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  • Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004
    Qohelet Raba, 7:16

    אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן

    Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman

    All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.

    More colloquially translated: "Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind."

    Online Source:

  • Abraham Isaac Kook
    "The purely righteous do not complain about evil, rather they add justice.They do not complain about heresy, rather they add faith.They do not complain about ignorance, rather they add wisdom." From the pages of Arpilei Tohar.
  • Heinrich Heine
    "Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned." -- From Almansor: A Tragedy (1823).
  • Simon Wiesenthal
    Remark Made in the Ballroom of the Imperial Hotel, Vienna, Austria on the occasion of His 90th Birthday: "The Nazis are no more, but we are still here, singing and dancing."
  • Maimonides
    "Truth does not become more true if the whole world were to accept it; nor does it become less true if the whole world were to reject it."
  • Douglas Adams
    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" Epigram appearing in the dedication of Richard Dawkins' The GOD Delusion.
  • Thucydides
    "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
  • Milan Kundera
    "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."


  • Care to Read What I Read?

    I've embarked on a great reduction in privacy by bookmarking my web-based reading on the "" utility. It may tip my hand as to what I have in mind for blogging, but the same may help friends and frenemies alike track my thinking: here is the URL:

  • Author's Wish Each Friday Night
    Shabbat Shalom. May our arguments be resolved through perceptive words and good deeds only; may we live another week helpful to one another in relative peace.
  • Photography: Prints & Services
    A gentle reminder: I'm in business as a producer of fine art prints and as a provider of shoot-for-fee services, including portraiture and weddings plus assigned photojournalism. My general location: intersection of I-70 and I-81; core camera system: Nikon; transportation: Mustang.

    Main web:


    Also: as of 2011, I am building a photography print-on-demand presence at Fine Art AmericaM. This is the address:

    Effort in print-on-demand will not offset the production nor value of signed, limited edition prints made under my own hand. However, for very good convenience, price, and quality, print-on-demand may work out well for many fans and patrons.

  • Research Services

    If you're engaged in funded research in conflict analysis or other areas that may be addressed here and wish to engage my mind in your project, feel welcome to drop me a note at


J. S. Oppenheim's Other Blogs and Webs

  • Flickr!

  • Communicating Arts - Main Web Site
  • Communicating Arts - The Journal
  • Mustang Highways
    American highways and a six cylinder, 190 horsepower Ford Mustang 2000, Nikons, and philosophy.

« Haiti - Nine Months After Earthquake, Israeli NGOs Remain Involved | Main | Dalgleish - I, Israel, Ask - Music of Love and Sorrow »

October 06, 2010


David Coker

This historic photo, detailing the border area between Haiti and the Domenican Republic, describes a lot about the island. In 1923 over 60 percent of the western half of the island was covered with tropical rain forest. Since then, all but 2 percent of the place has been deforested for the mahogany and other exotic trees that used to cover the landscape.

In the mountains Northeast of Petionville where we visited a Baptist Mission, you can see this to good effect -- thousands upon thousands of acres of hillsides raped of their native vegetation and terraced for agriculture. In what few wooded area remain, the rich have built enormous mansions looking out over hillside vistas and surrounded by enormous walls topped with razor wire.

On an island buffeted daily by substantial Carribean trade winds and baked by the incredibly hot, tropical sun, virtually every kilowatt of electricity produced on the island comes from the burning of Diesel fuel imported from Venezuela.

While we were there, a tanker from the South American worker's paradise was delayed on the high seas. No explanation was offered. The critical fuel shortage triggered daily violence at fueling stations which frequently required uniformed guards and police to brandish their pump shotguns to disburse the crowds of screaming Haitians.

This troubled island community maintains layer upon layer of civil, commercial and political dysfunction. The root of the problem stems from a lack of serious adjudication of property rights, severe economic inequality and a poorly educated population.

First and foremost among the remedies, this island needs to have a serious internal conversation about race, economic expectations and morality. What many Westerners do not understand is that Haiti's cultural and ancestral roots are not European, but rather African. They have not had the benefit of Hebraic-Christian teachings of right and wrong and the cultural construct that extends from such a body of knowledge and faith.

Only now, in the wake of this enormous earthquake disaster, do we see individual Haitians turning away from the pagan teachings and folkways of voodoo and looking toward Christianity. It is a hopeful sign but will probably take many years before being inculcated within the Haitian commercial and political dymanic.

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