Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2 of my recent letters to the NYTimes RE Israel/Palestine & Freedom Of, and from, Religion

"I’d been reading up on comparative religion. The thing is that all major religions have the Golden Rule in Common. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Not always the same words but the same meaning.–Norman Rockwell, The Norman Rockwell Album.
... From photographs he’d taken on his 1955 round-the-world Pam Am trip, Rockwell referenced native costumes and accessories and how they were worn. He picked up a few costumes and devised some from ordinary objects in his studio, such as using a lampshade as a fez. Many of Rockwell’s models were local exchange students and visitors. In a 1961 interview, indicating the man wearing a wide brimmed hat in the upper right corner, Rockwell said, “He’s part Brazilian, part Hungarian, I think. Then there is Choi, a Korean. He’s a student at Ohio State University. Here is a Japanese student at Bennington College and here is a Jewish student. He was taking summer school courses at the Indian Hill Museum School.” Pointing to the rabbi, he continued, “He’s the retired postmaster of Stockbridge. He made a pretty good rabbi, in real life, a devout Catholic. I got all my Middle East faces from Abdalla who runs the Elm Street market, just one block from my house.” Some of the models used were also from Rockwell’s earlier illustration, United Nations." Rockwell's "Golden Rule"

Dear Editor,

Freedom of, and from, religion: American taxpayers should not be forced to fund a new Embassy in Israel- or Israel's supposed "Jewishness".

Israel, a heavy armed sovereign modern nation state, wants the land, but not the native non-Jewish population of that land.  This is not at all like long ago when America was settled.  People of every race and religion came to America, many to escape religious persecution.

America's settlement by Europeans was a less enlightened, dangerously primitive era. Slavery (and inequality) was part of life for most every nation on earth, and had been since before biblical times. But even so, our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Bill of Rights laid the foundation for real freedom, justice, respect and opportunity for all, regardless of race or religion.

172 years later, the very same year that modern Israel was established in 1948, after the Nazi Holocaust, The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights made it quite clear to all the world that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world"

Israel's sovereign choice to perpetually persecute and impoverish Palestinian men, women and children has made the Israel-Palestine conflict and refugee crisis what it is today.... and that is huge tragedy for everyone.

Anne Selden Annab


RE Trump Is Making a Huge Mistake on Jerusalem, By HANAN ASHRAWI

Dear Editor,

Good to see the marvelous Hanan Ashrawi again speaking out at a crucial time, doing all she can to help more Americans understand the very real plight and suffering of the Palestinians.

It is a huge tragedy with devastating consequences that so many Americans, including Trump and his son-in-law, don't see how wrong it is to force tax payers (here and there) to fund Israel's religious "scholars" and schemes including Israel's land grabbing "Settlements" in the illegally occupied territories.

Anne Selden Annab

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