Israeli activists: Germany’s blanket support for Israel is ‘harmful and immoral’

on 40 Comments

The following letter is being circulated in advance of Shimon Peres’s visit to Germany to commemorate international Holocaust Remembrance Day.

January 2010
Shimon Peres Does Not Speak for Us !

We are writing this letter as Israeli citizens. Some of us are 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivors, and we are all activists who are pursuing peace and justice for everyone in our troubled region. We wish to express our concern regarding Germany’s Middle East policy, which is harmful and immoral. Our appeal also regards the upcoming visit of Israeli president Shimon Peres to Germany this week.

While it is certainly justified to condemn and act against attacks on innocent Israeli civilians, it is morally unacceptable that German decision-makers consistently ignore, or even defend, Israeli attacks on innocent civilians, which inflict a much higher number of casualties, mostly in Lebanon and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Furthermore, we are concerned about a climate of fear in German politics, when moderate and well-founded criticism of severe Israeli violations of human rights is treated with McCarthyite methods, such as the attacks against Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and Herman Dierkes.

When President Shimon Peres lands in Berlin, an honest person should not lavish him with automatic praise, but ask, politely yet firmly, why he has been a member or a senior propagandist for Israeli governments which have used cluster munitions , flechette artillery shells and white phosphorus bombs in densely populated civilian areas in Gaza and Lebanon, have built more settlements in the OPT and have imposed separate legal systems for Israeli settlers in the OPT and their Palestinian neighbors. One can also ask him why he authorized the kidnapping and ill-treatment of an Israeli citizen in Rome (Mr. Mordechai Vanunu, September 1986), a clear violation of international law, and why it should be acceptable for one state in the Middle East to acquire nuclear weapons, a situation which necessarily brings about a dangerous arms race in this volatile region. One can ask him why he authorized, as Prime Minister in April 1996, the mass bombing of villages in Southern Lebanon, explicitly aimed at creating a wave of refugees flooding Beirut. We suspect that Mr. Peres has not learned that it is illegal to inflict lethal collective punishment on a civilian population.

Germany should obviously draw a lesson from the Holocaust, and other genocidal policies carried out by Germans. The true lesson is that everyone should stand up for universal principles of human rights. Therefore, Germany is morally obliged not only towards Jews living in Israel, but also towards Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. President Shimon Peres, who has been responsible for numerous severe human rights violations, should not be regarded as the representative of world Jewry. In fact, he does not even speak for all Israeli Jews. We call on the German government to stop ignoring or justifying severe human rights violations committed by Shimon Peres and the State of Israel, including those documented by the Goldstone Report, and to stop providing the weapons which facilitate these violations.


Gali Agnon
Udi Aloni
Galit Altshuler
Adam Yishay Amorai
Zohar Atai
Ofra Ben-Artzi
Ronnie Barkan
Ilil Bartana
Eitan Buchvall
Adi Dagan
Maayan Dak
Yossi David
Shiri Eisner
Michael Engel
Eva Ferrero
Tamar Freed
Prof. Rachel Giora
Maya Golan
Elana Golden
Vardit Goldner
AdAr Grayevsky
Yoav Haas
Dr. Roni Hammermann
Iris Hefets
Shir Hever
Seffy Hurwitz
Chaya Hurwitz
Iaroslav Youssim
Peretz Kidron (Holocaust refugee)
Assaf Kintzer
Felicia Langer (Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel) 1990, Erich-Mühsam-
Prize 2005)
Moshe Langer
Noam Lekach
Yonatan Mendel
Zohar Milchgrub
Susanne Moses
Regev Nathansohn
Ofer Neiman
Dr. David Nir
Dr. Eyal Nir
Orly Noy
Hava Oz
Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan (Sakharov Prize for Human Rights 2001)
Moshe Perlstein
Fanny Michaela Reisin
Attorney Emily Schaeffer
Itamar Shapira
Roy Siny
Nirit Sommerfeld
Gideon Spiro (survivor of Pogromnacht 1938)
Shir Sternberg
Aliyah Strauss
Sahar Vardi
Einat Weizman-Diamond
Elian Weizman
Maya Wind
Tom Yuval
Yahav Zohar
David Zonsheine
Moshe Langer

40 Responses

  1. Citizen
    January 26, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Churchill use to say, “The Germans, they are either at your throat, or at your feet.’
    These days, they are licking Jewish feet and simultaneously (by their omissions) “at the Palestinian throat.” Conclusion: Neither Germany nor Israel, nor their respective regime’s rubber-stamping supporters care about universal principles–“Never Again!”
    actually applies only to selected human groups. Like the USA regime, both Germany and Israel do their best so nobody in the world notices. When notice is sent, the messenger is ASAP attacked.

    Germany, by virtue of it’s dirty dozen Nazi years, and the USA, by virtue of it’s highest proclaimed values and comparatively effective implementation of them in its own proposition nationhood , as well as Israel, by virtue of Jewish claimed light to the world applicable to cycle of abuse and its
    own original scapegoat narrative, are all seen as hung by their own petards by those
    around the world, and indeed by their own domestic humanistic critics–the response
    by the PTB in all three countries is to slur the messengers, propagandize the official spiel, and prevent access to factual information needed by any informed citizenry to uphold its responsibility in any democracy.

  2. Kathleen
    January 26, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I have really become convinced over the years that Israel has never wanted Peace just more territory. And have been so successful at agitating Palestinians

    link to

    West Bank Campus Plans to Double in Size
    Israel’s “Army-Owned” University


    in Nazareth.

    Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, approved last week the upgrading to university status of a college in a settlement located deep inside the West Bank, a move certain to further undermine Palestinian confidence in the peace process.

    The decision, authorising the first Israeli university in Palestinian territory, is expected to entitle the college to significant extra funding, allowing it to expand its student population.

    About 11,000 students, most from inside Israel, already attend the college in Ariel, studying amid a population of 18,000 settlers.

    The expansion of Ariel, 20km inside the West Bank and close to Nablus, is likely to increase tensions with the US administration of Barack Obama. The White House has demanded a settlement freeze that is being only temporarily and partially honoured by Israel.

  3. Kathleen
    January 26, 2010, 1:26 pm

    The one state solution is growing. This would certainly expose the hatred and prejudice that permeates the Israeli government and many Israeli people. Completely expose the apartheid government of Israel

    One state solution is the only way now.

    Israel does not want peace and does not want a viable Palestinian nation

  4. Rupa Shah
    January 26, 2010, 1:34 pm

    Considering atrocities and War Crimes are committed by people in power with impunity, it is time, immunity for heads of state is eliminated and the principle of “Universal Jurisdiction” should not be allowed to become “selective” for UN member nations.
    link to

    • Citizen
      January 26, 2010, 1:44 pm

      You are correct in your assessment/conclusion, Rupa Shah. I regret to say that my own political regime leadership is dead set against universal jurisdiction–they want us all to accept that the Nuremberg Trial principles were a one-shot jurisdictional deal; they love “The king is dead, long live the king.” The PTB convince themselves first that they are philosopher kings; it’s a very convenient psychic tick. Merely because terrorism and fraudulent manipulation are done under color of law, that is, by sovereign states, does not in reality (impact on the ground) make it less criminal
      in terms of universal humanism.

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2010, 1:53 pm

        I just read the url article Rupa Shah sent us. Again, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. I don’t exclude my own government; I think Obama is playing for a second term by not going after the neocon leadership think tanks and Shrub’s 8 year
        regime heads–for war crimes. Aggressive war under the Nuremberg Trials and
        principles abstracted from it by international agencies is the mother of all war crimes since the other war crimes rest and thrive under it. This is being ignored; preemptive
        war concept as actually implemented by USA and Israel, for example, and as advocated by both (regarding Iran), totally ignore what so many Allied soldiers
        died for in WW2.

      • Rupa Shah
        January 26, 2010, 2:49 pm

        I agree. NO one should be excluded. Members of the previous administration are going to have a tough time traveling abroad. Rumsfeld had to almost cancel his trip to Belgium and by threatening to withhold money for NATO headquarters, was able to make Belgian govt change its law!
        link to
        This is what RAW POWER allows one to do with impunity. However, NO OFFICIAL should underestimate PEOPLE POWER. So, one should not underestimate what the Israeli activists can achieve, no matter their numbers.

  5. Richard Parker
    January 26, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Sorry, but the Israeli activists won’t have much effect on the German government, which has recently donated potentially nuclear weapon carrying submarines to the most aggressive nation on earth (after the US).

    Germany has already paid millions in reparations for the Holocaust, most of which has not found its way to the surviving victims, but to the Israeli government.

    I find it strange that the writers of this petition call themselves “Some of us are 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivors, and we are all activists who are pursuing peace and justice for everyone in our troubled region”.

    How can you be a 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivor?

    I might as well say I’m a 5th generation survivor of the Napoleonic Wars (which I am) so I want compensation and special treatment from France.

    ‘everyone in their troubled region’ is everyone who is constantly getting attacked by the Israelis – no-one else (apart from the Americans in Iraq) is troubling the region.

    As for the very thought that Shimon Peres should even be considered ‘representative of world Jewry’ I find laughable.

    In short, these activists are doing the right thing, but have got their language wrong.

    • Citizen
      January 26, 2010, 2:07 pm

      Richard Parker, I think they are saying they are Shoah survivors to ward of an anticipated attack on them as messengers as “self-hating”Jews or signers who
      don’t understand, and have never suffered like the Jews during Hitler’s regime.

      The reality is that they are attacking Germany’s rubber-stamping of Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians. They hope is that if they display their inherited Jewish victimhood (by past Nazi predators on their family tree), even the Germans will
      have to listen to what they say, rather than the German regime continuing to
      enable an Israeli regime that victimizes the Palestinians; often by ways similar
      to the Nazis methods the German regime is sworn to negate–I mean you can’t
      even raise any questions about the Shoah narrative in Germany; if you do, you will go to prison.

      • potsherd
        January 26, 2010, 3:55 pm

        Not just the Palestinians. Israel just guilted Germany out of a deal with Iran.

        After heavy diplomatic pressures from the Israeli government, a German construction company on Monday canceled its end of a contract to renovate the Bander Abbas Port in Iran.

        Israel’s ambassador to Berlin told Chancellor Angela Merkels’ top aides, as well as foreign ministry officials, that Iran has been exporting weapons from that port bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

        Ambassador Yoram Ben Ze’ev stressed that the Gaza-bound weapons ship “Francop,” which was recently apprehended by the Israel Defense Forces in the Mediterranean, had been dispatched from that Iranian port.

        A political official said that the Israeli embassy received word just over a week ago of a deal in the works between the Hamburg Company, which is partly owned by the German government, and the Iranian agencies.

        Ben Ze’ev stressed that Israel viewed the contract as German assistance to an Iranian arms deal with terror organizations, and a violation of United Nations resolutions.

        link to

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2010, 5:19 pm

        So Germany is joining the USA in refusing to reap many benefits from treating Iran as other than a simple “terrorist regime” and/or “a supporter of terrorists.”
        Imagine if Israel acted like this? It would be called what it is: treason by the Israel regime against it’s own citizens. Imagine if the USA or Germany were in Iran’s
        geo-strategic position in the Middle East. Makes me conclude Iran is actually
        much more tolerant (as to outsiders, and their play in the region) than Germany, the USA, or Israel. What meaning does “rogue” mean when there are many rogues?

      • Dan Kelly
        January 26, 2010, 7:38 pm

        Makes me conclude Iran is actually much more tolerant (as to outsiders, and their play in the region) than Germany, the USA, or Israel.

        Agreed. But you’re not supposed to think that, Citizen. They’re just crazy mullahs, remember, and that warped president of theirs is a holocaust-denier and a wants to see Israel destroyed (both lies, of course).

      • Richard Parker
        January 27, 2010, 5:45 am

        Citizen I think you’re probably right, but I don’t think they will have much effect, as the Germans have no laws giving compensation, or any other rights to 1-3 generation Holocaust survivors.
        Germany will wake up soon to the fact that their millions of Holocaust compensation money went (and are still going) to a completely corrupt Israeli government corporation that passed little or nothing to genuine Holocaust survivors.
        Then they will get angry.
        As all too many of them do (visit any German website that discusses Israel).

    • Dan Kelly
      January 26, 2010, 2:19 pm

      How can you be a 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivor?

      I might as well say I’m a 5th generation survivor of the Napoleonic Wars (which I am) so I want compensation and special treatment from France.

      I’m going to begin a vigorous investigation of my own Irish and Hungarian ancestry. My peoples have suffered many cruelties over the years, and it’s about time I get some compensation for it.

      • Citizen
        January 26, 2010, 2:44 pm

        You have a lot to work with in terms of past cultural and official discrimination and your collective historical victimhood as to the Irish and Hungarians. You’re problem is, your ethnic configuration has no
        official victim status on either side of your family tree. You’re just “a white guy.”
        As such, you and your ancestors are beneficiaries of racial/ethnic privilege. If you bring up your (assumed) Christian religion, why then you and your ancestors again are deemed
        the predators by skin color.

    • Kathleen
      January 26, 2010, 2:51 pm

      follow the money

    • yonira
      January 26, 2010, 7:58 pm

      How can you be a 2nd or 3rd generation Holocaust survivor

      Yeah, how outrageous, its kind of like saying your are a 3rd or 4th generation refugee huh?

      • aparisian
        January 26, 2010, 8:05 pm

        whats wrong with this?
        Its like those who proclaimed that this is their lands because they are the 500th generation or whatever!

      • Cliff
        January 26, 2010, 8:24 pm

        The legacy of 1948′ is that Palestinians are born into refugee camps and destitution and oppression.

        Are Jews today born into concentration camps?

        Thought so. Just go away, yonira. You’re not even good at trolling anymore. Fail Zionist is fail.

      • Chaos4700
        January 26, 2010, 9:14 pm

        Descendants of refugees are still suffering from their economic status as refugees. How many of your family are still ending up in gas chambers and ovens as an ongoing situation this last year, yonira?

      • aparisian
        January 27, 2010, 4:49 am

        excuse her/him s/he can’t understand this. Only Zionists count for her.

    • Psychopathic god
      January 26, 2010, 8:04 pm

      thanks for mentioning Germany’s gift to Israel of submarines.

      US has also been involved with the Germans in hyper-arming the rogue-teen-state of Israel:

      link to

      In 1988, the Ingalls Shipyard of Pascagoula, Mississippi, was chosen to deliver two Dolphin-class submarines to Israel funded by U.S. military aid. Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) and Thyssen-Nordseewerke (TNSW) were to act as subcontractors. A domestic debate concerning military priorities and fiscal pressures, partially resulting from the first Gulf War, led Israel to cancel the program in 1990. Germany then offered a military aid package to Israel that included the two submarines. This decision has been attributed to the embarrassment caused by the discovery of significant cooperation between German companies and Iraq’s arms industry.[1,2,3] In 1995, Israel ordered a third submarine with costs shared equally between Israel and Germany.[4]
      Israeli Dolphin-class submarine.
      Source: Israeli Defense Forces Web Site, link to

      There has been widespread speculation regarding the armament of the submarines. According to HDW, the Dolphin-class submarines it built were equipped with weapon systems similar to those installed on other diesel-electric submarines.[5] However, various sources have reported that upon arrival at Haifa, Israel, the submarines were modified, and fitted with cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads.[6] For more information on Israel’s possible submarine-launched nuclear capabilities, please see the Israel: Current Capabilities file.

  6. eileenfleming
    January 26, 2010, 1:54 pm

    In 2005, during my first of 7 trips to occupied east Jerusalem, Mordechai Vanunu told me:

    “Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons?

    “In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

    “Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection. The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona.

    “The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago. Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground.

    “In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956.

    “Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on. Kennedy demanded inspections. When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways.

    “From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them. Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

    In 1963, when Mordechai Vanunu was nine years old the Zionists came to his home town of Marrakech, Morocco and convinced his Orthodox father to abandon his general store and pack up the first seven of his eleven children for the land of milk and honey. Instead, the Vanunu’s were banished to the desert of Beesheva.

    A few months later, Shimon Peres, then Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense met with President John Kennedy, inside the White House.

    Kennedy told Peres, “You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?”

    Peres repLIED, “I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first.”

    By September of 1986, Peres was convulsing over Vanunu, who had been employed as a lowly tech in his progeny; Israel’s clandestine underground nuclear weapons center in the Negev called the Dimona.

    Peres ordered the Mossad, to “Bring the son of a bitch back here.”

    Vanunu has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize annually since 1987, but within days of the announcement for 2009’s Nobel Peace Prize, Vanunu declined the honor in a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo:

    “I am asking the committee to remove my name from the nominations…I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres…Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel…Peres was the man who ordered [my] kidnapping…he continues to oppose my freedom and release…WHAT I WANT IS FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM….FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM I NEED NOW.”

    As we live Orwell’s nightmare, Peres was awarded the Nobel for playing a part in achieving the Oslo Declaration of Principles. According to the preamble of the DOP, this peace was supposed to be based on mutual respect and reconciliation.

    Ever since receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in achieving the Oslo agreement, Peres has been most instrumental in helping to destroy the agreement.

    Alfred Nobel’s intention was to reward people with a moral backbone. Nobel had hoped to create icons and examples to humankind.

    Great to know about all the moral backbone’s in Israelis rising up against Peres!

    Only in Solidarity do “we have it in our power to begin the world again.”-Tom Paine

    Eileen Fleming,
    Founder of
    A Feature Correspondent for
    Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
    Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

    • Citizen
      January 26, 2010, 5:38 pm

      JFK’s assassination was at minimal “coincidental” with his attempt to monitor
      stifle growth of Israel’s nukes, and his brother’s assassination was at minimal “coincidental”
      with the Kennedy brother’s attempt to make the Zionist organization’s lobby (now, named AIPAC) in the USA register as a foreign lobby.

      Guess who won?

    • Richard Parker
      January 27, 2010, 6:09 am

      Eileen Fleming – this was a very powerful message. Thanks.

      However, I don’t think that John Kennedy’s murder had anything to do with Jews or Israel.

      If it had, we’d have dead Presidents lying all around us.

      However, Robert Kennedy’s killing was different. The convicted murderer, Sirhan Sirhan (obviously an Arab name, but not necessarily a Palestinian one) has been imprisoned for 42 years, but no hint of his confession or motives has been released.
      By the way the Sirhan valley is that area of Jordan that juts into Saudi Arabia.
      Many Arabs (and others) name themselves after their home area.

  7. aparisian
    January 26, 2010, 2:27 pm

    The European public opinion is very hostile to the Israeli policies towards Pals but the problem that when they elect their govs, this issue is never part of the elections arguments. And in general these govs follow the American foreign policy frame-lines.

    • Citizen
      January 26, 2010, 2:46 pm

      Why are all the advanced democratic Western nations like that? Does any non-Western nation accept its own complicity, hence shared guilt, as “white” nations do?

    • Psychopathic god
      January 26, 2010, 8:14 pm

      thank goodness US mainstream media is right on top of happenings in Europe.
      This morning, NPR featured a report on proposed legislation in France that would prohibit Muslim women from wearing full burkas (with faces covered).


      • aparisian
        January 26, 2010, 8:22 pm

        Liberté for non Muslims yes, Islamophobia is growing here

      • Richard Parker
        January 27, 2010, 6:17 am

        I don’t have any problem with France banning full-face burkas. It is not an assault against Islam, because Mohammed never ever said women should cover their faces, although he sensibly asked them to be modest.
        If the religionist fantasies grow too far, then they have to be stopped.

      • Richard Parker
        January 27, 2010, 6:35 am

        There is an old Arabic story about this:

        GOD offered the 3 prophets (Moses, Jesus and Mohammed) their choice of the women of the world.

        Moses, the eldest, chose Jewish women, for obvious reasons.

        Jesus was a bit of a problem, because he never married, and might be gay.
        He chose white, European women.

        Mohammed got the rest but said they must cover their faces.

      • Chaos4700
        January 27, 2010, 8:00 am

        You do have sort of a point, Mr. Parker, although I do think that’s more of a case of ignorance causing arrows to miss their mark. Kind of like how all of those Sikhs were murdered in the US after 9/11 because most Americans think that anyone wearing a head covering is Muslim.

        To me it’s still gross hypocrisy. The French government is stating that they are liberating women to wear what the want… by… telling them what they can’t wear in public?

      • aparisian
        January 27, 2010, 8:57 am

        Richard, you can’t tell people what to wear (even if Nukab or Burka has nothing to do with Islam). Personally, i think they should ask people to show their faces for security reasons but not dictate them how to be dressed.
        Why in the same French community people can wear mini jupe or wearing like catholic soeur? Why Gay/Trav can wear what they want?
        The other point is that previous experiences showed that laws never brought solutions to these phenomena, it just marginalizes some groups of people and boost extremism on both sides.
        When they made a law against Hijab, Muslim communities built their own schools and the Muslim kids don’t mix anymore with the external world.
        In France there is a growing islamophobia at all levels, Muslims are hardly accepted in the society. French are unable to accept that non whites can be french like them, they are unable to accept that we can be french and Muslim. In France a Muslim woman wearing Hijab will never find a job, a Muslim family will never be able to a rent an apartment. Muslims at work sometimes are forced to drink alcohol to socialise with the others, otherwise he is marginalised, Muslims sometimes hide that they fast Ramadan otherwise they will get sanctioned by their bosses (if you dont eat you are less productive according to them).

  8. aparisian
    January 26, 2010, 8:09 pm

    because of the WWII maybe or maybe because Pals are Muslims

  9. DICKERSON3870
    January 26, 2010, 10:39 pm

    ‘Holocaust Remembrance Day’ is being co-opted by Israel so as to be used as ‘Greater Israel Day’. Very, very sad! Sick, too.

    • Chaos4700
      January 27, 2010, 8:04 am

      And not the least bit surprising. The Israeli “Holocau$t industry” is really the least of the travesties under their aegis. Israelis are making commercial products and marketing brands out of the Holocaust victims in ways I think might even have given Nazis pause.

  10. Richard Parker
    January 27, 2010, 6:21 am

    It’s also being co-opted for the release of the Israeli reply to the Goldstone report
    Also very sick

  11. eileenfleming
    January 27, 2010, 8:21 pm

    TO: Citizen
    RE: “JFK’s assassination was at minimal “coincidental”

    Thomas Merton, Trappist monk poet, social critic and mystic wrote in January 1962:

    “I have little confidence in Kennedy, I think he cannot fully measure up to the magnitude of his task, and lacks creative imagination and the deeper kind of sensitivity that is needed. Too much the Time and Life mentality, than which I can imagine nothing further, in reality, from, say, Lincoln. What is needed is really not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don’t have; depth, humanity and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compassion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole; a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will break through into that some day by miracle. But, such people are before long marked out for assassination.”

    Merton understood that Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam all shared his belief that we all are searching for the ultimate truth.

    Merton’s openness and commitment to Eastern religions were best expressed in the last words of his life, at the lecture he delivered at a Conference of Benedictine and Cistercian Abbots, on December 10, 1968, at Samutprakan, just south of Bangkok.

    Merton spoke on Marxism and Monastic Perspectives and concluded with, “What is essential in the monastic life is not embedded in buildings, is not embedded even in a rule…It is concerned with the business of total inner transformation…all other things serve that end.

    “I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own traditions, because they (the Asians) have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper into this than we have. The combination of the natural techniques and the graces and the other things that have been manifested in Asia, and the Christian liberty of the gospel should bring us all at last to that full and transcendent liberty which is beyond mere cultural difference and mere externals — and mere this and that.”
    After his talk, Merton said he would take questions later on and, “so I will disappear.”

    A few hours later he was found dead on the floor of his hotel room with a tall electric fan lying across his 53 year old body.

    “There has been a lot of gossip about this, whether he was killed accidentally, or by an enemy. He had many enemies; the CIA feared he had connections in religious circles in Asia that might have an adverse effect on the U.S. war effort in Vietnam; the FBI felt the same kind of fear over his role in the peace movement in America; neither side in Vietnam liked him; the Communists, both Russian and Chinese, were suspicious of him.

    “He had enemies who simply objected to his beliefs. He still has this type of enemy in the United States. And of course, there were enemies, some of them powerful, within his own Church, even with his own Order. And the latter probably felt even more justified in their opposition during Merton’s Asian trip.

    “It could have been assassination by some unrevealed force, or it could have been what it was said to have been, just an accident, I suppose it’s something we will never know. There was no autopsy. The man who hated the war in Vietnam was shipped quickly back to the United States, via Vietnam, along with casualties of the war, in a U.S. Air Force plane.”

    We the people may never know WHO ALL was involved in JFK’s or Merton’s death’s but as Gandhi said:

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy? If we are to teach real peace in this world, if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”

    Merton warned that if Western Christianity continued to ignore “the spiritual heritage of the East,” it would “hasten the tragedy that threatens man and his civilizations.”

    The Future is here NOW and don’t we owe The Children of this one world more than a future of endless war and a fucked up status quo?

  12. eileenfleming
    January 27, 2010, 8:22 pm

    ops! the link to the above quotes is @
    link to

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