Category Archives: Activism and Peace Work

Anti-Semitism in Austria 2018 study results

Wolfgang Sobotka, president of the lower house of the Austrian parliament, presented the results of the “Anti-Semitism in Austria 2018” study in Vienna last week. It surveyed 2,731 respondents older than 16 including 604 Muslims.

Asked whether they agree with a statement blaming anti-Semitic persecution of Jews on their own behaviour, 19 percent of non-Muslims agreed. In the Muslim group, 45 percent of the respondents endorsed the statement.

Arab respondents, who made up half of the Muslim group, were slightly more likely than Turks, who made up the other half, to agree with the statement.

In the Turkish group, 28 percent agreed that “Jews still need to answer for the murder of Jesus.” The figure was 17 among Arabs and 13 among non-Muslims in the study.

Ten percent of non-Muslims agreed with the statement that “a lot is exaggerated in news about concentration camps” from the Holocaust. That figure was 41 percent among Turks and 35 among Arabs.

Asked to react to the statement that “Jews control international commerce,” 39 percent of non-Muslims concurred. The figures were 63 and 64 percent among the Turkish and Arab groups.

European governments rarely commission such aggregated surveys, which some perceive as discriminatory and which are illegal in some European states.

Karoline Edtstadler, state secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, said in a statement about the report:

“We will focus anti-racism efforts on immigrant children,”

the TRT Turkish news agency reported Tuesday.

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Selfishness opposite selflessness


Selfishness turns life into burdens,
while selflessness turns burdens into life.


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Egoïsme tegenover onzelfzuchtigheid

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A harsh life and guarantees

Many of us are not so happy with their life. Many find life difficult and a source of problems. It can be harsh and sometimes people do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. The only guarantee all have is that it will end.

This website like some other website on the 20 year old WWW is created to let you know, you always have a choice.

  • A choice to acknowledge and embrace your positives and your limitations.
  • A choice to keep on walking, step by step if necessary.
  • A choice to reach out, to connect, to offer and to accept help.
  • A choice to be YOU: a Beautiful Soul and thrive.

It is no surprise that life can be harsh and throw you in a situation you feel like the world is swallowing you and you’ve lost all control.

Feeling (a bit) better about yourself can be easy, if you’re looking for a quick boost. Playing or singing your favorite song, exercise for an hour, joining a yoga-class, eating a healthy meal or a big bowl full of ice-cream, drinking a glass of wine, reading a book, write a poem, walk with the dogs, swim in an ocean…so many different ways to lift your spirit. {Boost Your Soul}

Acknowledgement is more important than you might think. As human beings, we are by nature a creature who prefers to belong to others. At the same time, we are also each unique individuals and living in harmony is unfortunately no longer a given.
It even seems the frustration, anger and violence continues to increase worldwide. Understandably, people are tempted to withdraw from society and seek solitude: no longer trust human beings are wonderful creatures and question, if there are still Beautiful Souls among us.

We would love to see similar feeling people, people who find it necessary to give each other the hand to unite as brethren and sisters, as creatures of One Bigger Element.

Social media has become a large part of modern society. Instead of connecting many people in real life, we can see that it created more a virtual world where many can escape the reality of the real world. Many are glued on the little screen of their smartphone and do not often look up to see what is happening around them in the real world.

A ‘Mimosa pudica‘ who when she was a child was called ‘Kruidje-roer-me-niet’ (Mimosa Pudica) a lot because of her intensity when she believed something unjust or dishonest had happened in the world around her, wrote

Allowing ourselves to be too active on various social media platforms, to a point we can’t even have diner without checking every notification we receive, is of course not healthy.  Whether we use social media work related or as a hobby, there is a time and a place for everything.

Just like it is not healthy to work twenty-four-seven, sit or stand behind our laptops for over two hours straight, binch-eating while surfing, or forget about eating, sleeping and other necessary pursuits in life… it is not healthy to be online all the time.

Predators are everywhere in our society, unfortunately they do exist in our virtual Dreampack too. Just like we don’t share passwords with just anyone, have locks on our  valuable assets… we should use the security and privacy options each social platform provides. {Social media part of modern society. Embrace it !}

https://i2.wp.com/dreampack.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/BeautifulSoulsPostPage2018.jpg?ssl=1

We have come into a world where the bullying does not any more takes place at the place of confrontation, but also on the social media. Today blackmail, treason and deception are not uncommon, however, shamefully, it is not exclusive to the virtual world.

Just like we choose who we invite in our daily life, use our gut feelings who to trust and who we like… We don’t have to click with everyone. At the same time, let us not forget that behind every account one of our neighbors is connected to it. {Social media part of modern society. Embrace it !}

Naturally not everything about social media has to be bad. Social media may give a true picture as well as a total false picture of the other but it can also be a way to learn from each other’s differences,

a platform through which beautiful collaborations can be created. It can be a wonderful way to make real connections, even friendships for life. {Social media part of modern society. Embrace it !}

we have the choice between focusing on the negativity around us or acknowledge the positive at our big Dreampack. We have a choice to acknowledge the negatives and seek understanding, to become better. Which will lead to a more peaceful Dreampack. For all of us.

In addition, we also have the choice to gather Beautiful Souls, who share the same hope, beliefs, values, etc., posses the willingness to live in peace and include them in our Dreampack(s). We have the choice to be open to different perspectives, opinions, cultures and belief-systems. {Beautiful Souls}

“From Guestwriters” is here for you, willing to connect you with others, with similar or with positive ideas. We want to inspire people and we want to offer positive thoughts for this life.

We can learn so much from each others’ stories and perspectives. {When Souls Connect}

Hence, the reason we too want to share inspiring, thought-provoking and motivational stories, perspectives, thoughts, quotes, etc. from ourselves and from our neighbours or like-minded people and from artists who want to give or return something beautiful to the world.

We do know that

You can read all the positive quotes in the world, eat ice-cream all day, numb yourself with alcohol, retreat to an uninhabited island… Most people will stay unhappy, because all those quick boosters are just that. Not long-lasting, no realistic ways to feel joy and satisfaction as much as possible. People can tell you, you’re a Beautiful Soul all the time, but it isn’t just a random quote: you really have to believe that yourself, choose to be and the feeling you are will follow. {Boost Your Soul}

We sincerely do hope we can inspire you to look into yourself and to come to love yourself. but we also want to give you some warning where to stand in this world to stay alive. At the same time we do hope we can offer you some inspiring texts which shall be able to pull you through another day.

We all deserve to feel, to be happy.

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Historian Deborah Lipstadt Assesses the New Anti-Semitism

Historian Deborah Lipstadt has published an accessible and comprehensive book about contemporary anti-Semitism called “Antisemitism: Here and Now.” The book, in which she spells anti-Semitism as “antisemitism” for reasons she outlines—is structured as a series of letters she writes to a fictional student and colleague — both of whom are composites of people Lipstadt has taught and worked with at Emory University in Atlanta.

Lipstadt, the author of books on Holocaust denial and the Adolf Eichmann trial, has experienced anti-Semitism as a result of confronting Holocaust deniers. In the early 2000s, she prevailed in a defamation lawsuit brought by David Irving, one of the more prolific and notorious Holocaust “revisionists.” Her victory was dramatized in “Denial,” a 2016 movie starring Rachel Weisz.

Lipstadt writes that anti-Semitism is challenging to define:

“It is hard, if not impossible, to explain something that is essentially irrational, delusional, and absurd.”

She recently spoke to JewishBoston about her new book and the ongoing scourge of anti-Semitism around the world.

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Is today’s anti-Semitism “old wine in new bottles?”

On some level, it is old wine in new bottles. There are certain aspects of the stereotype which continue to exist and don’t go away. What’s different today is a number of things. First of all, it’s coming from the right and the left simultaneously. That’s different. At the same time, we’ve got a third source, and that is Islamic extremists who have been responsible for dangerous, deadly events in Europe. In some sectors of the Muslim community, it has become embedded among people who wouldn’t think to do anything violent but think evil things of Jews. This combination is different, but the charges are classic.

Actor Rachel Weisz and author Deborah Lipstadt on the set of their film “Denial,” a Bleecker Street release. (Photo credit: Liam Daniel/Bleecker Street)

Actor Rachel Weisz and author Deborah Lipstadt on the set of their film “Denial,” a Bleecker Street release. (Photo credit: Liam Daniel/Bleecker Street)

In your introduction, you write, “By the time this book appears there will have been new examples of antisemitism.”

In some ways, the book is a work in progress. I was sure by the time it was published there would have been a number of instances that could have appeared. Five weeks after I hit the send button, Pittsburgh happened.

Speaking of ongoing anti-Semitism, what inspired you to write a book about it?

I wrote an article right after Gaza happened the summer of 2014 for The New York Times op-ed page. What struck me was the degree of anti-Semitism that got mixed up in opposition to that war. But it wasn’t just the war. There was the 2006 murder of Ilan Halimi. In 2012 there were the murders at a Jewish school in Toulouse. Then there was the shooting at the Jewish Museum of Brussels just before Gaza. Anti-Semitism was coming back in a way that deserved attention. The Times article was very popular, and my agent asked where my book proposal was. I sent him a brief proposal as a favor. He came back to me shortly afterward and said he sold the book. That’s how I came to write a book about anti-Semitism.

You talk about what I describe as “low-voltage anti-Semitism” that can happen casually at dinner parties or in dorm rooms. How do Jews deal with that?

While this book has received mostly amazing reviews, like any author, I tend to linger on the one or two negative ones. One of the reviews said I should not have told my fictitious student Abigail that when she encountered anti-Semitism among her roommates to go back and have a discussion. The reviewer said, “I would have told her to find new friends.” That’s the wrong answer. We’ll run out of friends very quickly if we do that. There is a lot of misunderstanding of what anti-Semitism is and what constitutes it. Our job should be to try to explain that to people. However, when you call me a termite [as Louis Farrakhan did] because I’m a Jew, I’m not going to try and educate you anymore. We have to discern between ignorance and what is absorbed from the ethos sphere, and the committed anti-Semite.

What do you say to young Jews participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement? And what are some of the anti-Semitic tropes associated with BDS?

Many people on campus who support BDS probably couldn’t find Israel on a map. I don’t immediately brand every person who supports BDS as an anti-Semite. Some people erroneously equate BDS with their parents’ votes against apartheid. But if you drill down to what BDS is all about it, it calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. That is anti-Semitism. As for the tropes, it’s this talk of power, control and money. It’s the anti-Semitic stereotypes put into a Middle Eastern context. A few days ago, people said the seven Labour lawmakers who resigned over anti-Semitism in their party were being paid to do so by Israel. If that supposition weren’t so dangerous, it would be simply absurd.

Antisemitism

(Courtesy image)

Are anti-Zionists and anti-Semites the same?

They are backing into each other. If you look at each of them in 1935 or 1945, they are not one and the same. Bret Stephens had a great article about the difference. I second what he says very much. Look at the division and we now see something quite distinct. We see something that has become this hostility to Israel. Opposition to Israeli policy is not anti-Semitism. It’s important to recognize that. We’re talking about a myopic view that all the troubles in the world are the Palestinians’—the only one at fault in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is Israel. Something is wrong with that.

I recently heard a story about a student in a New York City public high school who asked her teacher to sign a letter of recommendation for a summer program. She brought him the form, and when he saw it was for Israel, he said he wouldn’t write a letter for her. She asked if he would write a letter for a program in North Korea, China, Myanmar or Sudan, and he said yes.

Something is wrong when your singular focus is on one country. Something is wrong when you look at this complicated situation in Israel where there are wrongs on both sides. We see a dedication to Palestinian organizations that have a major commitment to the destruction of Israel within their charters. And you have to ask, why this myopic view? That’s when you come to anti-Semitism.

It’s almost Purim, and your middle name is Esther. Do you feel you have a Queen Esther-like role in the Jewish community?

Someone once sent me a quote from the Book of Esther where Mordechai comes to Esther to tell her she has to approach the king, or our people will be murdered. She initially says she can’t go to the king because she will be killed. But then she does talk to him on behalf of her people. In fighting deniers and anti-Semitism, I don’t feel I’m a queen of anything. What I do feel is very gratified that I’ve been given a chance to do this work. I wish anti-Semitism were an old problem, but there’s an urgency to understand it. People are so grateful and appreciative that I do that. I feel humbled and thankful that I’m getting this kind of reaction. I’m not a Queen Esther, but I have been given a similar gift of being in the right place at the right time. This enables me to contribute to an important battle.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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…..but of stretching out to mend

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Dutch translation / Nederlandse vertaling: Zich uitstrekken om te herstellen

Purplerays

 

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once,
but of stretching out to mend the part of the world
that is within our reach.” 

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Photo ©A. Higr
Text & image source: Linda Iribarren https://www.facebook.com/lindairibarren

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Words reaching the heart


One never knows where words can end up
or
how they can touch a heart somewhere in the world.
As long as the words can come from the heart
they shall be able to reach other hearts
and
would be able to inspire others.


So , because somewhere, someone who needs to read this, is reading this now.
We don’t know who you are, or what brought you to read this,
but thank you for being here.

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Reflecting and Sharing Your Stories

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Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

After the recent attacks on a Jewish graves and houses, last week, once again the People of God were reminded that anti-Semitism is growing again in West-Europe. In many Jewish households this brings the discussion on the table to stay more quiet and to take care not to stand out too loud.

Though those who love God should recognise all good what He has done to them and should not be afraid to tell others about it. Fear may come into our houses but our love for God and our hope for the better future should make us strong enough to tell others of the Plan of God and ho everybody should come united under the Elohim’s Guidance.

For sure those who live with the hope for a better future in the Kingdom of God, should not stay in the dark or rejoice in secret, but should share with many their hope and joy and show the world how the Most High Elohim expects more people to come to Him and to be blessed, spreading the peace by the love for others worth of God.

For sure, we do not have to be ashamed or to be afraid. Let us , who love God, all unite and blow the trumpet and let everyone know. Let us show the world Who God is and what He wants from us. And let us lift up God by our praise, not being ashamed to rejoice out loud as we remember God’s work in our life.

Insights From Tom

TrumpetersAlso at your times of rejoicing–your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts–you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the LORD your God. Numbers 10:10

The world knows how to make their rejoicing about something good known to the rest of the world. Watch when their favorite football team wins the winning goal at a major game. The fans go crazy with shouting and jumping around. Social media is blown up with the news of what happened. It is no secret what happened or what is going on.

This not only happens with sports fans, but with many other major events in life. Great news is passed on very quickly with a loud noise.

God had told the Israelites that when they were rejoicing at one of the various set festivals, they…

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a Call to stop the growing anti-Semitism

It is not new. Already several months we can see there is a growing anti-Semitism again in France and Belgium. The home to the biggest Jewish community in Europe, France , represents around 550,000, a population that has grown by about half since World War Two, but anti-Semitic attacks remain common. Government statistics released last week showed there were more than 500 anti-Semitic attacks in the country last year, a 74 percent increase from 2017.

Alarming it should be that it seems that the Jewish communities across West-Europe feel much more endangered that non-Jews think they are.
A 28-country survey by the European Commission, published last month, revealed a gap in perceptions between those in and out of the Jewish community.
According to the report, 89% of Jewish people said anti-Semitism had “significantly increased” over the last five years. Only 36% of non-Jews believed the same.

Among the incidents arousing worries of renewed anti-Semitism was a torrent of hate speech directed at Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut during a Saturday march by yellow vest protesters.

In recent incidents, swastika graffiti was found on street portraits of Simone Veil — a survivor of Nazi death camps and a European Parliament president who died in 2017. The word “Juden” was painted on the window of a bagel restaurant in Paris, and two trees planted at a memorial honouring a young Jewish man tortured to death in 2006 were vandalized, one cut down.

Friday , two youths were arrested after they allegedly fired shots at a synagogue with an air rifle in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, where a large Jewish community lives. Sarcelles mayor Patrick Haddad told BFMTV on Tuesday that prosecutors believe the motive was anti-Semitism.

According to sociologist Danny Trom, author of “France Without Jews,” thousands of Jewish people leave France every year because of anti-Semitism.

“This is a low-intensity war, perhaps, but let’s not forget the murder of children killed at close range by Mohamed Merah in a school,”

Trom told French magazine Telerama, referring to the 2012 slayings of three children and a teacher from a Jewish school by an Islamic extremist in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

In West Europe since the dawn of time there have been Jews. In the previous century they had a terrible time, but one would have thought after that period everyone would want that human scandal to remain covered for good. Though the last few years it seems there are again seeds of weed sawn. Now, the pressure is such that several Jews are led to consider their country inhospitable.

In a tweet last week, Olivier Faure, first secretary of the Socialist Party, first called on people to gather in Paris for a protest on Tuesday. The event was later organised with the endorsement of more than 50 political parties, unions and associations.

No official number has been reported, but similar demonstrations were reported in 60 cities including Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes.

Thousands of people rallied across what should be “the Land of equality” (France) after a surge of anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks that culminated on Tuesday with vandals daubing swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans on dozens of graves in a Jewish cemetery.

Political leaders from all parties, including former Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, gathered in Paris filling the Place de la Republique, a symbol of the nation, to decry anti-Semitic acts with one common slogan:

“ça Suffit” = “It is Enough!”

Protestors during a rally in Paris' Place de la Republique

The French have enough of racist acts and of discrimination and hate for others

French President Emmanuel Macron, after he had visited the vandalized Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, a small town in the northeastern Alsace region, said he felt shame at the sight of the defaced grave markers. He clearly was very much impressed and the grieve and disgust for what had happened was on his face. Macron observed several moments of silence in front of the vandalized graves while local Jewish community representatives stood by.

“We will take action,”

he promised.

Afterwards he went to the Shoah Memorial, a Holocaust museum in Paris, to observe a moment of silence with parliament leaders, and said

“Every time a French person, because he or she is Jewish, is insulted, threatened — or worse, injured or killed — the whole Republic” is attacked.”

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*https://www.bbc.com/news/av/embed/p071cd8v/47300117*

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Holocaust memorial cobblestones laid around Europe – and beyond

In the 1990s, Gunter Demnig decided victims of the Holocaust should return to their homes, at least figuratively.

Today, more than 70,000 so-called Stolpersteine have been laid around Europe – and beyond.

As a 71-year-old man, spending more than 200 days a year travelling around Europe and beyond for his project, meeting young people, politicians and relatives of those he strives to commemorate, Demnig .

According to some it would not be a respectful manner to commemorate the victims, seeing as they are literally being walked upon, or even kicked. For that reason the southern German city of Munich decided against having the Stolpersteine. Instead, after much arguing, Munich chose to install plaques and steles across the city instead.

Demnig says he does not agree with the logic that his project means the victims are kicked over and over again.

“The Nazis were never content with kicking, they had a whole extermination and murder plan.”

And even if people did want to kick the cobblestones, they have been designed so that this action makes them “ever more shiny.”

“You can walk over them, to polish the stones even more, to preserve the commemoration, and honour them,”

Demnig says.

The artist says he could “never” imagine stopping his Stolpersteine project. Despite being officially retired, he says he will continue.

“We need them now more than ever,”

he reasons, thinking of the rise of far-right rhetoric and populism across the world.

“Especially when some people from the AfD [far-right Alternative for Germany party] get up and say, ‘We don’t need to remember the Nazi period, that was birdshit,’ then we have to say: Now more than ever.”

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Casting a stone across the waters to create many ripples

In case more people would join hands and use their minds and words to bring and share positiveness to the world around them we would be able to live in a better world.

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Preceding

Going to the end of our 5th year of presenting interesting views from different authors

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Image result for “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”

Mother Teresa quotes
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”

Mother Teresa quotes

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