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Another woman who rocked..... "Grace Halsell was the daughter of a West Texas cattleman whose curiosity about “a wider world” led her to write books about her trans-racial adventures–the most famous occurring at the height of the civil rights movement when she impersonated a black woman in the Deep South–has died. She wrote of her experiences pretending to be a black woman in Mississippi in the 1969 book “Soul Sister.” In other books she told of how she adopted the traditional garb of a Navajo woman and assumed the desperate strivings of a Mexican immigrant illegally crossing into the United States in the 1970s. In the 1980s, buy cheap effexor online she went undercover with a group of Christian fundamentalists. Not everyone was impressed by the extremes she took to find out. But remarking on her jarring transformations, buy cheap effexor online Gore Vidal once said of Halsell: “She has led the most interesting and courageous life–or lives–of any American of our time.” "She hunted lions in Paraguay, buy cheap effexor online traversed the Amazon by tug and shared a fishing junk with a family of 28 in the waters off Hong Kong. Buy cheap effexor online The articles she wrote were printed in newspapers throughout the Southwest. By the mid-1960s she was a reporter in the Washington bureau of the Houston Post. At a news conference, buy cheap effexor online President Lyndon Johnson recruited her to join his White House staff. Buy cheap effexor online Although he didn’t say so at first, buy cheap effexor online he really wanted her to be his secretary. When he asked if she took dictation, buy cheap effexor online she said, buy cheap effexor online “No.” Halsell eventually took a position writing his official statements and was the highest-ranking woman on his staff during her three years there. Shortly after the Rev. Buy cheap effexor online Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, buy cheap effexor online Halsell left the White House, buy cheap effexor online intent on a journey she described as “embracing the Other."  Author of above article:  Elaine Woo/Los Angeles Times  Connie's note: I had not heard of Grace until I came across a couple of her pieces unexpectedly.   What I like most about Ms. Buy cheap effexor online Halsell's writing is the fact she writes from personal experience. Buy cheap effexor online Halsell went directly where the action was, buy cheap effexor online immersed herself as one of the 'herd', buy cheap effexor online whether she joined a Christian Fundamentalist group, buy cheap effexor online an African American community of women, buy cheap effexor online or a Jewish kibbutz in Israel. Buy cheap effexor online I wanted to share one of her articles.  Coming from a Christian background, buy cheap effexor online I found it compelling. xoxo  What Christians Don’t Know About Israel American Jews sympathetic to Israel dominate key positions in all areas of our government where decisions are made regarding the Middle East. Buy cheap effexor online This being the case, buy cheap effexor online is there any hope of ever changing U.S. Buy cheap effexor online policy? President Bill Clinton as well as most members of Congress support Israel — and they know why. Buy cheap effexor online U.S. Buy cheap effexor online Jews sympathetic to Israel donate lavishly to their campaign coffers. Buy cheap effexor online . The answer to achieving an even-handed Middle East policy might lie elsewhere — among those who support Israel but don’t really know why. Buy cheap effexor online This group is the vast majority of Americans. Buy cheap effexor online They are well-meaning, buy cheap effexor online fair-minded Christians who feel bonded to Israel — and Zionism — often from atavistic feelings, buy cheap effexor online in some cases dating from childhood. I am one of those. Buy cheap effexor online I grew up listening to stories of a mystical, buy cheap effexor online allegorical, buy cheap effexor online spiritual Israel. Buy cheap effexor online This was before a modern political entity with the same name appeared on our maps. Buy cheap effexor online I attended Sunday School and watched an instructor draw down window-type shades to show maps of the Holy Land. Buy cheap effexor online I imbibed stories of a Good and Chosen people who fought against their Bad “unChosen” enemies. In my early 20s, buy cheap effexor online I began traveling the world, buy cheap effexor online earning my living as a writer. Buy cheap effexor online I came to the subject of the Middle East rather late in my career. Buy cheap effexor online I was sadly lacking in knowledge regarding the area. Buy cheap effexor online About all I knew was what I had learned in Sunday School. And typical of many U.S. Buy cheap effexor online Christians, buy cheap effexor online I somehow considered a modern state created in 1948 as a homeland for Jews persecuted under the Nazis as a replica of the spiritual, buy cheap effexor online mystical Israel I heard about as a child. Buy cheap effexor online When in 1979 I initially went to Jerusalem, buy cheap effexor online I planned to write about the three great monotheistic religions and leave out politics. Buy cheap effexor online “Not write about politics?” scoffed one Palestinian, buy cheap effexor online smoking a waterpipe in the Old Walled City. Buy cheap effexor online “We eat politics, buy cheap effexor online morning, buy cheap effexor online noon and night!” As I would learn, buy cheap effexor online the politics is about land, buy cheap effexor online and the co-claimants to that land: the indigenous Palestinians who have lived there for 2, buy cheap effexor online000 years and the Jews who started arriving in large numbers after the Second World War. Buy cheap effexor online By living among Israeli Jews as well as Palestinian Christians and Muslims, buy cheap effexor online I saw, buy cheap effexor online heard, buy cheap effexor online smelled, buy cheap effexor online experienced the police state tactics Israelis use against Palestinians. My research led to a book entitled Journey to Jerusalem. Buy cheap effexor online My journey not only was enlightening to me as regards Israel, buy cheap effexor online but also I came to a deeper, buy cheap effexor online and sadder, buy cheap effexor online understanding of my own country. Buy cheap effexor online I say sadder understanding because I began to see that, buy cheap effexor online in Middle East politics, buy cheap effexor online we the people are not making the decisions, buy cheap effexor online but rather that supporters of Israel are doing so. Buy cheap effexor online And typical of most Americans, buy cheap effexor online I tended to think the U.S. Buy cheap effexor online media was “free” to print news impartially. "It shouldn’t be published. Buy cheap effexor online It’s anti-Israel." In the late 1970s, buy cheap effexor online when I first went to Jerusalem, buy cheap effexor online I was unaware that editors could and would classify “news” depending on who was doing what to whom. Buy cheap effexor online On my initial visit to Israel-Palestine, buy cheap effexor online I had interviewed dozens of young Palestinian men. Buy cheap effexor online About one in four related stories of torture. Israeli police had come in the night, buy cheap effexor online dragged them from their beds and placed hoods over their heads. Buy cheap effexor online Then in jails the Israelis had kept them in isolation, buy cheap effexor online besieged them with loud, buy cheap effexor online incessant noises, buy cheap effexor online hung them upside down and had sadistically mutilated their genitals. Buy cheap effexor online I had not read such stories in the U.S. Buy cheap effexor online media. Buy cheap effexor online Wasn’t it news? Obviously, buy cheap effexor online I naively thought, buy cheap effexor online U.S. Buy cheap effexor online editors simply didn’t know it was happening. On a trip to Washington, buy cheap effexor online DC, buy cheap effexor online I hand-delivered a letter to Frank Mankiewicz, buy cheap effexor online then head of the public radio station WETA. Buy cheap effexor online I explained I had taped interviews with Palestinians who had been brutally tortured. Buy cheap effexor online And I’d make them available to him. Buy cheap effexor online I got no reply. Buy cheap effexor online I made several phone calls. Buy cheap effexor online Eventually I was put through to a public relations person, buy cheap effexor online a Ms. Buy cheap effexor online Cohen, buy cheap effexor online who said my letter had been lost. Buy cheap effexor online I wrote again. Buy cheap effexor online In time I began to realize what I hadn’t known: had it been Jews who were strung up and tortured, buy cheap effexor online it would be news. Buy cheap effexor online But interviews with tortured Arabs were “lost” at WETA. The process of getting my book Journey to Jerusalem published also was a learning experience. Buy cheap effexor online Bill Griffin, buy cheap effexor online who signed a contract with me on behalf of MacMillan Publishing Company, buy cheap effexor online was a former Roman Catholic priest. Buy cheap effexor online He assured me that no one other than himself would edit the book. Buy cheap effexor online As I researched the book, buy cheap effexor online making several trips to Israel and Palestine, buy cheap effexor online I met frequently with Griffin, buy cheap effexor online showing him sample chapters. Buy cheap effexor online “Terrific, buy cheap effexor online” he said of my material. The day the book was scheduled to be published, buy cheap effexor online I went to visit MacMillan’s. Buy cheap effexor online Checking in at a reception desk, buy cheap effexor online I spotted Griffin across a room, buy cheap effexor online cleaning out his desk. Buy cheap effexor online His secretary Margie came to greet me. Buy cheap effexor online In tears, buy cheap effexor online she whispered for me to meet her in the ladies room. Buy cheap effexor online When we were alone, buy cheap effexor online she confided, buy cheap effexor online “He’s been fired.” She indicated it was because he had signed a contract for a book that was sympathetic to Palestinians. Buy cheap effexor online Griffin, buy cheap effexor online she said, buy cheap effexor online had no time to see me. Later, buy cheap effexor online I met with another MacMillan official, buy cheap effexor online William Curry. Buy cheap effexor online “I was told to take your manuscript to the Israeli Embassy, buy cheap effexor online to let them read it for mistakes, buy cheap effexor online” he told me. Buy cheap effexor online “They were not pleased. Buy cheap effexor online They asked me, buy cheap effexor online ‘You are not going to publish this book, buy cheap effexor online are you?’ I asked, buy cheap effexor online ‘Were there mistakes?’ ‘ Not mistakes as such. Buy cheap effexor online But it shouldn’t be published. Buy cheap effexor online It’s anti-Israel.’” Somehow, buy cheap effexor online despite obstacles to prevent it, buy cheap effexor online the presses had started rolling. Buy cheap effexor online After its publication in 1980, buy cheap effexor online I was invited to speak in a number of churches. Buy cheap effexor online Christians generally reacted with disbelief. Buy cheap effexor online Back then, buy cheap effexor online there was little or no coverage of Israeli land confiscation, buy cheap effexor online demolition of Palestinian homes, buy cheap effexor online wanton arrests and torture of Palestinian civilians. The Same Question Speaking of these injustices, buy cheap effexor online I invariably heard the same question, buy cheap effexor online “How come I didn’t know this?” Or someone might ask, buy cheap effexor online “But I haven’t read about that in my newspaper.” To these church audiences, buy cheap effexor online I related my own learning experience, buy cheap effexor online that of seeing hordes of U.S. Buy cheap effexor online correspondents covering a relatively tiny state. Buy cheap effexor online I pointed out that I had not seen so many reporters in world capitals such as Beijing, buy cheap effexor online Moscow, buy cheap effexor online London, buy cheap effexor online Tokyo, buy cheap effexor online Paris. Buy cheap effexor online Why, buy cheap effexor online I asked, buy cheap effexor online did a small state with a 1980 population of only four million warrant more reporters than China, buy cheap effexor online with a billion people? I also linked this query with my findings that The New York Times , buy cheap effexor online The Wall Street Journal, buy cheap effexor online The Washington Post — and most of our nation’s print media — are owned and/or controlled by Jews supportive of Israel. Buy cheap effexor online It was for this reason, buy cheap effexor online I deduced, buy cheap effexor online that they sent so many reporters to cover Israe l— and to do so largely from the Israeli point of view. My learning experiences also included coming to realize how easily I could lose a Jewish friend if I criticized the Jewish state. Buy cheap effexor online I could with impunity criticize France, buy cheap effexor online England, buy cheap effexor online Russia, buy cheap effexor online even the United States. Buy cheap effexor online And any aspect of life in America. Buy cheap effexor online But not the Jewish state. I lost more Jewish friends than one after the publication of Journey to Jerusalem — all sad losses for me and one, buy cheap effexor online perhaps, buy cheap effexor online saddest of all. In the 1960s and 1970s, buy cheap effexor online before going to the Middle East, buy cheap effexor online I had written about the plight of blacks in a book entitled Soul Sister, buy cheap effexor online and the plight of American Indians in a book entitled Bessie Yellowhair, buy cheap effexor online and the problems endured by undocumented workers crossing from Mexico in The Illegals. These books had come to the attention of the “mother” of The New York Times, buy cheap effexor online Mrs. Buy cheap effexor online Arthur Hays Sulzberger. Her father had started the newspaper, buy cheap effexor online then her husband ran it, buy cheap effexor online and in the years that I knew her, buy cheap effexor online her son was the publisher. Buy cheap effexor online She invited me to her fashionable apartment on Fifth Avenue for lunches and dinner parties. Buy cheap effexor online And, buy cheap effexor online on many occasions, buy cheap effexor online I was a weekend guest at her Greenwich, buy cheap effexor online Conn. Buy cheap effexor online home. She was liberal-minded and praised my efforts to speak for the underdog, buy cheap effexor online even going so far in one letter to say, buy cheap effexor online “You are the most remarkable woman I ever knew.” I had little concept that from being buoyed so high I could be dropped so suddenly when I discovered — from her point of view — the “wrong” underdog. As it happened, buy cheap effexor online I was a weekend guest in her spacious Connecticut home when she read bound galleys of Journey to Jerusalem. Buy cheap effexor online As I was leaving, buy cheap effexor online she handed the galleys back with a saddened look: “My dear, buy cheap effexor online have you forgotten the Holocaust?” She felt that what happened in Nazi Germany to Jews several decades earlier should silence any criticism of the Jewish state. Buy cheap effexor online She could focus on a holocaust of Jews while negating a modern day holocaust of Palestinians. I realized, buy cheap effexor online quite painfully, buy cheap effexor online that our friendship was ending. Buy cheap effexor online Iphigene Sulzberger had not only invited me to her home to meet her famous friends but, buy cheap effexor online also at her suggestion, buy cheap effexor online The Times had requested articles. Buy cheap effexor online I wrote op-ed articles on various subjects including American blacks, buy cheap effexor online American Indians as well as undocumented workers. Buy cheap effexor online Since Mrs. Buy cheap effexor online Sulzberger and other Jewish officials at the Times highly praised my efforts to help these groups of oppressed peoples, buy cheap effexor online the dichotomy became apparent: most “liberal” U.S. Buy cheap effexor online Jews stand on the side of all poor and oppressed peoples save one — the Palestinians. How handily these liberal Jewish opinion-molders tend to diminish the Palestinians, buy cheap effexor online to make them invisible, buy cheap effexor online or to categorize them all as “terrorists.” Interestingly, buy cheap effexor online Iphigene Sulzberger had talked to me a great deal about her father, buy cheap effexor online Adolph S. Buy cheap effexor online Ochs. Buy cheap effexor online She told me that he was not one of the early Zionists. Buy cheap effexor online He had not favored the creation of a Jewish state. Yet, buy cheap effexor online increasingly, buy cheap effexor online American Jews have fallen victim to Zionism, buy cheap effexor online a nationalistic movement that passes for many as a religion. Buy cheap effexor online While the ethical instructions of all great religions — including the teachings of Moses, buy cheap effexor online Muhammad and Christ — stress that all human beings are equal, buy cheap effexor online militant Zionists take the position that the killing of a non-Jew does not count. Over five decades now, buy cheap effexor online Zionists have killed Palestinians with impunity. Buy cheap effexor online And in the 1996 shelling of a U.N. Buy cheap effexor online base in Qana, buy cheap effexor online Lebanon, buy cheap effexor online the Israelis killed more than 100 civilians sheltered there. Buy cheap effexor online As an Israeli journalist, buy cheap effexor online Arieh Shavit, buy cheap effexor online explains of the massacre, buy cheap effexor online “We believe with absolute certitude that right now, buy cheap effexor online with the White House in our hands, buy cheap effexor online the Senate in our hands and The New York Times in our hands, buy cheap effexor online the lives of others do not count the same way as our own.” Israelis today, buy cheap effexor online explains the anti-Zionist Jew Israel Shahak, buy cheap effexor online “are not basing their religion on the ethics of justice. Buy cheap effexor online They do not accept the Old Testament as it is written. Buy cheap effexor online Rather, buy cheap effexor online religious Jews turn to the Talmud. Buy cheap effexor online For them, buy cheap effexor online the Talmudic Jewish laws become ‘the Bible.’ And the Talmud teaches that a Jew can kill a non-Jew with impunity.” In the teachings of Christ, buy cheap effexor online there was a break from such Talmudic teachings. Buy cheap effexor online He sought to heal the wounded, buy cheap effexor online to comfort the downtrodden. The danger, buy cheap effexor online of course, buy cheap effexor online for U.S. Buy cheap effexor online Christians is that having made an icon of Israel, buy cheap effexor online we fall into a trap of condoning whatever Israel does — even wanton murder—as orchestrated by God. Yet, buy cheap effexor online I am not alone in suggesting that the churches in the United States represent the last major organized support for Palestinian rights. Buy cheap effexor online This imperative is due in part to our historic links to the Land of Christ and in part to the moral issues involved with having our tax dollars fund Israeli-government-approved violations of human rights. While Israel and its dedicated U.S. Buy cheap effexor online Jewish supporters know they have the president and most of Congress in their hands, buy cheap effexor online they worry about grassroots America — the well-meaning Christians who care for justice. Buy cheap effexor online Thus far, buy cheap effexor online most Christians were unaware of what it was they didn’t know about Israel. Buy cheap effexor online They were indoctrinated by U.S. Buy cheap effexor online supporters of Israel in their own country and when they traveled to the Land of Christ most all did so under Israeli sponsorship. Buy cheap effexor online That being the case, buy cheap effexor online it was unlikely a Christian ever met a Palestinian or learned what caused the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is gradually changing, buy cheap effexor online however. Buy cheap effexor online And this change disturbs the Israelis. Buy cheap effexor online As an example, buy cheap effexor online delegates attending a Christian Sabeel conference in Bethlehem earlier this year said they were harassed by Israeli security at the Tel Aviv airport. “They asked us, buy cheap effexor online” said one delegate, buy cheap effexor online “‘Why did you use a Palestinian travel agency? Why didn’t you use an Israeli agency?’” The interrogation was so extensive and hostile that Sabeel leaders called a special session to brief the delegates on how to handle the harassment. Buy cheap effexor online Obviously, buy cheap effexor online said one delegate, buy cheap effexor online “The Israelis have a policy to discourage us from visiting the Holy Land except under their sponsorship. Buy cheap effexor online They don’t want Christians to start learning all they have never known about Israel.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Washington, buy cheap effexor online DC-based writer Grace Halsell is the author of 14 books, buy cheap effexor online including Journey to Jerusalem and Prophecy and Politics.