News

FLOTILLA FALLS SHORT,

BUT ISRAEL DOESN'T WIN

...

By Medea Benramin

Common Dreams

...

Israel Defense Forces violently intercepted the Swedish boat named Marianne in the early hours of June 29 to prevent it from landing in Gaza, using tasers against unarmed passengers. The 18 passengers, whose mission was to break the siege of Gaza, were taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod and the non-Israelis will be deported from Ben Gurion Airport. Read more here. 

**********************************************************

A SMART JEWISH TAKE

ON THE NEW ENCYCLICAL

..

By Karl Grossman

“Critics say the pope should stick to religion,” reported the anchor on WCBS “all-news” radio in New York last week about the reaction of some Republican candidates for U.S. president to the encyclical on the environment just issued by Pope Francis.

In fact, the encyclical is rooted in religion with many of its 183 pages devoted to—and this is nice news for Jews—“principles drawn from the Judeo-Christian tradition which can render our commitment to the environment more coherent,” as the pope wrote. Through the centuries, most popes have not exactly given much credit to the teachings of Judaism.

Francis addressed in the encyclical the linkage between Judaism and the environment as has Jewish scholarship in this area. Read more here.

**********************************************************

POPE'S TOUGH TALK

TO WEAPONS MAKERS

...

By Philip Pullella

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday. Read more here.

...

**********************************************************

DRONE OPERATORS:

REFUSE ORDERS!

Dozens of U.S. military veterans released an open letter this week urging drone operators to "refuse to fly missions" or support them in any way—and letting them know that if they say "no" to surveillance and assassination orders, there is a whole community rooting for them. Read more here.

**********************************************************

AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM:

AN EXCEPTIONALLY BAD IDEA

By Jeffrey Vogel

Tikkun Daily Blog

Exceptionalism is a neutral word, as it can reference something exceptionally good or exceptionally bad — human beings, and their respective nations, have clearly shown themselves to be capable of both.

The notion of American Exceptionalism has been regularly referenced by President Obama — most significantly in his West Point commencement address last year where he said that “I believe in American Exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.” He also said that “The United States is the one indispensable nation.” This blind and exclusive nationalism is the rationale that all imperial powers use to justify their military adventures and is especially dangerous when employed by our nation, the only military superpower on the planet. Read more here.

**************************************

NEBRASKA DECIDES:

NO MORE DEATH PENALTY


By Joe Duggan, Paul Hammel and Martha Stoddard / Omaha World-Herald

LINCOLN — Cheers erupted and tears fell Wednesday as the Nebraska Legislature took the historic step of repealing the death penalty with a politically high-stakes override of the governor’s veto.

Read more here.

*******************************************

IDOLATRY AND THE MILITARY

By David Masciotra

Salon

Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible. Read more...

 

Events

TELL CONGRESS: ENACT

A MORAL BUDGET

Budgets at all levels of government are moral documents. They allocate the funds made possible by all taxpayers, and those decisions have a clear moral dimension. In the federal budget, for example, far too much funding goes to military spending and far too little to health and education. That's a moral decision—but not a good one. To avoid making poor moral choices in their budget-making, members of Congress must keep these principles in mind:

(1) Protect low-income and vulnerable people.

(2) Invest in broadly shared prosperity that raises incomes across the economic spectrum.

(3) Increase revenues from fair sources.

(4) Seek responsible savings by targeting wasteful spending in the Pentagon and elsewhere.

If those principles seem sensible to you, please sign this letter to Congress, created by the Coalition on Human Needs as part of its Strengthening America’s Values and Economy (SAVE) for All campaign. The deadline for signing is March 12, 2015.

*******************************************************

ARE YOU PART OF OUR

CIRCLE OF PEACE?

The Pax Christi Long Island Council has identified a "Circle of Peace" among many of you who are on Pax Christi's email list. This circle, the council realized, should be acknowledged and celebrated. God bless you, each and every one!

We're pleased to keep you informed about matters of interest, upcoming events, activities, opportunities to help, and so on. You might be able to participate, might know someone who would like to participate—or you might just like to be in the know as to what's going on.

Many are willing and able to step up and participate in activities now and then. Maybe you can't make a heavy commitment of time, but two or three times a year or more, when something interesting comes up that's doable for you, you respond. You are the Circle of Peace!

Being in the Circle of Peace is not a card-carrying designation, not a lifetime membership. You're in the Circle of Peace when you see yourself as being in the Circle of Peace. When family responsibilities or health or other matters take precedence for a while, you step back, remaining on Pax Christi's email list, still keeping up with what's going on, until the time when you can be more active.

PCLI plans to convene the Circle of Peace a couple times a year, gathering for coffee, cake and conversation, to thank you for your prayers and support and involvement, and to hear your thoughts, your concerns, your hopes. Invitations to these convenings will go out to the entire email list. So you'll get them no matter where you happen to be in your own circle of life at any given time. 

*************************************************


COMMUNITY ECONOMICS:

WORTH A LOOK

Every Sunday morning, an entity called the Community Economics Group meets to discuss empowering themselves economically in a way that helps all people, families, communities— and nature. If you're interested, read the group's evolving document here. That may motivate you to attend one of the Sunday meetings, at 9 AM in the Panera's on Route 110 in Farmingdale, near Republic Airport.

*******************************************************