Call the Kansas City Jewish Community Center attack what it is. This is a hate crime. This is politically motivated, domestic terrorism. If this is not terrorism, then indeed the term terrorism has no meaning.
In rescinding the honorary award for Hirsi Ali, Brandeis did the right thing. Eventually. But perhaps we should be asking another question: how could Brandeis have chosen such a hateful person whose views are easily exposed through a simple Google search in the first place? And would such views be tolerated, and rewarded, had they been made about other ethnic and religious communities?
Whether we are alone in this universe, or whether there are billions of other beings on gazillions of other planets,
we are not alone. We have each other, and one way or another, we gotta learn to live with one another. May it start in Jerusalem.
Richard N. Frye’s final request has been to be buried to his beloved city of Isfahan. Even the noted conservative president Ahmadinejad agreed to this honor. Frye’s hope has been that his burial in Isfahan would help unite the two countries he loved so.
I am not questioning the Mayor’s solidarity with children of Israel. We as human beings are called to identify with the pain and suffering of fellow human beings. What I wonder is the selectivity: why visit only children of Israel, and not the children of Palestine?
Occupying people, destroying homes, participating in massacres in Shatila and Sabra (Sharon, 1982) are not the sign of “strength.” These are the marks of brutality. Brutality and strength must never be confused.
Often at this time of the year, we join in the prayer for peace on Earth, and goodwill to all men (and women). This year my prayer is a bit different.
I am also concerned that we are doing the same thing to Madiba that we have done to Malcolm X, and to a lesser extent, to Martin Luther King: whitewashing their radical prophetic legacy into nonthreatening champions of “reconciliation.”
This craving, this desire to fill ourselves with “things” is often a mask, a recognition that we are hollow on the inside, that there is something in us that is calling out to be fulfilled. That craving, however, is often not about things, but an opening in the heart that can only be filled by the love of another that makes us whole.