The Twelve Days Before Christmas and an Open Letter to The House
Recently I and other concerned Americans petitioned our representatives in the House of Congress to vote NO on HR 867, a resolution that called for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to oppose the United Nations consideration of the Goldstone Report.
My Congressperson Ginny Brown-Waite co-sponsored the resolution and on November 3, 2009, 344 House congressional reps voted to kill the Goldstone Report.
In response to my plea, Congressperson Ginny Brown-Waite wrote to me:
“The Council's appointment of Richard Goldstone, a well-respected judge who is himself Jewish, to oversee the report gave some hope that the report would be fair. The Israeli Government, however, refused to cooperate with the mission. The Israeli Government concluded that any report emanating from the Human Rights Council, even with Goldstone's leadership, would be hopelessly biased. This is a shame because the Israeli Government may have been able to better explain its version of events and thereby prevent Hamas' side of the story from dominating the narrative of the report.
“The Goldstone Report does raise some serious questions about the Israeli invasion of
“While the Goldstone Report did raise serious questions about Israeli actions, it went too far when it concluded that Israeli policy in
On April 3, 2009 the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council commissioned a fact-finding mission "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after."
The Council appointed the Jewish Justice Richard Goldstone, a
Justice Goldstone issued the 575-page report on September 29, 2009 and the Goldstone Report accused both
Over 5,000 Palestinians were injured, 400,000 were left without running water, 4,000 homes were destroyed, rendering tens of thousands who are still homeless because of Israel's targeted attacks upon them, their schools, hospitals, streets, water wells, sewage system, farms, police stations and UN buildings.
The 23 days of
America is the world’s largest arms supplier to Israel and under a Bush negotiated deal with Israel, we the people who pay taxes in
During the 23 days of Israeli assault on
In a 71-page report released March 25, 2009, by Human Rights
"Rain of Fire: Israel’s Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza," provides eye witness accounts of the devastating effects that white phosphorus munitions had on civilians and civilian property in Gaza.
"Human Rights Watch researchers found spent shells, canister liners, and dozens of burnt felt wedges containing white phosphorus on city streets, apartment roofs, residential courtyards, and at a United Nations school in Gaza immediately after hostilities ended in January.
"Militaries officially use white phosphorus to obscure their operations on the ground by creating thick smoke. It has also been used as an incendiary weapon, though such use constitutes a war crime.
During the 23 days of attack on Gaza, the UN Security Council, Amnesty International, International Red Cross, and global voices of protest rose up and demanded a ceasefire, but both houses of Congress overwhelmingly endorsed resolutions to support a continuation of Israel’s so called "self defense."
In November 2006, Father Manuel, the parish priest at the Latin Church and school in
"Without electricity children are afraid. No light at night. No oil or candles...Thirsty children are crying, afraid and desperate...Many children have been violently thrown from their beds at night from the sonic booms. Many arms and legs have been broken. These planes fly low over
Rabbi Brian Walt, was born in
On December 18, 2009 Rabbi Walt wrote, Hannukah and Operation Cast Lead: One year later from which I excerpt:
“Tomorrow is Shabbat Hannukah, the Sabbath that occurs during Hannukah. Exactly one year ago, on Shabbat Hannukah (Saturday December 27, 2008),
“On that day, Saturday December 27, 2008, at 11:30 in the morning, a time when schoolchildren were still in school, 88 Israeli aircraft simultaneously attacked 100 preplanned targets in
“Shabbat Hannukah last year, was the day with the highest one day death toll in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…Our traditional greeting for Shabbat is Shabbat Shalom/ A Sabbath of Peace. That day was far from a Sabbath of Peace.
“Not only did the Israeli military assault start on Hannukah, the name of the campaign, Operation Cast Lead, is from a Hannukah poem by Haim Nachman Bialik about a dreidel made from cast lead that a father bought for his child. The poem became a popular Hannukah children’s song. I learned the song when I was a child and Jewish children in
“Israel with one of the strongest armies in the world bombarded one and a half million people who live in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, in an open air prison, in isolation enforced by the Israeli siege with no way to leave or enter.
Israel claimed it had no choice, any nation-state would do the same thing.
“Was it true that
“As a Jew, as a rabbi, as a human being I was shocked.
“In June of this year, 10 rabbis came together to break the silence and created Taanit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for
“Our call is simple…As Jews, people of many faiths and people of conscience, we can no longer stand idly by
“Since Hamas’ electoral victory in January 2006,
“On three things the world stands: on justice, on truth, and on peace.” (Mishnah Avot 1:18).
“Our call is three-fold: Break the Silence, Lift the Siege, Pursue Peace
Break the Silence: We must affirm the humanity of the residents of
Lift the Siege: The Israeli siege on
Pursue the Peace: There is no military solution to the conflict. The only real solution is a negotiated settlement and it is time for
“Now, a year later, the suffering in
“Tomorrow for Sahbbat Hannukah we will read a special Haftarah, a prophetic portion assigned by the rabbis for particular days. For Shabbat Hannukah the rabbis made a surprising choice, they assigned the passage from Zachariah that ends:
‘Not by Might, nor by Power, but My Spirit’
“Operation Cast Lead is based on the belief that overwhelming military force will provide security for the people of
“Hannukah is a rejection of power and military might and an affirmation of the Spirit of God that inheres in every human being. And it is this connection to the Spirit of Life that must be the center of our lives. 
Beginning the twelve days before this Christmas, this Christian of Conscience, began fasting daily in repentance for my Governments persistence in seeking SECURITY in imperialism and militarism.
The twelve days before Christmas, from the land of plenty, I have been in mourning over the 2.5 billion people on our planet who exist on less than $2.00 a day and the over 15,000 babies and young children who die daily because of malnutrition and substandard or nonexistent health care.
The twelve days before Christmas, as I reflected on the 42 years of Military Occupation and misery in the West Bank and Gaza perpetuated by so called democracies that blatantly deny equal human rights for all the citizens of the so called Holy Land, I have wondered what Jesus/AKA: The Prince of Peace would say to all the deaf, dumb and blind Americans who claim to be Christians 2009 years after The Prince of Peace walked the earth as a Palestinian Jew who was born, lived and died under a brutal military occupation but lived a life of NONVIOLENCE, forgiveness and love.
I imagine The Prince of Peace would remind US All of the Sermon on the Mount, which is understood by Christians of conscience to be our ‘marching orders’ and of which the 20th century agitator of church, state and media, Dorothy Day wrote:
"Love is not the starving of whole populations. Love is not the bombardment of open cities. Love is not killing…Our manifesto is the Sermon on the Mount, which means that we will try to be peacemakers."
I spin the Christian Manifesto this way:
About 2,000 years ago, when The Prince of Peace was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."
In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their limitations, failures and transgressions and yet trust that God loves them in spite of it all; already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven't got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God's name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, "My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours." -Isaiah 55:8
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled."
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what "God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord."-Micah 6:8
"Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy."
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your 'enemy.'
"For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you" The Prince of Peace warned his disciples as he explained the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God."
In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end; Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.
"Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the daughters and sons of God."
My CHRISTmas prayer for
Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com
Author of "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory"
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"