Trinity United Church of Christ

I haven’t written about politics on this blog for some time now. I’ve had deeply disturbing conversations lately that have prompted me to do this, though.

I’ve looked at many different sites and many different aspects of Rev. Wright’s comments about his church. To be honest, I don’t know what the problem is with everyone. Admittedly, when I went down the list of what that church stands for, it was a bit unnerving seeing “black” pasted all over it. That was, until I put the word Jewish in for the word black and Israel in for the word Africa. Suddenly, it reminded me of almost all congregational websites I’d ever been to. Every time I go to temple I do it for God, community and Israel. So why can’t they have this too? I started to get really pissed off, thinking, “Damn…these critics want to put them on the back of the bus again.” How dare they! Oh my God, I’m so pissed about this that I can’t stand it. I keep thinking back to people like Martin Luther King and Stephen Biko, both people who encouraged black empowerment. I’m not sure why whites believe they are doing this to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. Let them have their identity. Let them have their culture. Let them have their safe space where they can foster each others growth and the growth of their community. That is beneficial to us all!!! Listen, I don’t want anyone telling me that my congregation is racist and that I can’t foster my Jewishness. That is what I am supposed to do. That is what I am called to do. Please allow the members of this congregation and the black community world wide their calling. They deserve it!

The one and only way this post is political, is that Obama attends this church. Bravo, I say!

Oh, and whereas others are confused about why Jews would support Obama, considering what they believe are separatist values, I urge you to read this. If you can tell me that any one of those things doesn’t have value, well, I wouldn’t want to know you. Honestly, this is what practicing Jews do every day. I don’t DARE throw stones!

While I’m Waiting For The Pain To Subside

I’ll share something I just found out today. Paula Abdul is 100% Jewish. From Wikipedia:

Paula is a practicing Jew [15] and is proud of her Jewish heritage. She has said, “Not many people know, but both my parents are Jewish, I am very excited about telling you this.” Abdul is a Zionist and has said that it was her dream to visit Israel and said, “My father is a Syrian Jew whose family immigrated to Brazil. My mother is Canadian with Jewish roots. My dream is to come to Israel for a real holiday.” Abdul supports and loves Israel. Israeli Tourist Minister Isaac Herzog invited her to Israel during a Hanukkah festival, to which Abdul responded with a hug, adding, “I will come; you have helped make a dream come true.”.[2]

I had no idea. Any of you?

As for the pain, I just had my gallbladder removed on Friday. That alone wouldn’t be so bad, but I’m also constipated unlike I have ever been in my life (even AFTER using drugs to help) AND just got my period today. I am NOT a happy camper. Also, it’s a week day and I have to take and pick up the kids from school. For those who can’t keep up, this means NO PAIN PILLS until the end of the day. FUCK! I’m going to go try to take a nap now.

Hey, also, if any of you are on Facebook, let me know via email. I’m getting so into it. It’s the best of many worlds of online connection systems out there. Plus, I can play games online with my friends and share music. It’s uber cool.

Disengagement: For The Survival Of Israel?

As an American who fully supports the right of Israeli self-determination, I usually try to leave the detailed debate on Israeli politics to those who

1. Are more well-versed in the day-to-day workings of the Israeli government, and

2. Are directly impacted by the outcome of any decisions made by the Israeli government.

A telling example of this is Sharon’s Disengagement Plan, a decidedly sticky wicket for Israel and the Jews who currently live in areas such as the Gaza Strip.

On the one hand, as Abba Gav points out, the disengagement of Israel from the areas in question should be seen as a restructuring of Israeli resources, both military and civilian, for future struggles that we all know are coming. After all, history tells us that no matter what concessions Israel makes, the “Palestinians” will never be satisfied until they have removed the Jews from the entire area. Abba Gav very succinctly sums up his support for the Israeli government’s decision thusly:

I will trust that in a democracy, all of the risks are identified, and the leadership makes decisions. If our nation of armchair generals can’t trust even this government to run the country — that is, raise its objections without accusations of treason and govenmental anti-semitism — then Israel is essentially ungovernable; there isn’t going to be a “better” government. At that point, the alternative is anarchy, each of us feeling entitled to rule based on the correctness of our opinion, rather than the ability to gather a majority.

On the other hand, I feel an extreme pang of regret for the uprooting of whole towns and villages, not to mention the people in them, something that is an undeniably traumatic proposition for Israelis no matter what one’s take on the settlement issue may be.
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SC&A Kick AUT Ass!

Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred (which I think is one person with a multiple-personality disorder!) kick ass and take names in response to a letter from his (her; their?) alumnus association asking him (them; it?) to join in the AUT (Association of University Teachers) of Great Britain boycott of Israeli universities and professors. I guess it isn’t enough for the Brits to refer to Israel as “that shitty little country”. Through the AUT boycott they really get to show their intelligence. Now if only SC&A would divulge what school they went to so we can start a campaign to boycott their alma mater.

I wonder if they sent three copies of the letter……

U2 – Anti-Semitic Or Not?

A reader e-mailed me a link to a song on U2’s latest album, “How To Make An Atomic Bomb”, and asked if I thought that U2 was being anti-Semitic with the following lines:

Lay down
Lay down your guns
All your daughters of Zion
All your Abraham sons

I don’t know if I can make it
I’m not easy on my knees
Here’s my heart and you can break it
I need some release, release, release

I know what I think, but I thought I would put it to a survey. Remember, anti-Zionism is most definitely anti-Semitism, as far as I am concerned. If there was a more balanced reference to, say, sons and daughters of Mohammed, I wouldn’t be asking the question:

David,
I always thought that BFA referred to the Yom Kippur War (October 1973) between Israel and the Arabs–the song was written no more than a year or so thereafter, and after all the initial release of the album had the Hebrew and Arabic translations of the lyrics (only to the song BFA).

I spent a lot of time in Israel– when friends of mine in the states would ask me “who’s right, Israel or the Palestinean Arabs?,” all I could say was “The truth lies somewhere in between.”

Shalom,

Joel Schneier

Controversy Brings Readership

My response to David Allbaugh’s ridiculous demands of Israel and the Jewish people seems to have gotten me in hot water on another blog. Now my comments are being deleted. That’s okay. I have long been one to speak my mind. It isn’t the first time I have rubbed someone the wrong way, and I am quite certain it won’t be the last. If those providing the forum for commentary and discussion wish to do so, it’s their sandbox and I respect their right to throw me out. However, I found Mr. Allbaugh’s opinion to be reminiscent of other comments I have heard and read over the years that have rubbed me the wrong way, so I decided to do a little investigating. Lo and behold, I have found that Mr. Allbaugh is also quite opinionated, only in his case he is not afraid to bite the hand that feeds him.

According to a comment at Little Green Footballs, the esteemed Mr. Allbaugh is allegedly employed at the Pentagon. I have always been a supporter of free speech and I commend Mr. Allbaugh for having the courage of his convictions to so openly oppose the war in Iraq. I only hope he realizes that it is the military industrial complex that puts the food on his table. But then, I guess as long as his table is full and his home is safe and secure, everyone else can go straight to hell.

Israel – The World’s Conscience?

Over at Meryl’s, somebody named David Allbaugh is grousing about Israel buddying up to Turkey:

Mark, I do not mean to single Israel out for criticism in regards to being quiet about the Armenian Genocide. I do feel, though, that given the Holocaust, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora do have a responsibilty to recognize such horrors as the Armenian Genocide.

He is no doubt referring to the fact that the Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Osk recently called on Israel to officially recognize that Turkey was responsible for the massacre of some 1.5 million Armenians in 1915:

“There is some discrepancy between their words and their deeds on genocide. Israel has to show a moral authority since we have gone through similar history and experience,” he said in an interview.

Once again some schmuck with an axe to grind (and a parrot named David) is singling Israel out for NOT doing what everyone else is NOT doing. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience for this that the inestimable Meryl seems to. I’d like to know why the likes of David Allbaugh can’t seem to leave us the fuck alone, especially on Yom Hashoah?

Update: I left the following comment at Meryl’s because I think it is important to realize exactly why I feel this way about this issue:
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Ezer Weizman 1924 – 2005

I just received an e-mail from an Israeli friend of my father’s informing me that Ezer Weizmann has passed away. The text of the e-mail is as follows:

You may already of heard; Ezer returned his soul to his Creator today. Israel TV is full of stories from his life as a soldier and a politician. I am sure there will be more over the next days. In my mind, the most important stations in his very full life were the establishment of the Israel Airforce, preparation of the airforce for the Six Day War and his role in the Camp David talks between Anwar Saadat and Menahem Begin. They say that without the very strong persuasive influence of Weizman and Dayan during those talks, Begin would have walked away from a peace treaty with Egypt. Those three items alone give Ezer Weizman a place as one of the most important founders of the State of Israel. They far overshadow mistakes he made as a politician, especially when serving as Begins Minister of Defense during the war in Lebanon that began in June, 1982.

As far as I know, they haven’t set a date for the funeral yet. I’ll let you know as soon as I do, although I have the feeling your grapevine is much more effective than the Israeli news media.

Ezer Weizman was a true legend in the history of the founding of Israel and it is with great pride that I can recount that my father served with him in Israel in 1948, and knew him well enough that his phone number is scrawled on a piece of paper hanging by a magnet on the fridge at my parent’s home in California.

It is fitting that this giant in the arena of Israeli politics, who was instrumental in helping to deliver the Jewish people out of the bondage of the Shoa and into a new home in Eretz Yisrael, was allowed to see one last Pesach before his return to the L-rd our G-d.

Alevasholem, Mr. Weizman.

Update: My father’s Israeli friend wanted to set the record straight regarding a point of Weizman’s career:

A correction to what I wrote you yesterday. Weizman had no part in the policies regarding the war in Lebanon. He had resigned from the government in 1980.