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"Lest We Forget" The Day Rachel Corrie Died

By       Message James Wall     Permalink
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"At the very least, there is a growing desire to allow non-Zionist voices to be part of the Jewish communal debate once more.

"One notable bellwether of this phenomenon may be found in the Swarthmore Hillel student board's recent unanimous decision to defy the guidelines of Hillel International and declare itself an 'Open Hillel.' In a statement accompanying their resolution, these Jewish students noted:

"'All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist. We are an institution that seeks to foster spirited debate, constructive dialogue, and a safe space for all, in keeping with the Jewish tradition.'

"I trust you would never suggest that these Jewish students are driven by 'anti-Semitism.' On the contrary, they are clearly motivated by sacred Jewish values and a courageous refusal to reduce Jewish identity to one political ideology."

The usually cautious J Street, which wants to be a friendly version of AIPAC, also weighed in against IPMN's study guide. Ali Abunimah covered J Street's surprisingly unfriendly reaction to Zionism Unsettled.

"The Israel lobby group J Street has launched a blistering attack on the Presbyterian Church USA over its new study guide Zionism Unsettled, claiming that the publication promotes 'polarization' and 'intolerance.'

"Zionism Unsettled, published last month by the church's Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN), is a 74-page study guide examining the role Zionism and Christian Zionism have played in shaping attitudes and events in Palestine and its region.

"It is intended to help church congregations and others to learn and talk about Zionism and the devastating impact the practice of the ideology has had on Palestinians, as The Electronic Intifada previously reported.

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"In a statement yesterday, J Street said it was 'deeply offended' by Zionism Unsettled, asserting that 'one has to question the IPMN's motives in publishing this 'resource.'"

"J Street claimed the guide's authors "had no intention of encouraging thoughtful reflection on Zionism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or Jewish perspectives on Israel. Instead, reductive and divisive thinking of this kind exacerbates polarization and intolerance, both of which are not in short supply in this conflict."

When even the usually cautious J Street feels the need to vilify a highly respected Christian group like IPMN, it becomes obvious that the false linkage of Zionism, a political ideology, with classical religious Judaism, is a sagging reed on which the Zionists now attempt to lean.

Zionism Unsettled explains why that sagging reed will no longer bear the weight Zionists put upon it.

Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem, Recessional, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

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Wikipedia reminds us that "The poem defied the celebratory mood of the time, offering instead a reminder of the transient nature of British Imperial power.

In the poem, Kipling argues that boasting and jingoism, faults of which he was often accused, were inappropriate and vain in light of the permanence of God."

The first four verses of the poem repeat the line, "Lest we forget, Lest we forget." The poem is often sung as a hymn in Christian churches.

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James Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced Jim's writings over (more...)

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