How Outraged are you?

I am outraged. The Senate of the United States of America failed to pass a treaty that would have recognized the human rights of people with disabilities.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  The U.S. Senate?  Republican opposed the UN Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because it “threatened US Sovereignty and those who home school their children”? I am dumb founded.

In our own country we are all subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act that provides accommodations to be made for people with disabilities.  We provide braille in public buildings and in elevators for those who are blind.  We provide special bathrooms with larger stalls for wheel chairs and with grab bars. We provide special parking places.  And this is as it should be.  Upholding the dignity of those who have some kind of physical or mental challenge is critical and upholding their civil and human rights essential!

Here is the purpose as stated in the UN Convention on Persons with Disabilities:

The purpose of the present Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

What could be problematic with this?  Shame on our Senate.  Even former  Republican Senate leader Bob Dole of Kansas came to lobby for the passage of the Treaty.  I am not trying to be partisan on this.

But to treat those whose bodies are differently abled in this way when our own laws of our country grant human rights and equal rights to those with disabilities is nothing more than hypocrisy and frankly immorality.  Our country should encourage all the countries of the world to help those who can’t stand on their own! Literally.

We Jews believe in B’tzelem Elohim–that all are created in the image of God. This political posturing violates our Jewish values.

It’s a Small World after All

The other day several friends were reminiscing about the first time we saw the Disneyland ride “It’s a Small World”. Some of us saw it a Disneyland. Others at the 1964 World’s Fair. Younger friends saw it at Disney World in Florida.  But it touched a chord in all of us. It appeared first at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and then was moved to Disneyland. But it is at every Disney Park.

At the New York World’s Fair the ride was linked to UNICEF, the United Nation’s Chidlren’s Fund and money raised went to help the Fund.

This ride and this message was so ahead of its time.  Now we think about how globally connected we are.  In an instant you can Skype a friend half way around the world or text them with ease.  We live in multiple place and international travel is common. The message of it’s a small world was a message of global peace and unity.  Even as the dolls wear their unique ethnic costumes, they are one in the end.

In 1964 in the midst of the Cold War this was a daring message of hope.

Today do you think we are closer or farther away from this goal of unity in our diversity?  Of ethnic pride but global universal values?  Or are we farther away as the clash between East and West  seems more pronounced in the era of terrorism?  


UN Ambassador meets with Gilad’s Dad

Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 4:54 PM
Subject: Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Her Meeting with Noam Shalit, September 7, 2011


United States Mission to the United Nations

Office of Press and Public Diplomacy

799 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017

            (212) 415-4050


USUN PRESS RELEASE #170                                                                    September 7, 2011



Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Her Meeting with Noam Shalit, September 7, 2011


I was honored to meet with Noam Shalit today, 1,900 days after his son, Gilad, was taken captive. During this period, Hamas has held Gilad hostage and without access by the International Committee of the Red Cross, in violation of international humanitarian standards and basic decency. I expressed to Mr. Shalit the solidarity of the United States with him and his family, and I reiterated our strongest condemnation of his son’s detention. As I have said repeatedly in the UN Security Council, Hamas must immediately and unconditionally release Gilad Shalit.