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Menachem Klein Returns to Colorado

February 5, 2008

(Note: Israeli Scholar and Geneva Accord signer Menachem Klein just completed a tour of Colorado where he spoke at a number of places all over the Front Range [Colo Springs, Denver, Boulder]. This is, I believe, his third visit to the state in recent years. Klein has just completed a book on the Geneva Accord Process. The different feed back I got on his talk was quite positive. He injects a bit of hope into a rather grim situation, the on-going Israeli Occupation of the 1967 Territories. I did catch him on the radio but missed his presentations. )

But a friend – a B’rit Tzedek activist, caught three of his talks. The friend’s comments below:

“Here are my thoughts on the Menachem Klein American tour in the Rockies.”

“I went to three sessions: Auraria, JCC, and Boulder. I also went to the get together in Boulder Saturday night at Leslie Lomas’ house. I think Kleinwas very good for people just beginning to get into the issue. For example, my optometrist, who I recently found out has a Jewish background, came to the JCC event and was pleased to hear a rationale for a rational solution to the problem. Rabbi Booth-Nadav gave a very supportive introduction. We maybe got 35 people there.”

“The party in Boulder was cool and I met some more soldiers in the war on neo-Fascism. I’ve forgotten the names already . It was good for me to get Menachem’s statements about the Israeli and West Bank populace (Arab, Muslim, Jewish & Other), but somewhat depressing. Almost everybody on all sides is relatively fatalistic and just taking care of themselves and their families on a day-to-day basis. Very few people see any kind of peace on the horizon. If anything, this trend has just increased over the last several years since Geneva (2003).

He said they used to get 200k to 300k people out for peace rallies, and now they’re lucky to get a tenth of that. One thing he said stuck: “This is the same in Tel Aviv as it is in Ramallah”. Oh, the Muslim (I think) portly guy who spoke up at the Iran in the Crosshairs discussion also attended the JCC event. He and I had a short and friendly conversation at the end of the talk. I think he mostly appreciated Dr. Klein.”

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“Almost everybody on all sides is relatively fatalistic and just taking care of themselves and their families on a day-to-day basis. Very few people see any kind of peace on the horizon.”

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“The Boulder meeting had the biggest, most knowledgeable and most enthusiastic crowd. (Did I mention that I met Tirzah Firestone and Ira Chernus last month)? Rabbi Firestone did a nice introduction.

Unfortunately, I hit a deer with a glancing blow from my car on the way up to the event, but I don’t think I killed it and made it to the church (ooops, meeting house) on time. I was tired and somewhat distracted. I’d be interested in getting Leslie L’s and Dr. Chernus’ opinion of the event.”

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