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Whereas Kinane states, “When I returned to the states I felt like Alice entering Wonderland,” he was undoubtedly the only one feeling that way. As with his more recent trips to Iraq and Iran, his harsh attacks on the U.S. government surely began as quickly as he set foot in the United States. Now, Kinane finds Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians analogous to South Africa’s treatment of blacks and spews acrid assertions, as usual, at the United States for supporting Israeli policies.
Contrary to Kinane’s version of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, when Israel was established in 1948, it welcomed all Palestinians and presently has around 1 million Arabs with Israeli citizenship, having equal rights as its Jewish citizens. Kinane also complains about Israel’s “grotesque wall,” while failing to explain that it was built to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian suicide bombers.
Despite Kinane’s rhetoric, there is no “genocidal siege” of the Gaza Strip. Israel and Egypt both tightened their control of border crossings because of the terrorist group Hamas, but both have periodically opened them to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. When mentioning Israeli violations of U.N. resolutions, somehow Kinane forgot the 57-nation Organization for the Islamic Conference, which keeps the United Nations busy with request for legally binding one-sided resolutions condemning Israel and which only the Arabs and Kinane can blame Israel for defying.
Finally, Kinane neglected to mention that Israelis dropped leaflets warning Palestinians to leave their homes before bombings.
St. Andrews truly is a model for what a modern Catholic church should be. We have involvement of the laity in most areas, including giving the homily. We have tithed more than 10 percent of our income over many years to groups that support the poor and have active social and peace groups. We truly live out the gospel, in our community and in the mission of the second Vatican.
Change in the Roman Catholic Church has to begin from the bottom up. Now is the time for this change, spurred by the dwindling number of Catholic priests. The model of an active faith community with active laity is the answer—not merging one church with another. Reconfiguration can never be sustainable, but changing the structure of our Mass can.
I was part of the reconfiguration group seven to eight years ago when we sought out St. Lucy’s as our sister parish in a linkage that has benefited both parishes for some time now. Even Father Jim Matthews will admit, I think, that the folks at St. Andrews have enriched his parish and faith.
This church is a special part of my life. When Jim and I suffered a loss in our family, Sister Pat and Father Kane were there for us. They allowed us to grieve in our own way; there are no rules for this type of grieving.
We stand for defending the poor, the jail ministry for those who do not have advocates, accepting all who come to God’s table. I believe in the spirit of St. Andrews the Apostle and even if we no longer have a building, we always have each other. Our model of what a faith-based community is all about may take another form, but will never die.
Those editors condemned the totalitarian denial of justice that Apartheid imposed on an indigenous black majority. Perhaps, being white, those editors trembled as they contemplated their children’s future on a continent whose people were unlikely to forget how South Africa treated blacks.
When I returned to the States I felt like Alice entering Wonderland. Although it was a hot topic here, opinion makers had little grasp of Apartheid. Many just knew that United States presidents looked upon the South African government as an ally and inquired no further. They did not trouble to inform themselves. Sometimes we can be most reluctant to criticize United States allies even as they commit crimes against humanity.
In those days South Africa wasn’t the only Apartheid settler state. For decades white-run Israel has been treating its indigenous people, the Palestinians, much as its then ally South Africa used to treat black people. Even now Israel keeps expanding its illegal settlements and consolidating Apartheid. Israel not only has become a mighty military power but one that deploys that power in defiance of United Nations resolutions and international law.
Every year the United States provides Israel billions of dollars to prop up and extend that power. Without those billions could Israel continue to steal Palestinian land and continue to deny Palestinians full-fledged citizenship? Could Israel build its grotesque wall in the occupied West Bank or maintain its genocidal siege of the Gaza Strip? Could Israel employ wholesale terrorism to crush those who seek to restore human dignity. Could Israel drop bombs on one of the most densely populated areas of the world, killing hundreds of civilians? It’s time we tell Mr. Obama it’s time to end United States military aid to Israel.
That is nonsense, calculated to muddy the waters of responsibility in this endless series of clashes. Readers only have to recognize the real Hamas to locate the blameworthy party. Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union for killing hundreds of Israel civilians, perpetrating scores of suicide bomb attacks, murdering 26 Americans and refusing to renounce violence and recognize the Jewish state.
Duplicity also walks hand-in-hand with Hamas’ leaders. Hamas first became popular with the Palestinian people through programs aiding the general population. Once elected to political power by the Palestinians in their 2006 elections and having Israel withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, Hamas revealed its true colors by shooting their way into complete control of Gaza and bombarding Southern Israel frequently with rockets, killing innocent Israeli civilians.
Holding Hamas and Israel equally responsible for the truce ending is equating Hamas’ murderous rocket attacks on Israel during the truce as somehow equal to Israel’s reactive strikes and closing of the border crossings into Gaza.
As a long term democracy in the democracy-starved Middle East, Israel has long had a special relationship with the United States. Israel and its people are the most hated in the world, particularly in the Middle East. Their nation is an oasis of freedom and democracy, located in a desert of Arab countries whose direct hatred and hostility have forced Israel to fight several wars and to accept a permanent state of military readiness in order to survive.
Ignoring the fact that any populist measure is on very shaky legal ground in removing a civil liberty, why is it that the Catholic and Mormon churches continue to receive tax exemptions? We are in an economic recession with many people struggling and taxing those organizations could supply badly needed revenues.
And “vast right-wing conspiracy?” She was only a step off her game. Vast right-wing propaganda machine is more on the mark.
As for the blue dress, about which she knew nothing until we did, it was nobody’s business. As reactionary Republicans, in Congress and out, made such an absurd and prurient circus about an affair that was none of their or our business, I’ve often wished Bill Clinton swung more than one way and had my number. I might’ve done a better job, I wouldn’t have told anyone, and I would’ve washed the dress!
—E. Donald Wright
Let me refute some of Lindsay’s comments from his letter in the Dec. 17 issue of The New Times. He does not like Ellen Goodman, one of the best syndicated columnists writing today. He despises Hillary Rodham Clinton despite her impressive achievements as First Lady, U.S. Senator from New York and her sensational campaign for president just this past year. He dismisses her outright as our future Secretary of State.
His attack on Ground Zero, a group dedicated to the implementation of a nuclear ban treaty is misguided to say the least. At the present time, nine nations belong to the nuclear club with the United States leading the way with 10,000 nuclear weapons; also joining the club are Russia, France, Britain, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran (who claims not to have nukes now, but is developing nuclear technology for what it calls “peaceful purposes”). Lindsay’s attack on former President Jimmy Carter, a member of Ground Zero, is particularly vicious. Carter may not have been the best president of the 20th century, but he is a humanitarian as evidenced by his work with Habitat for Humanity, received the Nobel Peace Prize, is the author of 23 books and was well ahead of his time in green technology.
Lindsay also contradicts himself since he admits Gen. David Petraeus has said that we may have to talk to our enemies. His dismissal of the NATO troops fighting alongside U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan is out of order. So far, 100 Canadians and 25 Danish troops have been killed. The number of British, Germans, French and Italians who have paid the ultimate price is unknown. Contrary to Lindsay’s assertion that nuclear disarmament is not imperative if the world is going to survive, nuclear weapons and global warming are the greatest menaces facing the world today. We can take care of the Islamic terrorists without going nuclear.