Thursday 18 June 2009


"Ordinary People" is something of an intentional misnomer. I live and work with Palestinians practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. They are doing things that are hardly "ordinary": committing themselves to active nonviolence and to loving their enemies ~ following the commands of One who was anything but ordinary. And yet, the Palestinians with whom I work are also very ordinary ~ they are not some kind of spiritual superheroes/superheroines who do things most folks can't do. They are simply ordinary people daily committing themselves to living a higher calling ~ a calling of love and active nonviolence.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We are just ordinary people. Sometimes it feels like we are powerless, voiceless, and helpless to change the movements of the Powers that Be.

I don't believe it. I believe that the Powers that Be know the masses have power, but if we feel silenced, unheard, then maybe we won't do anything in our despair.

Below is a way to stick it to 'em! It is a petition calling for the end to the settlements, which a big obstacle to the way to peace. Settlements cut through Palestine, making it more like Swiss cheese than contiguous land.

Please read the message below, and sign the petition.

Coming up in blog posts: Reasons why an Israeli settlement, Ma'on and the nearby settlement outpost, Havat Ma'on, located near At-Tuwani, have got to go.

Dear friends,

Obama is challenging Israel's right-wing government to stop its settlements, which are killing prospects for peace ~ let's raise a massive global chorus to help him overcome powerful opposition in Israel and the US:

Sign the petition
President Obama just made a remarkable speech in Egypt, committing personally to building peace in the Middle East. Unexpectedly, his first move is to directly challenge the new right-wing government of America's ally Israel ~ actively pressing them to stop their self-destructive policy of settlements (illegal colonies set up on Palestinian lands).

There's widespread support for stopping the settlements, including among ordinary Israelis ~ even George W Bush paid lip-service to it ~ but this new move looks like it could finally get traction. Obama is facing powerful opposition, so he’s going to need help around the world in the coming period to strengthen his resolve. Let’s start right now ~ by raising a massive global chorus behind Obama’s statement that the settlements must stop.

We’ll advertise the number of signatures in key newspapers in Israel, as well as in Washington DC (where some are trying to undermine Obama in the US Congress). Read Obama’s words now and add your signature to them at the link below, then forward this email to friends and family so they can do the same:

Most diplomats and experts agree that the settlements are a significant barrier to peace, as a silent majority of the Israeli public also know. Combined with a network of roadblocks and barriers, these colonies now blanket the West Bank, seizing territory and forcing Palestinians to live effectively as prisoners in smaller and smaller pockets.

Until this problem is tackled, it seems impossible to build a viable Palestinian state or any kind of lasting peace. For Arab states deciding what more they themselves can do for peace, stopping the settlements has become a crucial test of Israel’s seriousness.

We’ll need to urge the other parties to take bold steps too. If we can help Obama to stay the course on settlements, shift Israeli policy and encourage the Palestinians and key Arab states also to stretch out their hands, a new beginning for the Middle East is possible.

But none of this will happen without a growing global movement of citizens taking action to support it. Read Obama’s words, add your signature and spread the word today:

With hope and determination,

Paul, Raluca, Ricken, Brett, Paula, Graziela, Rajeev, Iain, Taren, Milena, Luis, Alice and the whole Avaaz team

President Obama's speech (full text):

Heading More on Israeli Settlements:

Israeli Settlement Growth Must Stop:

Israel Hopes for Arab Reconciliation:

Obama Seeks New Start with Muslims:

Ministers Split Over Obama's Cairo Speech,7340,L-3726367,00.html

Bin Laden Attacks Obama Policies:

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1 comment:

  1. Barb: Nice expansion on the article...

    More and more people are reading this material, and realizing that it is the truth... Israel did 9-11!

    Check out the latest stuff I put up in my own blog site when you get a chance...


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