Breastfeeding without Borders
In 1987, just after my son Amos was born, when I was married and living in Karkur about fifteen minutes down the road from Wadi Ara, I went back to the old neighborhood for a visit. We were only recently returned from a couple of years overseas and I had somewhat lost touch with my Wadi Ara connections, but I wanted to take my baby son to meet the family there. The reunion was very warm, with a lot of excitement, hugging and kissing, and admiring of one another’s children and how they’d grown. Faiza, her cousin’s wife Rasha from next door, and several other neighbor women oo’ed and ah’ed at my infant’s undeniable charms: blond hair, dark eyes, a plump and happy baby. [click to continue…]
The Thrill of It All
When I first got involved in working for peace in Israel in 1981 at the age of 33, I was astounded to encounter the amazing adrenalin rush that comes with discovering “the other” and experiencing our deep affinity for each other.
Certainly, games of war and death provide a rush, but that is not the only us/them rush available and, arguably, may not even be the best rush available. The war-and-death rush divides the self into a part that takes pleasure and a part that suppresses shame. In peace work, there is both joy and fear – fear of the unknown, and fear of the stranger – but there is no shame to be suppressed. No energy is wasted on hushing up the persistent inner voice that knows it’s wrong to kill and maim and destroy. [click to continue…]
When there does not appear to be much reason for hope, that does not mean that there is, in fact, no hope.
People look around here in Palestine/Israel, at the ground zero of so-called “intractable conflicts,” and wonder how we can ever climb out of the mess we have made of things here, even if everyone were to join together and really try.
The despair people feel is real, and quite understandable, and even warranted. But there really is good reason to remain hopeful. [click to continue…]
The next big thing in human rights is going to be the right not to be enemies.
What is inadequate about the concept of “human rights,” as we now understand it, is that it is essentially static, mono-dimensional and self-oriented. It focuses on rights that accrue to me or my group, and to you and your group, but without any connection between us. This is no longer enough. In the emergent global reality, our shared pursuit of sustainable egalitarian societies will have to be more synchronously coordinated and more dynamic.
Consider the right to the most basic necessities of survival – food, clothing, shelter – and to freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of mobility, of religion and of the press, freedom of conscience, freedom to earn a living, etc. These are about me and us (my group, or me and my family, etc.) and you and your group. Every person has the right to . . . Every group has the right to . . . And so forth.
Of course, hundreds of millions of people around the world do not enjoy even the minimum of human rights today. There is still a long way to go to assure everyone the same minimum. So what am I talking about?
I’m talking about the fact that there is little or no dimension of interactivity in the way we have understood the notion of “human rights” thus far. In the way we have understood human rights until now, there is no connectedness, no inbuilt network, no co-evolving or co-being, in the Buddhist sense. The absence of that conceptual aspect may have been a factor in delaying us for so long in attaining the minimum spectrum of rights for so many millions on this planet. Maybe what we have traditionally understood as human rights can’t be more widely attained without introducing more interactivity into the transformative process of attaining them. [click to continue…]