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We Shall Overcome

Those of a certain age will recall the song “We Shall Overcome" as the key anthem of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The song was originally a hymn called "I'll Overcome Someday" which was composed by the Reverend Charles Tindley, a Methodist minister, in the early 20th century. Later the song was adapted and modified by various artists and activists, including Pete Seeger, Guy Carawan, and Zilphia Horton, and became a powerful anthem of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

The song expresses the idea that even in the face of oppression, injustice, and adversity, people can overcome and achieve a better future through unity, perseverance, and nonviolent resistance. The lyrics of the song emphasize the power of solidarity and the importance of standing together to fight against inequality and injustice. Some of the key lines in the song include:

"We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome someday": This line emphasizes the idea that even though progress may be slow, we will ultimately overcome the challenges we face.

"Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday": This line expresses a sense of faith and optimism that we will be able to achieve a better future if we remain committed to the struggle for justice.

"The whole wide world around": This line emphasizes the idea that the struggle for justice is not limited to one particular group or region, but is a universal struggle that affects all of humanity.

Overall, "We Shall Overcome" is a song that inspires hope and encourages people to work together to overcome obstacles and achieve a more just and equitable world. It has become a powerful symbol of the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for social justice more broadly.

Just maybe the time has come to lift a page from the Martin Luther King playbook and gear up for a nationwide campaign of nonviolent resistance.

Another example we can view is that of Mohandas K. Gandhi and his Civil Disobedience campaign which helped drive the British from India.

Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws, demands, orders, or commands of a government (or any other authority). By some definitions, civil disobedience has to be nonviolent to be called "civil". Hence, civil disobedience is sometimes equated with peaceful protests or nonviolent resistance.

The current situation in Israel is one of political and social turmoil, with tensions high between the so-called Left and Right. The conflict between these two groups has been ongoing for many years, with each side feeling that their grievances have not been adequately addressed.

The recent violent attacks by Palestinians have only heightened these tensions. The song "We Shall Overcome" offers a message of hope and determination and in my opinion, is most relevant to the situation in Israel today.

The current conflict in Israel is complex and multifaceted, with historical, political, and religious factors all playing a role. Yes, it is currently focused on this government’s drive for judicial reform but in reality, the issue is far deeper and goes to the actual nature of the State of Israel.

The situation is further complicated by the involvement of outside powers, with the United States and several European countries not holding back on their feelings for the path this government seems hellbent on taking.

Despite the current challenges, we, that challenge the government and are concerned for our democratic rights remain optimistic that level heads will prevail and compromise achieved. The song "We Shall Overcome" speaks to this hope, with its message of perseverance and the belief that justice will ultimately prevail.

To achieve a compromise all sides must be willing to cooperate and find common ground for all the peoples of Israel. This will require difficult conversations and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths about the past and present.

Currently, it looks unlikely but international support for Israel’s many friends will also be crucial, with countries and organizations playing a role in mediating negotiations and ensuring that Israel remains a thriving democracy and a regional Light Unto The Nations and that the rights of all individuals are respected.

Ultimately, the current situation in Israel requires compassion, understanding, and a commitment to justice. By working together and refusing to give up hope, the so-called Left and Right, Secular and Orthodox can overcome the challenges that lie ahead and create a brighter future for themselves and future generations.

In recent days government minister Miri Regev, and Yair Netanyahu, the eldest son of Benjamin Netanyahu, among others have called the various groups of demonstrators terrorists.

I appreciate that both o them are perhaps lacking in education and therefore may not completely understand the meaning of the word ‘terrorists’ which they ad-hoc use to describe Hamas in Gaza, Hizballah in Lebanon, and various Palestinian terror groups.

Their misguided utterings do not give equal weight to the word, although I am sure the concept is far above their heads.

For their and others' benefit, here is a definition of a ‘terrorist’.

“A terrorist is someone who uses violence, threats, or intimidation to create fear and coerce individuals or governments into meeting their political, ideological, or religious goals. The actions of a terrorist are often indiscriminate and target civilians or non-combatants.”

And for Mr. Ben Gvir, Israel’s loudmouth, obnoxious, potbellied, gunslinging National Security Minister who seems to get a kick out of calling protesters ‘anarchists’, below is a description of an anarchist.

To me, this sounds like Ben Gvir, Smotrich, and their mixed band of loonies who seem recklessly determined to fundamentally change the very fabric of the State of Israel.

“An anarchist is someone who believes in the abolition of all forms of government and authority, and instead advocates for a society based on voluntary associations and cooperation among individuals. Anarchists reject the use of force, including the state's monopoly on violence, to achieve their goals, and instead favor decentralized decision-making and direct action as means of social change.”

Many, myself included refer time and again to Benjamin Netanyahu as a dictator.

Think about this description of a dictator and see if BiBi fits the bill.

The current answer is NO. However, there is doubt that other forces in his government are doing their utmost to start the process to suppress political opposition, freedom of speech, and civil liberties. And have no fear Ben Gvir will if he can use violent repression against peaceful demonstrators, as we saw a few days ago with the use of stun grenades and water cannons and police on horseback charging protesters.

“A dictator is a ruler who exercises absolute power and control over a country or a group of people without any legal constraints or opposition. Dictators often maintain their hold on power through force, including the use of violence and repression, and frequently suppress political opposition, freedom of speech, and civil liberties. They are often characterized by their authoritarianism, lack of democratic institutions, and cults of personality.”

I have often in my rants labeled Benjamin Netanyahu a ‘benevolent dictator’. That is how I believe he sees himself.

“A benevolent dictator is a leader who has absolute power or authority over a group or nation but uses this power for the good of the people, rather than for personal gain or power. The term "benevolent dictator" is often used to describe a leader who is seen as just, fair, and compassionate, and who makes decisions that benefit the greater good. While the idea of a benevolent dictator may seem contradictory to the concept of democracy, it is sometimes used as a theoretical model of good governance in situations where other forms of government may not be effective. However, it is important to note that the concept of a benevolent dictator is controversial, and the potential for abuse of power remains a concern.”

Power to the People – We Shall Overcome.


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