Holocaust

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Excellent article, speaks for itself

Growing up in the West Bank, Mujahid Sarsur knew next to nothing about the Holocaust and saw little ground to sympathize with a people he saw as his occupier. 2010. But thanks to an Israeli roommate overseas, the 21-year-old Palestinian student learned about the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews during World War II and discovered a new understanding of his Israeli neighbors.Now he wants other Arabs to do the same. Sarsur heads one of a handful of Palestinian grass-roots groups seeking knowledge about the Holocaust.On Wednesday, he led a delegation of 22 students to Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. The students, fasting for Ramadan, listened closely to their Arabic-speaking guide’s explanations, and were left wide-eyed by the gruesome images of the death camps.

via Palestinians learn about the Holocaust at Yad Vashem – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.…

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Great article on the Islamic Center controversy in Manhattan. It has hard to think of a better example of the tragic nature of crucifixion than the shadow cast on Imam Rauf, and Daisy Khan, two of the most visionary and progressive Muslims that I know. Alas, it is in the context of legitimate New York feelings, mourning, that is stirred recklessly by politicians and ideologues with other agendas. Arthur Miller, The Crucible, understood this so well. It is exactly why all abuses in Israel devolve into emotional and manipulative appeals to the Holocaust. Legitimate feelings, illegitimate persecutions. The story of humanity.…

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This is the day in the Jewish calendar that is the eve of destruction, commemorating all the catastrophes of the last 2500 years, the forced exiles, the crusades, the massacres, the pogroms, an authentically religious national day of mourning for millions of jewish innocents over the ages. Only what is different from profane forms of Jewish mourning, is that religious mourning looks inward, introspectively, not outward for scapegoats. And this is the difference between heaven and hell, the hell created by profane nationalism, and the heaven created by spiritual identity.

I heard a homily in a synagogue yesterday that turned my stomach so badly that I had to leave. It was a celebration of conquest, precisely at this time, an embrace of the conquerors of the Book of Joshua, as role models for a new husband and wife team celebrating their upcoming marriage.

But Judaism is not the Bible, something …

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Folks, many of you may have seen this, but we have friends in the world who cannot directly access the Jerusalem Post piece. So here it is. Lauren is an amazing interviewer. She interviewed me for nine hours, longest interview of my life:

The lonely man of peace

lonelymanofpeace

By LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER

21/01/2010

This week, Orthodox American rabbi Marc Gopin saw his coexistence work in Syria bear fruit. What turns a Soloveitchik disciple into an unofficial diplomat to the Arab…Somewhere between the shtetls of Eastern Europe and sites across the Levant, Rabbi Dr. Marc Gopin, 52, has found his calling.

Heading the George Mason University Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia, he is not waiting for a peace treaty to cause change. Gopin gets on a plane and heads for trouble spots wherever he can find openings. He meets with sheikhs, heads of state …

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Two Recommended Webcasts

by mgopin on October 7, 2009 · 4 comments

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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.

Themes:

* Survival and Non-Violent Resistance in Gaza and the West Bank

* Psychoactive …

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MY HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

by mgopin on April 21, 2009 · 9 comments

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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.

Troyanevka

Troyanevka

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

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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 …

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Akiva Eldar writes brilliantly as usual. Here is an excerpt:

What shared values did the black American liberal observe over the last few days as he watched the broadcasts of sites bombed by Israel in the heart of the world’s most densely populated region? Is it possible to expect that the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust will influence Obama’s relationship with Israel? Last week, a Jewish member of Britain’s parliament said his grandmother was not murdered by the Nazis in order to provide a pretext for Israeli soldiers to murder Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.

The spokesman for the Israeli consulate in New York boasted of the masses who attended a solidarity demonstration with the children of Sderot. He did not mention the masses of Jews who do not know where to hide their shame at the sight of pictures of Palestinian men weeping bitterly over the families who

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JOURNALS OF ECSTATIC HATE

by mgopin on January 16, 2009 · 13 comments

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Sometimes in the construction of a better world, it is necessary to go into the heart of darkness, to quote Conrad. Sometimes it is only in exploring our heart of darkness that we can figure out where we are, so that we know how to get beyond our current fallen state. I am drunk with blood these days, thoughts of blood, fear of blood, the rage of boiling blood, and so is anyone for whom  Palestine and Israel are a fixation.

This report of carnage in a Gaza hospital in all its horrifying details is typical of the innocents who are being cut to pieces. What stands out is the report of the impatient, smiling Islamic Jihad fighter who is just thrilled with the blood of his own people. New recruits to his cause. He sees around him a man with his

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The Jewish Holocaust in Europe is the preeminent memory of millions of Israelis, many of whose families perished. It is a memory that spurs many Jews to suspect any possible coexistence with the Palestinians and the Arab world in general. This psychological reality of Israeli Jews has been resisted for decades by Palestinians precisely because it is so unfair that they should suffer because of what Europeans did to the Jewish people. Khaled Mahameed has challenged that resistance and has instead embraced the suffering and humanity of Jewish victims as a bridge between Palestinians and Jews, and as a way for each group to begin to humanize the other. Watch his methods in this documentary’s excerpts, especially the second video excerpt. Khaleed is representative of a cutting edge approach to conflicts that seem to be irresolvable in which courageous individuals and groups are going to the heart of the …

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