racism

Prejudice: Is It So Bad?

by mgopin on April 23, 2014 · 0 comments

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In this hysterical video, and this great follow-up video, the actors bring to light how quick we are, even when seeming to be liberal, to put people into entire categories of their interests based on the shape of their eyes or color of skin. Then again, the second video makes fun of the first and calls into question how mean the video is to the white guy. Lots of amusing mixed messages here that I urge you to study here. You will certainly see  yourself in one form or the other.

In many ways, the fun poked in this video could only make sense in a country of immigrants like America. It is still after all a grand experiment in putting dozens of ancestries together and saying, ‘here, make a coexisting democracy’. The experiment is still an awesome one and has implications for the future of a planet …

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Conspiracy and the Tides of History

by mgopin on July 15, 2012 · 7 comments

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Allegedly this is a picture describing how the Polio vaccine is a US-Jewish conspiracy to annihilate all Muslims. It is from Pakistan where many friends of mine have told me of similar posters.  I would love someone to comment further on the veracity of this photo. The criminals who engage in this kind of behavior have some clear intentions, but what people may not realize is the origin of this.

This is much older than people think. It has deep origins in the antisemitic Middle Ages. Jews were always associated with cutting edge medicine by dint of their professional pursuits and their own health and eating practices. Those who wanted their knowledge, who respected science, brought in Jews in large numbers, sometimes to Muslim societies who rescued Jews from persecution in Christian lands, sometimes to Christian societies. But those past and present who see knowledge as a threat to …

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Reflecting on 2010, it’s clear that racism in Israel has reared its ugly head. A recent poll published by the Israel Democracy Institute found that only 51 percent of Israelis support equal rights between Jews and Arabs, while 53 percent think the state should encourage Arabs to emigrate from the country. Thepoll also established that Jewish Israelis find the idea of living next to an Arab more troubling than any other minority, and that in the event of war, 33 percent of Israelis support the idea of putting Arabs into internment camps.

In the last few months, these findings were given concrete expression in a number of incidents. These include:

A religious ruling signed and endorsed by 50 state-appointed rabbis forbidding Jews from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews. “Racism originated in the Torah,” said Rabbi Yosef Scheinen, head of the Yeshiva in Ashdod and one of the endorsers …

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Trying to figure out why I am always trying to clean up messes that I did not create, messes that I predicted. So here we go again with the dance of clashes that others crave. I will be on Al Hurra at 4 because there are demonstrations happening in response all over the world.

The Obama administration has said that it is concerned about the proposed burning of the Koran by a US church group.

On Tuesday, the White House said that it supported recent comments from General David Patraeus, the chief commander of US and Nato troops in Afghanistan, that the torching could put US troops in the country at risk.

“It puts our troops in harm’s way, any type of activity like  that that puts our troops in harm’s way would be a concern to this administration,” Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said.

A Church group in

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Chaim Pearlman in court Wednesday.

via ‘Not enough evidence to convict suspected Jewish terrorist Pearlman’ – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.

Helping Jews move beyond the Holocaust to the Rule of Law

You see this face? This is the face of an angel. I see the face of an angel. This is what I spent most of my life thinking of and dreaming of as the face of an angel. His name means ‘life’ and I grew up feeling that he was preserving the ‘life’ the soul of our people. That is what we were doing in Kollel, the learning halls of perpetual study. I grew up worshiping the Ben Toah, the student of Torah, a young person of study, humility, gentleness, that has  been a prototype of ideal Jewish life going back thousands of years. He has early ancestors in generations of youth going  back to the …

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This is a fascinating story about a rabbi’s relationship with a very serious enemy, and, unlike the fear mongering that dominates the establishment organizations, this rabbi proceeds differently. He is part of a noble American tradition pioneered by black preachers. I am fascinated by friendships between enemies, the subject of my next book, and this is a great example to be studied.

Here’s an excerpt from Rebecca Dube’s article in The Jewish Daily Forward, titled “He Conquered the KKK — Now on to Flushing”:

weisser

When he was a cantor in Lincoln, Neb., [Rabbi Michael] Weisser confronted diehard Ku Klux Klan leader Larry Trapp, befriended him and eventually inspired the life-long racist to renounce hatred and speak out publicly against bigotry.

Three months before his death from diabetes-related kidney disease in September 1992, Trapp converted to Judaism under Weisser’s guidance, in the very synagogue that he’d once plotted to blow

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Gershon Baskin’s provocative title is absolutely right, it does not appear to matter anymore which coalition will rule Israel next. The fact is that Olmert had a bigger mandate than Livni or Netanyahu to pursue the peace process, freeze the settlements, and uphold all the commitments Israel made in Annapolis. And he failed at all of them, and instead unleashed a horrifying set of wars in Lebanon and Gaza that have left Palestinians utterly shell shocked. So why not add fuel to the fire with a Lieberman-inclusive government that traumatizes the rest of the Palestinian people who have resided in Israel since 1948, who never left the land, and who have been isolated by everyone ever since, despite their absolutely peaceful resistance to injustice? Despite the fact that by a vast majority of 75% the Arabs of Israel would support a democratic constitution for Israel that also kept it a …

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Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery

Uri Avnery, in his regular column for Gush Shalom, has an important analysis of the Israeli elections that is well worth reading. I will react to his comments in the coming days. Here are excerpts:

The results of the elections are not as clear as they might seem. The victory of the Right is not so unambiguous.

Central to the election campaign was the personal competition between the two contenders for the Prime Minister’s office: Livni and Netanyahu (or, as they call themselves, as if they were still at kindergarten, Tzipi and Bibi.)

Contrary to all expectations and all polls, Livni beat Netanyahu. Several factors were involved in this. Among others: the masses of the Left were terrified by the possibility of Netanyahu winning, and flocked to Livni’s camp in order to “Stop Bibi!” Also, Livni – who was never identified with feminism – remembered at

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A New Age

A New Age

I was impressed by Bill Ayers’ recent public disclosure. His anguished re-reading of the Vietnam Era, his desperate attempt to stop a war that killed millions of Vietnamese people and 60,000 Americans, his remorse over some of the more extreme efforts he made, and his explanation of the principled violent and illegal stands that he took, all suggest a person of conscience and subtlety. I would not have done what he did in those buildings, and I would not demonize a military or country that way his group did, but only because of what I now know about the poison of demonization. In fact the radical right demonized and scapegoated Ayers in order to destroy the candidacy of Barack Obama. Demonization is a problematic domestic political form of terrorism that must resisted. I am both relieved by who is and horrified by what was done to him …

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It is not easy to be a nation that advocates and indeed missionizes on democracy and the rule of law. It is the missionizing that causes the conflict with those who may want democracy and the rule of law in their own country but are blind-sided by the glaring American hypocrisies of recent years. Plans are already underway by President elect Obama’s team as to how to end the illegal imprisonment of combatants at Guantanomo, and to return the United States to a nation of laws. Why was this so hard? Was revenge that important? This remains a mystery to me.

An abomination that must end

An abomination that must end

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