Adonis Diaries

Converted Jew aided in creation of Pakistan 

Léopold Weiss

A French book titled “On the road to Mecca or a view from the inside

Léopold Weiss (Muhammad Asad) :

Sur le chemin de la Mecque ou un regard de l’intérieur

Muhammad Asad: First  ambassador of Pakistan to UN

 

Léopold Weiss connu sous le nom de Muhammad Asad est issu d’une dynastie rabbinique des confins de l’Europe, dont le grand père Benjamin Weiss de Czernowitz, était connu pour ses colères, ses passions, et ses œuvres.

 
 

Léopold Weiss nait à Lemberg en 1900, ville des confins orientaux de l’Empire austro-hongrois.

Il restera une personnalité fascinante voire une énigme pour certains, de par son parcours hors du commun et sa quête spirituelle : personnage aux multiples facettes dont l’écheveau de son parcours traverse l’Histoire du XX ème siècle pour nous en dévoiler les inquiétudes et les espoirs qui restent toujours d’actualité dans un monde en plein questionnement si ce n’est crise, face aux périls qui ont jalonné l’Histoire et dont nous subissons les effets de nos jours encore.

Issu d’une famille de rabbins orthodoxes, puis assimilée à la figure du père qui exerça le métier d’avocat et se détacha peu à peu de la religion de ses ancêtres pour épouser la culture allemande.

Toutefois, le père Kiwa (Karl) Weiss qui était peu pratiquant, fut contraint dès son plus jeune âge de suivre un enseignement rabbinique des plus strict, de façon à ce qu’il ne fasse pas comme un de ses oncles qui se convertit au christianisme pour répudier sa femme et épouser une non-Juive.

C’est pour cela que Léopold Weiss jouira au contraire d’une éducation plus souple, qui lui permettra de développer son esprit critique.

Néanmoins, il sera au fait des écritures anciennes dont l’araméen et l’hébreu qui lui permettront de lire les textes de l’Ancien Testament, de la Mishnah et de la Guermarah au point d’en être familier et d’en maîtriser la langue, tout comme l’arabe avec le Coran bien des années plus tard, et auquel il donnera un remarquable essai de traduction.

Déjà adolescent à Vienne, il sera assistant du cinéaste Murnau, puis journaliste de la célèbre Frankfurter Zeitung pour en être plus tard correspondant spécial en Palestine.

Il fréquentera les cafés de Vienne. Il écrit à ce propos, « Le café viennois détruit notre intelligence et notre culture. Notre vie littéraire gît morte dans ce gouffre de brouillard et de fumée. » (Cf, correspondance avec Edmund Wengraf).

Il y rencontra sûrement des personnalités telles que Sigmund Freud et fut au fait des théories psychanalytiques les plus récentes de part l’intermédiaire de son oncle Dorian Feigenbaum avec qui il partira en Palestine, mais en éprouvera toutefois une forme d’insatisfaction.

Il écrira dans son livre le plus connu, Sur le chemin de la Mecque, (p. 57-58), « Les conclusions de la psychanalyse, à laquelle j’étais introduit dans ces jours de perplexité de jeunesse, me laissaient également, bien que pour des raisons différentes, insatisfait. »

Il faut comprendre ce sentiment et ce vide existentiel face à une société autrichienne secouée par la première guerre mondiale et en proie au matérialisme et au nationalisme, si ce n’est le fascisme le plus inquiétant, qui donnera lors de la seconde guerre mondiale le pire génocide.

C’est ce qui conduira Léopold Weiss à développer une personnalité qui était en perpétuel questionnement et recherche de sens.

D’ailleurs, dans le judaïsme de ses aïeux, il lui reprochera une dimension particulariste et un aspect trop ritualiste. Il ne pouvait comprendre comment un Dieu puisse se préoccuper autant du sort d’une nation particulière. Cela lui paraissait suspect.

A l’époque, il avouera et écrira qu’il pensait même, (ibid, p. 57-58), « récompensant (le peuple élu) par ses conquêtes s’il suivait sa voie droite et le faisant souffrir entre les mains des incroyants chaque fois qu’il s’en écartait » ; de façon à expliquer sa méfiance.

Bien entendu, plus tard en se convertissant à l’islam, il comprendra la place prépondérante que les Banû Israël tiennent dans le Coran, ce qui le réconfortera dans son questionnement, son choix et sa conversion à l’islam.

Enfin, Léopold Weiss passera de longues années au Moyen-Orient au contact des bédouins palestiniens et arabes, où il trouvera l’incarnation de ses ancêtres spirituels. Il écrira même, (ibid, p. 89),

« Il m’apparut soudain, avec une de ces clartés qui éclatent parfois au-dedans de nous-mêmes et semble illuminer le monde pendant le temps d’un battement de cœur, que David et le temps de David, comme Abraham et le temps d’Abraham, étaient plus proches de leurs racines arabes _comme le sont les bédouins d’aujourd’hui_ que les juifs d’aujourd’hui qui se prétendent leurs descendants…»

Comme l’écrit si bien Florance Heymann, dans Un juif pour l’islam (éd. Stock), Lépold Weiss comme la plupart des Européens qui débarquaient au Moyen-Orient avec quelques notions romantiques et erronées ne pensaient jamais à la Palestine comme à une terre arabe.

A ce propos Muhammad Asad écrit, « Bien sûr, je savais vaguement que certains Arabes y vivaient, mais j’imaginais qu’il ne s’agissait que de nomades vivant sous la tente dans le désert ou des habitants d’oasis idylliques. Comme toutes mes précédentes lectures sur la Palestine avaient été écrites par des sionistes, je n’avais pas compris que les villes, elles aussi, étaient pleines d’Arabes, à tel point qu’en 1922 on comptait en Palestine près de cinq Arabes pour un seul Juif, ce qui en faisait un pays arabe beaucoup plus que juif. »

Léopold Weiss, quelques années plus tard, se convertit à l’islam à l’âge de 26 ans.

Surpris par la seconde guerre mondiale dans les Indes britanniques, il se retrouve interné comme ennemi autrichien dans la région de Bombay.

Il y apprendra par courrier la déportation de ses parents. Il sera un ami intime du Roi Fahd d’Arabie saoudite auquel il conseillera en vain de se méfier du matérialisme occidental qui risquerait de détruire leur mode de vie authentique qui l’avait tant séduit.

Il participera à l’aventure de la fondation du Pakistan, dont il deviendra même ambassadeur et représentant à l’ONU, et il en sera l’idéologue au côté du fameux Muhammad Iqbal.

Mais, face aux « indépendances » et aux Etats-Nations naissants, Muhammad Asad comprit fort bien le danger qui se pointait, pour l’avoir connu en Occident.

Sur le long terme, la montée des nationalismes allait non pas former une Masse et une Puissance islamique homogène comme le redoutait Elias Canetti et comme le redoutent encore certains sionistes, mais un morcellement de l’Empire Ottoman, démantelé par les puissances mandataires britanniques et françaises, pour arriver aux objectifs et projets dont nous voyons les résultats encore aujourd’hui : diviser pour mieux régner.

Même à l’aune de l’impérialisme américain et des révolutions arabes, rien de mieux que d’attiser les guerres ethniques et religieuses (Kurdes, chrétiens orientaux, chiites, sunnites) voire même tribales (Irak, Afghanistan, Lybie) et tensions entre laïques pro-occidentaux et islamistes.

Devant des musulmans en proie à la modernité et au nationalisme, le rêve de Muhammad Asad d’un Etat islamique idéal au Pakistan s’évanouira.

Dès lors, il ne sera pas compris et passera au pire comme suspect pour avoir répudié son épouse d’origine arabe pour en prendre une d’origine européenne, et au mieux comme un idéaliste.

Muhammad Asad restera fidèle à sa foi islamique, mais le constat d’une « Oumma » mythique ne fera que confirmer les chiismes et les tensions qui perdurent depuis la mort du prophète Muhammad (saws).

Néanmoins, ce qui restera frappant chez cette personnalité hors du commun qu’est Muhammad Asad, c’est que son identité n’était pas prédéterminée mais en devenir et en constant mouvement et questionnement. Pour reprendre Heidegger, « (Le commencement) ne gît pas devant nous (…) mais il se dresse devant nous ».

Conclusion…

Contrairement à une vision de l’intérieur plus complexe telle que celle de Muhammad Asad, ce que bien des musulmans ont en tête, c’est que la masse et la puissance pour reprendre le concept d’Elias Canneti, ou le nombre démographique de musulmans ou ce que certains appellent Oumma (communauté des croyants) n’est pas quantifiable et garante d’un rapport de cause à effet.

Il suffit de se rappeler du hadith du prophète Muhammad (saws) qui dit : « Viendra un temps où les musulmans seront nombreux tels l’écume de la mer, mais leurs ennemis les mangeront comme autour d’un plat (…) du fait qu’ils auront l’amour des richesses de ce bas monde dans leur cœur et la peur de mourir ».

L’Oumma ou « Dar-al-islam » (maison ou territoires islamiques) n’est que la délimitation théorique de ce qui constituait autrefois les Empires ou les dynasties, sachant que le modèle d’Etat-Nation avec le tracé des frontières est récent.

A notre époque ces notions de Dar-al-islam sont obsolètes. Déjà dans son questionnement, au XII ème XIV ème siècle Ibn Taymiyya se demandait ce qui différencie ou ce qui qualifie un territoire dit de guerre (dar al-harb) ou dit de paix (dar a-silm) (Mardin, Hégire, fuite du péché et « demeure de l’islam », tarduit par Yahya Michot, éd. Al-Bouraq).

Ce dernier définira l’espace dit « islamique » non pas comme l’étendu d’un Empire islamique mais plutôt comme un espace privé.

En effet, il expliquera qu’une taverne dès lors qu’elle devient une mosquée est considérée comme dar al-islam (espace de salut) et si une mosquée devient une taverne, elle devient dar al-kufr (territoire du voilement ou de l’ignorance).

Or, à une époque d’assimilation, de retour identitaire, d’athéisme, de modernité, et de conversions, il faudrait plutôt voire la cartographie du monde à la façon d’un Gilles Deleuze organisée en rhizomes, plutôt que d’avoir une vision obsolète du monde dans lequel on vit : en blocs enracinés, compacts et homogènes, bien séparés et quasiment hermétiques.

D’ailleurs, il est frappant de voir comment les nationalistes français parlent de territoires perdus de la République comme ceux en d’autres époques qui parlaient de dar al-harb (territoires de guerres).

Le monde est constitué d’une intrication de citoyens qui au sein d’une même famille peuvent être aussi bien touchés par la grâce de la foi, que par les idées des Lumières européennes.

La Oumma ou communauté des croyants est dispatchée à travers les générations (depuis Adam), les sociétés, les cultures : des Favelas du Brésil jusqu’aux quartiers chics de Paris.

Et d’un point de vue eschatologique cette Oumma s’étend à travers le Temps, sans que l’on sache qui sera sauvé ou qui sera perdu, parce que Le Seul détenteur de ce secret ou mystère ou Ghayb n’en est qu’Allah.

La bipartition du monde entre croyants et non-croyants n’est pas le propre de l’Islam comme semblait le suggérer Elias Canetti, mais le propre de toutes religions, sauf que la réalité est bien plus complexe et présente un éventail des plus variés de courants: tendance traditionaliste, libéral, mystique, moderniste, conservateur, etc.

L’enseignement que nous en donne le Coran, c’est que ce n’est pas le nombre de croyants qui est déterminant, mais l’intentionnalité ou la sincérité ou l’exemplarité de ceux qui portent le Témoignage ou le message de Dieu. Rappelons nous que les exemples des récits des prophètes ont tous un point commun : ils n’étaient qu’une poignée de compagnons sincères (Sohaba) face à l’opprobre de leur peuple, l’oppression ou à la tyrannie des puissants (Noé, Moïse, Jésus, Muhammad).

Pour reprendre le concept d’Elias Canetti de Masse et Puissance, ce qui est le plus important ce n’est pas la prétendue masse en elle-même, mais ce qui a provoqué le mouvement initial, l’étincelle. Une forme de big-bang sans cesse renouvelée, « Koun Fayakoun » ou le « Soit et Devient » du Créateur cité dans le Coran à maintes reprises. De cette explosion initiale se perpétue tant bien que mal une masse qui semblerait homogène jusqu’à son inertie et sa disparition.

On attribue au prophète cette parole « Le Coran était étranger et il finira étranger ou méconnu », ceci corroboré par le Coran, « Par le Temps, L’Homme va assurément à sa perte, sauf ceux qui ont cru et se sont recommandés le bien, la vérité et la persévérance ». Ou dans une autre parole prophétique, « la fin du monde n’aura pas lieu, tant qu’il restera des croyants » ou encore dans un hadiths Qudsi « même si l’Humanité croyait en Moi (Dieu) cela n’ajouterai rien à ma puissance, et si elle venait à mécroire tout entière cela n’en diminuerai rien ».

Aujourd’hui comme de toute éternité l’islam est une affaire individuelle : liaison du Abd (serviteur) avec son Khaliq (Créateur), rapport vertical et transcendantal.  Chaque humain sera jugé selon ses actes. Quant au rapport horizontal avec la communauté ou la société, il est déterminé par le bon comportement ou l’exemplarité et par la parole respectueuse et incitatrice au bien, à l’image des envoyés prophètes.

Dans un monde en proie au nationalisme, au sectarisme, à la perte des valeurs, les musulmans ne peuvent pas se voir comme une masse compacte et homogène, figée et définitive, comme l’avait conceptualisé Elias Canetti. Au contraire, il faut voir cela comme des interactions de cellules, allant dans le sens du Kadr (destin) ou de l’imprévisible Ghayb. Comme le dit le hadith, « certaines personnes sont à une coudée du Salut mais vont au final à leur perte, comme d’autres à une coudée de la perdition et connaîtront le salut ».

Enfin, pour revenir au débat franco-français il est étonnant de voir chez les prétendus laïcs ce mauvais reflexe religieux de stigmatiser en bloc l’autre, alors que nous sommes reconnus comme citoyens et non comme communautés !

En l’absence de chiffres officiels et fiables, liés à la loi informatique et Liberté de 1978 qui interdit tout dénombrement dans les enquêtes officielles portant sur l’appartenance ethnique ou religieuse, les estimations ne sont pas les mêmes.

Quoiqu’il en soit, celles-ci se réfèrent à une acceptation large, prenant en compte les référents identitaires, notamment les noms et prénoms, ou leur nationalité si celle-ci est encore étrangère.

Ces chiffres varient, voire augmentent selon les périodes électoralistes et suivant les groupes politiques et leur idéologie plus ou moins sécuritaire, voire xénophobe.

A qui profite réellement le communautarisme afin de nous définir en terme de Masses et de reléguer dans des Territoires perdus de la Républiques, avatar des ghettos juifs en d’autres temps ? N’est-ce pas en contradiction avec l’esprit de la République (Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité) qui ne reconnaît que des citoyens ? Surtout à l’ère de la mondialisation…

Note: And why Facebook Censors Author Naomi Wolf On GazaAugust 1, 2014 7:55 pm·feather

1025-naomiwolf

Jews, Muslims and citizens of the world in general have been following author Naomi Wolf and her comments about the War on Gaza.

Since she walked out of her synagogue recently, when they refused to denounce the killing of civilians in Gaza, as a result of recent IDF operations, she has gained a lot of support from fellow dissidents who want to hear what she has to say.

Today, Naomi revealed that Facebook sent her a warning, suggesting her account could be removed, and explaining that they had censored images she posted from her sources in Gaza.

 

“We received a warning from [Facebook],” she explains. “Probably due to the graphic nature of the images that were posted by contributors and citizen journalists, of wounded and dying in Gaza.”

Facebook, for their part, did not tell her which specific terms of service her post had violated. She continued, reflecting, “I think of how many horrific Holocaust images I have sat through….”

This act of censorship, she explains, “seems a journalistic/editorial double standard to me. I wrote in a piece in 1995 about abortion, Our Bodies, Our Souls that made the case that ‘the argument that the truth is in poor taste is the very definition of hypocrisy.’”

What do you think? Have you been following Naomi Wolf? Does it seem like her posts violate Facebook terms of service to you?

(Article by M.B. David)

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

OxfordDictionaries.com adds

neckbeard, Yolo, listicle, humblebrag, binge-watch and side-boob as it sees rise in use due to social media use

Do you humblebrag about your neckbeard and sideboob? How adorbs.

The latest intake of works to OxfordDictionaries.com show how language emerging on social media and the internet are increasingly entering common use.

New entires include humblebrag, which refers to a post or comment made by someone that boasts about an achievement in the same sentence as a self-deprecating comment.

Abbreviations that are often used on sites such as Twitter, where the number of characters that can be posed are limited, are also among the new entrants.

These include adorbs, an adjective that is popular that means something is cute or adorable, and Yolo, favourite with teenagers which is an acronym of You Only Live Once.

Listicle refers to an internet article presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list.

According to OxfordDictionaries.com’s language monitoring programme, the use of binge-watch increased fourfold in February and tripled in June, based on its average use over the last two years.

They said there were spikes around the releases of House Of Cards season two in February 2014 and Orange Is The New Black season two in June 2014.

Changes in our media consumption habits also have also seen hate-watch – watching a programme for the sake of the enjoyment derived from mocking or criticising it – being added to the list of new words.

Technology in general has a strong influence on the English language, with other new entires including acquihire, clickbait, Deep Web, dox, fast follower, geocache, in silico, octocopter, responsive, smartwatch, and tech-savvy.

The Oxford Corpus reveals an approximate tenfold increase in usage of the terms vape and e-cig in the last two years, as electronic devices which enable people to inhale smokeless nicotine vapour have become increasingly widespread.

E-cigarette, added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August 2012, has seen an even sharper rise in usage.

However, despite the fact that e-cigarettes were not commercially available until the 21st century, the word vaping dates to 1983, when it was used to describe a hypothetical smoking device being considered at the time.

Other informal or slang terms added include bank of mum and dad, bro hug, cray, hench, hot mess, mansplain, side-eye, side boob and spit-take.

The abbreviation cray – meaning crazy – seems to have arisen initially in the reduplicated form cray cray in the early 2000s, but it was popularised in its single-syllable form when used by Kanye West in the hook to a track from his collaboration album with Jay Z.

New words, senses, and phrases are added to OxfordDictionaries.com once editors have gathered enough independent evidence from a range of sources to be confident that they have widespread currency in English.

Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Connor Martin said: “One of the advantages of our unique language monitoring programme is that it enables us to explore how English language evolves differently across the world.

“Naturally, many words are used in similar frequencies in the UK and US, for instance the informal additions amazeballs and neckbeard.

“However, some new slang and informal words catch on much more quickly in a particular variety of English-for instance, in our monitoring sample, side boob is more than 10 times more common in the UK than in the US (although this is due in part to its frequent use in the British media), whereas adorbs is used about four times more often in the US as in the UK.”

Amazeballs means impressive or very enjoyable.

The new entries mentioned above have been added to OxfordDictionaries.com, not the Oxford English Dictionary.

 Jamil BERRY posted on FB

COMMUNIQUER

Lorsque j’étais gosse, rentrant de l’école par une journée d’hiver, les ruelles du vieux Saïda étaient un peu sombres et je me rappelle que voyant se profiler la silhouette imposante d’un passant, cela m’insécurisait à tel point qu’arrivé à hauteur de ce dernier, je lui disais ” Bonsoir monsieur ” et quand il me répondait, toute ma peur se dissipait parce que je considérais que je l’ai démystifié.

C’était l’enfance .

Des reliquats de ce trait de comportement nous restent accrochés à l’âge adulte . C’est du moins ce que je pense car si vous croyez démystifier quelqu’un pour avoir eu le privilège de communiquer avec lui , vous vous trompez lourdement.

Le piège de la communication est la “banalisation” de la personne avec laquelle nous avons communiqué.

Le pire c’est l’effet boomerang qui vous revient par ricochet , comme par exemple le fait de vous sentir inutile dans la vie de quelqu’un qui est heureux .

Auriez vous omis de penser que s’il est heureux c’est quelque part
grâce à vous ? …

Bonsoir …

( Jamil BERRY )

To Jewish friends: “I waited for you to inquire about my family in Gaza”
And Visiting Auschwitz and Dachau.
Lots of blood has been spilled in your name and for your privilege.
Nazi dehumanized the Jews. Zionist Israel dehumanized the Palestinians.

To my Jewish friend (you know who you are) I waited for you to inquire about my family…you didn’t.
Not even a private message, not a phone call.
I checked your Facebook page, wow…not one post about the massacres in Gaza.
Some dinner party shots, something about ISIS and Syria but nothing about Gaza.
Even though, it has been bombed for three weeks IN YOUR NAME. I waited for you to ask how I was coping, you didn’t. I cope better on some days than others.
I try to keep busy and I only sleep when I crash.
My grandfather’s house was partly bombed, but like Gaza it is still standing…for now.
Our land was destroyed…lots of new trees gone, old trees gone, but who cares about trees when lives are shattered. I waited for you to ask, but you didn’t.
My cousins spent the night on the eve of Eid huddled with their children under the kitchen sink as three bombs were dropped from an F16 over the apartment building they were seeking shelter in.
They ‘survived’ although that word is open for interpretation.
Over two thousand people killed mostly civilians …. entire neighbourhoods demolished bombed… but you didn’t ask.
All I can say is next time you visit Israel and enjoy yourself think of this: lots of blood has been spilled in your name and for your privilege.
Viviane Ghoussoub's photo.

Yasir Qadhi posted on FB this August 19, 2014

In 2010, I visited the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau, and saw first hand how Hitler and his Reich attempted to exterminate all those who opposed them (Jews, socialists, gypsies, etc.).

I was extremely fortunate to meet some of the last surviving Jewish prisoners of Auschwitz, and was mesmerized by their harrowing tales.

They told us how the Nazis had dehumanized the Jews so that it was then possible to commit acts of genocide against them.

I found these survivors to be brave and fearless, and I always felt that they would not support the current policies of Israel against the Palestinians.

In a previous posting a few weeks ago, I mentioned how Israel is following some of the very same tactics that Nazi Germany did, in dehumanizing Palestinians.

I was extremely elated to read, therefore, that over 300 Holocaust survivors from around the world have signed a petition AGAINST Israel, saying:

“We are alarmed by the extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever-pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting Neo-Nazi insignia….“Never again” must mean NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE!”

Not surprisingly, this letter is not receiving as much coverage as it deserves.

Lastly, Muslims, realize that ‘Jews’ are NOT your enemy – Zionism is.

These are Jewish survivors criticizing Israel, and their voice is the most effective imaginable in such criticism.

Yasir Qadhi's photo.
Yasir Qadhi's photo.

A Portal to Chaos and Adventure

In a Playground?

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

“Is there any treasure in here?” he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. “I’ve been looking everywhere for them. I can’t find any.” The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

Eric Westervelt in MindShift | August 5, 2014

Not far away, Ethan Lipsie, age 9, clutches a framing hammer and a nine-penny nail. He’s ready to hang his freshly painted sign on a wooden “fort” he’s been hammering away on. It says, “Ethan, Hudson and William were here.”

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can "play wild" in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel. (David Gilkey/NPR)

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can “play wild” in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel. (David Gilkey/NPR)

“There’s a lot of things that kids built,” he explains, looking around at the playground. “It’s not adults doing work; it’s kids doing work!”

That could almost be the motto for the Adventure Playground.

This half-acre of dirt and quirky chaos hugging the Berkeley Marina on San Francisco Bay is ranked among the most innovative and creative places for kids to play in the U.S.

It’s got a semi-orderly, beachside junkyard feel. Nothing fancy or slick. Grab a bucket and brush: Kids can can paint on almost anything here, except each other. Grab some wood and nails; it’s hammer time.

Parker Swenson, 12, and his 7-year-old cousin, Tyler, have spotted some long tubes of sturdy plastic. “I dare you to go inside one and I’ll push you down the slide.”

“Yeah!” Tyler yells.

They climb in: The tubes are perfect for barreling down the modest hill here into the dirt below.

“Whoa, that was so awesome! I’m going again,” yells Tyler.

There are only a handful of these “wild playgrounds” in the country.

They embrace the theory that free, unstructured play is vital for children and offer an antidote to the hurried lifestyles, digital distractions and overprotective parents that can leave children few opportunities to really cut loose.

“It’s really central that kids are able to take their natural and intense play impulses and act on them,” says Dr. Stuart Brown, a psychologist and the founding director of the National Institute for Play.

Children need an environment with “the opportunity to engage in open, free play where they’re allowed to self-organize,” he adds. “It’s really a central part of being human and developing into competent adulthood.”

Brown says this kind of free-range fun is not just good; it’s essential. Wild play helps shape who we become, he says, and it should be embraced, not feared.

Some educators advocate “dangerous play,” which they say helps kids become better problem solvers.

PATTY’S PLACE

In Europe there are lots of these kinds of free-range public playgrounds.

They flourished after World War II. Europeans more readily embraced spaces for children to engage in what developmental psychologists like to call “managed risk.”

But in the U.S. today there are barely a half-dozen. There are the Anarchy Zone in Ithaca, N.Y., which is just two years old, and a handful of others including a few in New York City.

This one in Berkeley is run by the city’s parks and recreation department. It’s funded largely by docking fees from the adjacent marina.

But, in many ways, this is Patty’s place. “I’ve been involved here at the adventure playground since its inception — about 35 years,” says Patty Donald, the playground’s longtime coordinator.

Donald has been on a crusade to promote kid-driven, hands-on play. “A lot of people learn by touching and feeling and doing, and they excel that way,” she says. “People drive two, three hours to come here.”

Five staff members handle everything from replenishing the zip line’s dirt landing zone to facilitating wood-painting and other play activities.

They keep a careful — yet mostly distant — eye on the children and what they’re doing. If kids turn in wood with splinters or with a nail sticking out — called a “Mr. Dangerous” — they can earn paint and tools.

“You got it! Yay, Aly!” one staffer yells to a young girl as she makes her way across an old surfboard precariously balanced on a barrel.

THE CELLPHONE PROBLEM

So … why are there so few of these wild playgrounds in the U.S.?

Fear of litigation is certainly an issue.

But there are other factors, too, experts say. Among them are safety-obsessed, overprotective parents shepherding hyper-scheduled children, and the fact that in America’s cities and suburbs, play itself is in decline.

Donald worries that today’s kids are controlled, coddled — and over-scheduled. And some parents, she says, are often too distracted. “I find there are a lot of adults who don’t know how to play with their kids.”

Wait a minute, I ask: What do you mean there are parents who don’t know how to play with their kids? I’m imagining awkward, distracted parents, fiddling with their iPhones because they don’t get that they can actually interact with their children.

“Probably 75% of the parents that come in do that,” Donald says. “The cellphone probably is the biggest problem we have. The parents are standing here, they’re physically here.”

But … they’re not really present, she says.

LIKE A PILLOW

“This is awesome; this is a neat little place,” says Dave Davirro. He and his 11-year-old son, Nicholas, are in from Hawaii visiting relatives in California.

He says kids need more places like this. “They’re tearing down swings in my city,” because they’re dangerous, Davirro says. “We’re way overprotective. I want my child to experience that, you know, there is some danger in everything.”

Right now, father and son are checking out the zip line. It’s a huge draw at the Adventure Playground, and the rule is kids go first.

Any child over 6 can just let it rip, sliding right into a pile of dirt. “You know, to fall in the dirt like this is just great!” says Davirro.

At its apex, the line is about 8 or 9 feet off the ground. There’s no net.

I cautiously climb the zip line’s wooden ladder to a waiting area that’s kind of like the crow’s nest of a ship.

It overlooks the bay, all blue, calm and sunshine this day.

But the kids up here are not taking in the view. All eyes are on me. Six-year-old Rhiannon Edison seems annoyed that an adult is encroaching on the Good Ship Zip Line.

“Wait, why are you here?” Edison asks skeptically.

I tell them I’m here to do a story on the playground. The kids nod. The adult with the fuzzy microphone can stay. For now.

I ask them what they like about this place, and get a host of answers:

“The zip line.”

“It’s nice how you can build your own things.”

“I like how you can land in the dirt, but the dirt is really soft. It’s so soft that it just feels like a pillow to me.”

Enough talk — one of them zips away, down into that soft pile of sand.

Now it’s my turn.

With all my recording gear, what could possibly go wrong? I ask a little girl, a zip line pro, for advice.

“Point your feet towards the dirt so that the sand doesn’t get in your underwear” she says, adding, “and have fun.”

The kids give me a bon voyage countdown in unison. Swoosh.

The ride is quick, fast and fun. My recording gear gets a little sandy and roughed up, like it used to when I was reporting from the Middle East.

Don’t tell the NPR engineering shop, but I just might have to ride that zip line again.

This post originally appeared on NPR.

The easy ride was posted by Seth Godin on July 29, 2014

We know what you want to accomplish. We know how you’d like everything to turn out.

The real question is, “what are you willing to push through the dip for?” What are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to and generally be unreasonable about?

Because that’s what’s going to actually get done.

Photographs of Palestinians and Palestine before first Jewish settlement in 1920

Images of Palestinians being all Palestinian, doing Palestinian things and wearing Palestinian clothing in a ‘land without a people for a people without a land’? 

Do you know that the first Jewish settlement was established in 1920 by a Rothschild and the Jews were brought from East Europe to work the plantation as slaves  and in abject conditions?

Or as the people who lived there liked to call it before being displaced and occupied: Palestine.

31 Unbelievable Photographs Israel Doesn’t Want You To See!

August 10, 2014

1. BEDOUIN WOMAN

Bedouin Woman

2. WOMEN FROM NAZARETH

Women from Nazareth

3. RAMALLAH FATHER AND SONS

Ramallah Father and Sons

4. RAMALLAH WOMAN

Ramallah Woman

5. JAFFA WOMAN, 1889

Jaffa Woman, 1889

6. BETHLEHEM GIRL

Bethlehem Girl

7. BETHLEHEM WOMAN

Bethlehem Woman

8. BETHLEHEM WOMEN

Bethlehem Women

9. BETHLEHEM SISTERS

Bethlehem Sisters

10. BETHLEHEM WOMAN

Bethlehem Woman

11. JERUSALEM MAN

Jerusalem Man

12. GAZAN MEN

Gazan Men

Yes, it says “Natives of Gaza, Palestine”.

13. RAMALLAH WOMAN

Ramallah Woman

14. RAMALLAH FAMILY

Ramallah Family

15. RAMALLAH WOMAN

Ramallah Woman

16. BEERSHEBA BEDOUIN

Beersheba Bedouin

17. WOMAN & CHILD FLEEING PALESTINE DURING THE NAKBA

Woman & Child fleeing Palestine during the Nakba

1948

18. 100 YEAR OLD MAN

100 Year Old Man

19. BETHLEHEM WOMAN, 1940

Bethlehem Woman, 1940

20. JERUSALEM

Jerusalem

21. DEMONSTRATION AGAINST ZIONIST COLONIZATION/BRITISH RULE, 1920

Demonstration against Zionist colonization/British rule, 1920

22. DOME OF THE ROCK, JERUSALEM

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

23. SEA OF GALILEE FISHERMAN, 1930S

Sea of Galilee Fisherman, 1930s

24. EARLY 1900S DEMONSTRATION IN JAFFA

Early 1900s Demonstration in Jaffa

25. JERUSALEM BETWEEN 1898 AND 1914

Jerusalem between 1898 and 1914

26. JERUSALEM

Jerusalem

27. JERUSALEM GRAIN MARKET

Jerusalem Grain Market

28. NABLUS

Nablus

29. BETHLEHEM

Bethlehem

30. THE GREEK PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM, 1940

The Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem, 1940

31. JERUSALEM POTTER, 1934

Jerusalem Potter, 1934

Via buzzfeed

WATCH: PALESTINE IN 1896

 

Israeli official calls for concentration camps in Gaza and

‘The conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and

Annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’

  • Moshe Feiglin is Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset
  • He posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend
  • Plan includes shipping the people living in Gaza across the world
  • IDF would ‘exterminate nests of resistance’ as part of his plan
  • The Gaza war has left more than 1,800 Palestinians dead

JILL REILLY 

Moshe Feiglin called for concentration camps in Gaza in his action plan

An Israeli official has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’.

Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, posted the inflammatory message on his Facebook page at the weekend.

He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza –  which includes shipping its residents across the world – in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The message, which received more than 2,000 likes on his page, lists four action points which he wants to be enforced as soon as possible.

Feiglin details the first one as ‘defining the enemy’ and states: ‘The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety.

The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)’

He says another important part of his plan is the ‘conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters.’

Moshe Feiglin is Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu¿s ruling Likud Party, and posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend

Moshe Feiglin is Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, and posted the message on his Facebook page at the weekend

He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza - which includes shipping its residents across the world - in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza – which includes shipping its residents across the world – in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Gaza war, now in its fourth week, has left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead.

Feiglin details how he wants the Israeli PM ‘to turn Gaza into Jaffa, a flourishing Israeli city with a minimum number of hostile civilians.’

In 1948 Jaffa was a Palestinian town but there was an exodus of most of its Arab population when it fell to the fledgling Israeli army and right-wing Jewish militias.

In the letter he expresses his desire for the IDF to find areas on the Sinai border to establish ‘tent encampments…until relevant emigration destinations are determined.’

He says that the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being ‘shelled with maximum fire power.’

Gazan Refugee Camp hit by Israeli Airstrike, dozens injured

In his plan the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being 'shelled with maximum fire power'

In his plan the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza would be disconnected before being ‘shelled with maximum fire power’

Feiglin  states: 'The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety. The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)'

Feiglin states: ‘The strategic enemy is extremist Arab Islam in all its varieties, from Iran to Gaza, which seeks to annihilate Israel in its entirety. The immediate enemy is Hamas. (Not the tunnels, not the rockets, but Hamas.)’

Feiglin explains how the IDF would then ‘exterminate nests of resistance, in the event that any should remain.’

 Establish ‘tent encampments…until relevant emigration destinations are determined’

Part of his plan includes shipping the people living in Gaza across the world.

He says to encourage the movement those who willingly agree to emigrate will be given ‘a generous economic support package.’

But those who resist leaving their home will be required to publicly sign a declaration of loyalty to Israel, and receive a blue ID card similar to that of the Arabs of East Jerusalem.

Then Israeli law will be extended to cover the entire Gaza Strip and ‘the city of Gaza and its suburbs will be rebuilt as true Israeli touristic and commercial cities.’

A second Gaza ceasefire collapsed in just six minutes this morning after an Israeli F16 jet destroyed a house in a beach-side refugee camp, killing an eight-year-old girl and wounding dozens.

Israel announced the temporary ceasefire to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid and allow some of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by an almost four-week-old war to go home.

Hamas said it would not be observing the truce, and warned people to exercise extreme caution when venturing out onto the streets after earlier temporary ceasefire arrangements collapsed into a frenzy of bloodshed.

Feiglin’s Facebook page is verifiable as it is linked from his official page on the Knesset website.

Israeli Prime Minister visits wounded soldiers

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715466/Israeli-official-calls-concentration-camps-Gaza-conquest-entire-Gaza-Strip-annihilation-fighting-forces-supporters.html#ixzz39WBcibKC
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Glasgow flies Palestinian flag.

And Zionist US corporations boycott Glasgow over Gaza support

And what of Starbucks operations again?

And you don’t believe in boycotting apartheid systems?

Published time: August 19, 2014 11:05

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators listen to speeches holding placards and waving Palestinian flags at a mass rally in support of the embattled Gaza Strip in London on August 9, 2014. (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators listen to speeches holding placards and waving Palestinian flags at a mass rally in support of the embattled Gaza Strip in London on August 9, 2014. (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)

Hundreds of US businesspeople have scrapped plans to visit Glasgow, following the Scottish city’s decision to fly the Palestinian flag following Israeli military operations in Gaza.

The visitors represented major US corporations such as Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil and Coca-Cola, and were due to visit the Glasgow as a reward for investing millions into its economy.

The delegation of 600 CEOs and business leaders was organized by the vice president of a leading Fortune 500 company, Richard Cassini.

However, following Glasgow City Council’s decision to fly the flag over its city chambers as a sign of solidarity with Gaza, Cassini wrote to Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty, canceling the planned event.

“We were scheduling six days in Glasgow, three for business and three for leisure time,” Cassin wrote. “Having read your statement endorsing Hamas and its leadership due to the number of Muslims in your city, I have decided to cancel all plans for our trip. We are a Fortune 500 Company, so costs were really not a serious consideration, location was,” he said.

“Hopefully, the Muslim population that you so sincerely endorse will have the spending power of the very people you have chased away so well.”

While Glasgow City Council has acknowledged receiving the email, they have not responded “because of the volume” of emails relating to the council’s decision to fly the Palestinian flag.

“The council has received more than 1,500 emails/calls/online forms, etc, about the flag and is responding to each” of them, a council spokeswoman said.

The council sparked controversy when it decided to raise the Palestinian flag in the wake of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, which began in July.

In a letter to the Mayor of Bethlehem, Israel, Docherty offered her “heartfelt sympathy” to the people of Gaza.

“Glasgow is home to many friends of Palestine and this is a deeply distressing time for them. They represent a variety of ethnicities, political persuasions, faiths and none. However, they are united by a common desire to support the Palestinian people,” she said.

The council’s decision was met with criticism from a number of Jewish representative groups, including the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, who referred to the act as “the worst kind of gesture politics”.

It “does nothing to alleviate the suffering on either side of the conflict,” they added.

Cassini insisted his decision to abandon the business leaders’ trip to Glasgow would not be reversed.

Facts about Starbucks in the Middle East

Facts about Starbucks in the Middle East (UPDATED August 2014)

Though our roots are in the United States, we are a global company with stores in 65 countries, including nearly 600 stores in 12 Middle Eastern and North African countries employing more than 10,000 partners (employees).

In countries where we do business, we are proud to be a part of the fabric of the local community – working directly with local business partners who operate our stores, employing thousands of local citizens, serving millions of customers and positively impacting many others through our support of local neighborhoods and cities.

Our 300,000 partners around the globe have diverse views about a wide range of topics.

Regardless of that spectrum of beliefs, Starbucks has been and remains a non-political organization. We do not support any political or religious cause. Additionally, neither Starbucks nor the company’s chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz provide financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army in any way.

What we do believe in, and remain focused on, is staying true to our company’s long-standing heritage – simply connecting with our partners and customers over a cup of high quality coffee and offering the best experience possible to them – regardless of geographical location.

Questions and Answers:

Is it true that Starbucks or Howard Schultz provides financial support to Israel?

No. This is absolutely untrue.

Rumors that Starbucks or Howard provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement.

Has Starbucks ever sent any of its profits to the Israeli government and/or Israeli army?

No. This is absolutely untrue.

Is it true that Starbucks closed its stores in Israel for political reasons?

No. We do not make business decisions based on political issues. We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market. After many months of discussion with our partner we came to this amicable decision. While this was a difficult decision for both companies, we believe it remains the right decision for our businesses.

Do you have plans to re-open should the opportunity arise?

We decided to dissolve our partnership in Israel in 2003 due to the on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market.

When and where the business case makes sense and we see a fit for the Starbucks brand in a market we will work closely with a local partner to assess the feasibility of offering our brand to that community. We will therefore continue to assess all opportunities on this basis.

At present, we will continue to grow our business in the Middle East as we have been very gratified by the strong reception of the brand in the region. We continue to work closely with our business partner, the Alshaya Group, in developing our plans for the region.

Do you work with a Middle East partner to operate Starbucks stores?

Through a licensing agreement with trading partner and licensee MH Alshaya WLL, a private Kuwait family business, Starbucks has operated in the Middle East since 1999.

Today Alshaya Group, recognized as one of the leading and most influential retailing franchisees in the region, operates nearly 600 Starbucks stores in the Middle East and Levant region. In addition to its Starbucks stores, the Alshaya Group operates more than 2,600 retail stores in the Middle East, Russia and North Africa, providing jobs for more than 40,000 employees of more than 110 nationalities.

We are extremely fortunate and proud to have forged a successful partnership for the past fifteen years and look forward to building on this success.

In which Middle Eastern and North African countries do you operate?

We partner with Alshaya Group to operate Starbucks stores in Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates in the Middle East and North Africa region. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many communities, and we are committed to providing the Starbucks Experience while respecting the local customs and cultures of each country we are a part of.

We are also committed to hiring locally, providing jobs to thousands of local citizens in the countries where we operate.

This updates a statement originally posted to the Starbucks Newsroom in 2010.

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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