Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East

Grounded in Abrahamic Theology

Seeking a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians
through political advocacy

                          
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Inaction/neutrality/silence

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  Edmund Burke

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Bishop Desmond Tutu    


"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Elie Wiesel

“Not to take sides is to effectively weigh in on the side of the stronger.” William Sloane Coffin 

“Neutrality is positively harmful.” Miroslav Volf

"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it does not bend on its own. To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency." Barack Obama

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Robert Kennedy

From Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics": First Law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. [ A law too often violated by humans. ]

First they came...anti-Nazi German pastor Martin Niemöller

"First they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."

Franciscan blessing  found on a wall in Camp Victor (Ocean Springs, MS) Author unknown

·         May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

·         May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

·         May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

·         And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

James 2: 14-17 (New Testament)

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Pity The Nation  Lawrence Ferlinghetti 2007

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
 and whose shepherds mislead them.
 Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
 and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
 Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
 except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
 and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
 Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
 and no other culture but its own.
 Pity the nation whose breath is money
 and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
 Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
 and their freedoms to be washed away.
 My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

 

 

 

The Danger of Neutrality | Anna Baltzer | TEDxOcala
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPEc9HC2oBY

 

Sound of Silence  Simon and Garfunkle

Image result for simon and garfunkel sound of silence

 

 

 

 

 

Lyrics    video

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

 

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