Saturday 2 December 2023

Questions for Discussion

 These questions are laid out in the article on Antisemitism ................... 

1.  How have Jews been affected by antisemitism? What impact does antisemitism have on others?

For me, I feel terribly sad and angry. I am not Jewish but it seems that no-one can afford to dismiss it. The Nazi's used antisemitism to overrule educated democratic systems and create authoritarian government which dissolved into a focus on despair and death. As much as I am concerned for my Jewish friends I feel strongly that a society where hate is given as reason and the only way to "contribute" is to punish those who are blamed.

2. What is the meaning of “scapegoat”? What do people gain from scapegoating? If all the wrong is created by one animal. Its ridiculous of course, as though a goat has some magical power. However the focus is on blame because it never creates a healing example. Yes some people can be blamed for creating division but the work still has to be done by the people. Differences don't matter as much as effort. We are all in this together said Tommy Douglas even though some have insight and talent to fix problems, the first concern is that everyone is involved whether we love them or not. Love calls us to listen and speak to all. Now I know that isn't easy if they point a gun at you, and when we get to drawing a weapon the resolution is meaningless. The word "together" is broken when the gun is brought out.

Using the Scapegoat is a cop-out.

3. What is the effect of hateful images and speech? Do images and words reflect existing attitudes or create them? 

Hate leaves us powerless. It divides. It doesn't bring us together. We are fleshy emotional animals. Hate and blame positions us as innocent and angry. When what we need is patience and some trust.

4. How has antisemitism changed throughout history? What are some differences among religious, political, and racial antisemitism?

I am not a historian. This would best be answered by those who have studied history, sociology, psychology and economics. I am aware that scapegoating feels comfortable moving into the realm of magical thinking. But also the feeling that some sources have power over us is a rhetorical habit. Upper classes, magicians, money and power. To blame and not engage with people because they are ....... other is a cop out. I do work on "love" as a basis for relationship to others as a way to care and respect.

5, Why would political or religious leaders espouse antisemitic ideas?

It's a quick and easy way to spread hate and fear which gives power to a single group or individual and we can believe the problem will be solved. But the problem just becomes more difficult because of the pain and alienation it creates. 

6.  How is antisemitism similar to or different from other forms of group hatred? A woman is a woman no matter what she says, an African is black no matter what he believes, a Jew is a Jew no matter his religion, skills or beliefs. Its such a cheap and easy way to create division but it doesn't solve anything. 

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Hymn to The World

Once upon a time we solved problems

or attempted to anyway

but we forgot to keep the history

to recall how we did it

back then.

Imagine tribes of people


celebrating our achievements

the thought brings tears to my eyes.

No! That didn't, couldn't happen

it was history smoothing off

the barnacles of our flesh.

At least we have a house to live in

food on the table

and medicine

so today we are okay

let's watch TV, read books

listen to music, phone loved ones

make muffins

drink wine

... let's not


Do we want to be extinguished?

Do we want to behave as though

there is nothing we can do?

Monday 20 November 2023

Extreme Prejudice

George Monbiot must have come from a different planet to see the mess we (humans) are in.

News sites, papers and radio, are telling us we have no hope. Government is poisoning  our future with cynicism.

Let's go back to the jungle then. When we had to compete with tigers and germs for the next meal. When the cave walls were too close to see the weather outside.

Then we might not have dwelt on how much power we had in comparison to the rest of the world. Not that I know what we did dwell on. It's all in my imagination where my personal power starts and ends yet others may suffer when my power overrides their safety and comfort.

Let's not go back to the jungle. There was an Adam and Eve but they had different names and histories and evolved from primates which include all the great apes. (Wikipedia) 

The goal of war is to demoralize the human spirit. Make everything about killing and death and torture. Make all news to highlight our arrogance and our mistakes where love is redundant.

Reading the news is simply feedback of all our errors without questioning arrogance or ego. Enter dreams of fascism, guns and bombs. Enter love of money, wealth and celebrity.

But we could celebrate birthdays and the beautiful human face of those we depend on like mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. Even though this seems wishy-washy. Friends and family are the drugs that will get us through without the withdrawal symptoms. 

Unless the people we depend on are toxic or those in positions of power have abused that trust by directing their energies towards their own vanity. The way we are nurtured and nurture others is the beginning of our survival as a species.

Friday 17 November 2023

Prayer For The Psychopath


Prayer for the Psychopath

Your early years were the training

for your life

and all that you think

except that which

dare not be thought

or given a second

in your day

Your training has come from

billions of years

unnamed teachers

civilized control

trauma crowded out by

pomp and circumstance

In kindergarten the scary parts

turned into animal comics

and little songs

to encourage you to trust

civilization and its experts


veritable awards

rewarding the memory

with beautiful things

like the violin

small hands to guide

the bow across strings

gentle like a swan on the water

then to instruct you to be in control

at all times.

No-one to tell you how sweet

your hungry heart is.

So you stay on the window

looking in

constantly arguing with all the voices

carried since the first time

you were told you will never 

amount to anything.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Vivian Silver Jewish Peace Activist

"For many who have never lived through war, peace may be a word misconstrued for something naive or facile, but for activists fighting for peace on the ground, it is all about the fierce, Sisyphean, constant labor of the body and the mind. It is not popular or easy to keep fighting for peace in a land of constant conflict. Many have died on its altar, and in recent years, as political turmoil roils Israel from within, the word peace often feels like an endangered species. Yet to her final days, it kept falling and falling from Silver’s lips."

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Mighty Vengeance

Leader of a powerful nation

has designed the image

to the end

with bombs, guns and drones

he completes the mighty warrior

cleaning the earth

of its problems

wiping all the little pieces

off the chess board

— a clean slate

where tomorrow we can

start again

without having learned anything.

I can imagine all the worlds mothers

saying to themselves

I won’t go through that again.

Never again has new meaning now. 

Questions for Discussion

 These questions are laid out in the article on Antisemitism ...................  1.   How have Jews been affected by antisemitism? What imp...