Disbelief. I shake my head in disbelief a lot. Plus I sigh and feel a little tightness in my chest. I constantly wake up early, having fallen asleep easily but reluctantly. Then some thought or pang of awareness jogs my consciousness just a little too much for slumber. I don’t think I’ve had a nightmare, and I know I am not in immediate danger like some people are, but I still cringe, shiver and think of people who are under attack, looking for help, and then treated as perpetrators of the violence they are fleeing. If today’s refugees have the saying, “Out of the frying pan, into the fire,” they must also wonder, “No way! That wasn’t the fire already?” (Click image for @trumpdis link.)
Patriarchy. Trump and the Republican leadership are globalizing their violent misogyny and racism and fomenting war. They almost have the ability to legislate out of existence anything that stands in their way, namely anything gentle or humane, generous or self-reflective. They are prosecuting their patriarchal worldview, in what deserves to be termed a war on women, on the people of the United States and the world, attempting to steal whatever they set their eyes on and destroying everything else. The Women’s March in January was phenomenal and inspiring. On International Women’s Day, I was touched and uplifted watching the morning’s Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. Eve Ensler was just astounding, along with Christine Schuler Deschryver. Give it a listen or a watch.
Kinship. I listen in disbelief as more sane sounding, less ridiculous sounding, Trump supporters get airtime, and I wonder how these people can feel more kinship and trust with Donald Trump than they do with someone crossing desert or sea, desperately fleeing whatever is behind them for the sake of their families. They repeat administration and right-wing assertions that anyone who questions (no matter how minimally) what the Republican leadership is pushing down our throats is a paid, white dupe of China (or someone) and doesn’t see, much less care about, their white, if unpaid suffering. I just don’t understand why anyone would expect Trump to be an honest player at anything, how someone could think that he has anyone else’s back but his own, ever. The Democrats came in second to violent racism and misogyny! That does say something about the Democrats, I’m sorry to say and they need to start listening to the likes of Robert Reich if they really care.
Hearing and Listening. I hear Trump supporters say that they aren’t listened to by the old establishment nor by activists like yours truly. But they talk like evidence doesn’t matter, that history is totally subjective. They somehow are the ones threatened by violence even though they and the USA have most of the arms. If something doesn’t support their view, it doesn’t exist and anyone who supports the opposing view is a legitimate target for any response. I am not doing that to Breitbart and sources like that.
I am not the one using, confusing or advocating violent means. My allies from across the world are fleeing and opposing violence, not making, inciting or shrugging off violence the way they are. Journalists and environmentalists are attacked globally as they are treated as enemies of the state. Honest inquirers are being attacked and killed, but their struggles continue, despite all odds. Well-meaning people are being turned against those who are standing up for them. Evidence is being ignored and even destroyed. I don’t know how justice will be possible without evidence. Our opponents are anti-empiricists, seemingly proud of it and largely okay with any discrimination and violence that is done to impugn and beat down anyone drifting out of step. And we’re being robbed blind, eyes wide open. Right-Wing Billionaires Have a Project Going to Rewrite Our Constitution, and They Are Shockingly Close to Pulling It Off.
Chaotic Bedfellows. I have long associated with anarchists who are clearer on what that means than me. Anarchism isn’t the same as chaos or simply anarchy. It includes ideas about process, responsibility and accountability. I feel reluctantly called to denounce anarchy, the destructive, chaotic one. The vast majority of people would take somewhat repressive normalcy over rampant, wanton, large scale random violence and
disorganization. I’m a long time war tax resister, and I support not paying for war, but now, I have to weigh how that plays into the hands of a regime hell bent on destroying its own mechanisms and body, some of which I use and appreciate. I even support some parts of the CIA compared to Steve Bannon’s version of reality, but that doesn’t mean I support the CIA and its dirty tricks. I would still take the Democratic Party over the Tea Party, but that doesn’t mean I buy into the Democratic National Committee’s delusions, collusions and dirty tricks. It is devastating that their arrogance, incompetence and militarist dishonesty brought them down against the blatantly violent, dishonest, anti-democratic, idiotic and ignorant vitriol of the eventual victor. The Democrats. over the course of multiple administrations, set the stage for the resurgence of violent nationalism, the diminishment of diplomacy, the stealing of The Commons.
End 50 Years of Occupation: “Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue”
- I mentioned in January’s missive (pt.1) that I am returning in May on another delegation to the West Bank with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. Thank you very much to people who responded to me already. I have received pledges for about 60% of the $3000 I need to raise for my travel and to help purchase work equipment we will use when there. See just below for a couple of Bay Area benefit events that benefit CJNV and this trip.
If you have PayPal, you can easily send me money that way here. Checks can be
sent to James Haber, 15 Mirabel Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110.
If you want your donation to be tax deductible, then donate through CJNV’s donation page and indicate that you are donating in honor of my participation. T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights is CJNV’s fiscal sponsor.
I have decided not to create a Generosity.com or GoFundMe campaign. Based on my experience last year, those platforms are more for new ideas to get support from new circles. CJNV itself is launching one for the May delegation, but I am looking for support from people I know first.
- +972 Magazine CJNV video This is a great 10 minute report produced for +972
Magazine about the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. It was filmed during the July 2016 delegation.
- San Francisco Social: A fundraiser for CJNV on March 26, 3:00 pm.4th Floor Clubroom
170 King St. / 177 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA
Dial #0809 on callbox for entry
Call (415) 336-0507 if you’re lost.
Through film, photos and stories from past participants, and a taste of za’tar and falafel, learn what ‘Occupation is Not our Judaism’ and ‘Existence is Resistance’ means and how you can support an upcoming CJNV trip – Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue: End 50 Years of Occupation.
- Film and Discussion: April 8, Al Helm (The Dream): MLK in Palestine film screening at Kehilla: benefit for the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. I promoted this film a lot when it came out and am glad for it to be featured again. It is about a play about King being interpreted by the Palestinian National Theater. It is about the dynamic between the Palestinian actors and the American gospel singers for whom being in The Holy Land was as significant a motivation as was connecting the songs and King’s life and message to the lives of the Palestinians. Timed to be near April 4, the 50th anniversary of King’s Riverside Church speech in which he powerfully called on people to resist war. He was murdered on April 4 the next year, and now, there are emerging various initiatives to raise the profile of King’s sermons and work against war, side by side with the necessary organizing against economic exploitation and racism. May his memory help us redouble our efforts for justice, for “peace is the fruit of justice” to quote scripture ala the Transform Now Plowshares.
- Israeli television comedian host really calls his people OUT! Assaf Harel nails it in what Ha’Aretz calls a “searing indictment of Israeli society.”
We Support Our Muslim, Arab and Immigrant Neighbors.
Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area Interfaith Committee, in conjunction with a number of partnering organizations, organizes very uplifting and successful canvassing of neighborhoods offering signs to put in windows of homes and businesses. The response has been overwhelmingly positive at the three I have helped with. The next two will be held April 23 in San Francisco and May 20 in Walnut Creek. To find out more, e-mail BayArea@jvp.org and put “canvassing” in the subject line.
Confronting Nuclear War and Militarism DIRECTLY: Here are some resource recommendations that emerged for me during this year’s Pacific Life Community gathering during which we demonstrated in the snow at the Kitsap-Bangor Trident submarine base near Tacoma, Washington. The PLC concerns ourselves with important anti-nuclear, anti-military, pro-self-determination issues that include the entire Pacific. We were privileged to view a pre-distribution copy of The Coming War On China by John Pilger: It included rarely publicized footage and interviews about the impact of US war preparations in different countries including Japan, Korea, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines and China.
Nuclear Savage by Adam Horowitz: About nuclear testing and the plight of the people of Rongelap in particular.
Village Versus Empire: by Mark Kaplan: Featuring performance artist Dohee Lee who is from Jeju Island, about Jeju and Gangjeong Village’s history in becoming “the island of peace” and their fight against the destruction of their beautiful and sacred coral reef, rocks and way of life.
Thank you, everyone for reading and for your work in the world. I encourage people to share any of these missives, and even more, to leave comments so we might generate a discussion on any or all of what I ponder and share in my Approximately Monthly Missives.