The Teachings of Jesus

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Aside from how He arrived and how He departed, the teachings of Jesus are uplifting. They show a way out of violence and despair. I do hope you will take the time to watch this video. It takes about half an hour and there’s a long boring introduction, but I think Daoud’s message is inspiring.

And I think it’s important to see images of the children of Palestine and hear their hopes and dreams. Mention Palestinians, and most Americans think of masked gunmen shooting unarmed athletes. Daoud and his family, like most Palestinians, had nothing to do with that. They were as shocked and disgusted as you or me.

And as the long boring introduction points out, it’s important to view the Tent of Nations outside the context of the intractable conflict, as an ongoing act of faith in the teachings of Jesus.

I think this video is important for all true friends of Israel. Just as Herschel Goldhirsch, later known as Harry Golden, told his friends and neighbors in North Carolina, politely but firmly, that racial segregation was wrong, we need to tell our Israeli allies that their treatment of the Palestinians is wrong, and that the only way they can remain a democratic nation is to make peace.

American Jews and friends of Israel are in the best position to do this — indeed nearly all the groups supporting Palestinian rights that I have met with are made up mostly of Israelis and American Jews — but we all have to do our part.

Most Americans hesitate to criticize Israel because of its precarious position. Until very recently it was the only real democracy in the Middle East, but it is the failure to make peace with the Palestinians that makes this position all the more precarious. Americans may wish not to take sides, but we have taken sides. We give more aid to Israel than any other country in the world. Just as we are part of the problem, we can be part of the solution.

America once had a president who could stand up to the government of Israel and make them abide by international law, but his name was Ike and that was a long time ago.

The Israeli-only highways, the checkpoints, the wall — they have to go. If Israel sets up a system with two layers of citizenship, it will go the way of South Africa. But don’t ask me. Ask Ariel Sharon. Well you can’t because he’s in a coma, or dead, depending on who you talk to, but he’s said as much in no uncertain terms. And any true friend of Israel will tell you the same.

Socrates asked, “Who is the true friend?” Not the one who praises all your words and actions, but the one who tells you the truth.