Ten things you could do to advance peace in the Middle East

  1. INFORM YOURSELF of other perspectives besides those you typically find in the media. Don't say, "I don't know enough"-- because we can help you get the information you need to become an activist for Middle East peace.
    1. Want to get daily updates from the non-American media and perspectives you don't normally hear? We have a daily email of this sort (not balanced--it's the side you don't hear in American media, and it doesn't always reflect a TIKKUNish perspective, but we make it available because we trust your ability to hear information and decide for yourself). Just send an email to: TIKKUN-ISRAEL-Open-heartedness-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    2. Subscribe to Tikkkun Magazine. If you buy it on the newsstands, you pay more and we get less (we get 40% instead of 100%). And read its discussions of strategy, plus careful documentation that you rarely get to read elsewhere.
    3. Create a weekly or bi-weekly Tikkun Community discussion group, and dedicate one of the two monthly meetings just to catching up on the details of what is happening. Use the emails and the booklet referred to in d. below.
    4. Sometime by the end of the summer we will have printed Michael Lerner's new booklet--Healing Israel/Palestine. In the meantime, you might want to read Avi Shlaim's book The Iron Wall.
    5. Come to our activist training S.F. area: July 4-7, but only if you want to play a leadership role in The Tikkun Community--cost is $350 and includes food and lodging for three nights.

      Or come to the East Coast training at Omega Institute, August 12-16 (call Omega--they are in charge of that one, including $). 1-845-266-4444

  2. Join our MEDIA CRITIQUE group--and challenge the daily distortions in the media.

    The idea is simple: every day we will post articles or summaries of media reports that ought to be challenged. You'll find the article or summary, plus a critique of it. You can then call the media in question and complain, and insist that they start covering the perspective of those who favor peace. You will find phone numbers of people who can be suggested as spokespeople for The Tikkun Community.

    Go to www.tikkun.org, scroll down to the section on The Tikkun Community, and in that section scroll down further till you find a category of "Media Critique." Read through the options there--click on each one.

    Or you can actually send us a media story and either ask us to critique it or you can send your own critique along with it, and we will consider posting it at the site.

    If you want to join the group, contact Samantha at: tikkun_olam@hotmail.com or magazine@tikkun.org

  3. Get a group of people together in your community and form a local branch of The Tikkun Community (if you haven't joined yet, please please do so--online at www.tikkun.org, or by sending $120 to TIKKUN, 2107 Van Ness Ave, Suite 302, SF, Ca. 94109). If you tell us you want to form a local branch, we will help you get started.
  4. With your local Tikkun Community branch, go visit publicly elected officials. Many are running for office this Fall--so this is the right time to demand that they change their position on the Middle East or lose your support. Ask them to endorse our Middle East peace initiative.

    Or, go to your local city council, county supervisors, state legislature, and ask them to introduce our Peace Initiative. Or, if you live in a city or state where you can put something directly on the ballot, collect signatures to put this on.

    Here is a first step--take the resolution below and get it endorsed by the local chapter of whatever political party you are part of (Democrats, Greens--and don't be so sure that you won't find some responsive voices even among Republicans), by local unions and churches and synagogues and mosques and ashrams, by social change groups involved in peace, justice, civil liberties, and human rights work, by civic organizations and neighborhood associations, by prominent and respected local personalities and educators, and by people seeking elected office (let them know if they want your vote in November that you want them to sign on to this or some version that raises these points that you yourself construct in accord with what you think will work in your locale)--and finally try to get locally elected officials to pass it as a resolution in your local city council or county supervisors or state legislature (or, if they won't, try to collect signatures to put this on the local ballot for a direct vote--it will be a wonderful way to create a local conversation that is really needed):

    City Council or Board of Supervisors Resolution:

    Whereas we recognize the humanity and fundamental decency of both the Israeli and Palestinian people, and wish to see them living in peace with each other, side by side in a safe Israel and a safe Palestine,
    Whereas we abhor acts of terror and violence against Israeli civilians, and reject the notion that these attacks on civilians can ever be justified (no matter how justified the anger at the Occupation), and whereas we abhor acts of terror and violence against Palestinian civilians, destruction of Palestinian homes, confiscation of Palestinian land and property, and other violations of their human rights, and whereas we reject any notion of moral equivalence because we see each act of terror and violence as uniquely awful and a violation of the sanctity of human life,
    Whereas we see all attempts to put the blame primarily on one side or the other of this conflict as yet another way to keep the conflict going and as fundamentally obscuring the way that both sides participate in co-creating the struggle,
    Whereas the continuation of this conflict is destructive to the people of the Middle East, counter to the best interests and values of the United States, and might contribute to an increase in Anti-Semitism and anti-Arab sentiments both worldwide and in our own community,


    1. Call upon its representatives in Congress to ask the U.S . government to support an international intervention (either through the UN or through some other appropriate multinational force) to separate the two sides, provide protection for each, and impose a settlement on both sides which includes:
      1. Return of Israel to its pre-67 borders, with minor border changes mutually agreed upon (including Israeli control of the Western Wall and Palestinian control of the Temple Mount)
      2. Creation of an economically and politically viable Palestinian state in all of the pre-67 West Bank and Gaza with small border changes mutually agreed upon, and with its capital in East Jerusalem
      3. An international fund to provide reparations for Palestinians and generous resettlement opportunities in the new Palestinian state
      4. Recognition of Israel by Arab states and peaceful relations with all surrounding Arab and Islamic states
      5. Sharing of the water and other resources of the area and joint ecological cooperation to preserve the ecological balance
      6. Security cooperation by both Israel and Palestine with international participation and supervision to empower both sides to take decisive action to curb extremist elements that seek to block a peaceful resolution by resorting to provocation or violence against the citizens and/or territory of the other
      7. International guarantees of the military safety and security of Israel and Palestine, either through inclusion in NATO, a bilateral mutual defense agreement with the U.S., or some similar arrangement guaranteed to protect Israel and Palestine from other states which may have hostile intention
    2. Assist in the collection of voluntary contributions from the citizens of This City and those who study or work here funds to be allocated to non-profit organizations for the following purposes:
      1. to provide aid for families of victims of terror, violence and military actions in both Israel and Palestine
      2. to create an of Middle East Peace in Washington D.C. which will provide public education to our elected representatives in support of peace in the Middle East consistent with the ideas in this proposition. The Office of Middle East Peace will be administered by and responsible to the City.
      3. To provide education to our own citizens about the complexities of the Middle East situation, education which reflects the perspectives of those who are committed to points 1 a-g above. Organizations receiving these funds shall prove that they genuinely support the right of the Jewish people to their own homeland in Israel, and genuinely support the right of the Palestinian people to their own homeland in the West Bank and Gaza, reject violence as a means to achieve ends (including both Palestinian violence and Israeli violence) and demonstrate that they will clearly and unambiguously include this kind of even-handedness as well as support for an end to the Occupation in their public educational activities.
  5. College students and faculty: anyone you know in either of these two categories should be urged to attend the founding conference of Tikkun Campus Network on Oct 11-14 in NYC.  More info: campus@tikkun.org or marisa@tikkun.org
  6. COME TO WASHINGTON DC, April 27-29, 2003, for our Teach-In to Congress about Middle East peace. Don't say you didn't get told long enough in advance. We'll send you more details. But meantime--we need people from every Congressional district in the US, so start urging your friends to come--for a major opportunity to educate the public and our government with a peace-oriented perspective. Let your voice be heard!!! Let us know if you will head up a local recruiting task force in your community for this project. marisa@tikkun.org or community@tikkun.org
  7. Check the website at www.tikkun.org every few days-- and check at that site for Current Thinking, for our latest media critiques, sign up there, and check in regularly to our Calendar. Read the current discussions in the section on The Tikkun Community, or get active with one of the projects.
  8. Help us fundraise to make possible these activities. We have very little at the present moment--we need your help. Would you set up a house party for Tikkun--and show a video tape we have (we have 3 topics: a. Israel/Palestine b. The State of the Spirit c. Jewish Renewal). Then, see if you can get people invited to either join The Tikkun Community or donate to support our work.
  9. Help us with volunteer work. Best would be to come to work with us at our office in San Francisco. But others could do emailing, letter writing, and phone calling in your own area, using your own phone or email.
  10. Don't let others tell you that opposing the policies of Israel today is anti-Semitic or "self-hating." Insist that they expose themselves to this other perspective--because we firmly believe that the best way to be pro-Israel at the moment is to give Israel some "tough love" and push her to get out of the West Bank and Gaza, help organize reparations for the Palestinian refugees, and take steps to generate a two-sided dynamic of repentance and atonement for all the unncessary killings, maimings, pain and fear that each side has caused the other. And don't let them tell you that you have to choose sides--this is precisely the moment to be BOTH pro-Israel and pro-Palestine.

Want to be in contact? Call Josh at 415-575 1200

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