Thursday, October 9, 2014

The gift of being able to do the right thing

GUEST: Kathy Sheetz, human rights activist and member of the first boat to break the blockade of Gaza in forty years, talks about her amazing journey and what it meant for future attempts to free Gaza by sea.

We all have things that we are proud of. The selfish things don't seem to last. They all involve taking from someone else, the system that we have had thrust on us by a rapacious and inhuman form of capitalism.

Jewish citizens of Israel lead prosperous and productive lives on land that they have stolen from the Palestinians. Not content with taking most of the Palestinian homeland, they simply want it all. The barbaric blockade of Gaza, the thousands of Palestinians in prison, and the sinister racism in the West Bank are all part of the apartheid treatment of people that Israel wants to get rid of.

The joy of resisting apartheid only comes by taking chances. Israel is a murderous regime, and sailing a boat through its blockade is to risk one's life. But the joy of doing something you know is right transcends these risks, and our guest, Kathy Sheetz, will always have that gift in her life. She wouldn't brag about it during the interview. All she said was "Many people have traveled this road." But she didn't deny it either.

Danial Berrigan told a congregation in the Hudson Valley several years ago that "God gives us the gift of being able to do the right thing." Accepting that gift affirms our humanity, and gives us joy.

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