Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Week Before

Here we are Cello and I and our friend Jaquie getting us in her sights, in front of the Port Phillip Bay down St. Kilda way. What I wish for all, the sun, the sea, no hunger, a warm presence pressed against my side, his life touching mine. A week later, I was back having cancer surgery far from the sun and the sea. Thank you all who have written and those who have reached me in so many ways. I am mending now--should be able to do our monthly Women in Black vigil on Saturday. I will go to rest now. Kisses for those who would want them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No Words for a While

Our international Women in Black community was saddened to hear of the death of Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco on April 20 in Belgrade. "During her long career as a peace movement and human rights activist, Biljana was the founder of the Human Rights Council of the Center for Antiwar Action in Belgrade and the head of the SOS helpline for the victims of political,ethnic and workplace discrimination." I think of Lepa and of all the women of the Belgrade community and know they have lost a dear dear comrade. We all have.

I will be quiet for a while. As soon as I finish this post, we are off the the Royal Women's Hospital for my surgery. I want to leave you with a place to go for the finest writing I have read growing out of the what is happening in Palestine Israel now--it is the journal writing of Jane Toby, an American woman from the Hudson Valley Women in Black community. Find her at http::// You will not let her go.

Also look to our website

Thank you for your words, your thinking, your caring

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Again But I am One of the Lucky Ones

Dear Friends, and even those who think I am an enemy of the State of Israel, I just received the news that I have uterine cancer. Once again an embarrassed doctor who was convinced all was alright until the cellular drama was caught on that other small screen, the pathology slide. I almost laughed, how many more cancers can a girl have--colon,breast and now my underused uterus. We are in the midst of planning my 70th year celebration, my poor Professeressa, she too must enter into the fray once again. This is the glory of life, celebration and wearing down. Cello could not be denied his afternoon walk, not on this walk pictured here--this is my New York walk in Riverside Drive where I and my dog friends, first Denver and then Perry, walked every day of every season, amidst the autumnal oaks, and Spring cherry blossoms and sometimes my old pal, Liz Kennedy, walked with me as she took in the antics of every creature. Cello and I walked in a different terrain and as we did, I thought I am one of the lucky ones. Already my doctor has made an appointment for me with the "specialist" at the Royal Women's Hospital. I thought again of all the cancer patients that get stopped at the borders, that can't reach help, those whose countries have never been able to find a way to get care to all who need it and I thought, we need Cancer without Borders, we need every cancer patient who has been lucky enough to get treatment to march on the governments of the world--starting first with those who purposely make the road to treatment almost impossible--in the name of State restrictions. Open the check points for people needing treatment. Israel with some of the finest hospitals in the world, with doctors who, as David Brooks and Thomas Friedman love to tell us, are the great entrepreneurs of the medical world, just on the other side of the militarized check point, open the check points and let the cancer patients through. A beginning. Cancer without Borders, care without borders. I am one of the lucky ones.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Here, our April Women in Black vigil: Sue, Hellen, Geraldine, La Professoressa, a visitor from Haifa and myself. Judith Butler, an old friend, speaks to the University of Berkeley Student Senate about divestment:
The first thing I want to say is that there is hardly a Jewish dinner table left in this country [USA]--or indeed in Europe and much of Israel--in which there is not enormous disagreement about the status of occupation, Israeli military aggression and the future of Zionism, binationalism and citizenship in the lands called Israel and Palestine. There is no one Jewish voice, and in recent years, there are increasing differences among us, as is evident by the multiplication of Jewish groups that oppose the occupation and which actively criticize and oppose Israeli military policy and aggression. ..
Of course, we could argue on what political forms Israel and Palestine must take in order for international law to be honored. But that is not the question that is before you this evening. We have lots of time to consider that question, and I invite you to join me to do that in a clear-minded way in the future. But consider this closely: the bill you have before you does not ask that you take a view on Israel. I know that it certainly seems like it does, since the discussion has been all about that. But it actually makes two points that are crucial to consider. The first is simply this: there are two companies that not only are invested in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and peoples, but who profit from that occupation, and which are sustained in part by funds invested by the University of California. They are General Electric and United Technologies. They produce aircraft designed to bomb and kill, and they have bombed and killed civilians, as has been amply demonstrated by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. You are being asked to divest funds from these two companies. You are NOT being asked to divest funds from every company that does business with Israel. And you are not being asked to resolve to divest funds from Israeli business or citizens on the basis of their citizenship or national belonging. You are being asked only to call for divestment from specific companies that make military weapons that kill civilians. That is the bottom line....
Lastly, let me say this. You may feel fear in voting for this resolution. I was frightened coming here this evening. You may fear that you will seem anti-Semitic....To struggle against fear in the name of social justice is part of a long and venerable Jewish tradition;it is non-nationalist, that is true, and it is committed not just to my freedom, but to all of our freedoms, So let us remember that there is no one Jew, not even one Israel, and that those who say that there are seek to intimidate or contain your powers of criticism. By voting for this resolution, you are entering a debate that is already underway, that is crucial for the materialization of justice, one which involves having the courage to speak out against injustice, something I learned as a young person, but something we each have to learn time and again. I understand that it is not easy to speak out in this way. But if you struggle against voicelessness to speak for what is right, then you are in the middle of that struggle against oppression and for freedom, a struggle that knows that there is no freedom for one until there is freedom for all. There are those who will surely accuse you of hatred, but perhaps those accusations are the enactment of hatred. The point is not to enter that cycle of threat and fear and hatred--that is the hellish cycle of war itself. The point is to leave the discourse of war and to affirm what is right. You will not be alone. You will be speaking in unison with others, and you will, actually, be making a step toward the realization of peace--the principles of non-violence and co-habitation that alone can serve as the foundation of peace. You will have the support of a growing and dynamic movement, intergenerational and global, by speaking against the military destruction of innocent lives and against the corporate profit that depends on that destruction. you will stand with us, and we will most surely stand with you. (printed in The Nation, April 13, 2010)
And from South Africa:
Judge Goldstone has been banned by the South African Zionist Federation from attending is grandson's bar mitzvah--this as an act of retribution for Goldstone's report to the United Nations. As one Jewish blogger said, "What has happened to our people?"
What has happened to our people?