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Gaza Invasion Protesters; Don't Feed the Beast-- Let's start talking about smart protest."

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You have to wonder. Does it help the Palestinians to vilify Israel or “Zionists?” Or do the words and protests, signs and blogs actually make things worse for the Palestinian victims of the latest Israeli military excesses?

In a recent interview on my radio show, I told Progressive Rabbi Michael Lerner, “On OpEdNews, we have some people who post, saying Israel is evil, that Zionists are evil…”

Rabbi Lerner Replied, “…if I were the Israeli Right, or if I were the right wing fundamentalists in this country, I’d be putting those lefties who are writing that on their payroll - in fact, they might be on their payroll, for all I know.  In other words, this is the kind of language and the kind of thinking that ensures the predominance of the right. “

If you look at the protests against the Gaza invasion, some are for peace, but some are virulently anti-Israel and some are anti-Semitic, with one woman, in Florida, wearing Palestinian garb, shouting out, “go back to the ovens.”

These messages of hate just feed the fires of war. But worse, as Rabbi Lerner observes, they feed the fear of right winger Israelis and the people they want to frighten. Feed the fear and you keep the power to continue waging war against the Palestinian people.

This is not about whether the Israelis have a right to defend themselves. They do, in my opinion. This is about the way people who oppose the massive bombing in Gaza discuss and protest.

Often, people who attack Israel, Israeli policy and Zionism are accused of being anti-semites.  Sometimes it is true. I’ve seen enough cases of people hiding their anti-semitism behind anti-Zionism. But often, people are justifiably or reasonably protesting the actions and policies of Israel, without a single iota of anti-semitism.

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But why raise the issue? You can protest and support the victims of the attacks on Gaza or support peace in the Middle East.  You can protest against the attacks and the bombing. You can protest against war and violence. But when you protest against the whole of Israel, that’s like the Palestinians who danced in the streets celebrating when the twin towers were bombed on 9/11. They were wrong and it is a mistake to attack the whole nation of Israel when you can attack policy or even the political parties supporting the policy. .

There are plenty of protesters who carry signs saying take away US funding of Israel. That’s not about to happen. But what if protesters started calling for taking away funding of conservative-run Israel? What if tens of thousands of people started going after Kadima and the even more extreme right wing parties in Israel? What if tens of thousands of US protesters wised up and started attacking the right wingers who keep Israel on its anti-Palestinian, land-grabbing settler permitting course? What if people in the US sent a message to Israeli citizens that Israel the nation is our friend and ally but the right wingers who have been finagling control of the Knesset—their parliament— are as unwanted as the right wingers the voters of the US threw out of congress?

In my recent radio show Interview with Chris Hedges, he told me that the problem with Israel is it has always been run by a small group of extreme conservatives who use the weakness of Israel’s parliamentary system to maintain control. What if we in the US started demanding a change in governance in Israel before we handed over the funding?

That would be change that could make a difference.

Meanwhile, don’t feed the beast that commits the violence by using language it can use to sell its message. Stay with peace and support for the Palestinians and stay away from going after Israel. Just look at how strong congressional support for Israel is, based on this past week’s vote. Attack the source of the problem. The Hillary hearings are talking a lot about “smart power.”  Let’s start talking about smart protest.
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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Rob, I can see where you and Rabbi Lerner are comi... by James Hadstate on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 2:30:25 PM
There is wholesale killing being committed by the ... by Hubert Steed on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 2:59:54 PM
Believe it or not, the commandment was mistranslat... by Amos Fabian on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 1:17:29 AM
Jesus' teaching made this a distinction withou... by WML on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 5:57:15 AM
...in one very important regard.   The s... by Louis Godena on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:11:24 PM
"..as the fulfillment of God's Will"... by Elsie Brenner on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:24:18 PM
As I understand it, the concept of Zionism is that... by Paula Sayles on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 3:23:02 PM
When protest turns to hate ("Back to the oven... by Patrick Frank on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:19:20 PM
It is only the most extreme right wingers in ... by Amos Fabian on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:20:24 PM
I think that many of us on the left agree that the... by James Hadstate on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:44:39 PM
On the dropping of fliers, that is nearly the most... by Aurora on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:51:29 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7828536.stm... by Aurora on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 1:29:13 PM
We didn"t hear anything about Israel humanita... by liberalsrock on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:04:06 PM
Ridiculous..."Don't goad the thugs" ... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:25:27 PM
Don't put words in my mouth. I said it helps t... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 4:38:19 PM
They don't need to SELL their position to anyb... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 5:46:04 PM
Israeli right wingers sell to the Israeli public a... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:40:55 PM
Look Rob,I don't have a beef with any of the p... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 8:08:38 PM
can't think of anything you just said that I d... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 10:18:04 PM
"support" doesn't come into it as th... by Elsie Brenner on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:15:00 PM
Yes, the left is part of the problem on the Israel... by Andrew Bard Schmookler on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:32:03 PM
Andrew,  just a week ago you wrote this ... by Aurora on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 10:07:43 AM
Israel is wrong in this massacre in Gaza, and ... by Rafe Pilgrim on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:59:09 PM
The blood of the children,  sliced into piece... by Aurora on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 4:06:06 PM
I am so disappointed that you, Rob, would believe ... by Aurora on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 3:59:42 PM
This is from Uri Avnery's "How Many Divis... by Aurora on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 4:19:17 PM
I have been reading everything you have to say, Ro... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 4:14:09 PM
The title, "Are Anti-Gaza-Attack Protesters H... by Richard Mynick on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 4:26:57 PM
Suggest a replacement title and I'll seriously... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 4:50:05 PM
"Smart Protest Means Taking the High Road.&qu... by Richard Mynick on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:02:08 PM
Rob, can we get some poll numbers to support your ... by Peter Duveen on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 12:39:19 PM
Your (or Rabbi Lerner’s) broad point that ma... by Nathan Nahm on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 5:55:58 PM
The woman carrying the sign "go back to the o... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:30:05 PM
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWRX_OFOV08&n... by jersey girl on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:45:27 PM
However the knife cuts both ways. Whenever some zi... by Samual Francisco on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:00:10 PM
"Israel our friend and ally.." LOL!!&nbs... by Elsie Brenner on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:03:23 PM
Rob - you put it perfectly.... by Jane Schiff on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:22:27 PM
yes the protesters are helping israel. what a dast... by Elsie Brenner on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 7:43:55 PM
Elsie, are you any kin to Lenny? Ilove his work...... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 8:16:30 PM
no, but I love his writing too.... by Elsie Brenner on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 8:04:42 AM
Why do semantics and neuro-linguistics color our d... by boomerang on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 8:16:29 PM
I must agree with every word you said. Part of the... by Paula Sayles on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 3:44:05 PM
"The woman carrying the sign "go back to... by shirley reese on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 8:33:01 PM
or Progressive group in Israel,  then the big... by Aurora on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 9:10:21 PM
... Mother Teresa was asked to join an "anti-... by Mr M on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 10:40:31 PM
I whole heartedly agree with you.I also think that... by Jade P. on Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009 at 11:00:29 PM
It seems that what you are saying is "Don'... by Bryan Emmel on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 1:49:47 AM
To accuse the "anti zionists" of being m... by chariotdrvr14 on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 2:28:43 AM
"Somehow this madness must cease. We must sto... by William Whitten on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 3:35:45 AM
We are the victims of perpetual war, and we are th... by Jason Paz on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 5:27:40 AM
Unfortunately and sadly from my point of view, the... by Hubert Steed on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 7:17:12 AM
It must be hard for Israelis to hear Americans cas... by Paula Sayles on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 3:54:39 PM
Oxford Pocket Dictionary 1964Anti = against.I am p... by sliphoch on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 7:20:58 AM
I do not believe that taking the double-think to e... by Steve Windisch (jibbguy) on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 7:42:21 AM
Rob, my advice to you is to read Stephen lendman&#... by Elsie Brenner on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 8:00:29 AM
against the war conducted by some country  ca... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 10:15:43 AM
Hamas targeted and rocketed Israeli civilians... by Jason Paz on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 10:52:28 AM
We must protest grave injustices and war crimes ri... by Hubert Steed on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 11:44:42 AM
Now in the same way that they like to stand agains... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 2:11:13 PM
In your email yesterday you mentioned this article... by James Hadstate on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 12:25:52 PM
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24915152-2310... by Aurora on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 12:36:35 PM
Such is the immediate logic of the title springs t... by nightgaunt on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 1:55:05 PM
That is what amos said earlier that killing is oka... by Elsie Brenner on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 6:04:11 PM
We Say Enough!We Are Jews in Solidarity with Pales... by Elsie Brenner on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 5:36:07 PM
Read it and weep.. click here... by jersey girl on Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009 at 6:31:21 PM