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Friday, June 13, 2003

Starting in despair.

I highly recommend the work of New Republic contributing editor and Jerusalem Post reporter Yossi Klein Halevi. (I reviewed his extraordinary book, At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden, in UU World a few months ago; whether your interest is spiritual or political, it's a must-read about the situation(s) confronting Israelis and Palestinians.) So I'll also put in a strong recommendation for his New Republic article last week about "the first pilgrimage by Arab and Jewish Israelis to Auschwitz." He writes: "Our starting point is political despair."

Sadly, the conversation among Unitarian Universalists about the conflicted and tortuous history in the Middle East is really quite appalling. (Read through these archives for a taste of the "moderate" forum on the issue. Or, if you want to see the "partisan" take on the issue — something I have no stomach for — you can join this forum.) This year, one of the proposed "study-action issues" for consideration by the UUA's General Assembly focuses on the plight of indigenous peoples — where we find this astoundingly selective question: "How does the United States government’s treatment of indigenous peoples compare to contemporary cases of ethnic cleansing, such as in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine, and South Africa?" It would be fascinating to see what "lessons" we might draw from such a dangerously loaded question.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 13 June 2003 at 10:49 PM

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