Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

On The Ground in Gaza

Banksy

There is a large controversy concerning the BBC’s refusal to air an appeal by relief organizations trying to get aid to the suffering inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.  We understand the BBC’s reasoning of trying to maintain its neutrality in the political morass of the Israeli / Palestinian war.  But we also understand that the unending agony of the people who live in Gaza needs to be addressed.

We publish an appeal for devotions and aid from the Religious Society of Friends, Friends United Meeting (FUM) that operates a School in Ramallah in the West Bank.

Risk Rapper

Hope will never be silent. ~ Harvey Milk
Because “the job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.” ~ Gunter Grass

Dear Friends,

The following message from Joyce Ajlouny, Director of the Ramallah Friends School, came to us from FUM today. It gives details about what is actually happening on the ground in the Gaza strip that we have not encountered anywhere else.

We are grieved at the violence that has permeated Israeli-Palestinian relations for so many years, and are horrified at this most recent chapter. Let us all pray for peace in this region and continue to work for peace there and around the world.

Christopher Sammond, general secretary
Ernestine Buscemi, clerk

_________________________________________________________

—–Original Message—–
From: C D Williams
To: fum_devotions@lists.fum.org
Sent: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 8:18 am
Subject: [FUM Devotions] Prayers for Palestinians in Gaza

Friends –

I hope this finds you well and ready to receive the New Year. Let us hope 2009 will be the bearer of good news for all!

I know that you’ve been hearing the horrific news from Gaza. We are doing fine here on the West Bank – at least physically. Our hands are tied as well feel so helpless seeing our people suffer. It is a blood bath in Gaza – a real massacre against a people who have been living under siege for months on end. Over 360 people are dead so far (many are civilians including children) and over 1700 injured. The humanitarian conditions were catastrophic even before Israel waged its present offensive. I just spoke to a friend in Gaza who said that there is no electricity, no water, no food, no candles, no medical supplies, no oven gas… where do we start. She also said that there is hardly a house left with windows intact and families are scraping plastic sheets to shut their windows to protect themselves from the cold and that hospitals are overflowing with the injured lying in the hallways. Gaza is the home of around 1.5 million.

I am working on a humanitarian appeal targeting our parents. We hope to raise some funds and send to Gaza soon.. From our families to theirs. I know we can at least succeed in this act of solidarity, knowing that the needs are too grave for our efforts to make a huge difference. We are thinking of going through reputable humanitarian fund in Gaza and ask them to prepare care packages for some of the neediest families. The question is the availability of goods… I am not sure what is available anymore since goods have been prevented from entering for a few months now. The market is probably depleted – nonetheless we are trying.

Anyhow, this is a short note, to ask for your prayers that the Israeli leadership will find it in their hearts to stop this act of severe aggression on an already impoverished and imprisoned population. Pray for justice and peace in Palestine and all other war-stricken regions around the globe.

Blessings to all,

Joyce

PS – The school is still on break until the 10th but I am working along with the school engineers on our construction projects – there is so much going on ( I feel I am living on a construction site). With all of what is going on the being preoccupied with work is a welcomed distraction.

A short Eyewitness Article from The Guardian can be seen at

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/29/israel-gaza-attack-shifa-hospital/print

Note: Joyce Ajlouny is the Director of the Friends School Ramallah.  More on the school’s history and mission at:

http://www.palfriends.org/ and at: http://www.fum.org/worldmissions/ramallah.html

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Risk: ambililence, silence, turning a blind eye

January 27, 2009 Posted by | children, Gaza, Palestine, war | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Terrorists Win

Banksy

As the United States begins an extended celebratory weekend to commemorate and honor the historic election of Barack Obama, the nation seems swept up in an immediate and intimate sense of history in the making. Most Americans are hopeful that the Obama Administration will turn a page on the damaging partisanship, fear mongering and narrow ideological rancor that has been the hallmark of recent Washington politics.

Millions of citizens are expected to make a pilgrimage to the citadel of world democracy to witness and participate in this historic event. Our nation has invested much hope in this man to turn the page and the fortunes of our nation around. The United States and the world are eagerly watching, praying, anticipating, eager to touch, experience and witness this event. For the rest of our lives the question will be asked, where were you on the day Obama took office? What were your thoughts? What was your opinion about what he said during his inaugural address?

For children in the Oakland Public Schools the answer will be sitting through another nondescript day of classes because the school board has prohibited the live viewing of the event due to fear that something bad will happen. I am unsure and very dismayed about where this type of thinking comes from. God forbid if something terrible does happen; the teacher can quickly turn off the TV to protect the students from witnessing any bloody carnage that may occur if terrorists do strike.

Its most unfortunate to deprive our children of witnessing this historic event. The peaceful transformation of power is a vital event all Americans should witness in order to understand and appreciate its deep significance for the freedoms a democratic republic offers. The Oakland School Board has ceded an opportunity to offer its students a once in a life time learning experience due to an overriding fear of terrorism. Fearful people are not free people. Its a lesson that the Oakland Public Schools need to learn.

The terrorists win this one.

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Risk: education, psychology

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Banksy, education, government, pop, psychology, terrorism, TV | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resolution 2009

Banksy

Be it resolved…….

(subject to elaboration and change at authors discretion)

  • must open heart to love abundantly, unconditionally, wastefully
  • must cultivate an open mind to perceive possibilities
  • must cultivate healthy mind and body
  • must heal my body and emotional wounds
  • must have deeper faith and belief in myself
  • must trust in my abilities and capabilities
  • must be more disciplined and discerning
  • must conquer fear and anger
  • must forgive so as to be forgiven
  • must trust more and resent less
  • must tame pride and learn to say no
  • must renew my spirit and take up new challenges
  • must not lose heart and see things through to completion
  • must enjoy life more by living in joy
  • must walk by faith, with courage, hope and joy
  • must maintain a sober life
  • must cultivate my loves and talents
  • must commend the faith that is in me
  • must let go and let God

PS: must make money and lose weight

Thank You Robert Burns.

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Risk: an unforgiving heart

December 31, 2008 Posted by | Auld Lang Syne | , , , , | Leave a comment

No Man is an Island

Banksy

As I witness this mornings bombings of Gaza I cannot help but think of John Donne’s Meditation XVII. The Palestinian-Israeli war is an intractable conflict whose seemingly ceaseless nature confounds understanding almost to the degree of our revulsion for the blood lust of the combatants. This conflict is not confined to the walled in inhabitants of Gaza. The victims and complicit accomplices of this conflict is all humanity. As in Darfur, Rwanda, Bosnia et al, this is happening on all of our watches. We can pretend we don’t see, politically justify it or roundly weep in the condemnation of our failure as humans to cease and desist our endless propensity and voracious appetite for genocide.

The bombing of Gaza must stop.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind…

This war diminishes us all. It is slowing killing our respect for life and our common shared humanity. It is hardening our hearts and threatens to make us less human and less divine. As a Christian I believe that these conflicts denigrate the Holy Spirit. Threatening to reduce it to a ghostly apparition of stale dogma. The Holy Spirit envelops everyone as one. An injury or assault on anyone wounds us all. The slaughter of innocents must stop.

Why do we respond with abhorrence and not positive action? Don’t we hear the call to our humanity. Everyday we bemoan the state of human kind and the diminishing respect and love we show for one another. Donne’s meditation also speaks of the opportunity borne from our shared human afflictions and wounds. Our infirmities help us to understand the sickness that we see in others. It makes us excellent physicians to diagnose our shared illnesses and proscribe the appropriate medicine to heal our common malady. Eye for an eye justice blinds everyone.

Words fail to express our shared grief and despair as we witness combatants extract blood from one another. We pray for an end to hostilities in Gaza. We pray that the passion for war will dissipate and a reverence for life grows. We pray that combatants will lay down their arms and find a way to peace.

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls, may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me…may have caused it to toll for me…and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne, Meditation XVII

Selah

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Risk: war, psychology

December 30, 2008 Posted by | Gaza, Palestine, war | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment