past Sunday while tens of thousands marched up New
York Citys Fifth Avenue in support of Israel,
Knesset Justice Minister Yosef "Tomy" Lapid,
was being harshly criticized for daring to consider
the memory of his grandmother while looking at an
image of an old Palestinian woman crawling on hands
and knees, digging in the rubble that used to be her
the time of the radio interview Mr Lapid, known to
be strong and outspoken in Israeli media and abroad,
said that the army was considering demolishing as
many as 2,000 Palestinian homes in the Rafah refugee
camp in order to expand an Israeli patrol zone near
the Egyptian border. Mr. Lapid, a leader of the Shinui
party and part of the governing coaltion went on to
look like monsters in the eyes of the world. This
makes me sick"
statements produced much criticism from the Israeli
government, in particular from Ariel Sharon's "ruling"
Likud party Minister Danny Naveh, who implied that
such a statement "had no place in any form"
because it potentially created more anger. Other cabinet
members appeared too busy winning friends in opposing
parties and insurances in case Sharon's space is made
available to pass important official comment.
one moment defines the difference between silence
and complicity ....and the difference in leadership
qualities in Israel.
for the parade, I am a veteran of last year's parade,
having seen children of all sizes prance while carrying
cardboard nuclear symbols and mothers who spit in
the direction of Orthodox Hassidim who protested along
with me. I was not surprised to see the same behavior
repeated this year but was shocked at its timing and
the further extent of its animosity in relationship
to activities in Gaza and ongoing political corruption
scandals that bounce back and forth between Netanyahu
and Sharon. I did not expect to see such blatant and
objectionable evidence of goon squads as the signs
that I read, "Kahane Was Right" .
wondered if the newscasters forget about the significance
of such signs or were they ignorant of who and what
Kahane represents in a civilized society especially
in the eyes of other Israelis. As much as I salute
the free speech afforded in America, I could not salute
either the ignorance or prejudice of the news medias.
contrast and likewise underlooked by the general media,
the signs and banners on the protest side of the street
were not only non threatening but were represented
by organizations like Jews Against The Occupation.
"Free Palestine" and "End the Occupation"
but the man next to me had an article from the NYTimes
which displayed a picture of the 3 year old child
recently killed by IDF in her burial wrappings. She
was shot and killed while walking with other children.
The man on the other side of the street held out a
centerfolds of naked women in response.
newscasters on early and late city edition news seemed
to imply that the marchers might be in need of protection
and that they had done this bright and brave thing
to pass by anyone that protested against Israel and
the action in Gaza.
last year's parade I carried a sign for Mordechai
Vanunu, then going into his seventeenth year in prison
for daring to tell the truth in 1986 about nuclear
weapons. Actually he was going into another stint
of time because he refused to be placed under gag
orders about how he suffered in prison.
I thought it rather poignant to feature his truth
about the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
I had, earlier in the year experienced lost mailboxes
and personal cyber harassments while working for www.YellowTimes.org
online media that had an Iraqi scientist, Imad
Khadduri who repeatedly wrote and advised the
world at large about Iraqs incapacity for WMD.
year it was eveident that other people at the parade
felt the same way I did about Vanunu's barbaric treatment
in relationship to truth telling, because a few of
them crossed the street and told me that he "should"
be released. This year I made eye contact with men
across the street who made motions that slit across
Vanunu, like the rabbis, has been quoted saying he
does not think Jewish people require a state but should
live in peace, he is also presently suing a paper
for much more serious libel that only helped contribute
and fuel incitement of death threats against him.
I feel the need to admonish NYC major networks for
what they "did not say" in their slanted
mediocre coverage with regards to the
Parade and its protest, I must laud Israeli journalists
like Amira Hass (Haaretz) and Kol military correspondent
, Carmela Menasche for braving and getting much information
out to the public and the world through out these
last treacherous days in Rafah. How many in the general
American public had to look beyond their network news
for UNICEFs important press release and report
the recent military actions in Rafah and Wednesdays
missile strike at least 10 children have already
lost their lives, including Asma and Ahmed, a 16 and
13-year-old girl and boy, respectively, shot in their
home in Rafah on Tuesday morning. Many additional
children have been injured and all are facing psychosocial
ongoing house demolitions in Rafah have left more
1,100 Palestinian people homeless in a 10 day period
alone, out of which almost 600 are children. Between
September 2000 and May 2004, more than 11,000 Palestinians
have lost their homes"
would wonder in a civilized society, how much more
befitting humanity, peace and justice to have either
cancelled or modified this march and its theme while
the soldiers continued to shoot children and create
more refugees by demolishing and destroying most of
this Parade of support promoting Israeli tourism gave
vehicle to "Kahane" style supporters . Are
Kahane groups now a featured protection in visiting
Israel? Is that why they were at the parade? Will
Kahane groups and Hillel work together on college
campuses in convincing parents to send their sons
and daughters to Israel?
My NYPD protected me again this year in my fundamental
right to protest and the men and women in blue did
a great job . I wondered, however, why the plainclothes
men did not question those across the street with
their cell phones and bags who congregated without
permit as they were. Also from the type of coverage
the Parade received, did the news media think the
police were holding back myself and the Hassidic rabbis
from attacking the felafel floats that came marching
I saw the various marching and gleaming politicians
I began to wonder just how much local congresspeople
and legislators actually know much about Israeli politick?
And political parties? I know many American Jews and
non Jews who could not tell you the difference between
Yosef Lapids Shinui party and Ariel Sharons
Likud or the various degrees of orthodoxy factions
or the names of outlawed goon squads? But given either
ignorance or disregard, I did not expect to see my
representatives sending messages in general that condones
the present action in Gaza or any action at all that
reports concerning War Crimes.
appalls me and shames me in what this represents to
the oppressed people of Rafah.
anything, my tax dollars should be spent building
homes and not creating a bigger refugee problem. I
felt shame my representatives who marched in the parade
are either so ignorant or so blatantly in agreement
with such War Crimes as TO BE SILENT. And it appalls
me that the Kahane signs were not duly noted and reviewed
by NYPD and the media at large.
Mossad has made a web site "recruiting"
people for such service that brings them various information
about those who might voice or make action against
are welcome to apply.
1998, a retired agent was indicted on charges of fabricating
reports that Syria was preparing for war. I shiver
to think about such future reports as Amnesty International
felt compelled to contradict about UN
ambulances being used by militants.
after such damage is done as maligning and inciting
death threats against Vanunu (such as the Maariv newspaper)
or giving out false rumors and lies about the use
of UN ambulances, who will retract AND correct correct
such falsehoods and will it be of any use to do so
after having fueled further hatreds ?
only humor of the day was provided by Donald Trump
who marched in avid support of Israel and who was
greeted by protestors with "You're fired!"
But while he marched the children of Rafah were still
being wounded and killed.
Michael Bloomberg was quoted in this parade saying,
have to support Israel, said Bloomberg, who
has visited the country twice as mayor.
always thought that as goes Israel, goes America.
I wonder if the Mayor has ever read the final reports
on the USS Liberty or if he would take responsibility
along with any other representative to do their duty
by taking the time to look at each UNICEF report,
each Amnesty International and, especially the reports
specifically contributed by Defense of Children International-Palestine
about "Children in the Heart of the Israeli Rafah
DCI-PAL report speaks about the present situation,
Rafah is not the only site of war crimes perpetuated
against children by the IDF.
one could have hopes for greater understanding and
peace if Americans in general, including American
supporters of Israel, would take the time to look
carefully at other annual reports provided by the
UN and Defense of children International and understand
that the children of Palestine living in the Occupied
Territories will not be carrying felafel signs in
a parade anytime soon. And until such time as the
government of Israel can reconcile its conscience
in the style and spirit of Mr Lapid, I must speak
out against sending any of my tax dollars , except
as relief for Rafah.
felt compelled to thank Mr Lapid for being the strong
individual he is and representing Israel with conscience.
I hope more Israeli officials do so.
suggest that every citizen of the world including
every American citizen and every Israeli citizen take
note of who remains silent about issues of human rights.
will judge those who ignore the responsibility and
morality of speaking out.
for my American representatives, Republican and Democrat,
who relie upon AIPAC support as much as AIPAC relies
upon them, we, the people, will hold you to either
silence or complicity:
when you visit Israel on my tax dollar and see lovely
styled settlements that look like a golf coursed landscape
please think of the people who lived on that land
and who still fight for their right of return.
though there is an Apartheid Wall to keep out such
unpleasant sights as the demolished homes, uprooted
olive trees, there is a responsibility to look over
and look at what our tax dollars really support. The
people who once lived there have not disappeared.
If anything they are larger in homelessness because
of this last weekend while we were parading and protesting.
much of what we support goes to killing and not helping
to make peace.
very simply suggest that Israel should stop using
their Army to kill civilians and perhaps instead of
destroying the illegal settlements give these settlement
homes over to refugees whose homes have been routinely
destroyed in massive demolitions and ugly war crimes.
suggest that the news media on this side of the world
take a good and long look at their silence and complicity
La Rosa is a librarian and artist who lives 20 miles
from NYC and who dreams the RNC will be rerouted to
Texas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters to Danny Naveh and Yosef Lapid
recently read a quote from you in the NYTimes about
MK Lapid's comment concerning his grandmother, etc..
am living proof that such a statement is more a "positive"
applaud Mr Lapid for making such a statement.
took character to do so.
statement gives internationals like myself cause for
small hopes that could be made larger by more men
such as Mr Lapid .
is what I wrote to him. I send it to you respectfully
and with the same sincerity I sent it to him.
hope you can read it and find a different perspective
of how his statement causes "positive" relief
for some of us:
name is Mary La Rosa and I am US citizen who has written
to you before this letter about Mordecahi Vanunu.
I wish to now write and tell you how much I appreciated
what you said about your Grandmother and the current
situation in Gaza.
have spoken when others did not and would not.
send you my deep sincere respect for this and appreciation.
am American and come from various ethnic blends including
the occupied and the occupiers. My Irish side....north
and south; my mom, spanish and italian but born in
Honduras , etc My Irish grandfather called me ...
was born in 1949. After a few bad first years I but
was very very fortunate, even lucky, to have been
found and taken to a Grandmother.
I learned to read I became very rebellious about what
I chose to read as opposed to what harsh religious
school told me to read. Today I am a librarian.
was fascinated even obsessed, by the Holocaust and
craved information about the children.
a child, I would look and look for pictures of children
and so I did not read my school books but read what
I wanted to read about the Holocaust and why children,
boys and girls like me, were so treated in such a
way. At 11 years, I remember "interviewing"
grandparents of a friend who was German . That Grandmother
told me she was ashamed to be German. Another person
said they did not know. I can not tell you why an
11 year old felt the need to see pictures or to have
the answers to questions. I just did and it was important
to me at the time.
this situation in Israel is important to me ...to
ask questions and find out more about the leadership
that is required for peace with honor.
me, please, if your Grandmother had had a weapon in
her house, would she have been called her a "militant"
if she defended her home?
believe it would have been her right to defend her
home and she would have been called Matriarch
wonder what you say and think?
ask this in a respectful and sincere way.
I believe it is a person's duty and responsibility
to ask questions and to find out.
people should ask questions in your country and in
have Israeli friends whose opinion I trust. I do not
trust some of your elected officials because of the
corruption intermingled with hatred and racism.
, Sunday May 23 2004 was Celebrate Israel Parade in
NYC. The nightly news was very misleading in that
it did not feature the men I saw with "Kahane
was right" signs and with very ugly hatred on
faces..mostly against the hasidim I have frequently
stood next to at such demonstrations.
year well dressed women spit at them in front of their
children, but they are not as threatening as Kahane
groups will not inspire people to come to Israel,
which was the overt theme of parade.
today I shouted: "nothing here to celebrate"
Hassidim rabbis spoke softly in Hebrew and English,
"no no Zion in Torah" they said.
man next to me had a picture of the child killed in
Gaza most recently in NYTimes and the men from across
from us flashed pornographic pictures in response.
looked at my Vanunu sign and make slit motions across
year, men and women from the other side crossed and
told me "they should release him" (Vanunu)
year this is different and based mostly upon the hatred
that was purposefully stirred up in Israeli papers
like Maariv against him.
believe the Hassidim AND Vanunu deserve free speech.
This is my standard as an American.
tried and sentenced vanunu. Without his total freedom
there is ambiguity in justice. Ambiguity in justice
for some and not all is a very dangerous thing to
democracy and to democratic government.
once wrote me that he did not want to be a Jew anymore
and rejected all things Jewish because of how he was
treated in solitary confinement.
think this is bad bad thing Israel did to him for
18 years. And it did not serve justice to so enact
further barbaric punishments in the name of being
can he be free?
are no secrets about 1986.
have said "let the radicals protect him".
him from his restrictions and we shall do my best.
had very interesting theme for Remembrance in my library
in April which was also "Library Month"
It was a book by Pete Hamill, called "Snow in
librarians thought it important because we had very
bad incident in a school with a football team and
boys who remained silent when they should have spoke
book is about the friendship between an orthodox rabbi
and an Irish boy . Both are subjected to the same
bullies and the boy knows who beat up the rabbi but
is too afraid to talk. He tells the rabbi all the
reasons he can not and the rabbi tells him about the
golem of Prague.
continue to speak out with the honor of a man who
honors all Grandmothers by doing so.
can only help Israel.
more refugees does not help.
other time, I did not send you an appreciation for
intervention over a child in a military prison who
was sexually abused and tried to commit suicide by
eating cleanser. After advocacy via Defense of Children
International Palestine, this boy was released to
a juvenile home where dci-pal reports he is being
treated kindly. This was like a gift to me and I was
made glad by who ever intervened in a positive way
for this pathetic boy.
was not just proper humane gesture, but sensible practice,
because of who might use such a child after he has
bless the spirit of your Grandmother for so inspiring
you and I bless mine as well.
for Mr. Naveh,
details about my preoccupation with Holocaust as a
child of the 50's is absolutely true, only much more
when I was just married I lived near a quiet man named
Leonard who was a survivor and neighbor's husband,
a grandfather. He was a sweet and gentle man.
surviving what he did, he decided one day for no reason
obvious to his family to hang himself.
think of the torturous life he led before during and
after his experience.
there is a place where souls find rest I believe he
was looking for it and I hope he found it.
of Protest Letter to Maariv. The poll was removed
but never retracted.
IDF Killed 100 children last year
by Mazin Qumsiyeh: Sharing
the Land of Canaan
by Catherine Cook: Stolen
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