Monday, June 27, 2011

Peacetalkers, religious leaders, or conflict sowers?

Once upon a time, peace talkers spoke and acted peacefully and religious leaders spoke and acted morally (or so I am told...). Today things seem to be different.

On Facebook there is a group called Peacetalkers. Somehow I became a member of this group (not sure if I joined or if some friend signed me up...I wish they wouldn't do that and leave the choice to me).

One of the members of this group uses as image of an Israeli flag with a swastika as her photo.

Yes, you read this correctly: This is apparently a new way to symbolize peace talkers. When did I miss this change? [For once, I am speechless... ]

And another 'bright' light in today's news - this one about 'religious leaders' - you know - those men and women who are supposed to be the epitome of moral standards who help us all find the light and act in accordance with God's wishes.

Rabbi Dov Lior - the chief rabbi in Kiriyat Arba - was called in for police questionning today after refusing to come for a year (!). As the Ha'aretz report notes (see the article for the fully story - ):

 "...Lior was arrested, questioned, and released on Monday after refusing to appear for an inquiry for his endorsement of the controversial book, “Torat Hamelech,” which justifies killing non-Jews...
The police arrested Rabbi Lior on Monday afternoon, who has said in the past that the Torah is above the law, and that it is unacceptable for a rabbi to be investigated for publishing Torah-related work."

Apparently Rabbi Lior does not understand what all the fuss is about. Supporting and endorsing a book that calls for the murder of non-Jews does not seem to be a solid reason for being called in for questioning by the police. Apparently his thousands of followers do not understand what the problem is either, since they went out and created spontaneous mass demonstrations, shutting down the main entrance and exit to and from Jerusalem in the early evening, and shouting: "Nothing is above the Torah."

Oh come now - being called in for endorsing murder of people who come from a different religion/people than your own? Really, what is the fuss all about? Don't the lawmakers and law keepers have anything better to do with their time?

On days like today I carefully re-consider wanting to be a 'peace talker' or a 'spiritual and moral Jew' if the standards that I am being asked/told to follow include swatiskas and support of killing.

On days like today, I wonder how peace talkers adapt the swastika for an Israeli flag, seeing it as a symbol of extending a hand for peace, and how spiritual leaders became dons who support killing of those 'outside the tribe.'

Are these REALLY the ways that peacetalkers and religious followers believe we will find peace, justice, morality, goodness, and be inscribed in the Book of Life?

There must be another way

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