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Posts Tagged ‘summit’

The Joy of the Soul – Remembering 13 Year Old Shlomo Nativ HY”D

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Three years ago on the 8th of Nisan, 5769, an Arab terrorist with an axe ran into the center of our community of Bat Ayin and killed a 13 year old boy named Shlomo Nativ.   Every year at this time before the anniversary of this terrible event, our community comes together to remember and honor Shlomo and his family and to connect with one another.  This year a new film has been produced by Shlomo’s family in collaboration with filmmaker Yosef Muskal.  (The full one hour film can be viewed in the JewishPress.com video section – Editors)

I’ve written before about the higher level of life force that pervades this land.  For the most part, this higher level of life force manifests in ways that are clearly and outwardly life affirming – the natural beauty, the clean air, the spiritual richness, etc.   Today, we faced an ugly and uncomfortable side to that higher level of life energy, one that brought us face to face with an incomprehensible paradox.

The attitude of the community is that Shlomo was not a victim.   Rather he was a holy Korban (sacrifice), whose death brought us closer to Hashem (G-d), drawing a greater light and life force into the world.

I was struck today by how deeply paradoxical this attitude is from a people with such profound respect for life.   Almost every one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah is pushed aside in order to preserve life.  Taking a life, whether that of another or one’s own, is considered among the worst betrayals of our relationship with G-d.   On a gut level, the cruel and horrific taking of a young boy’s life seems anything but life affirming.    Yet there is some peculiarly Jewish spiritual instinct that is aroused by such events, that takes us over, and that stubbornly insists on viewing events like Shlomo’s murder as life-affirming for all of us.

For me that was the main lesson of the day that I absorbed from my fellow Bat Ayin residents.  Many people related stories of personal salvation and strength that they attributed to Shlomo’s elevation.  The stories unfolded from the moment of his passing down to the present, 3 years later.

It’s a beautiful time of year in these hills.  Every living green thing, from the biggest trees to the smallest grasses, is flowering and in the midst of a wondrous celebration of life.  The seasonal transition of this landscape from the intensely brown and barren Fall to the wildly green and colorful Spring is incredibly dramatic.

For me this year, the great drama of Spring in these hills is intimately bound up with the lesson of Shlomo’s life and elevation.  It’s as if the natural world takes us to a summit of appreciation for life in all its green and flowering glory.   Shlomo’s yahrzeit gives me an appreciation for life beyond what nature has the power to easily reveal, a level of life that transcends its embodied state, life beyond the distinction of life and death.  It’s a level beyond intellect that we can’t possibly understand and explain but somehow can experience through events like Shlomo’s elevation.

Sometimes I feel like I’m very much a part of this community (having moved here two years ago), and sometimes, feeling a small taste of what this community has been through, I stand apart from it in awe and admiration for a level of strength and dignity that’s way beyond me.  That distance is closed when I contemplate a personal element that binds me to Shlomo Nativ, the day of his yarzheit is also the day that another Shlomo, me, came into the world exactly 52 years ago.  I stand on the hills of his boyhood with my two young sons growing in the fresh air of the ancient Judean hills.  May we raise families and grow a community that is an honor to his special soul.

Ahmadinejad, Tajiki, Afghan, Pakistani, Presidents, Meet, Pledge Cooperation – Next ‘Quartet’ Summit in Kabul

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The Mehr news agency reported that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and Tajiki President Emomali Rahmon “called for more cooperation” during their summit in the Tajiki capital of Dushanbe on Sunday.

The next summit between Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan be held in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Daily Times reports that Ahmadinejad said the celebrations of Nauroz showed that life only improved after a hard winter, when friends joined forces. “Nauroz represents a battle between the forces of light against those of darkness, the fight against injustice,” Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony hosted by President Rahmon and attended by 15,000 spectators. “Nauroz is traditionally viewed as a new day without poverty, aggression, instability, crime, discrimination, occupation and the abasement of human dignity,” Ahmadinejad said. “All people have the right to live their life in dignity.”

Ahmadinejad is using his visit to the Tajik capital “to ratchet up rhetoric in the face of renewed international pressure over his country’s contested nuclear drive,” writes the Daily Times.

“Only the friends and neighbours of Afghanistan can in practice and realistically help this nation,” Ahmadinejad said in a statement released by his office on Saturday. “The occupiers who came to this nation from miles away are not here to aid the government and the people of Afghanistan but are here to loot the resources and mines of Afghanistan.”

Both Zardari and Karzai gave more restrained speeches that made no reference to the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan or to the United States.

Tajikistan is a small land-locked country that borders Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China, and Afghanistan and is home to some of the highest mountains in the world. It is the poorest of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan

Politically, Tajikistan is a nominally constitutional, democratic, and secular republic, dominated by President Emomali Rahmon who has been in power since 1992.

According to the State Department, Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), al-Qaida, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Tajikistan, and have carried out terrorist attacks involving suicide bombers.

The four presidents, meeting to celebrate the ancient Persian New Year, or Noruz, urged the expansion of relations between regional countries “to resolve problems facing the region.”

The declaration comes against the background of the increasing economic sanctions against Iran, including the announcement by the Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, a clearing system used by the world’s major banks, that it is obeying the European Union’s ban on Iranian financial firms, including some 40 Iranian banks.

Mehr reports that during the summit Ahmadinejad suggested that “the enemies of the region are experiencing many problems and have reached an impasse.” He called for closer cooperation between the four countries.

Iranian, Tajik, Pakistani, Afghan Presidents to Meet in Tajikistan

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The Iranian Mehr news agency reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on Saturday to attend the ancient Persian New Year (Noruz) festivities, which are being held on Sunday.

The occasion is celebrated in Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, India, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan.

The presidents of Iran, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan will attend a trilateral summit in Dushanbe on Sunday. In addition, the three presidents will hold a joint meeting with the Pakistani president on the same day to discuss issues facing Afghanistan.

Occupy AIPAC Advocates Palestinian State, Against Iran Strike

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

In the world of journalism, attaching the word “gate” to a name has long signaled some conspiracy. Now doing the same with the word “occupy” implies large groups of people hanging around to protest this or that injustice.

It can also be used cleverly to mask a campaign of brazen lies.

Occupy AIPAC is a weekend long series of events to coincide with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual Policy Conference, going through March 6. The Occupy AIPAC website says the group is gathering in Washington DC for a policy-style summit on the issues of Iran, the Arab Uprising and Palestine and “the affects of AIPAC in determining US foreign policy around those topics.”

The website has a disturbingly loose relationship with the truth, as it makes pronouncements like: “Iran has continuously submitted to intrusive inspections, above and beyond what is required by Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). None of these inspections have found any proof that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program.” This, just as yet another group of inspectors have left Iran in huff, after being barred from entering those very facilities.

Addressing President Obama, Occupy AIPAC declares: “We call on you to use diplomacy — not crippling sanctions and threats of military intervention — to deal with Iran.”

One of the group’s leaders is activist Rae Abileah, who interrupted Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in front of Congress last May. In an op-ed on Huffington Post, she promised that “activists will stage Occupy AIPAC – a counter-conference along with creative protests outside the AIPAC convention, in opposition to these policies. Millions of Americans hopeful of emerging from the recent recession must push back against another Middle East war promoted by many of the same people and organizations that brought us the catastrophic consequences of the war with Iraq.”

The implication here, of course, is that President Bush’s war on Iraq was launched under the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. And so, Israel’s existential crisis, borne by a nuclear threat, is presented as a callous manipulation of US foreign policy. And US dire security interests are nothing more than an economic burden.

Stay tuned…

Bush: Israel Has The Right To Defend Herself

Friday, July 12th, 2002

President Bush gave Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon an overwhelmingly warm welcome at the White House Monday, reiterating his lack of trust in Yasir Arafat and his support of Israel?s right of self-defense.

President Bush listens as Israeli Prime Minister Sharon speaks during Oval Office visit on Monday.
AFP / Tim Sloan
President Bush listens as Israeli Prime Minister Sharon speaks during Oval Office visit on Monday.


?No one has confidence in the emerging Palestinian government,? Bush told reporters as Sharon stood by his side.

Although some political observers had expected Bush to take a somewhat harder line with Sharon than he had in the past, particularly after the visit to Washington last week by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the meeting with Sharon went about as well as Israeli officials could have hoped.

Rejecting Mubarak?s suggestion that the U.S. set a timetable for negotiations on eventual Palestinian statehood, Bush insisted that the restructuring of the Palestinian Authority take precedence at the moment.

?First things first,? the president said. Reform of the PA?s security, judicial and economic infrastructure must be undertaken, according to Bush, ?to give the Palestinian people hope and to give the Israelis confidence that the emerging government will be someone with whom they can deal.?

The president also minced no words in defending Israel?s latest siege of PA headquarters in Ramallah. Referring to the encirclement of Arafat?s compound by Israeli tanks begun just hours before Sharon?s Washington visit, Bush said ?Israel has a right to defend herself.?

Asked about the potential timing for a summit, Bush told reporters: ?Let?s get the summit in context… the proposed summit this summer, a ministerial summit of people to come together to work toward the conditions necessary to establish a peace. See the conditions aren?t even there yet.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said after the meeting that no decision had yet been made about whether Bush or someone else in the administration would make a speech on the U.S. vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians before any future Middle East conference.

Bush, Fleischer said, still has to mull over the conflicting views expressed by Mubarak and Sharon. Mubarak has insisted a final peace deal be negotiated along the 1967 armistice lines. Sharon rejects that border as a starting point for talks.

The administration also endorsed Israel?s incursions into the West Bank as a means of self-defense. Fleischer said the White House understands the most recent incursion was of a limited duration.

After his meeting with Bush, Sharon met separately with Vice President Dick Cheney.

This was Sharon?s sixth meeting with Bush since taking office last year. In contrast, the White House has refused to issue a single invitation to Arafat.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/news-magazine/bush-israel-has-the-right-to-defend-herself/2002/07/12/

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