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Peace & Life Connections Index

692 - Peace & Life: Surprise Hamas Support/Republican Debate - December 8, 2023

Happy Hanukah!

Today is the first full day of Hanukah this year.

lit minorah

Hebrew text


Surprising Hamas Support

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for several years actually helped prop up Hamas as the government in Gaza. Documentation is widespread on the web; one example is How Benjamin Netanyahu empowered Hamas... and broke Israel.

Why on earth would he do that? Because he saw it as the best way of sidestepping a two-state solution. He was countering the Palestinian Authority. He wanted to avoid peace. He succeeded.

He never saw the astonishingly horrific massacre of October 7 as a success, of course. But the first rule of getting rid of a savagely violent organization is to avoid ever supporting it.


Fourth Republican Debate

Euthanasia has never come up. This may be good in that it’s not a juggernaut taking over and therefore being discussed. Or bad because its advocates are trying to make progress under the radar. But its absence is in line with current public discourse.

The death penalty didn’t get attention, other than DeSantis toned down (but didn’t reject) his previous advocacy of extrajudicial killings for drug smugglers.

Poverty is mainly unaddressed except for how economic hardship that includes the middle class would also apply to the poor.

Racism was mainly manifested in attitudes toward immigrants. But do note that half the candidates were of color, as were the majority last time when Tim Scott was included. This is at least quite different from the racism of yesteryear.

Except for one glaring statement: Ramaswamy in concluding remarks embraced the Great Replacement Theory – definitely a holdover from yesteryear.

Abortion didn’t come up. Nikki Haley did mention in her set of accomplishments as governor the signing of pro-life legislation (unspecified).

On war, customary belligerency was displayed. Vivek Ramaswamy again had the most anti-war sentiment, but not as a matter of principle against killing – only saying that the wars they had in mind weren’t worth the sacrifice. But making sacrifices using nonviolent methods would indeed be worthwhile to stop invasions, massacres, and maltreatment.


David Atwood, Rest in Peace

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty founder David Atwood died November 22, 2023. Sister Helen Prejean called him “an inspiration,” and Italian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty president, Arianna Ballotta called him “my dear American dad.”

In 1991, the retired engineer and dignity, justice, and nonviolence activist began focusing his time on the death penalty. The NCADP awarded David nationally for organizing a statewide tour of exonerated inmates and family members of both death row inmates and victims.

In early 2016, Pope Francis told Austin's Auxiliary Bishop, Daniel Garcia, “End death penalty in Texas!” David spoke with the bishop on Pax Christi Texas's behalf that summer. By that October’s “Respect Life Month,” the Texas Catholic bishops issued their newest death penalty statement since 1999: Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Does Not Fulfill Justice, in which they used the word “non-violent” and called the death penalty a pro-life issue.

David Atwood, iPresente!

group of people posing in front of crucifix
Left to Right David Atwood, DeKarlos Blackmon, Bishop "Danny" Garcia, Thad Crouch, and other members of Pax Christi Texas and St. Ignatius Martyr Respect Life Ministry.


Our Latest Blog Post

Having had a recent experience of peace activists who were entirely impervious to counter-points against feticide, Rachel MacNair offers her stories and thoughts on If You Can’t Explain the Opposition to Your Case.


Quotation of the Week

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1866

Proceedings of the Eleventh Women's Rights Convention

We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity, and society cannot trample on the weakest and feeblest of its members without receiving the curse in its own soul.

Responses/News Tips/Questions to share are all welcome.

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