As we end this Passover/Easter time, I am struck and impressed by the emphasis Christian friends have placed on their tradition’s understanding of Jesus having said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Frankly, that resonates with me for two reasons. One, it is good science. Everything we know today about groupthink, war crimes, the authoritarian personality, the origins of genocide and state crimes says to me that most people don’t know what the hell they are doing as citizens, and they end up hurting a lot of people without even knowing it. I am astonished at the collective narcissistic personality disorder of most enemy groups I work with, deeply obsessed with the pain of those they love, and clueless about the rest. So those words resonate: we have to forgive ourselves because we are pretty stupid when it comes to the big crimes we have all …
From our good friends at the Backdoor Broadcasting Company in the United Kingdom:
Psycho-Political Resistance in Israel-Palestine
This conference, the first of its kind in the UK, addresses the remarkable projects of certain groups working in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank involved in joint resistance to ongoing military conflict and occupation. Working for mental health and human rights on the front lines involving military aggression, internal group violence, systemic interference with basic human rights, brutalization on many fronts and deep pessimism on all sides, speakers will address any and all resources for combined resistance and shared hope, whether close to home or coming from abroad. The recent catastrophic attack on the civilian population of Gaza, at the eye of the storm of sites of conflict in Western eyes, makes this event both critical and significant.
* Survival and Non-Violent Resistance in Gaza and the West Bank
* Psychoactive …
April 21 is the traditional commemoration of the Holocaust, which destroyed 90% of European Jews and 30% of world Jewry. Demography suggests that due to the number of children who were killed, over a million, there are over 20 million Jews missing now, and the population has never recovered.
Just a few of the six million murdered in the Holocaust were my kinsmen and cousins. Gopins came a hundred years ago from a small village called Troyanivka, now located in Western Ukraine. I dream of them all the time.
In August 1941 the Jewish residents were all rounded up and murdered at an oil dump that became their final resting place. There were approximately 200-300 men, women and children.
Here is an account of what happened:
In August 1941 the Nazis executed 375 Jewish men in Manevychi; in September 1942 the remaining Manevychi Jews, ca. 2,000 people, were killed
This article just appeared in Today’s Zaman and in Zaman which is Turkey’s preeminent journal. As you can see this has been part of my ongoing efforts to introduce and encourage far more intermediaries in the Middle Eastern conflict who can be effective, trustworthy and more even handed that Western intervention. This is meant also to encourage the United States, Hilary Clinton, and others to follow the lead of where the most moderate voices of the Islamic world are going. This is also a development of my work in Syria which has encouraged cultural revival that is peace-oriented, practical and visionary at once.
Turkey’s return to glory
For reasons of history, culture and geography, there is a surprising opportunity for Turkey to assume a position of central global leadership in the 21st century and thereby further all of its legitimate national interests.
This is shocking considering the
Everything has failed in terms of Israeli and Palestinian relations for almost a hundred years. There will be more and more negotiations, and I have hopes that the Obama Administration will be the best yet in really moving the parties toward resolution. But in my heart I have always felt that there is one path to peace that has never been trod and fully adopted, that is the path of nonviolent noncooperation and resistance but with love, the way of Gandhi and King. I will develop this idea more in the coming months, but this is something that a number of Palestinians inside Israel and inside Palestine have tried, but it has never received the backing of the Palestinian National Movement. On the contrary it was suppressed because it only works when it is adopted completely as the only means of resistance.
This is not about fairness or whether Palestinians …
An abandoned guard tower in one of hundreds of gulags (prison camps) across the Soviet Union, remains as a symbol of profound human suffering. First instituted by Lenin to imprison priests, political opponents, and common criminals, Stalin was then responsible for sending 12-15 million people to these camps. The prisoners were used as forced labor to work on massive industrial projects. As more laborers were needed for bigger projects and those falling behind schedule, Stalin justified the arrests of more people to be sent to the gulags. Millions were executed in these camps or perished as they labored on massive modernization schemes. It is said of the Siberian railroad project that the work was never done, nothing was achieved and it went nowhere. (credit: Jonathan Lewis)
It continues to amaze me how destructive it is for we as humans to confuse good and bad with who is a representative of …