Last week on Jan. 2, some friends and I went down to the demonstration on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles in front of the Israeli Consulate. It was a protest against what is happening in the Gaza strip. Both sides had their chants. I found myself thinking, “What if both sides just started chanting PEACE PEACE PEACE!” What would happen? It is what both sides need and want and deserve. No more people need to die. No more bombs need to fly. It was clear there was a huge chasm of understanding between the two sides eventhough they were just across the street from each other. This war has been going on for over 40 years now. Surely they can find a way. I will continue to hope for that and add my voice to those that call for an end to the violence.
I got an opportunity to be part of interviews with women on both the Palestinian side of the street and the Israeli side of the street. It was very heart-wrenching. People on both sides want the bombing and killing to stop. Our camera proceeded to “eat” the interviews later, so I don’t have those interviews to share with you, but there are a couple photos of some of the signs on the Palestinian side of the street. I couldn’t get in front of the Israeli side of the street to photograph their signs. Hopefully we will have footage of that from the other camera in the coming days.
The yelling across the street at each other seems so sad. We all want the same thing. How can we get closer to peace?
What if both sides of the street started chanting PEACE?
You can FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PROTESTS IN THE L.A. AREA
I READ A BOOK ABOUT PEACE loaned to me by my friend, Alison, called Children Write For Peace
The Givat Haviva Seminar, established to promote education for peace and tolerance, held a poetry contest in 1999 for children’s poetry on the theme of peace. The contestants were Jewish and Arab children from all over Israel aged from 7-14. Written in Hebrew and Arabic the poems were also translated into English and German and accompanied by paintings by children who take part in the Givat Haviva art workshops.
You can check out the book here: http://www.icdlbooks.org/
HELP THE GAZA MEDIA AID PROJECT
Barefoot Workshops recently (Oct/Nov 2008) led media training workshops in the West Bank and Israel, working closely with Civil Society Organizations on both sides of “the wall”. Ours was a diplomatic mission contracted by the U.S. Government. We arrived open-minded with little knowledge about the conflict. After witnessing the daily injustices suffered by the Palestinians and seeing the power of media to give voice those under occupation, we decided to purchase and dispense 50 video cameras that will be used by “citizen journalists” to report back to the international community about what daily life is like, and how we can help. The idea is also to create more awareness and dialogue within Israel about their heavy-handed policies and tactics. The Palestinian people have long been asking for the support of internationals to turn the tides of their despair. We must be willing to hear the “other side” of the story (that our news media seldom airs). UN General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann likens Israel’s policies to South Africa’s treatment of blacks under apartheid. “We must not be afraid to call something what it is,” he says. For those of us who stand for change, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one area where our actions will speak louder than words.
EDWIN STARR DID A SONG CALLED WAR
There’s a line in the song . . .
War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing —
That pretty much says it all.
Check out the YouTube video
Hear and Buy the song
“War” is a soul song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Motown label in 1969. Whitfield produced the song, a blatant anti-Vietnam War protest, with The Temptations as the original vocalists. After Motown began receiving repeated requests to release “War” as a single, Whitfield re-recorded the song with Edwin Starr as the vocalist, deciding to withhold the Temptations’ version so as not to alienate their more conservative fans. Starr’s version of “War” was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, and is the most successful and well-known record of his career.