MideastWeb Middle East Web Log

log  archives  middle east  maps  history   documents   countries   books   encyclopedia   culture   dialogue   links    timeline   donations 


Free at last!


When history is happening, we never notice. History just happened.

Remember this?

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream....

Martin Luther King JrAnd when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" (Martin Luther King Jr. 1963)

Forty five years is a long time to wait. Martin Luther King didn't live to see the dream fulfilled: an African American in the White House.

History just happened at the culmination of one of the sillier and more inane US presidential campaigns. The dirty art of politics is at bottom, the art of making dreams come true.

Barack ObamaDreams come true are never as good as the reality. The promised land turns out to be hot. There are more barchash flies than milk, and there is more sand than honey. Too many hopes have been pinned on this one man who inherits a mountain of problems, old and new. Most of those hopes are bound to be disappointed. Barack Obama can't really walk on water, though in a real world politics sense, he just did something almost as difficult. He will nonetheless be a flesh and blood president like any other, and he will make mistakes and compromises. None of the bad guys will give him or the American people any discounts. Great power geopolitics is still out there and that game can't be won by nice words and winning smiles. The Iranians are still be Iranians, Iraq will not go away, Afghanistan is smoldering, Hamas will not go away, the Greater Israel people will not go away, the Hezbollah are still poised to take over Lebanon, America is still broke, and the global economic disaster will not go away. There is still race hate in the United States. That has been around for a few centuries and won't be banished by a single event, however propitious, or a single man, however gifted. But this great moment in history will not be forgotten. Tomorrow we can go back to politics as usual, but pause long enough to contemplate this event, a milestone in the history of the world as well as that of the United States. We have not reached the real promised land, and we never will. Obama is not the Messiah. But America is its way, and it won't turn back.

Those of us in the Middle East who are mired in the trivia of policy making and politics and our local quarrels and fears and hates, should think about the larger significance of the election of Barack Obama: If we don't lose the faith, the impossible can sometimes happen. But before it can happen, everyone, especially we here in the Middle East, needs to focus on another part of the Reverend King's speech as well:

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Violence, once unleashed, cannot be controlled. It rots the fabric of societies. The hatred that was preached in every capital of the Middle East inevitably brought terror back to those very capitals. The violence and hate of Israeli and Palestinian societies is turning back on ourselves: Shia against Sunni, Hamas against Fatah, settlers against the Israeli army that protects them, Arab against Arab, Jew against Jew.

Yitshak RabinToday marks the anniversary of the murder of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, another man with a dream. The murder of Rabin, like the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. and the murder of Anwar Sadat, was an object lesson in what happens when violence and hate are allowed to run rampant.

In Yitzhak Rabin's last speech, at a rally held under the slogan, "Yes to peace, no to violence," he said:

In coming here today, you demonstrate, together with many others who did not come, that the people truly desire peace and oppose violence. Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned and isolated. This is not the way of the State of Israel.

He was assassinated that same night, thirteen years ago, and Israel will never be the same again.

Today a big piece of Martin Luther King's dream has come true. We must never give up the hope that one day, Yitzhak Rabin's dream will come true as well. Then we too, will be free at last.

Ami Isseroff

If you like this post - click to Reddit!
add to del.icio.usAdd to digg - digg it

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000723.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 12:27 PM CST [Link]


Middle East e-Zine

Midde East News

Opinion Digest

Late Updates


Middle East Glossary

Middle East Maps

Middle East Books

Middle East Documents

Israel-Palestine History

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Middle East Countries

Middle East Economy

Middle East Population

Middle East Health

Zionism History

Palestinian Parties

Palestinian Refugees

Peace Plans


Middle East


Blog Links

OneVoice - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog

Bravo411 -Info Freedom

Israel News


Michael Brenner

Dutchblog Israel

Dutch - IMO (Israel & Midden-Oosten) Blog (NL)



Alas, a Blog

Little Green Footballs

Blue Truth

Fresno Zionism

Reut Blog

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blog

Simply Jews: Judaism and Israel

Jeff Weintraub - Commentaries and Controversies

Vital Perspective


Meretz USA Weblog


MIDEAST observer

On the Contrary

Blogger News Network- BNN

Google Sex Maps

Demediacratic Nation

Realistic Dove

Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.

On the Face

Israel Palestjnen (Dutch)

Middle East Analysis

Israel: Like This, As If

Middle East Analysis

Mid_East Journal

Z-Word Blog

Dvar Dea

SEO for Everyone

Web Sites & Pages

Israeli-Palestinian Procon

End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One Voice


ATFP- American Task Force on Palestine

Americans For Peace Now

Shalom Achshav

Chicago Peace Now


Peacechild Israel

Bridges of Peace


Israeli-Palestinian Conflict



Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel on the Web

Israel - Palestina:Midden-Oosten Conflict + Zionisme

IsraŽl in de Media

Euston Manifesto

New Year Peace


Christian Zionism

Jew Hate

Space Shuttle Blog

Israel News Magazine


My Ecosystem Details
International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Link 2 us
We link 2 U.
MidEastWeb- Middle East News & Views
MidEastWeb is not responsible for the content of linked Web sites

Please do not leave notes for MidEastWeb editors here. Hyperlinks are not displayed. We may delete or abridge comments that are longer than 250 words, or consist entirely of material copied from other sources, and we shall delete comments with obscene or racist content or commercial advertisements. Comments should adhere to Mideastweb Guidelines . IPs of offenders will be banned.

Powered By Greymatter

[Previous entry: "Middle East: Collision course"] Main Index [Next entry: "Lost in Translation: Who Me, a Settler?"]


Thank you for visiting MidEastWeb - Middle East.
If you like what you see here, tell others about the MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log - www.mideastweb.org/log/.

Contact Us


Editors' contributions are copyright by the authors and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.
Please link to main article pages and tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Do not copy MidEastWeb materials to your Web Site. That is a violation of our copyright. Click for copyright policy.
MidEastWeb and the editors are not responsible for content of visitors' comments.
Please report any comments that are offensive or racist.

Editors can log in by clicking here

Technorati Profile

RSS FeedRSS feed Add to Amphetadesk Add to Amphetadesk

USA Credit Card - Donate to MidEastWeb  On-Line - Help us live and grow