Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DIALOGUE BETWEEN JEWISH FRIEND AND ME

Pains and Friendship

Here is a bit of an email dialogue between a very old and dear Jewish friend and me. We met in September 1949. It depicts the sharp differences friends can have and remain friends. Neither of us will ever change our positions. I am not fond of these discussions and have agreed out loud with some friends and tacitly with others not to make this painful issue part of our discussions.

I will call my friend Israel. He sent me the following story in response to my negative view of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent visit to the U.S.

Israel - Short Story

Dr. Arieh Eldad:

I was instrumental in establishing the Israeli National Skin Bank, which is the largest in the world. The National Skin Bank stores skin for every day needs as well as for war time or mass casualty situations.

This skin bank is hosted at the Hadassah Ein Kerem University hospital in Jerusalem where I was the Chairman of plastic surgery. This is how I was asked to supply skin for an Arab woman from Gaza , who was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, after her family burned her. Usually, such atrocities happen among Arab families when the women are suspected of having an affair.

We supplied all the needed Homografts for her treatment. She was successfully treated by my friend and colleague, Prof. Lior Rosenberg and discharged to return to Gaza . She was invited for regular follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic in Beersheva.

One day she was caught at a border crossing wearing a suicide belt. She meant to explode herself in the outpatient clinic of the hospital where they saved her life. It seems that her family promised her that if she did that, they would forgive her.

This is only one example of the war between Jews and Muslims in the Land of Israel. It is not a territorial conflict. This is a civilizational conflict, or rather a war between civilization & barbarism.

Robert - I have no doubt believing this story is true.

I try not to argue from the particular to the general.

I ask what are the causes for such rage?

Israel - Just want to clarify your response. Are you referring to the rage exhibited

by parents attempting to burn their daughter to death, or the rage of a family

wishing to kill innocent people who saved their daughter's life and made

her whole again?

Robert - I ask what are the causes of such rage that a Palestinian would want to

become a human bomb killing innocent people in Israel?

Israel - Robert, dear friend, thank you for your response. Your answer now confirms what I have suspected

for a long time. You have chosen to blind yourself to reality and attempt to justify your positions on

moral issues by cherry picking from the teachings of Jesus that best suit your intellectual and emotional

bent. For starters just look at the obvious contradictions in the following. Enough material there for a

month of sermons.

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them."

In Matthew 5:38-39, Jesus says:

"You have heard that it was said, 'eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

In Matthew 5:28-30, Jesus says:

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

In Mark 10:25, Jesus says:

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."

Robert - I did not say that I agreed with the Palestinian or any individual or group’s notion of suicide bombing. Of course I think it is an awful and terrible thing.

Thank you for the lesson in scripture.

I reiterate, "I ask what are the causes of such rage that a Palestinian would want to become a human bomb killing innocent people in Israel?"

Israel - Robert, when you find the answer to why Muslim suicide bombers kill other Muslims almost every day,

then you will have the answer to your question. Clue: check out the Koran.

Robert - The Koran like the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament was written by many hands, over many generations by people with various historical and ethical beliefs. I do not take the Koran literally any more than I take the Bible literally. Thoughtful Muslims do not either. Many Muslims, Christians and Jews are literalists and fundamentalists and pick and choose what they take literally.

Oppressed and frustrated people will always express themselves in violence. I am sad and sorry to note that. Some suicide bombers are a result of the policies of the Israeli government.

I think the Israeli government's treatment of the Palestinians has been horrific. Camps, poverty, degrading their values and traditions, military brutality, breaking agreements, walls, building on disputed property, harassing free movement, blockades, constant hindering negotiations and disregarding United Nation’s mandates all stand in the way of peace and tranquility in Israel." Fifty years of that policy has resulted in that rage, anger and radical desire for revenge. I do not condone it. That is what I see the root causes of suicide bombers to be.

I end this dialogue, not because Israel has nothing more to say or that I won. Nobody wins. But it is an example of how loving friends can be friends and disagree. Thank you Israel.

Friday, May 27, 2011

NETANYAHUS' VISIT - MORE

Responses to my email about the Netanyahu visit. I copied Rabbi Lerner’s quote from an earlier letter to me.

With Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the United States I have received a number of emails from friends in support of Israel. I replied to one ….reiterating my long held and unwavering position. Years ago I said, “I am a Palestinian.” -Robert Warren Cromey

“No, Mr. Netanyahu! Americans Don’t Support Your Intransigence and Rejection of a Plausible Path to Peace. We stand with President Obama on Peace Negotiations.” – Rabbi Michael Lerner

Here are the replies I received to my “I am a Palestinian statement.”

Robert: I stand with you ........ a Palestinian.

I am with you 100 % and have been for many years.

AMEN!

Good for you for sticking your neck out.

Glad you're not a giraffe.

well said, comrade!

The US Congress pandering to Netanyahu was ludicrous.

Yes, and very sad. I believe Israel does not want and will do everything it can to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

On this, as on so many other subjects, I am with you all the way.

The leading and most effective anti-Zionists are ‘Jews’.

I am heartened knowing someone besides myself isn't lockstep with the Israeli party line that has captured and imperiled the US for a very long time.

Here is the last letter I received from Jewish Voice for Peace…. Here is their website <info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org>

Both sides seem to have very stiff necks, but Israel's is stiffer. And as long as that continues, there'll be no resolution. Hopefully, though, the people/individuals themselves will keep trying to meet face-to-face and get to know each other as human beings.

Here is the only negative:

Well, you are entitled to your opinion. I think you are way off base.

Returning Gaza accomplished nothing except more rockets.

I completely agree with Netnanyahu when he asked, "would you live with that?". By the way, would you?

And I would never negotiate with anyone who is dedicated to my destruction.

What would happen to Israel if the Palestinians had military superiority. There would be no negotiations.

I am sure there were other negative responses but I did not get them. I was particularly delighted with so many positive emails. The People opposed to Israeli policies and U.S. pandering to the Israeli government are not as public as those who support them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Letter to Congresswomen re: Netanyahu

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer,

In Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the United States he has showed utter disregard and contempt for President Obama, the United Nations, the Arab world and most of the countries of Europe. The Israeli government's treatment of the Palestinians has been horrific. Camps, military brutality, breaking agreements, walls, building on disputed property, constant hindering negotiations and disregarding United Nation’s mandates all hinder peace and tranquility in Israel.

The US Congress pandering to Netanyahu was ludicrous.” I hope President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority will also be invited to address a joint session of Congress.

Israel’s leaders have refused to negotiate with the Palestinians until they repudiate Hamas, a group democratically elected to leadership by the people. In addition Israeli leaders have indicated they would not negotiate with any group who does not believe in the right of Israel to exist.

Negotiating about those two important should be exactly what the discussions are all about. People of good will can sit down and deal with the hardest issues. They must not be pre-conditions to talking together. The refusal to do so smacks of not wanting to negotiate under any circumstances.

Lest you think I am just one more anti-Israeli government crank, please note these web sites of Jews and others who support Palestinians.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians http://jfjfp.com/

http://www.tikkun.org - Rabbi Michael Lerner

http://www.womeninblack.org/en/about

Jewish Voice for Peace" <info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org>

Sincerely,

RWC

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"I am a Palestinian"

With Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the United States I have received a number of emails from friends in support of Israel. I replied to one with the enclosed email reiterating my long held and unwavering position. Years ago I said, “I am a Palestinian.”

“Let's not forget we have agreed not to haunt each other with propaganda. I think the Israeli government's treatment of the Palestinians has been horrific. Camps, military brutality, breaking agreements, walls, building on disputed property, constant hindering negotiations and disregarding United Nation’s mandates all hinder peace and tranquility in Israel. The US Congress pandering to Netanyahu was ludicrous.” I hope President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority will also be invited to address a joint session of Congress.

Israel’s leaders have refused to negotiate with the Palestinians until they repudiate Hamas, a group democratically elected to leadership by the people. In addition Israeli leaders have indicated they would not negotiate with any group who does not believe in the right of Israel to exist.

Negotiating about those two important should be exactly what the discussions are all about. People of good will can sit down and deal with the hardest issues. They must not be pre-conditions to talking together. The refusal to do so smacks of not wanting to negotiate under any circumstances.

Lest you think I am just one more anti-Israeli government crank, please note these web sites of Jews and others who support Palestinians.

Jews for Justice for Palestinians

http://jfjfp.com/

http://www.tikkun.org - Rabbi Michael Lerner

http://www.womeninblack.org/en/about

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Denjanjuck gets 5 years

Ninety-one-year-old John Demjanjuck has been sentenced to five years in jail for his part in war crimes during World War 11. He was tried and acquitted in Israel many years ago. He has been hounded relentlessly by the Nazi hunters, harassed, deported from the United States and tried and convicted in Munich Germany.

When will it ever end? Never. Suspected Nazi war criminals will be tracked down and attempts will be made to try them in courts for crimes committed sixty to seventy years ago. No rational arguments can be mustered to stop these haunted hunters. Appeals for mercy will be trumped by the call for justice. Urging forgiveness after these long years of hiding and fear is met with cries of revenge. Calls for compassion will be countered by exhortations for retaliation.

We have seen war crimes against civilians by Americans go unpunished. The My Lai massacre of Vietnam women and children saw the American leaders of the killing having charges dismissed and a few months in prison for one.

Police officers in the United States are routinely punished with no more than a slap for the killing of African Americans suspected of crimes.

The President of the United States orders unmanned drone bombers to drop bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan killing unarmed women and children.

The murdering of Jews, Poles, homosexuals, clergy, mentally and physically disabled civilians by the Nazis was a horrendous crime. Nothing can be gained by the pursuing of suspected war criminals. Nothing changes except continued de-humanizing and brutality, more failure of the highest dimensions of human existence, mercy, forgiveness and compassion.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Real Mother's Day

Mother's Day in the United States was first proclaimed in 1870 in Boston by Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, and Howe called for it to be observed each year nationally in 1872. As originally envisioned, Howe's "Mother's Day" was a call for pacifism and disarmament by women.

The original Mother's Day Proclamation was as follows:

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.