Todd’s Thoughts October 2018

Our Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East team is planning to host a public showing of the 2016 documentary, The Occupation of the American Mind, about how the Israeli and U.S. government, along with the pro-Israel lobby shape American media coverage of the Middle East conflict in Israel’s favor. Having screened the film myself, finding it factual, well-produced, fair, and rather tame, I was surprised to learn that it has been suppressed and is difficult to obtain. There’s not even a Wikipedia page about it. I have grown increasingly troubled that those of us who care about justice for all cannot even mention the plight of the Palestinian people without being accused of being “Antisemitic,” or as somehow suggesting Israel doesn’t have a right to exist or to protect itself. I’ve asked our UUJME team to host this documentary with my blessing, but now realize it may bring such accusations against our entire church in the process. Knowing this, it is only right for us to decide to do so, or not, as a congregation. Toward this end, I would like to invite you to stay after services on October 7th, at approximately 12:30 p.m., to view a YouTube video about what happened when another UU congregation showed it, followed by some discussion. On the following Sunday, October 14th also following the second service, we will give those interested an opportunity to screen The Occupation of the American Mind. Then, on Sunday, October 28th, we’ll have a special congregational meeting after our second service to vote on whether we want to host a public viewing of this film. Although I am in great favor of doing so, this is a choice that may impact us all, so I’m hoping we can first agree that to do so we need a least a two-thirds decision. If it passes, we plan to hold the screening at a later date. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues,” Maya Angelou says, “because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” — Rev. Dr. Todd F. Eklof, UUCS Minister

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