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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Back from DC

It's extremely late according to my jetlagged body, but quickly, I wanted to upload some pictures of the demonstration that took place on Monday on the West lawn of the Capitol Building, as well as of the subsequent interaction with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sitting in on a session with such luminaries as Arlen Specter, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Shumer, and Ted Kennedy, I was amazed that government seems to really function smoothly, despite the portrayal in our media that it is entirely corrupt and kaput.

I will say more later; I believe that the immigration issue is a litmus test for the moral state of our society. Our bible is filled with passages that require us to treat the "Ger," which is mistranslated as "stranger" (or worse, with the rabbinic reinterpretation of the word to mean "convert") but is more accurately understood as "sojourner" or "resident," with respect and dignity. In fact, our texts teach that we should recognize their inherent value and consider them "k'ezrachim," like citizens. This flies in the face of the public mob mentality toward "foreigners." I want to remind my Jewish and pro-Israel readers that there is NO question that Israel would never have survived the war in 1948 if it wasn't for the mass influx of people, a great number of them undocumented. It is 100% clear to me that it is a religious requirement to treat those born outside of the United States with the respect they deserve, regardless of whether their crossing into our nation was legal or undocumented. We are a nation of immigrants, the first Medal of Honor was extended to an immigrant, and our greatest strength has been the ability to utilize the rich talents of people born abroad to build our society.

How ridiculous is it for us to oppress the latinos crossing over the borders, when in fact the United States stole the land from these peoples in the first place?


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