Tag Archives: riots

Peace With Our Neighbors

unity
Washington Post photo by William Booth

I read a story in the Jewish World Review called West Bank Jews invite Muslims over for the holidays to try for some bonding. It was published on October 21st, and describes the mayor of Efrat, a “bedroom community of 10,000 affluent Jews, including many Americans, a few miles south of Bethlehem” inviting “Palestinians from surrounding villages to come to his house and celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkos, the Feast of the Tabernacles.”

A few dozen Palestinians accepted the offer and came. It wasn’t perfect. The Israelis were armed and the Palestinians weren’t. It seems like a good time was to be had but rather tentatively.

I encourage you to read the story because I want to contrast it with what’s currently going on in the United States now that Donald Trump is the President-Elect.

There have been numerous protests over Trump’s win, some of them breaking into such violence that even extremely liberal Portland, Oregon has had enough.

A number of groups feel vulnerable and threatened by Trump including the LGBT community, tech and liberal driven Silicon Valley in California, New Yorkers, College Students, women, Muslims, Mexicans (specifically undocumented aliens), and just about every pundit who can keyboard and has internet access.

The point is, whether you voted for Clinton or Trump, we all have to live with at least four years of a Trump Presidency. It’s one thing to ask what are we going to do with Trump as the President and another thing to ask what are we going to do with each other.

Even in my own little corner of Idaho, some people are upset, although thankfully, the are peacefully protesting rather than rioting.

portland riot
Mark Graves / The Oregonian / Associated Press

Feminists have their own theories about why women voted for Trump rather than Clinton. At least according to celebrity Mike Rowe, we should know who voted for Trump and why. And at least according to The Jerusalem Post, Israel is very optimistic about a Trump Presidency.

But that doesn’t solve the problem of the polarization of America. For the past eight years, Barack Obama has increased the racial divide between whites and people of color dramatically. One would expect an African-American President to be ideally placed to promote racial healing, but instead, he did the opposite, and we’ve reaped the “benefits” in responses such as Black Lives Matter.

The liberal press and entertainment industry, which controls most of what we see on television, films, and other media, think that all America is or should be like them. Problem is, the real America isn’t one thing and it certainly isn’t the progressive ideal, which is how it was possible for Trump to be elected.

Of course people with different social and political views are going to disagree, but that doesn’t necessarily have to translate into violent riots, “cry-ins” on university campuses, and the wholesale belief that Trump is going to dial American law and culture back sixty years.

Trump hasn’t done anything yet except talk and the nation has already panicked. What are we all going to do on January 20th and going forward when Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States?

I don’t know.

diversityI know we all need to see some commonality in ourselves as Americans. We’ll never be a united nation as long as any one group expects everyone else to submit to them. We’re supposed to recognize the differences between each other and accept that diversity.

Unfortunately, that’s not happening. Diversity is accepted only as long as it’s on the official “approved” list. Acceptance and unity doesn’t exist unless it includes everyone, even people we disagree with.

In the end, there will be only one King and all this petty bickering will be silenced. Until then, we have a responsiblity to promote peace with our neighbors, even if we don’t like them.

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The Lie Being Told about Ferguson and Israel

This is one of those rare occasions when The Mike Report is speechless. These photos were taken in downtown Seattle earlier this evening in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury verdict. Upset with the verdict in Missouri? Then boycotting Israel makes perfect sense.

The banner was carried by members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee. The same group was associated with protests this Summer in downtown Seattle which featured swastikas and comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany.

-from “And Now they Blame Ferguson on the Jews”
The Mike Report

“When in doubt, blame the Jews.”

-commenter on Twitter

I feel just a tiny bit guilty about posting this one because a “morning meditation” (or “extra meditation” as the case may be) should be about something encouraging that inspires us to launch into our day with renewed energy and purpose. This one feels like it’s either a downer or something to make you mad.

It made me mad. It made me even more mad when I posted a link to the article on Facebook and was chastised by a lone “moral” warrior who wanted to argue that it wasn’t really about blaming the Jews, and then he just wanted to argue and argue for the sake of being a nudnik.

Or so it seems.

Anyway, I’m not going to comment about Ferguson. I didn’t follow it closely on the news so I’m not exquisitely familiar with all of the intimate details of the case. I only know some rough outline of the facts surrounding the shooting and the verdict coming from the grand jury.

And the riots and looting.

However, I am concerned about two things.

The first is the blatant and totally erroneous comparison between whatever happened in Ferguson and its consequences and the perception that the nation of Israel and the Jewish people are doing some sort of injustice to the “Palestinians.” What does one have to do with the other? The other is the associated fallout on Jews and Jewish institutions (synagogues, Jewish schools, the JCC) in America. Any attempt to associate Ferguson and Israel is a desperate ploy by the Seattle protesters to “blame the Jews” for just about everything, riding the coat tails of a current crisis in America to mobilize the emotions of those people angry at the verdict and redirect that anger against Israel. What crimes will be committed against innocent Jewish people as a result?

And some people are going to fall for it. Some otherwise well meaning, compassionate, and caring people are going to “knee-jerk” a reaction and say that the Jewish people and the nation of Israel can be compared to Ferguson (and remember, that situation has been manipulated by the media, too). We don’t have to be bad people to do wrong, we just have to be sheep.

I’d love to write a scathing rebuttal, but someone who is smarter than I am and a better writer than I am did it almost four months ago. I won’t quote the entire article here, but let me get you started:

By supporting Hamas, you are supporting the use of Palestinians as human shields, the use of Palestinian children to dig terror tunnels in which 160 have died, and the summary execution of Palestinians by Hamas thugs whenever they open their mouths to protest the use of their homes, school, mosques, or hospitals as weapons caches and missile launching sites.

I’m not sure the people who need to hear this will ever hear it, but I want my conscience to be clear that I said it to them.

Dear Human Rights Activist, Leftist Liberal, Crying-for-the-poor-children, Israel-hating, Hamas-forgiving, marcher, celebrity, news anchor, journalist, writer, media star, politician, head of state. We have seen you marching along the streets of Europe, America, and the Middle East with your signs and kafias and Palestinian flags. We have heard you screaming to whoever will listen that Jews and Israelis are murderers, war criminals, and baby killers.

You think you are telling us who we are. But actually, you are telling us who you are.

-Naomi Ragen
“This Is What You Are Really Telling Us,” August 1, 2014
NaomiRagen.com

Please click on the link and read the entire article. It’s not very long. Especially if you’ve disagreed with everything I’ve written in this blog post, please, please click the link and read. You really need to see what Ragen has to say. I (vainly) hope it opens your eyes.

Justice isn’t what NBC or CNN tells you it is. It isn’t what you view on television. It isn’t at your favorite online news venues. It’s in the real world. You’ll have to work to find it.

If you accept what the mass media tells the masses without question, then you are telling the rest of us something about you and frankly, that scares me half to death.

For more about the media and Israel, read If CNN Had Reported The Crucifixion at the Rosh Pina Project.