this”, to bring it to justice. But remember, if it involves your or someone else’s physical or psychological survival or wellbeing, do get yourself or the person under attack away if possible and if not possible, then defend, act and protect. Why? Because survival of our person is different to the survival of our small self.

Do note that aggression and conflict are highly addictive. They are dramatic, and we love drama. Drama and conflict do not exist outside of the small self. The fact that they do not exist outside of the small self is often the reason why we hold on to the small self so strongly.

Our reality, our planet and species, still supports low level experiences such as war, conflict, drama and such. This is a fact. Our species is empowered with the choice. It is up to us whether we want to hold on to those low level games or not. That’s why there is such heavy programming happening via our media, culture and religions, to hold onto the small games. We are exposed to them and the effect is the same as someone being exposed to crack cocaine for the first time. We either become totally addicted to it, refuse to ingest it, or “recover” after being addicted to it for a long or short time.

We can help our species to drop the addiction by observing it within ourselves, and empowering others to enable them to observe it within themselves. Just observing, without any intent, expands our awareness on the facts behind this addiction at a global scale.

Do share this article with anyone whom you feel will benefit and be empowered by it, send to your lists and re-blog. The more of us who act by sharing this information, the easier the load will become and the faster our species will expand in awareness.

Inelia Benz

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Why Do Israeli Soldiers Bully Palestinians? | Tikkun


“The violent behavior of the soldier videotaped aiming his rifle at a Palestinian teen, setting off a storm in the media, especially the social media-was not exceptional.”

So says veteran Israeli reporter Amira Hass intoday‘s issue of Israel’s most respected newspaper, Haaretz. You can read her story on the Haaretz website [ http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.590048].

From Tikkun’s standpoint, we need to point out that there’s nothing unusual about this behavior: occupying armies regularly brutalize the populations they are sent to police as part of the way they justify to themselves their presence on the streets of someone else’s cities or villages. The task itself is dehumanizing not just for the occupied but also for the occupier.

Consider the situation in Hebron, a city of over 100,000 Palestinians built around the site holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah are believed to have been buried. It was around this site that Israeli settlers occupied buildings and built a small enclave, and now 18-to-22-year-old Israeli youth are sent to protect the settlers from the anger of Palestinians who are frequently blocked from approaching this holy site. The settlers themselves have been documented to attack Palestinian school children, to deface Palestinian buildings, and to harass Palestinians, under the protection of the Israel army (IDF).

Now, send a young 18-20 year old Israeli teen into this situation with the orders to “protect” the settlers, and after a while you get a dynamic in which the soldiers-to justify to themselves their presence in someone else’s city, and faced with the outrage of citizens who have been systematically harassed by settlers-start to feel outrage at those whom they are sent to police.

We at Tikkun want to insist that this is not because these soldiers are beasts-this behavior eventually emerges among any occupying army: the occupation itself elicits brutalizing and bullying behavior from the ranks of the occupiers. This happens in every occupation, from the Chinese occupation of Tibet, to the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, to the police occupations of America’s central cities. It’s the same behavior that prison guards exhibit in prisons around the world.

While some Jews believe that their army is an exception, human rights organizations like B’tselem: The Israeli Human Rights Organization and neutral visitors like Christian Peacemakers teams have reported on this behavior for several decades now, each week documenting the inhumane behavior of the IDF in the occupied West Bank (and previously in Gaza).

It is the Occupation, not the evil of individual Israeli youth, that is the essence of the problem, and that is one of the reasons why we at Tikkun have been challenging the legitimacy and morality of the Occupation since we began some twenty-eight years ago. Our teach-ins to the Congress and the Administration, sponsored by our Network of Spiritual Progressives, have conveyed this message to many in Congress: the Occupation is not only evil for Palestinians, it is also evil for Israelis. The Occupation dehumanizes the dehumanizers, distorts the fundamental decency of the Israeli population, and must be ended.

Yet, given the fundamental inequality of power in this situation, it is the ethical responsibility of the Israelis, and those who support them (particularly the people of the United States and Jews around the world) to do every nonviolent thing in our power to do to end this Occupation quickly.

Please read Rabbi Lerner’s book “Embracing Israel/Palestine” to further understand the psychological traumas as in the histories of both peoples that have led to this horrific situation (order it on Kindle at Amazon, or in hard copy from www.tikkun.org/EIP). We in the Network of Spiritual Progressives refuse to demonize either Israelis or Palestinians. It is precisely because we care about the well-being of both sides that we seek to end this horrific situation. You can help us by joining the Network of Spiritual Progressives [ https://org.salsalabs.com/o/525/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_ ] at http://www.spiritualprogressives.org.


Why Do Israeli Soldiers Bully Palestinians?

by Amira Hass

Published on Haaretz.com [ http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.590048 ]

May 12, 2014 

Why did his commanders send a soldier with a record of violence to bully Palestinians in Hebron? The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit chose to respond to Haaretz’s question with “no comment.” Perhaps that’s because the right answer is: Violence and bullying are what the Israel Defense Forces’ presence in Hebron and the West Bank is really all about. And another right answer: The IDF’s first mission in the West Bank is to ensure the continuation of the settlement enterprise, which means expelling the Palestinians from their land. The violence of the army and the settlers serves this mission. The proof? The hundreds of buildings in Hebron’s Old City that have been emptied of their owners and tenants. 

The violent and bullying behavior of David Adamov – the soldier who was videotaped [http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.587922 ] aiming his rifle at a Palestinian teen, setting off a storm in the media, especially the social media – was not exceptional. What was exceptional was that the Israeli public initially believed he was sent to military prison because of his violence toward Palestinians. 

By what authority did Adamov and his fellow soldiers detain several Palestinians for two hours at a military checkpoint whose entire purpose is to ensure that members of the Chosen People can march proudly down Shuhada Street and that Palestinians are kept away? This incident predated that of the now-famous video. To this question, too, the IDF Spokesperson declined to respond. In any event, soldiers (and employees of civilian contractors) detain Palestinians freely at every checkpoint and roadblock. 

The robbery of the Palestinians’ time by the Israeli authorities – at every level, both military and civilian – is an integral part of the Israeli domination regime. 

Why do soldiers bark obscenities at Palestinians? I didn’t ask the IDF Spokesperson this question. Since I first began covering the occupation, nearly a quarter-century ago, I have learned that soldiers must do so in order to overcome the cognitive dissonance in which they operate. After all, 18 and 20-year-olds can think and feel, in short, be responsible for their actions – and here I part ways with the military experts, obviously. Clearly, 18- and 20-year-olds know the Palestinians are human beings just like us. The trash talk and humiliation builds up the dehumanization, until the soldiers are convinced that the Palestinian is different. Commanders don’t want to stop this, because only then can the soldiers fully carry out their mission: to prevent the Palestinian from walking down the street where he lives, to prevent him from living on the street where he and his parents were born, to destroy the livelihoods of many thousands of people. 

Humiliation of the Palestinians by every level of the civilian and military apparatus is an inseparable part of building a nation of overlords. 

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit also chose not to respond to questions concerning the arrest of Saddam Abu Sneinah, the youth from the video [ http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.588842 ] who was holding prayer beads, and who Adamov said was holding brass knuckles and supposedly threatening him, the poor guy. Threatened? In a settler area, in front of a checkpoint manned by armed soldiers? Next to a military camp? Chief of Staff Benny Gantz – With soldiers who are so weak, insecure and delusional, you should be very worried. 

Soldiers beat Abu Sneinah when they arrested him. The IDF Spokesperson did not deny or respond to this assertion. Because it’s the norm. Soldiers beat handcuffed Palestinian detainees. It’s part of the dehumanization, of the routine violence. It’s gone on for 47 years (the occupation), for 66 years (the State of Israel), and we’re not done yet. Nor did the IDF Spokesperson issue a response when asked whether the fact that such beatings are the norm meant the commanders support the beating of detainees. The soldiers kept Abu Sneinah handcuffed and blindfolded for an entire night, on a concrete floor with no mattress. The IDF Spokesperson did not deny or respond when asked if this was torture. The IDF Spokesperson did not identify either the commander who ordered Abu Sneinah’s arrest or the commander who was responsible for the atrocious conditions in which he was kept. The IDF Spokesperson also did not respond when asked why, when Abu Sneinah was released, after 24 hours, he was rearrested by different soldiers at the checkpoint near Shuhada Street. He was held for another hour, and the heroic soldiers beat him some more. 

There was no point asking the IDF Spokesperson why the soldiers don’t speak Arabic. The center operated by Youth Against Settlements – that’s the organization that published the videos of the encounter between Adamov and Abu Sneinah – has a Hebrew class for Palestinian children from Hebron’s Old City. So they can understand what the soldiers are saying, so they’ll remember that despite their job, the soldiers are human beings, with hearts and minds. “How are you?” one of the “youths” asked a soldier in Hebrew a few days after the Adamov incident. “Praise God,” answered the soldier, leading some settler children to shout at him: “Why are you talking to an Arab?” 

“You son of a bitch, as soon as I get a chance, I’ll shoot you,” a soldier named Effi told Issa Amro, one of the founders of Youth Against Settlements. “Keep your ugly mouth shut,” another soldier told Amro. On the orders of a Russian-accented civilian – a woman – the soldiers raided the organization’s center, ostensibly in search of rock-throwers. 

One can understand the soldiers and the way they talk to the Palestinians: The curses, the derogatory language, help the armed Israelis to pretend to be superior and righteous. It’s hard for them to confront the courage, nobility, determination and restraint with which the older Palestinian activists receive them. It’s hard for them, and others like them, when they are confronted with the courage, nobility, determination and restraint with which the vast majority of Palestinians continues to bear our violent and brutal presence, in the confident knowledge that it will end.

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Thank you for sharing this. This story broke my heart when I read it.

The issue overall has been lodged like a large chunk of fractured glass in my heart for decades.

My brother is Native rather than African-American but the same sort of blind injustice seemed to apply the night he was almost murdered by police in front of/on top of me.

I live in daily gratitude that our story turned out differently but every time I see one of these horrors reported I feel an invisible vice constrict my heart.

I took permanent injuries that night but my scars are a glowing angelic presence compared to the emptiness those mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers whose stories ended differently live with every day.

Until this country can truly demonstrate equality and fairness for ALL her citizens we must admit America is a land of barbarism with wealth and privilege for some built on the blood and suffering of others.

I pray every day for us all to heal and this insanity to end.

I hope all my readers will at least share a prayer that this will end even if you cannot share and discuss this with others.

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The Eye of the Needle…

Thank you for sharing your heart and wisdom. My elders growing up always told me that “When the people lead, the leaders will follow!”.

I believe that NVC and similar tools can help us move past the logjam of arguing, of stale hierarchy-ideas holding us enslaved only because they’ve been there so long people rarely question them and of “sides”.

There are really no “sides” only love or fear.

If we take the root truth that every living being has the same right and desire for life, comfort and happiness tgat we ourselves have and then we take the time, risk and work to truly **listen** to one another; we can solve every problem that exists.

Many dire problems already have reasonably simple solutions. Only the logjam of money-power and politics prevents implementation.

There is a card in the wonderful Motherpeace tarot; the ten of swords, that depicts a group of priestess dropping swords and leaping from a cliff into the sea with their temple behind them.

The short meaning of the image/card in the booklet says “Mental trips carried to the extreme so there is nothing left to do but jump into the water-let go and move from the head (air) to the heart (water).

It seems to me that we have reached the moment of the card globally at this time. Patriarchy, colonization etc was a long process of privileging the head over the heart; of divorcing humanity from the land, community and our own spirits.

We have followed this road as far as it goes-unless extinction is the kind of “dead end” we are seeking.