Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Youth Revolt on Israel at Park Slope Food Coop

The Park Slope Food Coop www.foodcoop.com has monthly meetings with up to 300 participants for most of the past few years when our complete membership is 16,000. For several years we utilize a nearby synagogue: The Garfield Temple. Today we needed a bigger locale: Brooklyn Tech High School.
The high school may have fit over 2000 but the organizers didn't know that the balcony level was off grounds/forbidden.

Due to a lack of space, some coop members voted early to let others in for part of the debate. A few hundred may have come and gone and interchanged seats.

The leaders of today's meeting asked the audience of 2,000 how many of the participants were there for the very first time: half of the people's hands went up. From a brief review of the hands and noting many critics of Israel were young, I conclude that the majority of very young coop members feel Israel is worthy of deep censure.

Some of the speakers before the vote were passionately for a boycott of Israel and others were passionately against a boycott. A few Israelis spoke, I thanked one. About 30 people spoke for 2 or 3 minutes. One chasidically dressed individual was very funny and I think it was intentional. He ran up on the stage and bumped into the mike. Rabbi Andy Bachman and coop founder Joe Holtz were among the prolific speakers against the boycott. I knew Ina for a few years and Jessie, who also spoke against the boycott.

The final vote today was 1,000 against a boycott (or a "referendum on a boycott") against 653 for a boycott. I hope we will buy more Israeli and Palestinian products---several people expressed this thought.

An amusing take on the whole affair is from Jon Stewart: "The Daily Show" de John Stewart:

Thanks to Robert Poort.

While I've been a member of the coop for almost 16 years I knew very few people by name: I saw my friend Nancy S. first on line, when I arrived. Jeff Prant showed up and there was David Simonoff. Jeff Prant was interviewed by the New York Times for the Wednesday paper (following the vote)--that's how I know his position may be similar to mine.

The comments at The Nations article are worth browsing. I contributed and was "mentioned" in the article.

One of my biggest concerns in the Middle East is the marginal freedom of speech and access to political power for women. While the United States has about 17% female participation in Congress one Arab country has surpassed that number: Tunisia, with about 27 %.

Three female arabs have been members of the Israeli Knesset in recent decades.

Iraq's 25% quota also leaves something to be desired, but I will follow this relatively recent development: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/world/middleeast/13baghdad.html

More recent information from the International Parliamentary Union:
Israel is in the 63rd rank world-wide with 24 female members of Knesset equalling 20% female participation in this parliament. Jordan has al 10 percent QUOTA for women and that is the reality in Jordan (13 out of 120 lower house seats going to women).
63Israel2 20091202420.0%

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Economist Votes for Esperanto

Final Results: http://moreintelligentlife.com/blog/georgiagrimond/best-language-poll


Good, we have surpassed Latin.
Bone ni preterpasis latinan lau' tiu-cxi gxisdatigo.

What is the best language to learn? More Intelligent Life

On Monday
Brazilian Portuguese 26% (1439 votes) Spanish18% (965 votes) French 17% (923 votes) Chinese 15% (834 votes) Esperanto 6% (323 votes) Latin 5% (290 votes) Gaelic 4% (197 votes) Arabic 3% (167 votes) Scottish Gaelic 1% (76 votes) Russian 1% (32 votes) love of the people and

The editor of The Economist "tries" to acknowledge Esperanto as a small movement that can't win against the strength of computer translation.


A similar discussion was almost simultaneous at another Economist article.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vegetarianism, Israel and Esperanto

Beyond the fact that an Israeli, Natan Ben Havkin founded and named the organization TEVA (which means Nature in Hebrew and All-Esperanto-Vegetarian-Association in Esperanto), I visited a vegetarian village in Israel where there were always a few Esperantists. I lived and worked a few weeks there in the early 1970s. The village is called AMIRIM and isn't far from the town Sfad/Tsfat in Hebrew. One quite politically radical Esperantist (He was writing constantly to newspapers about several subjects) was the Esperantist, Shalom Zamir. There was a woman who learned Esperanto from the daughter of the founder of Esperanto, Lidia Zamenhof, in Poland---her last name was--I think--Nowakowsky. In the year 2000 I returned to Israel and after the World Esperanto Conference in Tel Aviv, was invited to Amirim by recent emigrants from Bulgaria, whose names are failing me. I rented a car for three days (the only time I ever used a car in Israel.) I recently discovered from the wikipedia article that the village was founded by Seventh Day Adventists or a division of them. (Link below)

Flanke de la fakto ke Israelano, Natan Ben Havkin, nomis nian organizon TEVA (Naturo en la HEBREA) mi vizitis vegetaran vilagxon en Israelo kie cxiam estis kelkaj Esperantistoj. Mi logxis/laboris tie dum kelkaj semajnoj en la fruaj 70aj jaroj. La vilagxo nomigxas AMIRIM kaj estas ne tre for de urbeto Sfad/Tsfat (Hebree). Iom politike radikala estis Esperantisto, Shalom Zamir. Estis virino en la 80aj jaroj, Nowakowsky mi opiniis kiu lernis Esperanton de Lidia Zamenhof. En 2000 post UK-Tel Avivo mi ricevis inviton de juna bulgara familio kiu eklogxis tie....kaj mi vizitis ilin sed mia memoro ne plu funkcias tiom bone. Nur per la reto mi lernas ke inter la vegetaremaj fondintoj estas homoj el la Sepa Tago Adventistoj. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amirim

Monday, March 12, 2012

Esperanto for Youth Hostels and Backpackers


An English language discussion on the usefulness of Esperanto for backpackers and youth hostelers.

I had the pleasure of talking to Josh Cohen, a founder of the web-site.

Angla-lingva diskuto pri la utileco de Esperanto cxe junular-gastejoj. Sam-tempe mi malkovris Junular-gastejon en Ekvadoro

Here is a hostel in Ecuador named "Esperanto".

Halfway between Oslo and Stockholm is the Esperanto-Garden Hostel, often used by Esperanto speakers.

Josh's visit to New York with Neil / Josh vizitas Novjorkon kun Nijl.

The Lost Hosteler in Australia-Film- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5swk95Fg1fM

The newest Hotel with the name Esperanto is in Bialystok, Poland. http://www.konferencje.pl/obiekty/obiekt,19617,hotel-esperanto-bialystok.html

Other cities with Hotel Esperanto's are 1) Fulda, Germany 2) Cannes, France 3) Selce, Croatia, 4) Sunny Beach, Bulgaria and 5) Swidnicy, Poland

The new Bialystok Hotel Esperanto uses Esperanto also at its website:

For decades the European (German) based organization Nature Friend had a strong relationship with Esperanto.  There are about a 1.000 rural and suburban community centers-guest rooms. I used at least one.  The paper newspaper in Esperanto was called La Migranto (The Migrant.)
 Dum jardekoj estis oficiala ligo de gxi kun Esperanto: http://eo.wikipedia.org/wiki/TANEF Revivigu Esperanto fako kun Natur-amikoj.