January 20th, 2009

words

Peace, peace to far and near

So my pal SS organized an interfaith peace service, for Jews, Muslims and Christians to get together in the middle of a big public square to pray for peace in Israel and Palestine, and to commemorate all the victims of the conflict. Making that happen took a lot of effort and skill at both logistics and diplomacy, so much kudos to him for doing it. He asked me to represent the Jewish contingent, so with some reluctance I agreed to do so.

The event took place on Monday evening, with a tenuous tie to Martin Luther King day in the States. It was snowing, but we had several dozen attendees all the same. And the event went off amazingly well; everybody managed to be sincere, even passionate, but kept within the spirit of the occasion, expressing nothing but respect and solidarity without politics or sectarianism. I am really proud to have been involved, and incredibly proud of SS for making that happen. And it was genuinely moving, not just warm and fuzzy as these things can often be (if they don't err the other way and use the prayer as an excuse for political soapboxing).

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By the way, if your conscience forces you to respond to this by claiming that all the war and violence in the world are caused by evil Israel with its evil empire of evil child-murdering ways, you're entitled to do that, but I'm afraid I'm not going to engage. Anything that even slightly hints at islamophobia will get deleted, though. I didn't take part in a hard-won interfaith initiative to encourage ignorance and prejudice.
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