It may interest Judith King, who erroneously calls Zionists a “code word for Jews,” that not all Jews are Zionists, nor are all Zionists Jews.Christian and secular Zionists also exist. So what is Zionism, and what is its relevancy to local residents?Zionism, according to the World Zionist Organization and the American Zionist Movement, is “the national liberation movement of the Jewish people to ensure a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel.” It is an ideology of Jewish purity and supremacy calling for the elimination of Arabs from Palestine.In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly took note of “Zionism as a threat to world peace and security and called upon all countries to oppose this racist and imperialist ideology,” passing Resolution 3379; which “determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”Pointing out Israel’s human rights violations inevitably provokes the knee-jerk reaction to recite every Arab transgression since 1947, as did Mr. Oelke, citing Israel’s “security” as justification for its theft of Arab land. If Israel’s security is at stake, why would they place 450,000 Jewish civilians in the “enemy” territory of Palestine’s West Bank?Wouldn’t Israel be more secure if its citizens stayed behind the internationally recognized Green Line between Israel and Palestine?Israel’s annexation of Arab territory through the building of civilian settlements and the Apartheid Wall proves that it’s not about security, it’s about Zionism’s Plan Dalet (aka Plan D): to expand the pure Jewish State by eliminating the Arabs from Palestine. It’s about racism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing.The discussion of whether to continue supporting this racist regime in Israel is relevant to every American taxpayer. The tragic events of 9/11 were in part a result of sending money and weapons to Israel that are used to brutalize defenseless Arab civilians. This makes U.S. support of Israel our primary security issue.I think most of us would agree that enabling Israel’s oppression of Muslims at the expense of our security has as much relevance to our community as whether or not Mormons are really Christian.Sue GrayCarbondale
Also addressed to Peggy Barber of Chicago:Happy Holidays to you and Cowboy. Seems like our mural has become the topic of conversation in the Windy City. Don’t know who the person is who wrote about crime in Rogers Park. Don’t know how they saw the mural to make the judgment that “it’s a pretty unattractive mural. Hey, I’m all for public art, but this looked like it was done mostly by 6-year-olds.” Anyway, I responded. There were numerous young painters, 18 months old to 84 years old. A community project, people working with one another, being inclusive not exclusive. And I learned a lot of those skills in Chicago through Gallery 37. It’s about everyone in the community making a statement, not one or two artists doing it for or to the community. It’s all about “living your life creatively being the highest form of art.” Da Vinci said that. The theme in the library is, “People of the same family aren’t always born under the same roof.” And, “You alone can do it … but you can’t do it alone.”I have been using this formula a long time, and it has worked well enough that the Kellogg Foundation and Michigan State University rural arts program and many other organizations in your sister state saw fit to fund it. Most of the artists involved were younger than 12 years old or older than 60. Please feel free to forward this to “the bench,” Mayor Daley’s wife, since she started Gallery 37, and to the person who had an opinion but no courage to sign their statement. It sounds like they are more part of the problem than part of the solution. “Public art is all about working together,” and it has nothing to do with how well you paint but is about are you willing to try. Hope you and Cowboy come visit sometime soon.Namaste.Renick Stevenson artist-in-residence Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts
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