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May 17, 2001
The Word is "Courage"

By Professor Charles L. Black, Jr.

 
 

"Against huge odds...they decline to submit, and instead go out on the streets and pick up stones. They are beaten without let or mercy. They are imprisoned under obscene conditions, after kangaroo trials, or no trials at all. They are regularly shot at; enough of them are killed to make death as ever-present and as realistic a possibility as it was in our Korean and Vietnam Wars. Many are maimed; many are disfigured for life. Yet they come out in the streets again and again, these young people, some not much more than children, and they pick up stones.

"What name shall we give to the trait of character that produces conduct like this?

"Why do you hesitate? You know what the word is. Do you hesitate because that word just never happens to be spoken in America in application to these young Palestinian people? Or is it because you fear that a revolution in your thought and feeling will have to follow your pronouncing the word?

"Well, you're very likely right about that last. That makes you nervous? So let me help you. I'll start things off by saying the word for you the first time.

"The word is 'courage'."

Professor Charles L. Black, Jr.
Sterling Professor of Law Emeritus, Yale University
Full pamphlet at: www.JCOME.Org

These are the final paragraphs to the 22-page pamphlet Professor Black wrote in 1989 in tribute to the Palestinian people struggling for their freedom and independence against the Israeli occupation. Things were bleak then; they are much worse today.

In tribute and memorium to Professor Black, who passed away on Monday, the full pamphlet titled "LET US RETHINK OUR 'SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP' WITH ISRAEL" -- out of print for many years -- has this week been made available on the Internet for the first time at www.MiddleEast.Org/charlesblack.htm and www.jcome.org.

Indeed, the word "courage" is also so applicable to Professor Black himself, now departed.

IN MEMORIUM
Professor Charles L Black, Jr.

Professor Charles L. Black Jr. has died. His lengthy and unique obituary appeared Tuesday in the New York Times.

Among the leading Constitutional Law Scholars Professor Black spent nearly forty years teaching at the Yale University Law School, marrying there a Jewish woman who was his student and who later became dean of the Columbia University Law School. Professor Black was one of the white attorneys who worked with the Black Community on the historic Brown v. Board of Education case in the 1950s, the case that caused the Supreme Court to rule that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional and which changed forever race relations in the United States.

When Professor Black retired from the Yale Law School a special issue of the prestigious Yale Law Review was devoted to him, to his writings and teaching. Among so many others he taught Bill and Hillary Clinton Constitutional Law.

Professor Black wrote only once about the Middle East, the terrible plight of the Palestinians, and the complicity of the United States in this situation because of the "Special Relationship" with Israel.

It was the only time in his career that no magazine or journal in the United States would publish his writings.

As a consequence, a Jewish organization at the time decided it had the responsibility to publish his unique and courageous pamphlet which was then titlted: "LET US RETHINK OUR 'SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP' WITH ISRAEL".

Fourty Thousand copies of the pamphlet were printed and distributed in 1989 at the time of the first Palestinian Intifada. But the publication has been out of print and unavailable since that time.

To deeply honor and to profoundly thank Professor Black this unique pamphlet from a unique and courageous man has now been published for all to read on the Internet for the first time. Its relevance and importance may be even greater today than when it was first published 12 years ago.

MiD-EasT RealitieS www.MiddleEast.Org
Phone: 202 362-5266
Fax: 815 366-0800
Email: MER@MiddleEast.Org