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Minggu, 18 Mei 2014 | 0 komentar

Climate Change
(A Fundamental Analysis of the Greenhouse Effect)

Over recent years there has been considerable debate concerning the possibility of industrially induced increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere giving rise to increased warming across the world. 

This Global Warming, often referred to in later times as “Climate Change”, has been accepted as a challenge by laymen, respected scientists, media moguls and politicians in a significant attempt to pursue the source of the problem and to prevent further damage being done to an increasingly fragile environment.  However, a large number of equally respected scientists and members of the public, appear to be less convinced of the need to take action and have put forward in some cases well and passionately argued reasons that the warming and other climatic changes observed since the industrial age are simply manifestations of many different natural cycles in global and regional climate.

Let there be no mistake, climate change is real, very real and of course has been for many millions of years.   The questions we now face is whether the large increases in recent years, in the concentration of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, which is commensurate with the rate of increase in our burning of fossil fuels, is the main cause of the observed variations in climate and what will be the effect in the future.  Fortunately, in relation to this problem, there is an apparently unprecedented level of cooperation between the nations of the world, all of whom are keen to find the answers to these questions and to contribute significant resources, if necessary, towards reducing the impact of the predicted cataclysmic outcomes if we continue along the current path of developing energy sources based on these fuels.  A timely attempt has also been made by the United Nations to establish an effective working committee employing a large team of dedicated scientists to collate the evidence, from earlier literature, related to climatic effects of the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere and to establish accurate analytical models of the atmosphere based on this science, from which long range predictions might be made of the outcomes from increased levels of this otherwise benign and in fact life-giving gas.  While there appears to be a wide consensus in accepting the basic science used to create all of the very large number of these computer based models being used to quantify the problem, it is also reported that the outcomes from the models vary quite significantly and that the results given by them relating to various climatic parameters often show large differences between models, as indicated in Chapter 8 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report 2007.  The one exception to this uncertainty in the results appears to be that of changes in global temperatures for which the models consistently provide a well recognized increase in temperature of 1 to 4 oC over the next 50 to 100 years.  Further modeling appears to indicate that such increases in the average global temperature will not allow for a sustainable future for mankind on this planet as we know it, and that very dramatic and perhaps costly changes will need to be made to our energy production programmes in order to quell the flow of ever increasing calamitous events such as unprecedented melting of ice at the poles and the rising of sea levels in the tropics.  A worrying corollary to the apparent lack of consistency in the values obtained for many of the atmospheric parameters, is that this perhaps points to greater uncertainty in the temperature results than has yet been recognized and that the consistency with which they predict a positive change in temperature, while clearly showing that there will be a continuing increase, may in fact indicate a much larger increase than predicted. A matter of concern to many scientists seeking to understand this important issue, is the fact that the average global temperature appears not to have increased in the last ten years or may even have slightly decreased while CO2 levels have continued to rise.  Is this the lull before the storm?

Flowing quite naturally from these overwhelmingly pessimistic results obtained from very carefully designed computer based climate models, the world population is becoming increasingly anxious about facing an uncertain future and as a result, governments, quite rightly, are keen to provide the appropriate protection, by setting up committees of expert economists, scientists and engineers to advise, with a growing sense of urgency, on the necessary courses of action to quell the increasing anxieties of their constituents and to reduce as much as possible the burning of fossil fuels which are the main source of increased carbon emissions.
Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes.
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) absorb heat (infrared radiation) emitted from Earth’s surface. Increases in the atmospheric concentrations of these gases cause Earth to warm by trapping more of this heat. Human activities - especially the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution - have increased atmospheric CO2concentrations by about 40%, with more than half the increase occurring since 1970. Since 1900, the global average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F). This has been accompanied by warming of the ocean, a rise in sea level, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and many other associated climate effects. Much of this warming has occurred in the last four decades. Detailed analyses have shown that the warming during this period is mainly a result of the increased concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Continued emissions of these gases will cause further climate change, including substantial increases in global average surface temperature and important changes in regional climate. The magnitude and timing of these changes will depend on many factors, and slowdowns and accelerations in warming lasting a decade or more will continue to occur. However, long-term climate change over many decades will depend mainly on the total amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activities.
Project background
'Past climate -- future climate' Professor Eric Wolff
The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, with their similar missions to promote the use of science to benefit society and to inform critical policy debates, offer this new publication as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative answers about the current state of climate change science. The publication makes clear what is well established, where consensus is growing, and where there is still uncertainty. It is written and reviewed by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists. It echoes and builds upon the long history of climate-related work from both national science academies, as well as the newest climate change assessment from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Green House Effect

As is very well known, the basis of the concerns over climate change is what has become known as “the green house effect”, even though it is almost as well known that the effect contains many elements which are not common to the gardener’s green house.  In the latter object, the main process which results in the warming of the interior is the removal of convection currents which are among the most significant means of cooling of the earth.  A secondary feature of the glass covering, is that its windows are approximately 90% transparent to the most intense parts of the solar spectrum, thus allowing the heat from the sun to enter almost unimpeded and to warm the surface of the leaves and the ground inside.  
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Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great, born in 356 BCE in Pella, Macedonia, was the son of Philip of Macedon and Princess Olympias of Epirus. As a young boy he was always fearless, strong, and eager to learn. He went on to inherit each of his parents best qualities. His father was an excellent general and organizer, while his mother was extremely intelligent. At the age of thirteen he became a pupil of Aristotle. It was Aristotle who inspired Alexander's great love for literature. Through his mentor Alexander learned the Greek ways of living and the ideals of Greek civilization. However, it was not all work and no play for the young Alexander. He spent a great deal of time participating in sports and daily exercise to develop a strong body.
At a fairly young age Alexander was given many responsibilities. His father made him his ambassador to Athens when he was eighteen. Two years later he became the King of Macedonia. During this time the Greek states had become restless under Macedonian rule. While Alexander was away fighting, the people of Thebes seized the opportunity and revolted. When Alexander returned he attacked the city and destroyed almost everything in sight. This dissipated any further attempts at rebellion and Alexander quickly united the Greek cities and formed the League of Nations, of which he became president.
Soon after this victory, Alexander set out to conquer Persia. On the banks of the Granicus River Alexander quickly defeated the Persian troops who had been waiting for him. This victory made the rest of Asia Minor vulnerable. In 333 BCE Alexander marched into Syria. Even though Darius III, King of Persia, had raised a large army he was unable to withstand Alexander's powerful infantry and phalanx. The entire region soon submitted to Alexander. Following this he went to Egypt, where he was welcomed as a deliverer because the Egyptians hated their cruel Persian rulers. It was here that Alexander founded the famous city that bears his name. Alexandria, situated on a strip of land between Lake Mareotis and the Mediterranean Sea, became a world center of commerce and learning.
Alexander was soon drawn into battle with the Persians again. In the decisive Battle of Gaugamela, Alexander routed Darius and forced his entire army east. After this the city of Babylon surrendered, which allowed Alexander to easily capture Susa and Persepolis. Darius was soon killed by one of his generals which made Alexander King of Asia. He did not rest for long, as he had set his sights on India. In 326 BCE Alexander defeated Porus, the prince of India.     
Alexander was now at the height of his power. His empire stretched from the Ionian Sea to northern India. However, Alexander had even greater plans. He wanted to combine Asia and Europe into one country, and named Babylon the new capital. In order to attain this goal he encouraged intermarriages, did away with corrupt officials, and spread Greek ideas, customs, and laws into Asia. The great and many plans that he had abruptly came to an end. While in Babylon Alexander became seriously ill with malaria and on June 13, 323 BCE he died. During his time he conquered most of the civilized world and has been remembered as one of the greatest generals in history.
Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the nature of the ancient world in little more than a decade.
Alexander was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 BC. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle. Philip was assassinated in 336 BC and Alexander inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom. He quickly dealt with his enemies at home and reasserted Macedonian power within Greece. He then set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire.
Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without suffering a single defeat. His greatest victory was at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC. The young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, overlord of Asia Minor and pharaoh of Egypt became 'great king' of Persia at the age of 25.
Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered around two million square miles. The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far to the east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, while the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.
Alexander was acknowledged as a military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and those of his soldiers. The fact that his army only refused to follow him once in 13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired. He died of a fever in Babylon in June 323 BC.
Critical Thinking Questions
  • Do you think that there is any possibility that Alexander’s death was a complot?
  • Do you believe that Alexander ambition lead him to do mostly good or bad things for the humanity?
  • Do you believe that the death of King Phillip of Macedonia was planned by Alexander or Olympias or both?
  • Do you think that Aristotle influenced Alexander later ideas, goals and conquests? If yes how?
  • Why do you think Alexander was kind of obsessed with Greek culture?

Soon, Alexander began taking Persian territory. At Issus, he faced the 600,000 men of Persia's King Darius III. Alexander's great daring as a battlefield genius won the day. Darius fled, stranding his mother, wife, and daughters. Alexander treated the women kindly. By doing this, he showed respect for Darius as a fellow warrior, and may have symbolically laid claim to Darius's throne.
Alexander then pushed south and east. In the places that welcomed him, he proclaimed himself liberator, not conqueror. But cities that resisted were shown no mercy. Defeating the Phoenician (fuh-NIHSH-un) city of Tyre after a seven-month siege, Alexander sold the women and children into slavery. In Egypt, he was crowned Pharaoh. There, he founded Alexandria--the first of many cities to which he gave his name.
In 331 B.C., Alexander defeated Darius at the battle of Gaugamela. The following year, he captured Persepolis, Darius's capital. When Darius was later found murdered by one of his own generals, Alexander proclaimed himself "Lord of Asia."  Still, Alexander kept pushing east, taking on all armies in his path. Inspired by his bravery, his soldiers worshipped him. Yet, as the years passed and deaths mounted, many of them began to grumble. How long would this campaign go on?  The Macedonian soldiers were also offended when Alexander adopted Persian ways, wearing "barbarian" clothes. He even married an Asian princess, Roxanna of Bactria (see map, p. 14).

Alexander began to imagine that people were plotting against him. More often, he gave into a cruel streak. He found an excuse to kill one of his best generals, with whom he was feuding.
In time, he declared himself a god. In the summer of 327 B.C., Alexander invaded India. A year later, after a costly victory at Hydaspes (hye-DAS-peez), his soldiers refused to go any farther. Alexander took to his tent to pout. Legends say that he wept because there were no more worlds for him to conquer. After three days, the great leader finally agreed to turn back.
 Alexander eventually returned to Babylon, which he had seized in 331 B.C. But after many battles and wounds, his body was worn out. In 323 B.C., he was overcome by a fever and died. He was 32. Alexander's generals had asked him to whom he would leave his empire. "To the strongest," he had said. But there was no one that strong. By 300 B.C., Alexander's vast empire had split into several independent states. Still, his accomplishments were enormous. Mythical tales have made Alexander a romantic hero. He was also one of the greatest military commanders the world has ever seen.
Alexander came from Macedonia, a region north of Greece on the Balkan Peninsula. In ancient times, Macedonia struggled with the city-states of Greece for influence. The most important of these cities was Athens, which resented the power that Macedonia achieved under Alexander's father, Philip II.

Pushing east into Asia, Alexander took on the Persian Empire, then more than two centuries old. By the time Alexander died in 323 B.C., he had conquered a stretch of Asia through present-day Pakistan and into India. (This month, an earthquake centered in the mountainous Kashmir area of Pakistan killed more than 30,000 people. See page 4.) Study the historical map above, then answer the following questions.
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Selalu ada minat dalam jenius dan keajaiban . Kata ' jenius ' , dari gens Latin ( = keluarga ) dan istilah ' jenius ' , yang berarti ' begetter ' , berasal dari kultus Romawi awal dari keilahian sebagai kepala keluarga . Dalam bentuknya yang paling awal , jenius prihatin dengan kemampuan kepala keluarga , tuan rumah , untuk mengabadikan dirinya . Secara bertahap , jenius datang untuk mewakili karakteristik seseorang dan dari situ atribut tertinggi individu yang berasal dari ' jenius ' nya atau membimbing roh. Saat ini , orang masih melihat ke bintang atau gen , astrologi atau genetika , dengan harapan menemukan sumber kemampuan luar biasa atau karakteristik pribadi .
Konsep jenius dan hadiah telah menjadi bagian dari budaya rakyat kita , dan sikap yang ambivalen terhadap mereka . Kami iri berbakat dan mempercayai mereka . Dalam mitologi bakat , yang populer percaya bahwa jika orang-orang berbakat di satu daerah , mereka harus rusak di tempat lain, bahwa intelektual tidak praktis , bahwa keajaiban membakar terlalu terang dan terlalu cepat terbakar , bahwa orang-orang berbakat yang eksentrik , bahwa mereka yang lemah fisik , bahwa ada garis tipis antara jenius dan kegilaan , jenius yang berjalan dalam keluarga , bahwa berbakat begitu pintar mereka tidak membutuhkan bantuan khusus , bakat yang sama dengan memiliki tinggi 10 , bahwa beberapa ras yang lebih cerdas atau musik atau matematika daripada yang lain , jenius yang tidak diakui dan tidak dihargai , kesulitan yang membuat orang bijak atau bahwa orang dengan hadiah memiliki tanggung jawab untuk menggunakannya . Bahasa telah diperkaya dengan istilah-istilah seperti ' berbudaya' , ' terpelajar ' , ' blue- stocking ' , ' orang yg sok tahu ' , ' tahu - semua ' , ' sarjana ' dan , bagi banyak orang, ' intelektual ' adalah istilah dari fitnah .
Abad kesembilan belas melihat minat yang besar dalam sifat jenius , dan menghasilkan tidak sedikit studi keajaiban terkenal . Mungkin bagi kita sekarang , dua aspek yang paling penting dari sebagian besar penelitian ini jenius adalah frekuensi yang dorongan awal dan pengajaran oleh orang tua dan tutor memiliki efek menguntungkan pada perkembangan intelektual , artistik atau musikal anak-anak , tetapi menimbulkan kesulitan besar penyesuaian kemudian dalam kehidupan mereka , dan frekuensi yang kemampuan pergi belum diakui oleh guru dan sekolah . Namun, kesulitan dengan bukti yang dihasilkan oleh studi ini , menarik karena mereka bersama-sama dalam mengumpulkan anekdot dan persamaan jelas dan pengecualian , adalah bahwa mereka tidak apa kita akan hari ini panggilan norma -referenced . Dengan kata lain, ketika, misalnya , informasi dikumpulkan tentang penyakit awal , metode asuhan , sekolah , dll , kita harus juga memperhitungkan informasi dari sumber-sumber sejarah lain tentang bagaimana umum atau luar biasa ini adalah pada saat itu . Misalnya, kematian bayi tinggi dan harapan hidup lebih pendek dari hari ini , rumah les umum di keluarga bangsawan dan kaya , intimidasi dan hukuman fisik yang umum di sekolah-sekolah independen terbaik dan , untuk sebagian besar , kasus yang diteliti adalah anggota kelas istimewa . Itu hanya dengan pertumbuhan pediatri dan psikologi pada abad kedua puluh bahwa studi dapat dilakukan pada tujuan yang lebih , jika masih tidak selalu sangat ilmiah , dasar .
Jenius , namun mereka didefinisikan , hanyalah puncak yang menonjol melalui kabut sejarah dan terlihat oleh pengamat tertentu dari sudut pandang tertentu nya . Mengubah pengamat dan titik pandang , membersihkan beberapa kabut , dan banyak yang berbeda dari puncak muncul. Genius adalah istilah yang kami terapkan pada orang-orang yang kita kenal untuk prestasi luar biasa mereka dan yang berdiri di dekat ujung kontinum kemampuan manusia yang mencapai kembali melalui duniawi dan biasa-biasa saja dengan tidak mampu . Masih banyak kebenaran dalam pengamatan Dr Samuel Johnson , The genius benar adalah pikiran kekuasaan umum besar , sengaja bertekad untuk beberapa arah tertentu ' . Kita mungkin tidak setuju dengan 'umum' , karena kita ragu apakah semua musisi jenius bisa menjadi ilmuwan jenius atau sebaliknya , tetapi tidak ada yang meragukan tekad yang disengaja dipelihara atau dipicu hadiah mereka ke saluran-saluran di mana mereka telah menuangkan mereka kekuasaan dengan sukses . Sepanjang kontinum kemampuan ratusan ribu pria dan wanita berbakat , anak laki-laki dan anak perempuan .

Apa yang kita menghargai , menikmati atau mengagumi dalam karya-karya jenius atau prestasi keajaiban adalah manifestasi keterampilan atau kemampuan yang mirip dengan , tapi begitu jauh lebih unggul , kita sendiri . Tapi itu pikiran mereka tidak berbeda dari kita sendiri ditunjukkan oleh fakta bahwa penemuan susah payah ilmuwan seperti Kepler atau Einstein menjadi pengetahuan umum anak sekolah dan bentuk sekali keterlaluan dan warna dari seorang seniman seperti Paul Klee begitu cepat muncul pada kain yang kita kenakan . Ini tidak mengurangi supremasi prestasi mereka , yang melampaui kita sendiri sebagai milers sub - empat menit joging melebihi kami .
Untuk memikirkan jenius dan berbakat sebagai memiliki otak unik yang berbeda hanya masuk akal jika kita menerima bahwa setiap otak manusia unik yang berbeda . Tujuan pengantar adalah untuk membuat kita lebih berbeda satu sama lain , dan dalam proses dididik kita bisa belajar dari prestasi mereka ibu berbakat dari diri kita sendiri . Tapi sebelum kita mencoba untuk meniru jenius atau mendorong anak-anak kita untuk melakukannya kita harus mencatat bahwa beberapa hal yang kita pelajari dari mereka mungkin terbukti enak . Kita mungkin iri prestasi dan ketenaran , tetapi kita juga harus mengakui harga mereka mungkin telah dibayar dalam hal ketekunan , single- pikiran , dedikasi , pembatasan pada kehidupan pribadi mereka , tuntutan atas energi dan waktu mereka , dan seberapa sering mereka harus menampilkan keberanian besar untuk menjaga integritas mereka atau untuk membuat jalan mereka ke atas .

Genius dan bakat adalah istilah-istilah deskriptif relatif tidak ada substansi nyata . Kita mungkin , di terbaik , memberi mereka beberapa presisi dengan mendefinisikan mereka dan menempatkan mereka dalam konteks tetapi , apapun yang kita lakukan , kita tidak boleh menipu diri sendiri menjadi percaya bahwa anak-anak berbakat atau genius berbeda dari umat manusia , simpan dalam derajat yang mereka telah mengembangkan kinerja kemampuan mereka .
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On 4 April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee, where he planned to lead a protest march. The powerful voice of Dr. King was silenced, but almost fifty years later, his ideas are still a source of inspiration for people who seek peace and justice. Israel claims to have a special relation with the legacy of Dr. King.
Every year it marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a United States holiday, with a special session in parliament. And the Consulate General of Israel in New York together with the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish National Fund, pays a yearly tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King by honoring an individual who embodies his spirit and ideals. Dr. King’s legacy of his speeches and writings contain clear messages for everyone who wants to work towards justice and peace. How serious is the Israeli government about the legacy of Dr. King?

King placed the struggle against injustice in a broad context
Martin Luther King inspired hundreds of thousands of people in the United States into actions against racism, to end poverty, and for peace. Early December 1955, he led the first great non-violent protests of Afro-Americans in a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. The boycott lasted 382 days and ended after the US Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public buses was unconstitutional. In spring 1963, King and the student movement organised mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama. The white police officials responded violently and King was arrested for organizing sit-in demonstrations. In his ‘Letter from the Birmingham jail’, he puts the struggle against injustice in Birmingham in the broader context of the United States. He writes: “Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In his speech ‘Let my people go’, which he held in New York on Human Rights Day in 1965, he repeats the message.

“The struggle for freedom forms one long front crossing oceans and mountains. The brotherhood of man is not confined within a narrow, limited circle of select people. It is felt everywhere in the world, it is an international sentiment of surpassing strength and because this is true when men of good will finally unite they will be invincible.”
Martin Luther King was conscious of the bond between the struggle of the black people in the United States and the wave of colonial revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 1958, at the age 29, he said:
The determination of Negro Americans to win freedom from all forms of oppression springs from the same deep longing that motivates oppressed peoples all over the world. The rumblings of discontent in Asia and Africa are expressions of a quest for freedom and human dignity by people who have long been the victims of colonialism and imperialism.
In 1967 his last last major work, Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community, was published. He once again wrote about the link with South Africa.
Racism is no mere American phenomenon. Its vicious grasp knows no geographical boundaries. In fact, racism and its perennial ally - economic exploitation - provide the key to understanding most of the international complications of this generation.
The classic example of organised and institutionalised racism is the Union of South Africa. Its national policy and practice are the incarnation of the doctrine of white supremacy in the midst of a population which is overwhelmingly Black. But the tragedy of South Africa is virtually made possible by the economic policies of the United States and Great Britain, two countries which profess to be the moral bastions of our Western world.
Call to isolate apartheid South Africa
Martin Luther King actively supported the struggle of the South African people against apartheid. In 1963 the UN Special Committee against Apartheid was established and one of the first letters the committee received was from Martin Luther King, according to Nigerian ambassador Leslie O. Harriman5. Together with the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960, the ANC leader Chief Albert J. Lutuli, Martin Luther King made an ‘Appeal for Action against Apartheid’ on Human Rights Day, 10 December 19626. They said:
“Nothing which we have suffered at the hands of the government has turned us from our chosen path of disciplined resistance, said Chief Albert J. Lutuli at Oslo. So there exists another alternative - and the only solution which represents sanity - transition to a society based upon equality for all without regard to colour. Any solution founded on justice is unattainable until the Government of South Africa is forced by pressures, both internal and external, to come to terms with the demands of the non-white majority. The apartheid republic is a reality today only because the peoples and governments of the world have been unwilling to place her in quarantine.”
In his speech held in London in 1964, Martin Luther King repeated his call for economic sanctions against South Africa. [7]
“We can join in the one form of non-violent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa - the action which African leaders have appealed for - in a massive movement for economic sanctions […] If the United Kingdom and the United States decided tomorrow morning not to buy South African goods, not to buy South African gold, to put an embargo on oil; if our investors and capitalists would withdraw their support for that racial tyranny, then apartheid would be brought to an end. Then the majority of South Africans of all races could at last build the shared society they desire.”
Israel and apartheid South Africa analogy
The analogy between apartheid South Africa and Israel has been argued by an impressive group of people, among them Desmond Tutu, South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Former ANC military commander Ronnie Kasrils, who is the present South African Minister for Intelligence Services8. John Dugard, South African professor of international law, serving as the Special Rapporteur for the United Nations on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories described the situation in the West Bank as “an apartheid regime … worse than the one that existed in South Africa.
South African writer Breyten Breytenbach wrote after a visit to the occupied Palestinian territories that ‘they can reasonably be described as resembling Bantustans, reminiscent of the ghettoes and controlled camps of misery one knew in South Africa.’ Farid Esack, Professor at Harvard Divinity School [10], told me some years ago that in his view “living under apartheid in South Africa was a picknick compared to the situation in occupied Palestinian territories.” It is not necessary to spend much time on the debate whether apartheid South Africa and Israel can be compared. The bottom line is that Israel systematically violates international law and the rights of the Palestinian people. The way Palestinians are treated by Israel can therefore be characterized as injustice. And as Martin Luther King said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Non-violent action against Israel
Martin Luther King linked the struggle for freedom and equality of the Afro-Americans to the struggles for the same goals of other people around the world. He called for non-violent action against injustice at home and abroad. Martin Luther King and Chief Albert Lutuli called for public action against apartheid South Africa. The call offers a practical tool for non-violent actions against Israel. Where King and Lutuli said South Africa, we can write Israel. The call then reads as: urge your Government to support economic sanctions; write to your mission to the United Nations urging adoption of a resolution calling for international isolation of Israel; don’t buy Israeli products; don’t trade or invest in Israel * translate public opinion into public action by explaining facts to all peoples, to groups to which you belong, and to countries of which you are citizens until an effective international quarantine of apartheid is established.
Is Israel willing to listen?
Israel claims to feel a special relation with the legacy of Martin Luther King. However, is Israel willing to embrace the legacy in all its aspects? Martin Luther King worked with the civil rights movement towards political and social equality for people of all races. In his public speech ‘I Have a Dream’11 he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites would live together harmoniously as equals. This vision seems to express the hope of Israel that peace with the Palestinian people is possible. In his Letter from Birmingham jail Martin Luther King writes:
“Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this ‘hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to a solid rock of human dignity.”
Israel, it is not sufficient to dream of peace. To achieve peace requires hard work. The injustice done to the Palestinian people should end immediately. And if you are not prepared to do so? Martin Luther King made it very clear that we - peace loving people - should act against injustice. We should establish ‘an effective quarantine’ of Israel, just like we did with apartheid South Africa.

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One of the earliest and most complete ancient legal codes was proclaimed by the Babylonian king Hammurabi, who reigned from 1792 to 1750 B.C. Hammurabi expanded the city-state of Babylon along the Euphrates River to unite all of southern Mesopotamia. His code, a collection of 282 laws and standards, stipulated rules for commercial interactions and set fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice. Hammurabi’s Code was proclaimed at the end of his reign and carved onto a massive, finger-shaped black stone stela (pillar) that was looted by later invaders and rediscovered in 1901 by a French archaeological team in present-day Iran.
Hammurabi was the sixth king in the Babylonian dynasty, which ruled in central Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) from c.1894 to 1595 B.C. His family was descended from the Amorites, a semi-nomadic tribe in western Syria, and his name reflects a mix of cultures: Hammu, which means “family” in Amorite, combined with rapi, meaning “great” in Akkadian, the everyday language of Babylon. In the 30th year of his reign Hammurabi began to expand his kingdom up and down the Euphrates, overthrowing Larsa, Eshunna, Assyria and Mari until all of Mesopotamia under his sway.Did You Know?
Hammurabi’s Code includes many harsh punishments, sometimes demanding the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, breasts, eye or ear. But the code is also one of the earliest examples of the idea of the accused being considered innocent until proven guilty.
Hammurabi combined his military and political advances with irrigation projects and the construction of fortifications and temples celebrating Babylon’s patron deity Marduk. The Babylon of Hammurabi’s era is now below the water table, and whatever archives he kept are long dissolved, but clay tablets discovered at other ancient sites reveal glimpses of the king’s personality and statecraft. One letter records his complaint of being forced to provide dinner attire for ambassadors from Mari just because he’d done the same for some other delegates: “Do you imagine you can control my palace in the matter of formal wear?”
The black stone stela containing Hammurabi’s Code was carved from a single, four-ton slab of diorite, a durable but incredibly difficult stone for carving. At its top is a two-and-a-half-foot relief carving of a standing Hammurabi receiving the law—symbolized by a measuring rod and tape—from the seated Shamash, the Babylonian god of justice. The rest of the seven-foot-five-inch monument is covered with columns of chiseled cuneiform script. The text, compiled at the end of Hammurabi’s reign, is less a proclamation of legal principles than a collection of precedents set between prose celebrations of Hammurabi’s just and pious rule. The 282 edicts are all written in if-then form. For example, if a man steals an ox, he must pay back 30 times its value. The edicts range from family law to professional contracts and administrative law, often outlining different standards of justice for the three classes of Babylonian society—the propertied class, freedmen, and slaves. A doctor’s fee for curing a severe wound would be 10 silver shekels for a gentleman, 5 shekels for a freedman and two shekels for a slave. Penalties for malpractice followed the same scheme: a doctor who killed a rich patient would have his hands cut off, while only financial restitution was required if the victim was a slave. Hammurabi’s Code provides some of the earliest examples of the doctrine of “An eye for an eye.”
In 1901 Jacques de Morgan, a French mining engineer, led an archaeological expedition to Persia to excavate the Elamite capital of Susa, more than 250 miles from the center of Hammurabi’s kingdom. There they uncovered the stela—broken into three pieces—that had been brought to Susa as spoils of war, likely by the Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte in the mid-12th century B.C. The stela was packed up and shipped to the Louvre in Paris, and within a year it had been translated and widely publicized as the earliest example of a written legal code—one that predated but bore striking parallels to the laws outlined in the Hebrew Old Testament. The 1935 U.S. Supreme Court building features Hammurabi on the marble bas relief of historic lawgivers that lines the south wall of the courtroom.
Although other subsequently-discovered Mesopotamian laws, including the Sumerian “Lipit-Ishtar” and “Ur-Nammu,” predate Hammurabi’s by hundreds of years, Hammurabi’s reputation remains as a pioneering lawgiver who worked—in the words of his monument—”to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak and to see that justice is done to widows and orphans.”
Hammurabi (Akkadian from Amorite ʻAmmurāpi, "the kinsman is a healer", from ʻAmmu, "paternal kinsman", and Rāpi, "healer"; died c. 1750 BCE middle chronology) was the sixth king of Babylon of the First Babylonian Dynasty from 1792 BCE to 1750 BCE middle chronology (1728 BCE – 1686 BCE short chronology). He became the first king of the Babylonian Empirefollowing the abdication of his father, Sin-Muballit, extending Babylon's control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars against neighboring kingdoms. Although his empire controlled all of Mesopotamia at the time of his death, his successors were unable to maintain his empire.
He is known for the set of laws called Hammurabi's Code, one of the first written codes of law in recorded history. These laws were inscribed on stone tablets (stelae) standing over eight feet tall (2.4 meters), of unknown provenance, found in Persia in 1901 CE. Owing to his reputation in modern times as an ancient law-giver, Hammurabi's portrait is in many government buildings throughout the world.
Hammurabi was a First Dynasty king of the city-state of Babylon, and inherited the power from his father, Sin-Muballit, in c. 1792 BCE. Babylon was one of the many ancient city-states that dotted the Mesopotamian plain and waged war on each other for control of fertile agricultural land. Though many cultures co-existed in Mesopotamia, Babylonian culture gained a degree of prominence among the literate classes throughout the Middle East. The kings who came before Hammurabi had begun to consolidate rule of central Mesopotamia under Babylonian hegemony and, by the time of his reign, had conquered the city-states of Borsippa, Kish, and Sippar. Thus Hammurabi ascended to the throne as the king of a minor kingdom in the midst of a complex geopolitical situation. The powerful kingdom of Eshnunna controlled the upper Tigris River while Larsa controlled the river delta. To the east lay the kingdom of Elam. To the north, Shamshi-Adad I was undertaking expansionistic wars, although his untimely death would fragment his newly conquered Semitic empire.
The first few decades of Hammurabi's reign were quite peaceful. Hammurabi used his power to undertake a series of public works, including heightening the city walls for defensive purposes, and expanding thetemples. In c. 1701 BCE, the powerful kingdom of Elam, which straddled important trade routes across the Zagros Mountains, invaded the Mesopotamian plain. With allies among the plain states, Elam attacked and destroyed the empire of Eshnunna, destroying a number of cities and imposing its rule on portions of the plain for the first time. In order to consolidate its position, Elam tried to start a war between Hammurabi's Babylonian kingdom and the kingdom of Larsa.  Hammurabi and the king of Larsa made an alliance when they discovered this duplicity and were able to crush the Elamites, although Larsa did not contribute greatly to the military effort. Angered by Larsa's failure to come to his aid, Hammurabi turned on that southern power, thus gaining control of the entirety of the lower Mesopotamian plain by c. 1763 BCE.
As Hammurabi was assisted during the war in the south by his allies from the north, the absence of soldiers in the north led to unrest. Continuing his expansion, Hammurabi turned his attention northward, quelling the unrest and soon after crushing Eshnunna. Next the Babylonian armies conquered the remaining northern states, including Babylon's former ally Mari, although it is possible that the 'conquest' of Mari was a surrender without any actual conflict. In just a few years, Hammurabi had succeeded in uniting all of Mesopotamia under his rule. Of the major city-states in the region, only Aleppo and Qatna to the west inSyria maintained their independence. However, one stele of Hammurabi has been found as far north as Diyarbekir, where he claims the title "King of the Amorites". Vast numbers of contract tablets, dated to the reigns of Hammurabi and his successors, have been discovered, as well as 55 of his own letters. These letters give a glimpse into the daily trials of ruling an empire, from dealing with floods and mandating changes to a flawed calendar, to taking care of Babylon's massive herds of livestock. Hammurabi died and passed the reins of the empire on to his son Samsu-iluna in c. 1750 BCE.
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