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Susie D's Poetry, Journalism and Film Homeland

Welcome to the home page of SUSIE DAVIDSON, journalist, author, poet, filmmaker and social and environmental activist.
Email me at

I'm listening to: TuneIn Radio: Radio Caprice, Post-Punk

Boston Globe coverage:
"Susie Davidson's new book shows the power of music," 07/06/12

This is the best article that's ever been written about me. Thank you so much, Susie!
Sean Altman, Jewmongous!
Sean Altman, back in Cambridge with another ‘Jewmongous’ show, 12/24/14

My first Huffington Post blog:
THE BLOG: Shavuot, The Bible And Medical Marijuana, 6/15/16

My newest Forward article:
Was Smoke on the Shavuot Mountain a Sign Ancient Jews Used Marijuana?, 06/19/16

My Forward articles:
Contributor index - Susie Davidson

Now on YouTube: "The Holocaust: Memory and Legacy" - Documentary on Boston-area Holocaust survivors & World War II veterans - With music by Ronnie Earl. Narrated by WBZ's Jordan Rich. 60 and 30 min. versions:

Feel free to share or use this as you wish. If you know any classrooms that might like to use this for their Holocaust Education programming, please send these links to them with my contact info. There is no charge of course, but I would like to know who uses it for educational purposes. Thanks very much!

My commentary in the Boston Globe North, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015
Law officers learn lessons in Mideast

New England Anti-Defamation League (ADL) site, January 10, 2015: Law officers learn lessons in Mideast
ADL: Law officers learn lessons in Mideast

Bedford Citizen, Jan. 6, 2015
Law enforcement executives to gather at Temple Shalom Emeth in Burlington on January 9

Bedford Minuteman / Burlington Union, Jan. 9, 2015, Page A7
"Area police take part in Shabbat dinner"

Bedford Citizen, Jan. 13, 2015
Law Enforcement Delegation Attends Shabbat Service at Temple Shalom Emeth to Share Their Israeli Visit

Waltham News Tribune, Jan. 30, 2015
Waltham's [Middlesex County Sheriff Peter] Koutoujian details law enforcement mission in Israel

Allston-Brighton Tab Jan. 9, 2015, Page A4
Hummer parade: School celebrates Hanukkah miracle with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Jewish Journal/Forward Boston: Jan. 29, 2015
A Shehechiyanu in the Senate Chamber Helps Swear in Goldberg as Treasurer

Brookline Tab: Jan. 29, 2015
Brookline Police, clergy help swear in Goldberg as Treasurer

Jewish Advocate: Jan. 29, 2015
Goldberg becomes first Jewish woman sworn in to statewide office

My newest article in the Forward and Ha'aretz (7.8K Facebook recommendations and counting!):
The biblical roots of Jews and marijuana:
Doctor, mohel, and former IDF lieutenant Yosef Glassman finds surprising links between controversial plant and ancient Judaism



My articles in the Brookline TAB

My articles in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tab, 1999 and July-August, 2002
My articles in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tab, August-September, 2002
My articles in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tab, October-December, 2002
My articles in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tab, December, 2002 and January, 2003
My articles in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tab, January, February and March, 2003
My articles in the Cambridge Chronicle and Cambridge Tab, April, May and June, 2003

My articles in the Jewish Advocate (April-June, 2001)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (July.-Sept., 2001)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Oct.-Dec., 2001)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Jan.-March, 2002)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (April, May, June 2002)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (June, July, August 2002)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (August, September, October, November 2002)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (November, December 2002, January 2003)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (February, March, April 2003)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (May-July 2003)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (August-Nov. 2003)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Nov. 2003-Feb. 2004)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (March-Sept. 2004)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Sept. 2004-Dec. 2005)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Dec. 2005-May 2006)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (May 2006-March 2007)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (May 2007-Aug. 2008)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Aug. 2008-Sept. 2010)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (Sept. 2010-Jan. 2012)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (March 2012-August 2013)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (August-December 2013)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (January-November 2014)
My articles in the Jewish Advocate (November 2014- )

My articles in the Jewish Journal of Boston North (Aug. 2010-present)

My articles in Shalom Magazine (2009-present)

My articles in the Forward (Dec. 2006-present)

My "Brookline Business Buzz" columns in the Brookline Tab, beginning from November 2001 to present

Lead Op-Ed by Susie Davidson, Boston Herald, Saturday, April 18, 2009 (the Herald only archives the full article for a brief time before requiring purchase, so it is reproduced below*)

My articles in various other publications (Jewish media, Boston Rock, the Beat, Squawk etc.)

Link to Boston Globe article of April 18, 2004:
Tiny owl books flight to wing of BPL




My newest book: The Music Man of Terezin: The Story of Rafael Schaechter as remembered by Edgar Krasa
(Ibbetson Street Press, 2012, available for $8 (book) and $2.99 (Kindle) at:, Brookline Booksmith, Kolbo Fine Judaica, Israel Books)
The Music Man of Terezin Facebook Page

Boston Globe coverage:

"Susie Davidson's new book shows the power of music," 07/06/12

"Author pens book on concentration camp composer," By Cindy Cantrell, Boston Globe West, 07/15/12

More on Rafael Schaechter, the prisoner/conductor of Terezin: DEFIANT REQUIEM: VOICES OF RESISTANCE *** DIRECTED BY MURRY SIDLIN - National Broadcast aired 4/7/13 on PBS
Defiant Requiem website, March 29, 3013: AP (!) Article on Frank Levine's postcard exhibit that debuted at my book readings:
"Mass. Jewish collector exhibits anti-Semitic postcards at upcoming book readings," By Chris Bergeron, AP

NEWEST ARTICLES IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA (not Jewish Advocate, my regular beat):
"Geeks, freaks, & pop culture fans unite: It's Northeast Comic Con," By Susie Davidson, Lowell Sun, 12/1/14
"A Monument Ave. Early Introduction to Healey" By Susie Davidson, Charlestown Patriot-Bridge, 11/10/14
"Showing up for Hillary: Fans pack book store and surrounding streets at June 16 Harvard Book Store book signing," By Susie Davidson, Brookline Patch, 06/16/14
"AG candidates outline positions on ‘Raise Up Massachusetts,’ among others," By Susie Davidson, Brookline Tab, 06/05/14
"BDTC Garden Party Features Candidates Past and Present," By Susie Davidson, Brookline Patch, 10/31/14
"Northeast Comic Con in Wilmington offers smorgasboard of holiday fun for geeks, freaks and pop culture buffs," By Susie Davidson, Wilmington Patch, 10/31/14

"Carole King Charms Massachusetts," By Susie Davidson, Jewish Daily Forward Arty Semite, 06/12/13
"Cambridge bakery hosts songwriter Carole King at political rally," By Susie Davidson, Cambridge Chronicle, 06/07/13

"Former Agassiz principal Eva Paddock brings Nicky's Family film screenings to life," By Susie Davidson, Cambridge Chronicle, 08/29/13

Susie on the Boston Globe Names page, 11/20/10
Susie on Names again, 11/24/10
Poets add rhyme, reason and humor to protesters' camp, 11/11/11
Five poems from the Occupy Boston Poetry Readings, 11/11/11

Other press coverage: "The Music Man of Terezin":
Boston Globe, July 6, 2012: Susie Davidson's new book shows the power of music, 07/06/12
Boston Globe West, July 15, 2012
Newton Tab, July 4, 2012
The Jewish Advocate, “Fighting Nazis with Verdi,” May 11, 2012
Eagle-Tribune, April 28, 2012

Susie in July 12, 2012 Jewish Journal (front page) on June, 2012 trip to Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Jewish Journal, July 7, 2012

Article in April 18, 2004 Boston Globe: Tiny owl books flight to wing of BPL: Patrons, staff check out bird before it flies coop

JERUSALEM POST - two of my recent articles:
A legacy of Israeli art, 01/18/12
Bubbe's recipes rise to the top, 02/05/12

Charles Shaughnessy on Jewish Stereotypes and Nearly Boycotting 'The Nanny', the Jewish Daily Forward, 10/19/10
Moe Howard: An Honorable Stooge, the Jewish Daily Forward, 12/10/10
Friday Film: Phil Ochs Finally Gets His Biopic, the Jewish Daily Forward, 2/18/11
Psychiatry, Poetry, and the Bible, the Jewish Daily Forward, 3/17/11
First Jewish Collection for a Small Press Legend (Ed Galing of Hatboro, Penn.), the Jewish Daily Forward, 3/17/11
Composer Brings Jazz Age to Washington Ballet: Billy Novick recreates Gatsby, the Jewish Daily Forward, 11/1/11
A Little Rock, a Lot of Soul: Robin Lane helps victims of abuse through Songbird Sings, the Jewish Daily Forward, 11/18/11
Remembering Robert Altman's Milder Side, the Forward, 12/01/06
"Carole King Charms Massachusetts," Jewish Daily Forward, 06/12/13

Holocaust survivor Janet Markman visits Congregation Or Atid in Wayland, 05/19/11

Judge Sumner Z. Kaplan was a mensch among men, 03/25/11

Kindertransport survivor Eva Paddock shares her story to audiences of documentary film on Sir Nicholas Winton, "Nicky's Family," 06/27/13
Memories on the menu at Shirley Ave., Revere reunion, 08/18/11
Veterans' Day salute articles for the Jewish Journal, 11/20/10
(these were submitted by JJ Editor Susan Jacobs for 2010 New England Newspaper & Press Association Awards!)

Information on NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM "The Holocaust: Memory and Legacy", featuring Boston-area Holocaust survivors, children of survivors, Holocaust educators and liberating World War II soldiers, and music from blues virtuoso Ronnie Earl, Klezmer musician Glenn Dickson (Shirim, Naftule's Dream), the Terezin Chamber Music Quartet, and singer Rosalie Gerut.

The book and film were just incorporated into the Coolidge Middle School and Reading High School, Reading, Mass. as new resources for lessons about the Holocaust. They are being used in the second year of the 9th grade advisory program, which will study Tolerance and Diversity this December-January, the Facing History/ WWII Courses, and the 8th grade English lessons on the Holocaust.
Survivor Speaks to Students, Jewish Journal, 11/10/10

Click here to go to my Facebook page

Israeli Activism, American apathy by Steve Maas, Editor, Jewish Advocate, Aug. 5, 2011 (a must-read!)

America's Golden Calf by Steve Maas, Editor, Jewish Advocate, Oct. 8. 2010 (another must-read!)


Click here for Yom HaShoah 2010 screenings. Contact info:
Information on NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM "The Holocaust: Memory and Legacy", featuring Boston-area Holocaust survivors, children of survivors, Holocaust educators and liberating World War II soldiers, and music from blues virtuoso Ronnie Earl, Klezmer musician Glenn Dickson (Shirim, Naftule's Dream), the Terezin Chamber Music Quartet, and singer Rosalie Gerut - Yom HaShoah film screenings are being scheduled and are printed here, to date.

Boston Globe West "People" column feature by Cindy Cantrell, Sunday, June 28, 2009

LEAD Yom HaShoah OP-ED BY SUSIE DAVIDSON: BOSTON HERALD, Saturday, April 18, 2009 (the Herald only archives the full article for a brief time before requiring purchase, so it is reproduced below*)

BOSTON GLOBE G SECTION, Page 1, April 21, 2009

Boston Globe review by Linda Matchan: "A movie to keep their stories alive," Dec. 14, 2008



Or, scroll down this web page for information on I Refused to Die as well as my other two books, "Jewish Life in Postwar Germany: Our Ten-Day Seminar" (2007) and "Selected Poetry of Susie D" (2007)

July 2008: I edited and annotated "In Gratitude and Hope: Remarks of Wolfgang K. Vorwerk, Consul General of Germany to Boston, 2004-2008" (Ibbetson St. Press, Somerville). Reviewed in June 29, 2008 Boston Globe - Shelf Life Books column, by Jan Gardner


I'm a freelance writer and poet with over 150 poetry publications to date. I'm a correspondent for the Jewish Daily Forward, the Jewish Advocate in Boston and the Jewish Journal of the North Shore, and have written regularly for the Brookline Tab, the Cambridge Chronicle, the Cambridge Tab and other Boston-area weeklies. I have contributed to the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly and the Boston Herald. ***Please note that no opinions expressed on this web site, be they mine or others', necessarily reflect those of any of these newspapers.***

POETRY BOOK REVIEW: New! Check out review of "Selected Poetry of Susie D" by Laurel Johnson


I'm Coordinator of the Boston Chapter of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. Our current initiatives are a drive to get all state synagogues to green (Pledge to Green), and are writing the Green Guide for Massachusetts Synagogues. Check us out at or by scrolling down to the link "Make Your Synagogue Green" on the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts site, Synagogue Council of Massachusetts

I am also a governing board member of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow in Boston. AHT is trying to get the "Act for a healthy Massachusetts: Safer alternatives to Toxic Chemicals” (called the Safer Alternatives to Toxins bill) through the legislature. AHT is also working on legislation to eliminate BPA from food containers and baby bottles, restore funding for the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, and on other public health-related causes. Alliance For A Healthy Tomorrow
The Safer Alternatives Bill passed the Senate in January, 2008, but the legislative session ended before it got to the House. The bill is now being advanced during the current legislative session.

I'm on the Advisory Board and the Communications Committee of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action. JALSA

And, I hope to organize a Coffee Party team in Brookline. Coffee Party USA


Each year, I organize a group reading by published Brookline authors group event at Brookline Booksmith, 290 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, during Brookline's First Light festival.
The event, which is videotaped for Brookline Access TV (, is free and open to the public and refreshments are served.

2010: the event received two mentions on the Boston Globe Names Page:

Boston Globe West, Nov. 22, 2009:

LITERARY LIGHTS AT FIRST LIGHT - A lineup of published Brookline authors will read from their own works at Brookline Booksmith from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 3 to coincide with First Light, the commercial area’s annual holiday kickoff. Among the highlights: best-selling mystery novelist Sarah Smith, who will read from her new young adult novel, set in Brookline; poet and journalist Susie Davidson, who has written about Holocaust survivors and their liberators; Wendy Lement, author of a children’s book, “Keri Tarr: Cat Detective’’; and David Prerau, who will read from his book, “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.’’ The readings are organized by the Brookline Library Authors’ Collaborative. - Andreae Downs

Brookline Tab:

Wicked Local Brookline
Posted Nov 29, 2009 @ 03:18 PM
Brookline — When I first met local Holocaust survivors several years ago, I was so impressed that I decided to chronicle their stories. No easy feat, it was, rather, a three-year effort punctuated by tears on both sides, and a lot of encouragement.
Although what initially drew me to them was their unexpectedly positive demeanor, many had not yet revealed their secrets. For those who had, the tales were no less painful in the retelling.
Many survivors, though innately humble, understand that they can’t let their stories go untold. In addition, Holocaust denial hovers menacingly over them. And global genocides and massacres persist.
Moreover, they are linked. In 1915, German officials helped pioneer deadly tactics in the Ottoman Empire that they later redeployed as SS officers. Rwandans taunted victims with emulations of Hitler. Rounding up of intellectuals, ditch digging, deportations, actualized racism, manipulation of fear and propaganda, cover-ups — eerily repeated, over and over.
For all these reasons, it has become mandatory that the Nazi Holocaust be archived in any way possible. And so I moved beyond print, into visual media. And in creating a documentary based on the people in the book, I got to know them all over again.
Without their trust and cooperation, I could not do this work. And remarkable town residents are among them. Ida Rozenberg escaped from a Siberian work camp with 13 others at midnight, on a wooden raft. During their six-day ordeal on the Volga River, a storm split the raft in two. They fixed it, and reached safety in the woods of Kazakhstan. When Ida tried to return to her native Poland, former neighbors threatened to kill her baby.
Ida’s husband operated Paul’s Tailoring in Brookline Village for many years, and today, she helps serve lunch every Friday at her Hebrew SeniorLife residence on Beacon Street.
Her companion, Ben Kuchinsky, creates Holocaust-themed artworks, displayed on the walls of the former Jewish Community Center in Cleveland Circle, that help him deal with his memories.
Edgar Krasa of Chestnut Hill was the cook at the Terezin concentration camp, where Nazis imprisoned musicians, artists, actors and teachers. Despite starvation conditions and constant deportations to the dreaded East, they produced works like Hana Krasa’s (no relation) “Brundibar,” and the compositions of Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann. Those pieces are resurrected today by the Terezin Chamber Music Foundation’s Hawthorne String Quartet, spearheaded by Brookline resident Mark Ludwig.
Krasa manages to joke about it: “We served a brown liquid, which was called coffee. If Starbucks was around then, they would have sued for misuse of the term.”
Near the war’s end, he was shot when he dropped off the road during a death march (a doctor among them, using snow as anesthesia, removed the bullet). Told liberation was near, “yesterday, I couldn’t walk; suddenly I could run,” he recalled. They ended up in a former storehouse. “I gained 75 pounds over the next two months,” he said. “Jenny Craig would go crazy!”
Rela Fund of Beacon Street was stripped of her pharmacology degree, and earned it all over again in Scotland.
Children of survivors are imbued with a sense of purpose. Andy Fischer of Washington Square immerses himself in social justice law. Barbara Soifer’s civic contributions to our town are legendary.
The same goes for liberating soldiers. Ellsworth “Al” Rosen, who helped form Facing History and Ourselves and was a longtime Brookline Library trustee, continues to speak out about what he saw.
They all need to, because, sadly, Holocaust survivors and their progeny are often the first targets of those with vendettas against Israel or the Jewish people, who stake out a constant presence at Holocaust-related events. Yet, these innocent victims of inhumanity have nothing to do with their misplaced hatred.
In fact, rather than wallow in their misery, they educated themselves, raised families and contributed extraordinarily, and sometimes, ultimately, to society, as can be seen in the cases of Liviu Librescu, the Virginia Tech professor who sacrificed himself for his students, and Brookline resident Joseph Helfgot, the donor in the country’s second face transplant.
First-hand accounts are the surest way to counter both denial of history and continuation of genocide. The Holocaust cannot lose its impact. The stories must live on.
Susie Davidson is a journalist, author, poet and filmmaker who wrote “I Refused to Die: Stories of Boston-Area Holocaust Survivors and Soldiers who Liberated the Concentration Camps of World War II,” and has just released a one-hour documentary film, “The Holocaust: Memory and Legacy,” narrated by Jordan Rich with music by Ronnie Earl. For local screenings, please visit
Copyright 2009 Brookline TAB. Some rights reserved

Brookline — Members of the Brookline Library Authors’ Collaborative will read from their works at Brookline Booksmith, 290 Harvard St., during Brookline’s 1st Light Festival on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 5-8 p.m. This year, BLAC will be joined by several Brookline authors, including Linda Barnes, author of the Carlotta Carlyle mystery series. Readers also include Wendy Lement, who co-authored “And Justice for Some: Exploring American Justice through Drama and Theatre.” Her theater production of “Cat Detective,” based on her children’s book “Keri Tarr: Cat Detective,” won the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s 2002 Unpublished Playreading Project.

Also reading will be Joshua Rubenstein, whose “Stalin’s Secret Pogrom: the Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee,” was awarded the National Jewish Book Award in 2001-2002; David Schmahmann, whose first novel, “Empire Settings,” received the John Gardner Book Award; Boston Globe columnist Monique Doyle Spencer, who will read from her second book, “How Can I Help: Everyday Ways to Help Your Loved Ones Live with Cancer;” and Emily Miles Terry, will read from her new book “Postcards from the Bump: A Chick’s Guide to Getting to Know the Baby in Your Belly.”

Brookline Library Authors’ Collaborative members who will read will include film critic Dan Kimmel; journalist, author, poet and filmmaker Susie Davidson; bestselling mystery author Sarah Smith; and David Prerau, an expert on national time policies. Readings will encompass varied genres including children’s literature, mystery, crafts and cooking, history, fiction, nonfiction, horror and more. Refreshments will be served, and books suitable for holiday gifts by local authors will be available for signing. The event is free and open to the public. The Brookline Library Authors’ Collaborative meets on occasional Monday evenings at the Brookline Public Library, Main Branch, 361 Washington St.

Jewish Advocate event listing:

BROOKLINE BOOK READINGS 12/3: 5-8 p.m. Dan Kimmel (The Jewish Advocate Movie Maven), Susie Davidson, Joshua Rubenstein, David Schmahmann, Monique Doyle Spencer, Linda Barnes and other authors read during Brookline's 1st Light festival. At Brookline Booksmith in Brookline. 617-566-7557. listing:

...The Brookline Library Authors' Collaborative is a group for residents of Brookline who have had at least one book (fiction, or non-fiction, or poetry) published. The group, which formed in 2007, seeks to establish a network of authors that can help provide support for the artistic, social, and business aspects of writing books. Accomplishments thus far include the creation of a Virtual Bookshelf of local works, as well as group display cases at the Public Library; a Brookline Writes! show regularly aired on Brookline Cable Access TV; social events that have drawn new members; 1st Light Brookline readings at Brookline Booksmith, and an ongoing Yahoo! discussion group. The group meets on occasional Monday evenings at the Public Library of Brookline, 361 Washington St., Brookline.

Susie Davidson is a journalist, author, poet and filmmaker who has written for the Jewish Advocate since 2000 as well as the weekly Tabs, and has contributed to the Boston Sunday Globe, the Boston Herald (op-ed), and the Forward. She has written “I Refused to Die: Stories of Boston-Area Holocaust Survivors and Soldiers who Liberated the Concentration Camps of World War II” (2005); “Jewish Life in Postwar Germany” (2006); “Selected Poetry of Susie D” (2006); and edited a collection of remarks made by former German Consul to New England Wolfgang K. Vorwerk at area Holocaust community events (2008) (All Ibbetson Street Press, Somerville). She is also the Coordinator of the Boston chapter of The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and a governing board member of the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, and coordinates the Brookline Library Authors' Collaborative.

Susie will read from her three books (all Ibbetson Street Press, Somerville).

*BOSTON HERALD OP-ED: Holocaust tales retold By Susie Davidson / As You Were Saying . . . Saturday, April 18, 2009 “You can’t understand Israel unless you understand the role of the Holocaust in Israeli identity. And if you don’t understand your enemy, you can’t make peace.” - Tom Segev Every Friday, Ben Kuchinsky and Ida Rozenberg don vinyl gloves and dish out lunch at the Hebrew Senior Life building in Brookline. Ida doles out food with a vigor that at age 92 still reflects what they never could take from her. As a young woman, she escaped from a Siberian work camp with 13 others on a handmade raft. Her family gone in the madness of the Holocaust, she had nothing to lose but six days spent on the Volga River. “No food, no water,” she said, her ice-blue eyes vivid with recollection. “The lice ate us alive.” The group made it to Kazakhstan, where she hid under the blankets of farm animals. When she returned to Poland as a newly-married woman hoping to find traces of lost relatives, former neighbors warned, “We don’t need Jewish people anymore. If you don’t leave, we will kill your baby.” Ben’s memories are so harrowing he keeps them hidden, except in artwork and life-sized collages that pronounce “Never Forget” amid Jewish stars dripping with blood. Ida and Ben are two of many Holocaust survivors who come every Friday for the camaraderie, lunch and entertainment. In heavy Yiddish accents they mirthfully kibbitz - until the subject of Holocaust denial or Israel-bashing comes up. Recent news has been tough for those who live upstanding Jewish lives. The Bernard Madoff scandal, corruption among Israeli politicians, lax kosher meat labor practices and a controversial war in Gaza are bad enough. Yet the sum total has too often diminished, or outright denied, the Holocaust. In a March 30 Associated Press story about a Palestinian youth orchestra shut down after performing for Israelis (including Holocaust survivors), historian Tom Segev said of Israel’s detractors: “You can’t understand Israel unless you understand the role of the Holocaust in Israeli identity. And if you don’t understand your enemy, you can’t make peace.” I would expand this role to Jewish identity as a whole. Ancestral genocide is collectively, universally wounding to all ethnic groups. And though I may not always personally agree with all Israel does, who can judge what drives people with histories to be hypervigilant at all social cost? Yet as a result, the Holocaust has undeniably lost its impact. It is too easy for some to denigrate and even dismiss a terrible period in Jewish history, the veracity of which can clearly be seen in the crinkled, buoyant yet readily moist pairs of eyes at Hebrew Senior Life. The stories must also live on because genocides continue, and in fact, are inextricably linked. Hitler’s quote about world ambivalence regarding the Armenians is well known, but in “Germany and the Secret Genocide,” filmmaker J. Michael Hagopian documents SS soldiers who had previously joined with German diplomats in covering up the 1915 massacre, when some Nazi tactics were pioneered. The Aegis Trust for genocide prevention quotes Rwandan genocide survivor Beatha Uwazaninka: “Some classmates wore the Nazi symbol, saying they would do to us what Hitler did to the Jews.” The Legacy Partners Project, spearheaded by Holocaust survivor Sonia Weitz of Peabody’s Holocaust Center, Boston North, pairs survivors with teachers and individuals who commit to continuing their stories and artifacts. These and other such initiatives have become imperative. Ida Rozenberg’s husband, Paul, ran a tailor shop in Brookline Village. Every day, she makes her bed with fancy coverings, while showing off the glass works of her son Henri, a Faneuil Hall Marketplace vendor. Following the deaths of their spouses, she and Ben enjoy companionship. On this, and Yom Hashoahs to come, her fortitude and spirit deserve nothing less than validation, respect and perpetuity. Susie Davidson wrote “I Refused to Die: Stories of Boston-Area Holocaust Survivors and Soldiers who Liberated the Concentration Camps of World War II” and has just released a one-hour documentary film based on the book, "The Holocaust: Memory and Legacy." For local screenings, please visit For back copy information and more information on other collectible copies please call 617-426-3000 Ext. 7714. © Copyright by the Boston Herald and Herald Media. No portion of or its content may be reproduced without the owner's written permission. Privacy Commitment 0.035441 : cached : opi1166367_2009-04-17 20:01:16__1_0_0 GENOCIDE AWARENESS ACTIVISM:

Jan. 20, 2008 Holocaust and Armenian Genocide Exhibit event
at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown Square:
I organized this event with the help of Holocaust survivor Meyer Hack's friend, Dean Solomon, Boston attorney Andy Fischer and Armenian community officials. 400 people attended, including 8 state representatives and 4 state senators, and the event received front-page press as follows.

Boston Phoenix article by Ian Sands: "Diamonds in the Rough," Jan. 17, 2008:

The Forward, cover page article by Hinda Mandell: "Auschwitz Jewelry Exhibit Shows Secret Treasures With a Grisly Past," Jan. 25, 2008 listing

My opinion piece, "Allying in Hope," which appeared in the Feb. 8, 2008 Watertown Tab and Press.

Another event, "Genocide Committed, Genocide Denied, Genocide Repeated," held on Sunday, April 13 from 2-4 p.m. at the Armenian Museum and Library of America in Watertown, featured a panel of survivors and descendants of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide. The victims of the Rwandan Genocide are commemorated on April 7; Armenian Genocide Memorial Day is April 24, and Yom HaShoah was May 1 in 2008.

Boston Globe article of April 20: Watertown center helps survivors tell their stories to following generations, by Erica Noonan

Wed., April 7, 10-11 a.m. (continuing on April 9, 16, 30 and May 7, 14, 21, 28) - Susie Davidson teaches an 8-session course, "What Can the Stories of Holocaust Survivors and Liberating Soldiers Teach Us in the Face of Continuing Global Genocide?" for Newton Center for Lifetime Learning, at Congegation Mishkan Tefilah, 300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill, Mass. Information: Laurie Swett, Lifetime Learning Program Coordinator, 617-796-1000,

**I moderate the e-groups and

Please check them out and join in if you feel so inclined!**


"Selected Poetry of Susie D." - released June, 2004 on Ibbetson Street Press of Somerville, Mass. - available through the poet/author or publisher.
I have run poetry and music coffeehouses, hosted a poetry show on WZBC-FM and performed at First Night Boston, the Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence, CBGB’s in NYC and I read regularly at various Boston/Cambridge venues. I won the 2002 Cambridge Poetry Award for Best Political Poem for "Viva La Causa, Viva Chavez," and was nominated for Best Political Poem and Best Love poem in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
My poems also appear monthly in the Massachusetts Mensa Society's The Beacon as Susie D's Poetry Corner.
I've also written for other local newspapers and music magazines.
I've authored the poetry volumes "It's Only Life: Rhythmic Forays into Politics and Human Nature" (1992) and "After Gary" (1996).

Click to read my poetry
Click to read my political poetry

A few of my letters published in the Boston Globe:

Published in the Boston Globe on 2/13/11: Conserve? We'd rather look to Sky from McMansion Window

Published in the Boston Globe on 4/15/07: Executive's pay puzzles shareholder

Click here for other of my Published Letters in the Boston Globe and other Publications...

Bush and His Cronies Do Not Care About the Jewish Vote!
My report from the Bush Stolen Inauguration, Jan. 2001

Why I am not a Red Sox, Patriots, or a sports fan:

My Feb. 8, 2008 letter published in the Boston Herald (reprinted below as well):

Take a deep breath
by Susie Davidson/ Letter
Friday, February 8, 2008
Recent reports about doctors’ real concerns about heart attacks suffered while watching games leave me baffled, as do all the accounts of all the physical and emotional suffering going on in our city this week.

In fact, I have never understood the degree of time, energy and expense or the obsessive worship of sports figures in this town, let alone the time spent going to games and discussing them. Do people read other parts of the paper? To me, there are just too many pressing problems in our world that need our attention. To name a few: genocide, climate change and disappearing resources, toxins in our households, economic disparity, disease, urban violence, inadequate health care, housing, education and opportunity. These can all be worked on. Try it.

Rather than suffering, and basing personal happiness on things outside of yourself (onto overcompensated players and managers you’ll never meet, and who leave for more money in a flash), I would suggest tackling the world’s problems instead.

Your time is far too valuable to be so taken up by idol-worship and the belief that only winning championships matters. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t.

- Susie Davidson, Brookline

My Jan. 24, 2007 letter published in the Boston Herald (reprinted below as well):

Winning by losing
By Susie Davidson/ Letter
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I’m sure I’m one of few Bostonians happy over the results of the Patriots [team stats]-Colts game (Jan. 22). I’m happy there was no post-victory rioting or needless deaths, and I’m happy that a haughty coach and legions of hubris-driven, swaggering fans have been humbled. Mostly, I’m glad to know that there will be free time available to these obsessed minions that will hopefully be used toward a more conscientious purpose in our world than sports obsession. Maybe they’ll even have time to check out the true heroes - health care and human services workers, teachers and the like - and worship them instead of billionaire, profit-driven megalomanagers and men who happen to know how to toss pigskin around.
- Susie Davidson, Brookline

My Aug. 23, 2006 letter published in the Boston Globe (reprinted below as well):

Maybe now that the lowest of the low has occurred for Red Sox fans, they might think long and hard about their obsessive devotion to the team and the game. For years, I've bemoaned the fact that probably 90 percent of the people in Boston live and die for the Red Sox and worship their players and management like icons, while teachers, human services staff, health care providers, social workers and other admirable contributors to society barely make a living wage. I've decried the vast amounts of energy and time that go into watching, talking and reading about the Red Sox when there are so many, many critical problems facing our planet and its people, locally and globally.

But if their most sacred and beloved idols Pedro and Johnny jumping ship for more dough at a moment's notice didn't affect Red Sox Nation, when a spiraling cost of $300 and up for family tickets didn't affect Red Sox Nation, then I don't hold out much hope that these lofty aims will.

Instead, they'll ignore the fact that the team with the best players money can buy is the one that wins, they'll condemn anything that is less than a championship finish, and they'll begin waiting for next year.


The True and Documented Story of the Bush Family's Involvement with and Fortune Made From Nazi Germany
(and it didn't end in 1942 with Prescott and Sam Bush's treason conviction!)

WZBC: The coolest radio station on the web! Where I've gotten my modern rock education since 1980

Air America Radio

The Jewish Advocate, a paper I write for

The Tab, another commercial weekly I write for

The Barnum & Buddah Poetry Circus (I'm a member)

Holocaust child survivor Rosian Zerner works with banks to waive fees on Holocaust reparation payments
Holocaust survivor Rosian Zerner with Israeli Consul General to New England Nadav Tamir following successful effort to waive bank fees for Holocaust reparation payments to survivors

Voter March - One Group Demanding Truth Following the Stolen Election of 11/2000


I also fronted the local spoken/postpunk/rock ensemble Sound the WORD!, which featured Dan Vigden on drums, John Grabill on guitar and keys, Josh Bloomer on bass and Charlotte Dore on backing vocals and Velvet Underground guitar.

I caught the tail end of the late 60's-early 70's hippie music. I did the requisite headphone listening, partying and arena concert-going listening to Yes, King Crimson, ELP etc. during those years, but in 1980, I heard the WBCN "Wicked Good Time" compilation. From then on, I tuned into college radio and WFNX, and the punk and alternative of the late 70's and early 80's usurped all the hippie sounds for good.

Just a few of my all-time favorite bands/musicians from this genre: The Alarm, Billy Bragg, Stiff Little Fingers, Morrissey and the Smiths, Joe Strummer and the Clash, XTC, the Go-Betweens, Midnight Oil, Buzzcocks, the Church, The Chills, the Fixx, English Beat, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Smithereens, Live, the Dictators, Patti Smith, The Jam, The Fall, Phil Ochs, Attila the Stockbroker, the Bevis Frond, Robyn Hitchcock, The Chameleons, Dead Can Dance, John Wesley Harding, Tuxedo Moon, Radiohead, Blur, Ramones, Stereolab, Interpol, Cabaret Voltaire, Xymox, Spiritualized.

Wiki's entry on punk rock

History of punk rock

History of punk and indie rock


Wiki's list of Jews in Music

Author thoroughly examines Jewish roots of punk rock (Dec. 4, 2006 Boston Globe article)

Punky Town (Dec. 1, 2006 Forward article)

Globe article:

Steven Lee Beeber contends, "The shpilkes, the nervous energy, of punk is Jewish." (Seth Kusher)

Author thoroughly examines the Jewish roots of punk rock

By Renée Graham, Globe Correspondent | December 4, 2006
"Punk is Jewish."
In this history of the jarring music that rose from New York's battered Lower East Side in the 1970s, that opening line comes across, at first, as overreaching, even absurd. Yet by the end of this agile, well-researched book, author Steven Lee Beeber's proclamation seems not only obvious, but something of an understatement.

It's not just that punk pioneers such as Lou Reed , Blondie's Chris Stein, and half of the legendary Ramones, Joey and Tommy, were Jewish, or that the celebrated (and recently shuttered) Bowery dive CBGB, punk's original home, was owned by Hilly Kristal, a fellow Jew. Punk, Beeber exhaustively argues, was infused with a singular Jewish sensibility forged by hardship, perseverance, and a potent cocktail of optimism and cynicism that gave the music -- and the larger cultural movement -- its twitchy swagger.

"Punk reflects the whole Jewish history of oppression and uncertainty, flight and wandering, belonging and not belonging, always being divided, being both in and out, good and bad, part and apart," Beeber writes in the introduction to his book "The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk."

"The shpilkes, the nervous energy, of punk," he contends, "is Jewish."

Even those unfamiliar with that Yiddish word can understand what Beeber means if they've ever heard such abrasive anthems as Richard Hell & The Voidoids' "Blank Generation," or watched clips of the spontaneous combustibility of punk musicians.

Propelled more by attitude than ability, their songs weren't just two- or three-minute spurts of bratty rage, but the defiant rhythm of a fierce heart shaped by displacement, prejudice, and what Beeber calls a self-conscious identification "with the sick and twisted."

Appropriately, he anoints comedian Lenny Bruce as "the patron saint of Jewish New York." An agitator and instigator, Bruce shocked the world as punks would more than a decade later, and it hardly matters that Bruce died seven years before CBGB opened its doors; he defined the New York Jew cool that permeated the punks (who came of age during Bruce's bawdy prime) and gave the Lower East Side a kind of gutter glitter. Punk was a triumph of brazen otherness.

While such composers as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin fashioned music that embraced assimilation -- after all, Berlin, a Russian Jew, wrote "White Christmas" and "God Bless America" -- Jewish punks reveled in their outsider status, and crammed it in society's smug face. (It's worth noting that as punk was ricocheting off downtown tenements, this nation's other perpetual outsiders, African-Americans, were a few uptown subway lines away in the Bronx creating their own sound -- hip-hop -- also born from alienation and disenfranchisement.)

Central to Beeber's idea of punk's inherent Jewishness is the Holocaust. He even goes so far as to declare "No Holocaust, no punk." Yes, the roiling anger and dark humor of punk was a reaction to lingering feelings of victimization. Yet, Jewish punks also adapted Nazi slogans and symbols both as a shock tactic and a campy send up. Songs like the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop " and the Dictators' "Master Race Rock " weren't celebrating Nazism as much as mocking its ignominious defeat, the author maintains. With more than 125 sources interviewed, "The Heebee-Jeebees at CBGB's" is the best account of punk's nascent years since Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's seminal "Please Kill Me." With equal parts spirit and scholarship, Beeber succeeds in placing this still-influential music within a broader historical and cultural context, and assures that punk's "secret history" is a secret no more.

© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.




ISBN: 0-972-46014-4
417 pp., 2005
by Susie Davidson
Ibbetson Street Press, Somerville

Click here for a full press release:

DUE NOV. 2006: New book:

"Jewish Life in Germany - Past, Present and Future: Our Ten-Day Seminar"
(based on an Aug. 20-30 seminar in Berlin attended by six Boston residents, sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Consulate of Boston)

"I Refused To Die" is available at bookstores below, through the author or at:


"I Refused to Die," a three-year project, received a 2004 Mass. Cultural Commission and Brookine Arts Council grant. It has liner notes from Congressman Michael Capuano, State Secretary of Veterans' Services Thomas Kelley, Consul of Israel to New England Hillel Newman, and former Jewish Advocate editor Richard Ferrer.

The book was the topic of a "Greater Boston with Emily Rooney," and Susie has also appeared on WBZ’s Jordan Rich Show and Channel 7’s monthly “The Jewish Perspective.”

Media coverage has included the Boston Globe City Weekly, the Jewish Advocate, Spare Change News, the weekly Tab and the Somerville Journal. Another article will appear in the December "Our Town Brookline" magazine. A short online documentary of the book and the recent BPL reading with survivors Edgar Krasa, Rosian Zerner, Samuel Bak and Steve Ross, and Dachau liberating soldier Chan Rogers is currently being prepared by videographer Jeff Manzelli.


Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Story: Former Randolph resident collected them in a book




Documentary by Michael McAlpin included interviews with Susie Davidson, Holocaust survivor Stephan Ross and WWII liberating soldiers Chan Rogers and Sol Feingold from the book.
View a partial transcript, and the show itself - Scroll down to the link “view clip” at




JEWISH ADVOCATE ARTICLE OF MAY 27, 2005, by Logan Ritchie - available upon request.

CHECK FOR UPCOMING READINGS with survivors and soldiers.

(I will also be speaking at schools, libraries and organizations in conjunction with the Louise A. Mutterperl Speakers Bureau [the LAM Group] and Aigner Associates Strategic Marketing. Mutterperl was formerly the New England District Marketing Manager for Borders Books.)


Borders Books, Music and Cafe (10 School St., Downtown Boston, 617-557-7188)
Trident Booksellers (338 Newbury St., Boston, 617-267-8688)
Israel Bookstore (410 Harvard, Brookline, 617-566-7113)
Kolbo (437 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-731-8743)
Brookline Booksmith (279 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-6660)
The New England Mobile Book Fair (82-84 Needham St., Newton Highlands, 617-964-7440)
The Book Rack (13 Medford St., Arlington, 781-646-2665)
Porter Square Books (Porter Square Shopping Center, 25 White St., Cambridge, 617-491-2220)
Harvard Bookstore (1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, 800-542-READ)
The Harvard Coop (1400 Mass. Ave., Harvard Sq., Cambridge, 617-499-2000)
Judaic Traditions 775 Hope St. Providence, RI 02906 (401-454-4775)

FLORIDA: Borders Books, Music and Cafe in Boca Raton (9887 Glades Rd., 561-883-5854)
Borders Books, Music and Cafe in Boynton Beach (525 N. Congress Ave., 561-734-2021

The book can also be purchased through the author at 617-566-7557 or, or through the publisher at 617-628-2313 or


"The words of Holocaust survivors and their liberators mark the end of an unspeakable world war and the beginning of new life for those who endured. Susie Davidson has done a remarkable job in capturing the depths of despair and the joys of salvation. The act of liberation will always be seared in the minds and hearts of those inside and outside the gates of the camps."
Thomas G. Kelley, Secretary, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services

“Sixty years ago, in the spring of 1945, Allied soldiers entered Nazi concentration camps and found evidence of an almost incomprehensible evil. But they also found survivors. In this volume, Susie Davidson gives us the testimony of both survivors and liberators: encounters between those who had defied death and those who had risked death in the same cause, to preserve human freedom and human dignity.
We must honor them by carrying on their struggle to defend life, liberty, and justice for all persons.”
Michael E. Capuano, Member of Congress

"In writing this book, Susie Davidson is advancing the eternal message of the most significant event in Jewish history. In doing so, she is fulfilling a most important service to the entire community. The Holocaust was an essential element in the establishment of the State of Israel, which reserves an official national day for honoring its memory. Its lessons are the most profound and the most crucial in the creation of our modern Jewish identity.
Susie's effort to document the story of these remarkable survivors and the brave soldiers who liberated the camps is to be supported and is greatly appreciated."
Hillel Newman, Consul of Israel to New England

“'I Refused to Die’ provides Boston's Jewish community with a fitting testimony to mankind's darkest hour. It is overwhelming to read how each individual life was so brutally stripped bare. The author allows readers, who have neither the experience nor the language to truly understand such levels of horror, a chance to empathize with the unique plight of the victims.”
Richard Ferrer, Editor, The Jewish Advocate


From: paul etkind
Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005

I want to send you a formal thank you for the magnificent (yes, I sincerely mean that word, and in my seven-plus years of chairing this series, I have never before used it to describe a talk) lecture and reading you gave us this morning. May I have an address that I can send the letter to?


Recipient of a 2004 Massachusetts Cultural Council/Brookline Arts Commission grant, the book includes 30 personal stories (20 survivors, 10 soldiers) recorded, annotated, edited and in most cases written by Davidson. The purpose is to document and honor the bravery and accomplishments of the contributing survivors and World War II soldiers, and to confront Holocaust denial and help to stem genocides in our modern world.

Included are the stories of Boston-based Holocaust survivors Janet Applefield, Israel Arbeiter, Samuel Bak, Rena Finder, Sevek Fishman, Rela Fund, Michael Gruenbaum, Meyer and Sylvia Hack, Edgar Krasa, Michael Kraus, Ben Kuchinsky, Tania Lefman, Joe Matzner, Stella Penzer, Liane Reif-Lehrer, Stephan Ross, Ida Rozenberg, Chana Seldin, Sonia Weitz and Rosian Zerner, as well as those of local World War II veterans James B. Aitken, Leo Barry, Sol Feingold, (Commissioner Emeritus of the Mass. Dept. of Veterans’ Services) Tom Materazzo, Phil Minsky, Warren Emerson Priest, Chan Rogers and Al Rosen, who liberated the camps.

Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice General Felix L. Sparks, Battalion Commander of the 45th Division’s 157 Infantry Regiment that liberated Dachau, has also graciously contributed his personal story to this book.

The book contains essays by Boston-area Holocaust community leaders who include Ellen Ogintz Fishman, Director of Holocaust Services at the Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Boston; Nancy Kaufman, Executive Director, JCRC of Greater Boston; Jennifer Hsu Larratt-Smith, New England Program Assistant at Facing History and Ourselves, Brookline; Matt Lebovic, Holocaust Programs Coordinator, JCRC of Greater Boston; Mark Ludwig, Director of the Terezín Chamber Music Foundation; Rick Mann, President of the Friends of the New England Holocaust Memorial; Julie B. Ross, President of Generations After; Boston City Councilor Michael P. Ross; Dale Carmen Sibor, daughter of NEHM benefactor Bill Carmen; and Regina Szwadzka, Director of International Services of Project Search, American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay.

Included are many Holocaust-themed poems from area poets, as well as articles, photos, and local and national Holocaust community resources, as well as supplementary educational segments on World War II.

For information, books or readings with soldiers and survivors, please call 617-566-7557, email or visit, or contact Ibbetson Street Press of Somerville at 617-628-2313,, or visit

The book is published on the 60th anniversary year of the Allied defeat of the Nazis, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the New England Holocaust Memorial and in recognition of the Liberators' Monument in downtown Boston, as well as the work of the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, based in Newton.



Boston Globe, March 21, 2005

THE PUSH to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a decision to continue on a path of irreparable environmental destruction.

However, instead of destroying the environment and remaining dependent on other countries until all oil resources are depleted, we have an opportunity now to commit to more environmentally and economically sound solutions. It is time to invest in renewable energy sources, such as wind and sun, to provide unlimited energy without the baggage of environmental damage and dependence on other countries.

Jobs may shift away from oil companies, but many new jobs would be created in the renewable energy industries. Additionally, we would have more freedom internationally to promote just, moral solutions without catering to dictators who supply us with oil.

We will have to make this decision sooner or later, but the sooner we begin to look outside the box, the more options we will have.


By James Carroll, 3/16/2004

"IT MUST BE considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things." This warning is from Niccolo Machiavelli, yet it has never had sharper resonance.
More than a decade ago, after Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, President George H. W. Bush explicitly sought to initiate, as he put it to Congress, a "new world order." He made that momentous declaration on Sept. 11, 1990. Eleven years later, the suddenly mystical date of 9/11 motivated his son to finish what the father began. A year ago this week, Bush the younger launched a war against the man who tried to kill his dad, initiating the opposite of order.
The situation hardly needs rehearsing. In Iraq, many thousands are dead, including 564 Americans. Civil war threatens. Afghanistan, meanwhile, is choked by drug-running warlords. Islamic jihadists have been empowered. The nuclear profiteering of Pakistan has been exposed but not necessarily stopped. Al Qaeda's elusiveness has reinforced its mythic malevolence. The Atlantic Alliance is in ruins. The United States has never been more isolated. A pattern of deception has destroyed its credibility abroad and at home. Disorder spreads from Washington to Israel to Haiti to Spain. Whether the concern is subduing resistance fighters far away or making Americans feel safer, the Pentagon's unprecedented military dominance, the costs of which stifle the US economy, is shown to be essentially impotent.
In America, the new order of things is defined mainly by the sour taste of moral hangover, how the emotional intensity of the 9/11 trauma -- anguished but pure -- dissolved into a feeling of being trapped in a cage of our own making. As the carnage in Madrid makes clear, the threats in the world are real and dangerous to handle, but one US initiative after another has escalated rather than diffused such threats. Instead of replacing chaos with new order, our nation's responses inflict new wounds that increase the chaos. We strike at those whom we perceive as aiming to do us harm but without actually defending ourselves. And most unsettling of all, in our attempt to get the bad people to stop threatening us, we have begun to imitate them.
The most important revelation of the Iraq war has been of the Bush administration's blatant contempt for fact. Whether defined as "lying" or not, the clear manipulation of intelligence ahead of last year's invasion has been completely exposed. The phrase "weapons of mass destruction" has been transformed. Where once it evoked the grave danger of a repeat of the 9/11 trauma, now it evokes an apparently calculated American fear. The government laid out explicit evidence defining a threat that required the launching of preventive war, and the US media trumpeted that evidence without hesitation. The result, since there were no weapons of mass destruction, as the government and a pliant press had ample reason to know, was an institutionalized deceit maintained to this day. At the United Nations, the United States misled the world. In speech after speech, President Bush misled Congress and the nation. And note that the word "misled" means both to have falsified and to have failed in leadership. To mislead, as the tautological George Bush might put it, is to mislead.
The repetition of falsehoods tied to the war on terrorism and the war against Iraq has eroded the American capacity, if not to tell the difference between what is true and what is a lie, then to think the difference matters much. The administration distorted fact ahead of the invasion, when the American people could not refute what had not happened yet. And the administration distorts fact now, when the American people do not remember clearly what we were told a year ago. That Bush retains the confidence of a sizable proportion of the electorate suggests that Americans don't particularly worry anymore about truth as a guiding principle of their government.
In that lies the irony. The Bush dynasty has in fact initiated a new order of things. The United States of America has become its own opposite, a nation of triumphant freedom that claims the right to restrain the freedom of others; a nation of a structured balance of power that destroys the balance of power abroad; a nation of creative enterprise that exports a smothering banality; and above all, a nation of forcefully direct expression that disrespects the truth. Whatever happens from this week forward in Iraq, the main outcome of the war for the United States is clear. We have defeated ourselves.
This story ran on page A19 of the Boston Globe on 3/16/2004.
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.


POLITICIANS know instinctively what scholars learn only from research. For example, when a nation faces an external threat, it pulls together, becomes more patriotic, and supports its leaders as never before. That is exactly the way Americans reacted to the terrorism of Sept. 11. Flags appeared everywhere, Bush's popularity soared, and he received overwhelming support for a war in Afghanistan.
As the fear occasioned by the events of Sept. 11 has moderated, so has the enthusiasm for war. The (p)resident has done all he can to generate support for action against Iraq by keeping fear alive, by demonizing Saddam Hussein, and by alluding to the terrible things that may befall us if we do not attack now. His tactics succeeded in getting an authorization from Congress to go to war. However, the reluctance of other countries to join in, together with opposition by many Americans, has postponed military action.
Leaders of other nations use similar tactics against us. When we take action against other countries, their populations fall in behind their leaders, just as we do behind ours. For example, what we have done to North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and Iraq has generated support of regimes we consider odious. Those totalitarian governments have remained in power for decades, thanks in large part to actions taken by the US government.
Moreover, some of those feeling threatened by this country are moved to violent action against us. Since conventional military action against the world's only superpower is not a practical alternative, they resort to terrorism.
Like war, terrorism is an abomination. We have proclaimed a war against terrorism, but when our actions represent a threat to others, we stimulate just the kind of savagery we want to stop.
The way to a more orderly, less violent world is through the cooperation of the community of nations. By refusing to participate in international efforts such as banning land mines, controlling the traffic in small arms, limiting the emissions that contribute to global warming, and establishing an international court of criminal justice and by initating wars and threatening more, we abandon any realistic hope of ending terrorism and fostering the kind of peaceful world in which we all would like to live.

A WARNING FROM A VIETNAM VET (Boston Globe, 10/16/01)
As a Vietnam veteran (101st Airborne Division, 1969), I was sorry to read about the vilification of the peace movement and its activists in the article "Antiwar activists urge US to atone" (Page A13, Oct. 15). The parallels of the war in Afghanistan to the war in Vietnam are unmistakable.
Bombing is supposed to achieve an objective, but it does not.
Civilians are not supposed to be killed, but they are. The indigenous population is supposed to rally to us, but they don't.
Millions elsewhere are supposed to support us, but they don't.
If those of us who went to Vietnam have any wisdom to impart, I believe it would be this: Beware of arrogance and self-righteousness; beware of anyone with a strategy to "win hearts and minds;' beware of armchair generals who have never personally experienced the consequences of decisions to send young men into combat; and lastly, listen carefully to the courageous moral and practical positions of the antiwar movement.

AND NOW FOR THE ROCK 'N RANT (what websites are for! ;>)):
BACK TO MY OWN SOAPBOX....Here are some of my recent letters written to whomever on whatever!

Boston Globe, Aug. 23, 2006:

Maybe now that the lowest of the low has occurred for Red Sox fans, they might think long and hard about their obsessive devotion to the team and the game. For years, I've bemoaned the fact that probably 90 percent of the people in Boston live and die for the Red Sox and worship their players and management like icons, while teachers, human services staff, health care providers, social workers and other admirable contributors to society barely make a living wage. I've decried the vast amounts of energy and time that go into watching, talking and reading about the Red Sox when there are so many, many critical problems facing our planet and its people, locally and globally. But if their most sacred and beloved idols Pedro and Johnny jumping ship for more dough at a moment's notice didn't affect Red Sox Nation, when a spiralling cost of $300 and up for family tickets didn't affect Red Sox Nation, then I don't hold out much hope that these lofty aims will either. Instead, they'll ignore the fact that the team with the best players money can buy is the one that wins, they'll condemn anything that is less than a championship finish, and they'll begin waiting for next year.

Subject: No bus ticket for me - and here's why
To United for Justice with Peace and American Friends Service Committee:
I just went online to get a bus ticket for this weekend's anti-Iraq war protest in NYC. I looked at United for Peace and Justice and the American Friends' Service Committee sites, which had info on buses from Boston. While there, I scanned the issues advocated by each group, and was extremely discouraged to see the blatantly obvious anti-Israel bias of both sites.
Where is a unified, equivocal peace effort? All I saw were pro-Palestinian events being plugged (there are countless ongoing peace events in Boston sponsored by area Jewish groups, in case you didn't know) and proposals for peace based on various demands made of the Israeli government - but no demands made of Palestinians other than the obvious cessation of suicide bombings.
The barbarism Palestinians inflict upon their own citizens, let alone innocent civilians in Israel, was not mentioned anywhere. No criticism whatsoever aside from suicide bombings was levied, and that was mild. I expect this from A.N.S.W.E.R., and shun that group because I feel it is racist. The Quakers, however? Very sad that even this longstanding peace group is not in the end impartial, but biased.
It is so sad when the left, which I have always identified with, becomes so polarized as to adapt the same "black vs. white" standpoint (Bush's style if it be said) on the Middle East conflict, seeing no wrong in their beloved Palestinians and condemning every measure Israel takes in self-defense. I say this as a Jew who does not uphold all of the Israeli government actions,
supports a Palestinian state and calls for the withdrawal of settlers from settlements. As a journalist, I know a bit about objectivity and fair-minded reasoning before going public with any of my positions. I cannot support either group, and thus will not be going to NYC this weekend.
Neither will my like-minded leftist friends who happen to support Israel as well as Palestinian indepedence.
I leave you with my poem "The Portrait of Palestine's Plight" which chronicles docuemnted (by both sides of the media), countless horrific, ongoing human rights abuses perpetuated by Palestinians. I would suggest you read it and widen your objectivity.

Susie Davidson
Boston, MA

By now it must come as no surprise that I do not support Bush's gingoistic war-mongering craze. In our lust to "root out" the precise people and networks and focus on them, we kill innocent civilians who have surely suffered enough in Afghanistan (following our withdrawal years ago after liberating the country from Russia for the Taliban) and, at at last count, 25,000 Iraqi citizens. Step up the humanitarian aid (ENOUGH FOR ONLY 1% OF CIVILIANS AS OF 11/1/01, WHILE BOMBS RAGE!!!!) This revengeful, quick fix mentality will not bring anything good. No one has ever won a war in Afghanistan. War never solves anything, and in this case, it won't get rid of terrorism.
As my friend Bill says, it's like bombing Sicily to get rid of the Mafia.

I feel, like author and columnist James Carroll, that the answer lies not in "war" but in "law". Get tough controls on the investments these terrorists have all throughout the U.S. stock markets and freeze the assets. Increase security at airports and other risky areas. Impose sanctions if need be. Help the civilians. Support their oppositional movements.

WE MUST LOOK AT OURSELVES AS A COUNTRY. We do not want to sink to their level by bombing indiscriminately. That has never worked historically, and will not end the cycle. The U.S has a history of bombing and of alienating countries; this, which is being perpetrated more than ever by our selected (and then chosen by a bamboozled, Rove-ified Red State electorate) President, has significantly contributed to the ill will held towards this country.

Yes, religious differences play a role. BUT - WHY DO THEY HATE US?????? Well, we don't know where Australia is, we litter, drive SUV's without a qualm, wear sweatshop clothing, we don't recycle, largely eat junk and fast food and are 60% overweight and 30% obese, we have deplorable educations, we don't travel. We are 5% of the world's people and use 30% of its resources. Enough said.