Open Letter from Howard Cort
An Open Letter to Mazin,
I was pleased and relieved to read your March 14 "bountiful harvest" message, and to know that, at least for now, you are safe. After that, I went to your website and read the Open Letter by George Salzman, which led me to send my own message:
I was greatly shocked by the Gaza attack, particularly seeing bombers hitting civilian targets that had no defenses, no anti-arcraft guns, no rifles, etc. Then troops, rolling through defenseless neighborhoods, shots occuring here and there, etc. It didn't seem at all like war, just killing... Well, about that time, at a gathering at a local Chicago temple, there was an evening gathering on the topic of anti-semitism. I -as the the last person called upon from the audience- said: "I think the brutal Gaza attack increased anti-semitism in the world!" No one said a word. The chapel was silent as people drifted away,
except for one man, who tipped his hat and expressed his thanks.
This incident reminded me of the evening we met in Norwalk, Connecticut, around eight years ago, at a local church, and you were one of several speakers, and I was again the last person called upon to speak from the audience. I spoke about non-violence within Judaism, and the humane branch of. Zionism exemplified by Judah Magnes, the first President of the Hebrew University. Magnes spent the last thirty years of his life working for Arab- Jewish reconciliation, advocated for a bi-national state before the United Nations, but was defeated, and died in Upstate New York, a few months after the the State of Israel was created.
I'll long remember how you left the speaker's platform that night in Norwalk around 2003, came down the aisle to my row and embraced me; and how you and your wonderful Chinese- American wife, Jesse,
both insisted I stay overnite at your home (I lived in the adjoining State of New York). I'll also remember your tasteful hospitality, unsurpassed in my personal experience.
We've met several times since, and I've always been greatly impressed by your persistent dedication and work toward the cause of human justice and peace. And now that you've returned to Palestine and have a deep re-connnection to both hemispheres, I know you will become more and more of a beacon of hope to many of us who are toiling in the far reaches of the vineyard.