John Gelalia, an amazingly kind fireman, was so busy thinking about how to help others in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that he didn’t stop think about his own needs.Thanks to the Waves for Water team for helping him to rebuild his home. I am so proud of our KIND team members who helped with their efforts.
Archive for October, 2013
This open letter was published on 10/29 in Yedioth Ahronot. The below is the translation from Hebrew.
By Mirit Danon, secretary to prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak, and Ariel Sharon
Dear Minister Naftali Bennett,
I want to tell you a few personal words. Words written from my heart.
Let me introduce myself briefly: I was the personal secretary of five prime ministers. Almost half of the prime ministers in Israel since its establishment. For many years, I sat next door to the prime minister, and I saw a lot. Mostly, I heard.
In the months that preceded November 4, 1995, my ears heard the curses and the incitement on the telephone. Words like “traitor” and “SOB” which were directed at the man who was democratically elected to his term as prime minister. I was the one who received the envelopes filled with hateful materials intended for Yitzhak Rabin, sometimes with excrement and dirt.
And ten years later, in the months that preceded disengagement, I was also the person who sat in the same chair in the Prime Minister’s Bureau, next to the same desk and the same door, which led to the room of prime minister Ariel Sharon. And again I heard threats and saw hate mail, and I felt then, as I unfortunately do today, that I was at a rerun of the same movie.
In this context, I want to tell you, Honorable Minister Bennett: never forget that words have a power of their own. They aren’t just combinations of letters written down or enunciated. Sometimes they even kill. Words are always the start of a process. After them comes spitting, and after that…I don’t want to think about that.
Don’t forget that it all began with words back then, too. At first it was “din rodef,” [the law of the “persecutor,” according to which one who is persecuting a Jew with murderous intent may be killed extrajudicially—INT] and afterwards came the [picture of Rabin in] SS uniform , the coffin—and finally the three shots in the back of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Once we could say: we didn’t know. We didn’t understand that things were liable to spin out of control; that one Yigal Amir would do something and leave a bleeding scar on all of us and all of Israeli society for almost two decades. It’s important that you know that there are no second chances. You cannot claim again: I didn’t know. Once was too much for all of us.
And I also want to tell you about a former employee in prime minister Sharon’s bureau, not particularly high-ranking, an upright man with a conscience. When the disengagement process got underway, with which he didn’t agree, he announced his resignation. He had a family, little children, and he certainly needed his salary, but his conscience was stronger. Although he wasn’t an elected official, he was not a minister in the Israeli cabinet, he was braver than you. If you do not agree with releasing terrorists as part of resuming the talks with the Palestinians—get up and resign. You consider yourself a brave man, a former combat soldier in an elite unit, a man with values and a conscience—then have courage and leave the government. Fight for what you believe in through democratic ways. Incitement is not one of them.
Gershon Baskin share’s an honest note with Palestinian readers.
He proposes: “The Palestinian leaders, with the support of the people, should state the following: When Israel is prepared to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people for a nation-state of their own, based on the June 1967 borders with agreed-to minimal territorial swaps, with the Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and an agreed-solution to the refugee issue (as stated in the Arab Peace Initiative) and with adequate guarantees for the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel, then we, the Palestinian leadership and people will be prepared to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.”
Read his full piece after the jump.
“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
- Henry Ford
“Ultimately, the inward journey is about finding your own fullness,
something that no one else can take away.”
– Deepak Chopra
“The more we share, the more we have.”
Yesterday, a delegation of Israeli politicians from the Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict traveled to the Mukata, the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters in Ramallah, to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
OneVoice helped organize the meeting, which followed the successful July 31 visit, where Palestinian officials came to the Israeli parliament as a sign of good faith and support of the negotiations.
“The OneVoice Movement was honored to take part in the making of this unique and historic meeting at the Mukata,” said OneVoice Israel (OVI) Executive Director Tal Harris. “Each side’s commitment to engage in a meaningful dialogue highlights the reality that we are another step closer to making the dream of ending the conflict and the vision of the two-state solution a reality. As we move past this event, the OneVoice Movement will continue to leverage our regional grassroots networks to help mobilize civil society and amplify the voice of the moderate majority on both sides.”
“We are pleased to see the progress being made by the OneVoice Movement’s Caucus for Ending the Israeli-Arab Conflict,” said OneVoice Palestine (OVP) Executive Director Samer Makhlouf. “Although headway is being made, both sides must recognize that there are still significant issues to be addressed, primarily the freezing of settlements activities. Our organization will continue to support the joint work of our government and civil society partners and work with OneVoice youth leaders to support the efforts of President Abbas and lead us on a substantive path toward a two-state solution.”
“Originality implies being bold enough to go beyond accepted norms.”