Edward Snowden asylum: US ‘disappointed’ by Russian decision | The Guardian

Edward Snowden's lawyer

By in Moscow, , and in Washington

Edward Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena shows a copy of a temporary document allowing the whistleblower to cross the border into Russia. Photograph: AP

The White House expressed anger and dismay on Thursday after Russia granted temporary asylum to the American whistleblower Edward Snowden and allowed him to leave the Moscow airport where he had been holed up for over a month.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US was “extremely disappointed” by the decision, almost certainly taken personally by President Vladimir Putin. He said Moscow should hand Snowden back and hinted that Barack Obama might now boycott a bilateral meeting with Putin in September, due to be held when the US president travels to Russia for a G20 summit.

Carney added that Snowden had arrived in both China and Russia carrying with him thousands of top secret US documents. He said: “Simply the possession of that kind of highly sensitive classified information outside of secure areas is both a huge risk and a violation.

“As we know he’s been in Russia now for many weeks. There is a huge risk associated with … removing that information from secure areas. You shouldn’t do it, you can’t do it, it’s wrong.”

With US-Russian relations now at a cold war-style low, Snowden slipped out of Sheremetyevo airport on Thursday afternoon. His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said Russia’s federal migration service had granted him temporary asylum for one year. Snowden had left the airport to stay at an undisclosed location with expatriate Americans, he added.

Putin made no immediate comment. But having weighed Russia’s options for some weeks, he appears to have decided that Snowden’s propaganda value outweighs any possible US repercussions. Obama’s already floundering attempts to “reset”, or improve, relations with Moscow are in effect over.

In a statement released by WikiLeaks, Snowden thanked the Russian authorities and accused the US of behaving illegally. He made no explicit mention of the trial of Bradley Manning, who this week was convicted of espionage and faces 136 years in jail.

Snowden said: “Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning.”

He added: “I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations.”

Snowden has been given a temporary Russian travel document, with his name in Cyrillic and a fresh passport photo. “This gave him the right to temporary asylum on the territory of the Russian Federation, Kucherena said, holding up a copy of the document. US authorities had cancelled his American passport.

Security officials said Snowden officially crossed the border into Russia from the airport’s transit zone at about 3.30pm local time. Russia had apparently not informed the US of the move in advance. The state TV channel Rossiya 24 showed a photograph of Snowden’s departure, as he clambered into a grey unmarked car.

Despite being pictured from behind Snowden was instantly recognisable wearing his trademark grey shirt and carrying a black backpack. Next to him was Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks representative who accompanied him last month on his flight from Hong Kong.

Kucherena declined to provide details on where Snowden was heading, citing safety concerns. “Since he is the most hunted person in the world, he will address the question of security today,” he told journalists.

The former NSA employee will himself choose his place of residence and forms of protection, he added. Previously, some speculated that the Russian government was keeping Snowden hidden, although the whistleblower and his lawyer have denied that, adding that he has had no contact with Russian security services.

The whistleblower’s father, Lon Snowden, had reportedly been planning to visit his son. Kucherena said on Wednesday that he was sending an invitation to Snowden’s father so he could obtain a Russian visa. Kucherena told Rossiya 24 on Thursday that he would be speaking to the father later in the day to arrange his visit.

US authorities have repeatedly called on Moscow to return the fugitive to face charges in America. Last week America’s attorney general, Eric Holder, sent a letter to Russia’s justice minister promising that Snowden would not be tortured and that he would not face the death penalty if handed over to the US.

Russian officials previously said they had no jurisdiction to return Snowden, as he was not officially located on Russian territory, and that the US had not filed an official extradition request.

The Kremlin did not immediately comment on Snowden’s temporary asylum. Putin has previously said repeatedly that to remain in Russia, Snowden must stop activities harming the United States. His lawyer suggested that fresh revelations published by the Guardian on Wednesday and Thursday had come from documents that Snowden had already given the paper before Putin made his comments.

Russia’s decision has emboldened hawkish critics of the White House, who have long dubbed Obama’s attempts to improve relations with Putin as naive and inappropriate. In a statement on his website, Senator John McCain said: “Russia’s action today is a disgrace and a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States. It is a slap in the face of all Americans. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia.”

He proposed in response to expand the Magnitsky Act list of banned Russian officials, push for Georgia’s acceptance into Nato and implement US missile defence programmes in Europe.

At the White House, Carney made it clear that President Obama was frustrated by the decision by Russia to allow Snowden to enter the country, and that a planned presidential summit was now in jeopardy.

Obama is scheduled to travel to Russia in September for at meeting of G20 leaders in St Petersburg. He also planned to meet Putin for a bilateral summit during the trip in what would have been a sign of improving relations between the two powers.

That meeting is now under review. “Obviously this is not a positive development,” Carney said. “We have a wide range of interests with the Russians. We are evaluating the utility of the summit.”

Amnesty International called for the focus to switch from Snowden’s asylum plight to the “sweeping nature and unlawfulness” of the US government’s surveillance programmes.

Widney Brown, senior director for international law and policy at Amnesty, said in a statement: “Now that Edward Snowden has left the airport and has protected status in Russia, the focus really needs to be on the US government’s surveillance programs. Snowden would not have needed temporary asylum but for revealing the sweeping nature and unlawfulness of a massive system of domestic and international surveillance by the United States government.”

A survey showed that 43% of Russians supported granting Snowden asylum and 51% approved of his whistleblowing activities. Kucherena said he had received numerous letters from Russians offering Snowden lodging, protection and money, as well as from women interested in Snowden romantically.

Pavel Durov, the founder of Russia’s most popular social network, VKontakte, invited Snowden to come work as a programmer at the network, in a post on his VKontakte page on Thursday.

Source: The Guardian


Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy | The Huffington Post

jimmy carter edward snowden

Former president Jimmy Carter speaks at dedication ceremonies for the new George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, April 25, 2013. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

Former President Jimmy Carter announced support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden this week, saying that his uncovering of the agency’s massive surveillance programs had proven “beneficial.”

Speaking at a closed-door event in Atlanta covered by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Carter also criticized the NSA’s domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation’s principles.

“America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time,” Carter said, according to a translation by Inquisitr.

No American outlets covered Carter’s speech, given at an Atlantic Bridge meeting, which has reportedly led to some skepticism over Der Spiegel’s quotes. But Carter’s stance would be in line with remarks he’s made on Snowden and the issue of civil liberties in the past.

In June, while Snowden was scrambling to send out asylum requests from an airport in Russia, Carter appeared to back the former NSA contractor’s efforts to remain out of U.S. custody.

“He’s obviously violated the laws of America, for which he’s responsible, but I think the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far,” he told CNN, saying that nations were within their right to offer asylum to Snowden. “I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial.”

Snowden has been hard-pressed to find support among U.S. politicians. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have declared Snowden a traitor who deserves to be prosecuted for his leaks. The White House has also been persistent in its attempts to bring him into custody. Last week, the administration criticized Russia for facilitating a meeting between Snowden and human rights activists. Snowden has since applied for temporary asylum in the nation, following complications surrounding transit to the Latin American nations that he’d been considering.

Source: The Huffington Post

A desperate protest by prisoners at Guantánamo has shamed Barack Obama

GuantanamoHungerStrike“YOU have to hand it to some of these IRA boys,” Margaret Thatcher once remarked of the republican hunger-strikers who embarrassed her in 1981. “What a terrible waste of human life!” she said of the ten who died. Since some of the hunger-strikers at Guantánamo Bay are being force-fed through nasal tubes, Barack Obama may be spared Mrs Thatcher’s grief. But he has been shamed by their desperate gambit all the same. The protest is a reminder of one of his most glaring failures in office.

Officials count 100 hunger-strikers; lawyers for the detainees say there are 130; on any reckoning, a majority of the 166 remaining inmates are starving themselves. Through their lawyers, detainees complain of a rougher regime since the army took over guard duties from the navy last autumn. In particular they allege that their Korans were mistreated during an inspection in February, when the hunger-strike began (prison authorities vigorously deny that). A cell-block raid by guards on April 13th (provoked by the covering up of security cameras), during which some prisoners were shot with rubber pellets, hardened rather than broke the strikers.

But the underlying cause is simpler, and more personal. “The reason they’re willing to die”, says Carlos Warner, a federal defender who represents 11 of the detainees, “is President Obama.”

Mr Obama said this week that Guantánamo “hurts us in terms of our international standing.” That echoed the view he espoused when, on his second day in office in January 2009, he ordered the prison to be closed within a year. Its existence since 2002, he said, had “likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained”—an opinion eventually shared by assorted veterans of George W. Bush’s administration. And yet the only Guantánamo-related closure so far has been the shutting, in January this year, of the diplomatic office charged with resettling the inmates.

Mr Obama blames Congress—with some justification. It thwarted his original plan to transfer the detainees to a facility in Illinois. Then, either out of concern for national security, a yen to embarrass the president, or both, in clauses inserted into successive defence-spending bills Congress made it difficult for officials to transfer anyone anywhere. Difficult, but not impossible: Mr Obama can authorise transfers using a presidential waiver. He has chosen not to. (After a bomb plot with links to Yemen at the end of 2009, he also chose to halt transfers there—and most of the remaining prisoners are Yemeni.) He evidently calculated that, given the battles he is already waging with Congress, Guantánamo was one he could do without.

That stalemate has been an especial let-down for the 86 residual prisoners who, in 2010, were slated for transfer out of Guantánamo by a presidential review; some had already been designated for transfer under the previous administration. Many of these men claim to have committed no offence except being in the wrong place—Afghanistan—at the wrong time, or to have been sold to American forces for the bounties they offered. One such, and one of the hunger-strikers, is Shaker Aamer, a British resident picked up in Jalalabad in 2001 and allegedly tortured. His lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, points out that the British government is well-equipped to monitor Mr Aamer should he be repatriated.

According to the review, many of these men were low-level fighters rather than total innocents. But none has been charged with a crime—and most have been at Guantánamo for over a decade. In fact, only seven of the 779 prisoners who have passed through the camp have been convicted by its military tribunals (and two of those verdicts have been challenged). Of those still there, only three have been convicted and only six currently face trial, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11th attacks. Subject to multiple legal challenges, beset by scandals over hidden microphones and leaked defence documents, the tribunals are now regarded as a failure even by those untroubled by their dubious legal status. As Mr Obama pointed out, federal courts have proved a much more effective forum for prosecuting terrorists.

The result, at the camp, is near-total stasis. No new prisoner has arrived since 2008; none has left for over a year. Parole-style hearings planned for the group not designated for either trial or transfer have yet to begin. Prisoners have lawyers, but there is little the lawyers can do for them. This bleak situation, says Mr Stafford Smith, is worse than being on death row.

Last chance?

Beyond the feeling of personal betrayal by Mr Obama, the detainees also sense—correctly—that the attention of the foreign leaders, human-rights watchdogs and United Nations officials who once energetically protested at their predicament has wandered. The outrage that the manacled, blindfolded, jumpsuited figures first provoked has dimmed. Drone warfare has become a much bigger human-rights preoccupation. And yet, unpropitious as it might seem, the prisoners also fear that this may be their last chance to get out.

Mr Warner says that if, with the president’s views and legal background, Mr Obama “can’t get this done, I don’t know who could.” It is hard to see a future presidential candidate matching his troublesome pledge to shut the prison. And for Mr Obama as well, time is running out. Even if he chose to use his waiver powers, and leant on other governments to accept detainees, the diplomacy, including gathering the necessary assurances on security and humane treatment, would take time.

Meanwhile the Guantánamo authorities are seeking an extra $200m for refurbishments, on top of annual running costs that wildly exceed those for ordinary prisons. They are planning new medical facilities to care for elderly detainees.

This week Mr Obama vowed to re-engage with Congress. “I’m going to go back at this,” he promised. He should hurry. Once Guantánamo was a byword for an overmighty executive and the excesses of Mr Bush’s “war on terror”. Under Mr Obama it has become a victim and a symbol of the paralysing divisiveness of American politics. “It’s going to get worse,” he said this week. “It’s going to fester.”

Source: The Economist

Lost in Translation: An Important Note for International Reckoners | The Daily Reckoning

Buenos Aires, Argentina – If you’re planning a vacation to the United States of America in the foreseeable future, you would do well to refrain from employing any confusing colloquialisms in your social media updates prior to departure.

For Australians, that means no “cracking onto” members of the opposite sex…no getting “off one’s face”…no “tearing it up”…no “little rippers” and, we would think, no “barrakking” for anyone.

Our Irish friends will likewise wish to steer clear of referring to anything as “the gas,” from declaring intentions to “eat one’s head off” and from “throwing shapes,” “sucking diesel” or otherwise “effin’ and blindin’.”

We can only imagine to what extent our English Reckoners shall have to curb their delightfully colorful lingo to ensure a stateside journey (even relatively) free of let or hindrance at the gate, though we imagine no measure of self-censorship will be sufficient to guarantee a transit experience free of at least a touch of “Ye ol’ Liberty Grope.”

What’s all this caper then, eh? What’s the apple, the score, the bleedin’ apple core?

Apologies for the loose linguistics, weary reader. But a point begs its making; a point two British (would-be) tourists, Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting, discovered the hard way just last week.

Apparently rather chuffed at the upcoming prospect of a wee jaunt over the pond, Van Bryan and Bunting engaged in a bit of online banter before their big trip to the US. Mistake number one. The two were perhaps unaware that the Department of Homeland Security routinely trolls the global social media digital waves, setting up accounts to listen in on prospective threats to…um…the “Homeland.”

We can only imagine the hysterical frenzy that whipped around the DHS H.Q. when they discovered what Van Bryan, 26, had posted.

“Free this week for a quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America x”

Not that it should matter, but “destroy” is popular English slang for “party”…an easily Googlable fact, one would think, for the highly skilled heroes manning the control tower at the Twitter and Facebook Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Unit for Liberty and Freedom of the Homeland… Patriot… Liberty… uh, never mind.

After making their way through passport control at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last week, the pair were promptly detained by armed guards/heroes/patriots. But the real trouble was still to come.

The two were then informed that the DHS was on to their scheme to “destroy” (read: party in) America and (Could it be? No! Sweet Mother of Mercy!) their sick and twisted plot to dig up the grave of Marilyn Monroe!

“3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”

The pair explained that the tweet, which the DHS had considered a grave matter of national security was, actually, a reference from Family Guy, a popular television show produced in the Homeland itself…behind patriot lines!

“They asked why we wanted to destroy America and we tried to explain it meant to get trashed and party,” explained Bunting. “I almost burst out laughing when they asked me if I was going to be Leigh’s lookout while he dug up Marilyn Monroe. I couldn’t believe it because it was a quote from the comedy Family Guy which is an American show.”

Department of Homeland Security staff, brave unwavering professionals as they are, were not deterred from their mission.

“It got even more ridiculous because the officials searched our suitcases and said they were looking for spades and shovels. They did a full body search on me too” explained Bunting.

Perhaps because grave-robbing spades and shovels have little to do with (most people’s idea of) partying, the DHS were unable to find any in the pair’s luggage or, strangely enough, on their person. Nevertheless, this was no time to take chances:

“I kept saying to them they had got the wrong meaning from my tweet but they just told me ‘you’ve really f***** up with that tweet boy’.”

Van Bryan, apparently thought to be the leader of the non-existent operation, was then cuffed, thrown in a cage inside a van and whisked away to a location where he could not be of harm to Homeland citizens. Read more…

Source: The Daily Reckoning

14,000 Coloradans move $100M into credit unions | The Colorado Independent

By Jon Collins

As the social media-sparked Bank Transfer Day approaches, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that over 650,000 people have joined credit unions in the last four weeks. In Colorado, the group reports 14,000 new accounts and $100 million in new deposits.

Credit unions nationally have added $4.5 billion in new accounts since the end of September, CUNA says, reporting that four out of every five credit unions affiliated with the group report that the increase is due to attempts by big banks to raise fees on customers or Bank Transfer Day, a movement birthed by social media that will take place tomorrow.

Bank Transfer Day organizer Kristen Christian explained the logic behind the movement on the group’s Facebook page.

“I started this because I felt like many of you do. I was tired—tired of the fee increases, tired of not being able to access my money when I need to, tired of them using what little money I have to oppress my brothers & sisters. So I stood up. I’ve been shocked at how many people have stood up alongside me.” Christian wrote. “Me closing my account all on my lonesome wouldn’t have made a difference to these fat cats. But each of you standing up with me…they can’t drown out the noise we’ll make.”

Big banks like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have also taken flak for attempting to impose additions fees on customers who use debt cards, although many of the banks have withdrawn their plans due to public outcry.

Credit unions are member-owned and non-profit; they typically have fewer fees than corporate banks. Credit unions across the country, including some in Minnesota, have been offering special promotions and extending hours in preparation for Bank Transfer Day, CUNA said. Minnesota’s Affinity Plus launched the aggressive “ditch your bank” campaign in early October,

“Our struggling economy is not the disease, it’s the symptom,” according to Affinity Plus’ campaign. ”There is mounting evidence to prove that big banks with their profit-at-all-costs agenda are actually making our collective disease worse by systematically making choices that undermine the efforts of regulators and ordinary people like us to make changes and get back to a state of health.”

Occupy Wall Street has also helped cement the focus on banks. In Minnesota, Occupy Wall Street has targeted big banks for a series of demonstrations focused largely on the banks’ role in the foreclosure crisis.

“We’re focused more on the needs of our clients and less on the bottom line,” said Joy Audet, director of corporate communications for the credit union association in Colorado.

Scot Kersgaard contributed to this article.

Source: The Colorado Independent

Handcuffs Have no Place in Public Schools | Care2 Petitionsite

A student who was handcuffed to a railing for an entire day for not wearing a belt had to eat his lunch while handcuffed. Another student, 15 years old, was handcuffed to a railing for hours just for greeting her friend too loudly in the hallway.

This type of punishment is disturbing and inappropriate. Tell Jackson Public School District in Mississippi that you want it to end. »

These students are not being punished for criminal behavior, but for very minor offenses, like not wearing the right color of shoes. The punishments violate the U.S. Constitution and make the children feel like they are going to school in a prison, which ultimately will only increase their likelihood to become criminals.

A lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center is in progress.

The Idea of Enemies is Killing Us | Baltimore Chronicles

By Deb Reich

“In a globally internetworked world, we are all going to learn to work together because there’s no viable alternative.”

Consider this: The “enemies paradigm” and the perspective it represents are obsolete. We humans on this Earth are in the process of moving onward, beyond that worldview, into a different era. In the new era, there will still be groups of people we may see as our adversaries, but they will not be enemies. There will still be bad problems, but we will solve them more ably, working together with the people we used to think of as our enemies. In a globally internetworked world, we are all going to learn to do this because there’s no viable alternative. It begins with adopting a different mental map.

The organizing principle of the new mental map is the idea of No More Enemies. It belongs to everyone on the planet. It’s a simple idea, really. The concept of “enemies” is no longer serving humanity. It has, demonstrably, become very destructive and is overdue for retirement. The old enemies-oriented worldview is being displaced by emergent new paradigms of partnership, shared responsibility, and co-evolving. Humanity is struggling to redesign itself, using new tools. New technologies of medical imaging, for instance, give us a crucial biofeedback loop to evaluate the impact of our own thoughts and cultural habits on our health, our behavior, our society, our planet. That gives us new information to help us co-redesign our way of understanding and interacting with our world. The evidence is there in plain sight…we just have to connect the dots.

“We, the people, are not the problem. The problem is the paradigm: the enemies paradigm.”

As a Jewish American Israeli woman who has spent years living and working with Muslim and Christian Arabs in Israel/Palestine, I know what I’m talking about. We, the people, are not the problem. The problem is the paradigm: the enemies paradigm.

Many of us have already discarded the enemies-based map of reality. We know that we have like-minded partners elsewhere in the Middle East, and far beyond. Our shared mantra, from Rela Mazali: We refuse to be enemies. We are trying to swing the regional momentum away from violence and fear and toward pluralism and equality. But history, the educational system, industry, army, religious extremism and government are all against us (so far). What we mainly have is our vision of a different way: No More Enemies.

“In Israel, successive governments have built a gigantic wall of brutality in the vain hope of protecting the folks on one side from the aspirations on the other side: never a sustainable strategy.”

In Israel, successive governments have built a gigantic wall of brutality in the vain hope of protecting the folks on one side from the aspirations on the other side: never a sustainable strategy. Our wall is like all such walls: constructed and funded by successive regimes, meant to keep at bay those whom the authorities wish to exclude, and to intimidate those who dissent. This wall is made of cement and electronic sensors and barbed wire, but the mortar binding it is made of powerful existential anxieties, of memories of historical suffering and injustice, and of continuing bloodshed mixed with fear, fear, fear.

And now—inevitably—there is this global picket line that has sprung up around Israel in response. BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions), the Palestinian-led boycott movement is a call for equal rights for every person in this land and is supported worldwide by hundreds of thousands of people across a broad political spectrum. Most of them can agree on little else; oppression often makes strange bedfellows. Although not a boycott enthusiast, I have publicly supported this one as a nonviolent way of leveraging policy change here—because the alternative (business as usual) will be much worse for everyone concerned, long-term.

Clearly, things in Israel and Palestine have gone horribly wrong over the years. There has been heroism, and barbarism, on every side (all exhaustively documented). A vast river of self-righteous rhetoric has flowed under the bridge. None of that has mended what’s wrong here, and the situation is surely not going to fix itself. By rejecting Wallmania and working together, however, we can transform this scenario and get a life for us and our neighbors. The dissidents next door are equally committed. Maybe you’ve seen some of them on TV recently. This is deep change coming, which is why it evokes a backlash. We say: No fear. No more enemies.

“Palestinian nonviolence is not new.”

Did you know that the nonviolent Palestinian independence movement is not new? It is not new but it has been successfully smothered for decades, both by the somewhat discredited romance with “armed struggle” and by Israeli government repression. No longer. As its leaders are jailed, harassed, and even killed, this movement only grows stronger. In recent years, significant segments of Palestinian civil society, including young people, have indeed renounced violence. They have renounced it in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. They have done so sincerely, authentically, publicly, and repeatedly until, right now, there may be more Palestinians than Israelis deeply committed to nonviolent change. And—despite the militants who get all the headlines—the Palestinian people’s commitment to nonviolence seems to be increasing, week by week, while the trend in Israel, sadly, seems to be going the other way.

“The world finally seems to be waking up to the fact that justice for Palestinians is an urgent existential necessity—for Palestinians, for Israelis, maybe for the planet.”

The Israeli elite (like other entrenched elites hereabouts) is frightened, and that is dangerous. It’s important for people abroad not to demonize ordinary Israelis now, now that the world finally seems to be waking up to the fact that justice for Palestinians is an urgent existential necessity—for Palestinians, for Israelis, maybe for the planet. The Israeli people need your tough love, not your condemnation. The Israeli legislature, seemingly lacking any imaginative scheme for a different and more constructive shared future with the neighbors, is working hard to criminalize domestic dissent here. And the harder it works to do that, the more unequivocally we who dissent are obliged to declare where we stand.

We stand with all our Palestinian and Israeli sisters and brothers who refuse to be enemies. We stand with the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions of compassion. We stand with the peaceful protestors and nonviolent demonstrators and former combatants who have laid down their guns and are risking their lives for a different future, unarmed. We stand with Palestinians in refugee camps and in the diaspora who have waited for two or three generations now, for a chance to come back home. They are people, people like us, and they are homesick. Why do so many Israelis and Jews abroad insist on seeing them as a threat? They are a huge, untapped resource of vibrant human energy waiting to be allowed the chance to contribute to a more beautiful, more egalitarian, and more sustainable community in Israel/Palestine.

The song humanity needs to be singing now, in our region and elsewhere, is called No More Enemies. The history it will celebrate has only just begun to unfold. This is the new Exodus. As it moves us out of the old landscape of enemies and into new and unknown territory, maybe the right troubadour will appear who can find the words and melody for this song, and help us sing it. In harmony.

Source: Baltimore Chronicle