Speak For Yourself
Words of light by a few courageous Jews offered as a compliment by the Joe Blow Report to the decent people yet remaining upon this earth.
“Catastrophically Misguided and Incomprehensible Policy”–Renowned Jewish Playwright Tony Kushner Speaks Out Against Israel’s Assault on Gaza
TONY KUSHNER: … I think all Jews who talk about this issue deal with a great deal of anguish. I mean, it is a very powerful identification with the history of the Jewish people that led up to the creation of the state of Israel. And Jews have all sorts of different feelings about the existence of Israel and—but I think Jews of conscience feel that it’s an imperative to not stand by silently while the Palestinian people are brutalized and oppressed.
And so, you know, it’s not comfortable, and I find it very painful. I love being Jewish. I love Jews. And I don’t like being screamed at by Jews. But, you know, that’s life. You have to do what you feel like you have to do, and I think this a—it’s immensely important for the Jewish people that we not remain silent because we’re afraid of speaking out. And I think there’s a great deal of pressure from within the Jewish community to be silent. …
JANE HIRSCHMANN: I’m Jane Hirschmann. I’m one of the organizers of this event tonight. We are Jews standing here together. We want our voices counted. We are opposed to the massacre in Palestine. We want the Israelis out of Palestine. We want a ceasefire and an end to the occupation. We feel it’s very important as Jews not to be silenced any longer. And we’re joining with Jews around the world who are saying that the Israeli government does not speak for us. Neither does the US government. Their policies have aided and abetted the slaughter in Palestine and the dehumanization of the Palestinian people, and we want it to end.
ESTHER KAPLAN: My name’s Esther Kaplan. I’m here to raise my voice to try to stop this massacre in Gaza. There was a huge pro-Israel rally yesterday right on this spot with all the major Jewish organizations—AIPAC and the ADL—claiming that this assault is legitimately in Israel’s self-defense. It’s a ridiculous argument, and they don’t speak for the entire Jewish community. That’s what we’re here to say today.
UNIDENTIFIED: Well, I’m a Jew, and I’m very ashamed of what’s happening in the Gaza Strip. And I’m heartbroken, because we’ve been through it. We know what it is to have a person like Hitler decide to kill all the Jews. For us to turn around and do that to other human beings that are so much like us—they look like us, they eat the same food, they helped build up Israel—it’s more than I can stand. So I’m very ashamed. I think they in the Israeli embassy should be very ashamed.
UNIDENTIFIED: I think it’s really important. I mean, in a way, this is a human issue for every person, not just the Jewish people. But I think it’s extremely important right now that Jewish people be out and visible and make it clear that, as Jews, as people who have experienced genocide against our people, that we understand that the Palestinians are today’s Jews. And if we learned the lesson of the Holocaust, the lesson is we need to be out and we need to speak for Gaza, as we had always wanted people to speak for us.
Now, the other side of the coin:
On Sunday, [Jan 11, 09] thousands turned out in New York for a rally to support the attack on Gaza. Speakers included New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Governor David Paterson.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: So how many civilian casualties would it take before you questioned the attack?
ISRAEL SUPPORTER 3: There is not a number involved.
ISRAEL SUPPORTER 4: Nothing good is going to come out of it, unless they keep fighting all the way with this ’til they wipe them all out.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Wipe them all out?
ISRAEL SUPPORTER 4: Yeah, they got to go strong with this.
ISRAEL SUPPORTER 5: There’s only one way to deal with a cancer. You burn it out or you remove it. And when people don’t want to talk and just want to destroy you and not allow you to live, there’s only one thing you can do.
ISRAEL SUPPORTER 2: They are forcing us to kill their children to defend our children.
An old Jew name Peter (some say the founder of the Christian Church) wrote these words about his fellow Jews over 2,000 years ago. It seems not much has changed for the better with that race of bigoted racist people in all these years. Even when Christianity was brought to them FIRST. This is what he said:
But these [men], like unreasoning animals born naturally to be caught and destroyed, will, in the things of which they are ignorant and speak abusively, even suffer destruction in their own [course of] destruction, wronging themselves as a reward for wrongdoing.
Perhaps Peter learned something from his Teacher, Jesus:
Then Jesus said to him [Peter]: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.”
Was Jesus right? Are these words of light to live by or just die by?