Posts tagged Palestine

Summer and the Beaches of Gaza and Sleeping Bear Bay

DSC_8301 - Version 2It has been a wonderful summer for my family. We have spent time together in Italy/ Tuscany and here Up North in beautiful Glen Arbor, Michigan on the blue waters of Lake Michigan. My last blog post was on June 15 when I spoke on the never ending Israel/Palestine conflict and particularly the plight of Daoud Nassar. I had mentioned in that post the recent kidnapping of three Israeli settler teens on June 12. The Netanyahu government immediately blamed Hamas for the incident, and used it as an opportunity to unleash the IDF , called ” Operation Brother’s Keeper “, on the West Bank. They entered and often destroyed over one thousand Palestinian homes and arrested over 500 Palestinians under the pretext of rescuing the teens. The poor grieving families of the teens were left to hope that their sons were alive and could be saved. When it was announced that their murdered bodies were found on June 30, I was in Italy with my family. I was sad and outraged when I heard the news. It turns out  that later we learned that Netanyahu and the Israeli government knew almost immediately after the kidnapping that the boys were almost certainly dead. A Palestinian teen was subsequently murdered by enraged Israelis, burned alive as a retaliatory, vengeance killing. The Israeli  public was inflamed, further blame was directed at Hamas, even though they denied involvement.[ A rogue Hamas cell in the West Bank is suspected as the culprits, not Hamas leadership in Gaza.]  On June 11 Israeli airstrikes into Gaza had  killed one Gazan and injured two others, one a child. Four weeks prior to that IDF soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers.So after weeks of “Operation Brother’s Keeper”, Hamas began launching rockets  from Gaza into Israel  and on July 7, 2014, the  brutal “Operation Protective Edge” was unleashed on Gaza by the Netanyahu government. So with the  ongoing siege of Gaza by Israel since 2007 as a response to the democratic election of Hamas, referred to by Israel as “keeping Gaza on a diet”, another brutal Israeli assault  on Gaza commenced. This is called by Israeli officials as a necessary and periodic “mowing the grass in Gaza.”

As of this date, this latest lawn mowing has resulted in the killing of  over 1,900 Gazans,  over 80% of them civilians, more than 400 children killed.  Gaza itself is devastated , again. Recently four Gazan kids were killed by an  Israeli air strike as they played soccer on the beach. I have been reading extensively on this ongoing tragedy of brutal, oppressive,colonial occupation of Gaza and the West Bank by Israel and will post some articles in the upcoming days.


Israeli teens murderedgaza dead child on beachPalestinian teen murderedGAZA_DEAD_KIDS1_734904bGazan boys on the beach reflection

But as a father of three sons and grandfather of two young boys, I have my own personal thoughts,and emotions ,and questions. The sadness of this latest brutal attack of Gaza first hit me last Wednesday , as I was attending a small outdoor concert with my wife and friends in Glen Arbor: a beautiful ,cool , summer night under a cloudless sky. In front of me, sitting there in our lawn chairs as an Irish band of six young ladies entertained us , I observed a father  who just “lit up” when his teenaged daughter and her friend arrived. His love  and his shear delight for her  was so evident. And in front of him a father held his 5 year old son in his lap. And the band started playing a Stephen Foster song, that I had only heard sung by my favorite, Emilou Harris:”Hard Times , Come Again No More.” It’s first stanza and chorus is as follows:

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor.
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears,
Oh, hard times, come again no more

‘Tis the song, the sigh of the weary.
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered all around my door.
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

Continue reading Summer and the Beaches of Gaza and Sleeping Bear Bay

Kairos time: a new blog

Janie ,Ron Shepherds' FieldWelcome to my new blog. I would like to thank my son, Dan, for encouraging me to blog. It is a blessing to have  sons who apparently think I have something worthwhile to say. Thank you, Dan, for taking the time to set up this blog and teach me how to  navigate it.

This is an important time in history. This blog post will be about Kairos or God’s special time.

As the author Frederick Buechner wrote in The Hungering Dark:

“The Greek word chronos means “time” in a quantitative sense, chronological time, time that you can divide into minutes and years, time as duration. It is the sense that we mean when we say, “What time is it?” or “How much time do I have?” or “Time like an ever-flowing stream,” in one of the hymns that we sing. But in Greek there is also the word kairos, which means “time” in a qualitative sense — not the kind that a clock measures but time that cannot be measured at all, time that is characterized by what happens in it. Kairos time is the kind that you mean when you say that “the time is ripe” to do something, “It’s time to tell the truth,” a truth-telling kind of time…..The ancient poet who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes was using time in a kairos sense when he wrote of a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to keep silence and a time to speak.

Continue reading Kairos time: a new blog