Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of "American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea."

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Does Israeli Intelligence Lie?
All of the suffering in Gaza - indeed, all of the suffering endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation for the last eight years - could have been avoided if Israel negotiated a peace agreement with Yasser Arafat when it had the chance, in 2001.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2009
To Help Palestine, Be Pro-Israel Too
Three viewpoints on the Gaza war fill the U.S. mass media: pro-Israel, anti-Israel, and neutral or even-handed. All three are harmful to the suffering people of Gaza. The one view that can help them is the one that barely gets a hearing. It's pro-Palestine, pro-peace, AND pro-Israel.
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Monday, December 29, 2008
Israelis Get Truth About Gaza Attack
If you get your news from the American mass media, you know that there's a nice simple explanation for the massive Israeli attack on Gaza. That explanation comes straight from the Israeli government, via the White House: Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, is responsible for all the violence. "These people are nothing but thugs," a White House spokesman said. "Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas." End of story.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hannukah Lights Can Symbolize Non-Violence Too
Jews all over the world are lighting the candles on their Hanukkah menorahs this week to symbolize -- what? Well, they don't all have the same answer. They all agree that the holiday commemorates the victory of the Maccabees and their followers, Judeans who ousted the foreign emperor Antiochus Epiphanes after he had seized the great Temple in Jerusalem. But why did those ancient Jews fight? What were they risking their lives for?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Israeli Youth Resist Palestinian Occupation
If I were a Palestinian, watching Jews in Israel and around the world preparing to celebrate Hanukkah, I might be a bit confused. The holiday recalls a time, way back in the second century BCE, when Judea was ruled by a much stronger neighboring nation. The Jews took up arms to free themselves from a military occupation. Yet when Palestinians even talk about taking up arms against the occupying army of their powerful neighbor today, the Israeli government and its supporters call that unjustified, immoral, an outrage.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The First Hundred Days or the Last Hundred Days?
Looking back on Barack Obama's first post-election interview with "60 Minutes," no one should be surprised that he admitted he's reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt's first hundred days in office.
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Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Community Organizers Press Obama for Real Change
This just in: Valerie Jarrett, recently appointed White House senior adviser, and Melody Barnes, the next director of the Domestic Policy Council, will meet with 2,000 community organizing leaders at "Realizing the Promise : A Forum on Community, Faith and Democracy" on Thursday, December 4.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008
'Obama' for Lefties
When I was a boy I traveled to the Deep South. On my very first day there I saw two water fountains side by side, one labeled "Colored" and the other "Whites Only." Now, less than half a century later, a black family is on its way to the White House.
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Monday, October 27, 2008
Lefties for Obama: The Final Round
My column " Lefties for Obama " evoked a storm of criticism from readers who see no real difference between the two major parties. " Lefties for Obama: Round Two ," listing a bunch of issues where some real difference seems apparent, got a somewhat better reception. Since I see a trend here, and since desperate times call for desperate appeals, I'm moved to offer one last round of Lefties for Obama.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Lefties for Obama, Round Two
I've written a lot of columns for Commondreams over the years. But I don't recall any that got as much response as a piece I posted recently urging lefties to support Obama. Many of the responses were heartfelt outbursts of emotion; some of them were surprisingly angry, even venomous, attacks. Hey, I thought we lefties were supposed to be the tolerant ones. But some of the responses were quite thoughtful, and they call for a response in kind.
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