Saturday, August 05, 2006

Impassioned Pleas in the Mideast

This letter was in the New York Times this morning. It is something I believe that most of us on all sides can agree with.

August 4, 2006
Impassioned Pleas in the Mideast
To the Editor:

No words are strong enough to capture what is happening in Lebanon,
Gaza and Israel. Yet the world cannot stay silent when hour after hour
masses of men, women and children are dying or are fleeing destruction
and death.

The agonizing themes of Jew against Muslim, Muslim against Jew must
not be exploited as excuses for inhumanity.

Before the eyes of the world, humanity on all sides is being reduced
to what Shakespeare called poor, bare, forked animals preying on each
other like monsters of the deep.

Moderation in this struggle is dismissed as weakness. But if people
cannot reassert it, the attractive slogans of violence will take over.

Is it too late for us to recognize that a moderate attitude is not a
weak and spineless compromise? That it makes undeniably strong demands
on honest feeling and pitilessly clear thought.

Diplomacy and declarations that only play for time are indefensible.
The only way out of this devastation is if people in every country
stand up, with passion and with strength, to reaffirm our common
humanity by refusing all military solutions.

Leaders are there to find the ways. Our role across the world,
regardless of race, religion or culture, is to cry, "Stop!"

Richard Axel, Nobel laureate, U.S.
Meena Alexander, poet, writer, India
Juliano Mer-Khamis, director, Freedom Theater of Jenin, from Israel
Daniel Barenboim, pianist, conductor, co-founder (with Edward W. Said)
of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Israel
George Bartenieff, actor, co-founder, Theater for the New City, U.S.
Martha Bragin, actor
Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. envoy to Iraq (2004), Algeria
Peter Brook, director of the International Center for Theater Research, France
Hélène Cixous, writer, France
Lev Dodin, artistic director of Maly Drama Theater, St. Petersburg, Russia
Declan Donnellan, theater director, Britain
Costa-Gavras, filmmaker, Greece
Nadine Gordimer, Nobel laureate, writer, South Africa
Paul Greengard, Nobel laureate, U.S.
John Heilpern, theater critic, U.S.
Nicholas Hytner, director, National Theater of Great Britain
Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate, U.S.
Tony Kushner, playwright, U.S.
Michael Kustow, writer, producer, Britain
Karen Malpede, playwright, director, U.S.
D.H. Mehlem, writer, U.S.
Ariane Mnouchkine, theater director, France
Khalifa Natour, actor, Palestine
Amir Nizar Zuabi, theater director, Palestine
Nurit Peled-Elhanan, professor of education, joint winner of European
Sakharov prize, Israel
Harold Pinter, Nobel laureate, playwright, Britain
Najla Said, actor, writer, founding member of Nibras, Arab-American
theater collective, U.S.
Mariam Said, widow of Prof. Edward W. Said and vice president of the
Barenboim-Said Foundation U.S.A., U.S.
Janet Suzman, actor, South Africa
Peter Shaffer, playwright, Britain
Pieter-Dirk Uys, satirist, playwright, South Africa
Torsten Wiesel, Nobel laureate, Sweden.
London, Aug. 3, 2006


Blogger Ruthie In The Sky said...

And...Ruthie Rader...Invisible United States of American blogger extraordinaire!

1:07 AM  

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