The USA: “Now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent.”

What Others Are Saying

“Now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent. We must all stand up to be counted.” – Dan Rather, Journalist

History will demand to know which side were you on. This is not a question of politics or party or even policy. This is a question about the very fundamentals of our beautiful dan-rather-2experiment in a pluralistic democracy ruled by law.

When I see neo-Nazis raise their hands in terrifying solute, in public, in our nation’s capital, I shudder in horror. When I see that action mildly rebuked by a boilerplate statement from the President-elect whom these bigots have praised, the anger in me grows. And when I see some in a pliant press turn that mild statement into what they call a denunciation I cannot hold back any longer.

Our Declaration of Independence bequeaths us our cherished foundational principle: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These truths may be self-evident but they are not self-replicating. Each generation has to renew these vows. This nation was founded as an opposite pole to the capriciousness of an authoritarian monarch. We set up institutions like a free press and an independent court system to protect our fragile rights. We have survived through bloody spasms of a Civil War and a Civil Rights Movement to extend more of these rights to more of our citizens. But the direction of our ship of state has not always been one of progress. We interned Japanese Americans, Red Baited during the McCarthy era, and more. I feel the rip tide of regression once again swelling under my feet. But I intend to remain standing.

In normal times of a transition in our presidency between an incoming and outgoing administration of differing political parties, there is a certain amount of fretting on one side and gloating on the other. And the press usually takes a stance that the new administration at least deserves to have a chance to get started – a honeymoon period. But these are not normal times. This is not about tax policy, health care, or education – even though all those and more are so important. This is about racism, bigotry, intimidation and the specter of corruption.

But as I stand I do not despair, because I believe the vast majority of Americans stand with me. To all those in Congress of both political parties, to all those in the press, to religious and civic leaders around the country. your voices must be heard. I hope that the President-elect can learn to rise above this and see the dangers that are brewing. If he does and speaks forcibly, and with action, we should be ready to welcome his voice. But of course I am deeply worried that his selections of advisors and cabinet posts suggests otherwise.

To all of you I say, stay vigilant. The great Martin Luther King, Jr. knew that even as a minority, there was strength in numbers in fighting tyranny. Holding hands and marching forward, raising your voice above the din of complacency, can move mountains. And in this case, I believe there is a vast majority who wants to see this nation continue in tolerance and freedom. But it will require speaking. Engage in your civic government. Flood newsrooms or TV networks with your calls if you feel they are slipping into the normalization of extremism. Donate your time and money to causes that will fight to protect our liberties.

We are a great nation. We have survived deep challenges in our past. We can and will do so again. But we cannot be afraid to speak and act to ensure the future we want for our children and grandchildren.”

The above comment was originally published today on Facebook by Dan Rather. the thedanrather@gmail.com

(Photo credit: You Tube)

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SEVENTY YEARS LATER -

OVER SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

 

The United Church of Canada joins the ranks of the asinine

Comment

  God is back as part of politics

By Alan Simons

This past week the United Church of Canada voted to boycott products exported by Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Not to be outdone, in the UK, The Jewish Chronicle reported “the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has resigned as patron of an interfaith charity after it circulated an anti-Israel campaign to members and encouraged them to lobby against the country. Lord Sacks said he was unable to continue working with the Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust after it sent supporters details of an initiative organised by the Quaker Council for European Affairs that attacks European Union trade links with Israel… The campaign aims to stop the EU adopting the agreement and bar Israeli companies from benefiting from preferential relations with the EU.”

It’s been widely noted that Palestinians, who work for Israeli companies based within Israeli settlements, often think less of the political consequences, but rather of how to keep their jobs. One would have thought the United Church of Canada, before making their asinine boycott decision, would have given some thought to the thousands of Palestinians who now might be wondering if they will have a job tomorrow.

As Hisham Jarallah wrote last week in jewishinfoNe.ws:

“The Arab countries continue to impose strict employment restrictions on Palestinians, Israel is opening its doors to Palestinian workers from the West Bank. Palestinians say, in fact, that Israel is becoming one of the largest employers of Palestinians in the Middle East.  Figures released this week by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in Ramallah showed that at least 80,000 Palestinians were now working in Israel and even in Jewish settlements.  In the first quarter of 2012, according to the bureau, there were only 77,000 Palestinians working in Israel and the settlements. In the second quarter of the ear, the number grew to 80,000; and earlier this week, the Israeli government issued work permits to another 10,000 Palestinians from the West Bank.  The move has been received with a sigh of relief among Palestinians, especially as it comes on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.  The figures also showed that Palestinians employed by Israelis earn more than those who work for their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Al Quds 2012 Rally in Toronto Praises United Church of Canada.-Click on this image-

John Micklethwait, Editor of The Economist, in his book, God is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith is Changing the World, looks at the rise of religious sentiment around the world and how it is affecting politics. The United Church of Canada in their quest to eagerly join their international Israel-bashing religious brethren, such as Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust and the Quaker Council for European Affairs, give credence to Micklethwait’s comments that God is back, that God is back as part of politics.

Martin Luther King in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech (1964) said: “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love!”

Love and brotherhood? Tell that to the Palestinian about to lose his job through the righteous decision of the United Church of Canada. Amen.

 (Photo credit: the United Church of Canada)

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Response:

The Nazis did it too. “Don’t buy from Jews.” – Max Eisen (Canada)

FRANCE | فرنسا : Antisemitism is flourishing in leaps and bounds

SPECIAL REPORT

By Alan Simons

“The attack of Toulouse has triggered an explosion of anti-Jewish acts in France.  The wave of emigration is only likely to increase.”

J.J. Rousseau, the 18th century French philosopher said, “The Jews in Dispersion have not the possibility of proclaiming their own truth to humankind; but I believe that when they once have a free Commonwealth, with schools and universities of their own where they can speak out safely, we shall be able to learn what it is that the Jewish people have to say to us.”

By all accounts, as reported earlier this year by Speigel Online, “More and more French Jews are buying homes in Israel amid fears of rising antisemitism in France. Many complain of being harrassed in public and feel the country is no longer a safe place to raise their children. In the wake of the Toulouse attacks, the wave of emigration is only likely to increase.”  Bearing in mind the report was published prior to the recent wave of attacks against France’s vibrant Jewish community, I wonder what Rousseau would have to say if he was living today in France!

Click on this image

The SPCJ (Service de Protection de la Communauté Juive) notes with concern that the attack of Toulouse has triggered an explosion of anti-Jewish acts in France. On June 4, 2012, in a published statement, it reported: “Once again, once too often, the Jewish community in France has been bruised by the savage aggression [of young boys] in Villeurbanne [a suburb of Lyon, by people of North African descent].  It succeeds more than 90 antisemitic acts identified by the Ministry of Interior within ten days following the attack against the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse. The SPCJ is very concerned about the extremely large number of these antisemitic acts but also by their motivation. It appears that some perpetrators feel empathy with Mohamed Merah, author of deadly attacks in Toulouse and Montauban. These acts in constant inflation reveal the potentiality of a return to antisemitic violence… which finds its source mainly in the Middle East.”

This past Tuesday, the president of the University of Paris Diderot, Vincent Berger, expressed his ‘dismay’ after reading a question posed to students on June 12 by Christophe Oberlin a teacher, as part of an optional university medical exam. The question asked about the qualification of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide and the result of a bombing in Gaza that killed 22 victims.

The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF) stated: “This issue includes an unfortunate polemic, which contravenes the spirit of neutrality and secularism of higher education. Vincent Berger recalls that the principle of independence of teacher-researchers, in our Constitution, does not authorize any non-compliance with the fundamental values of public service. The president of the University further considers that this issue goes beyond the teaching of the discipline, covered neither medicine nor medical humanitarian.”

As M.Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF stated quite eloquently, “Everyone says that we should not bring the conflict into France. We see everyday the consequences of this dramatic import. M. Oberlin contributes with all his might. He has no right to use the University to discharge his selective hatred. Let him go [Oberlin] and exercise his talents in Syria, where we really need his skills.”

And if that wasn’t enough, not to be outdone, the city of Montpellier announced last week that it is seriously considering flying the Palestinian flag outside its city hall.

Today, jewishinfonews video service published a three part video on France, documenting some of the most recent antisemitic incidents. Click on the link above.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: “Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction… The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

Fear not Dr. King. The Jews of France have no intention of being annihilated.

فإن يهودي من فرنسا لن تختفي

(Photo credit: Man and boy – perthnow.com.au)

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