Rotary Club of Jerusalem, 1931: "WE LEAVE OUR DIFFERENCES AT THE DOOR"
In 1931, US Jewett Fulton, Rotary Club Keokuk, Iowa, grew concerned about rising nationalism and the danger of its leading to war. He sent peace letters to all 504 Rotary clubs outside the US.
The Rotary Club of Jerusalem, the only English-language Club in Israel, responded back to Keokuk, on the day before Christmas 1931. The Rotarian spirit is very well expressed here:
“We have all sorts in our Club, about ten nationalities, at least five different languages represented, and we all find in Rotary a common meeting ground in spite of differences of Race, Religion, and Tongue. We have strong Zionists and equally strong Anti-Zionistic Arabs in the Club. Britishers, Americans, and Germans etc. And they all meet amicably as Rotarians, although acutely disagreeing on most other points.” The club’s president continues: “So, you will see that we are, ourselves, a sort of living Pipe of Peace, always being smoked.”
( The original letter, p. 28, in our new online Conference Magazine, p’review – Peace. Inclusion. Equity. www.keokukpeaceletters.com/preview )
June 2nd, 2019, Book Party in Flensburg, Germany: Two-minute video with Dr. Dan Shanit & Dieter Ziulkowski.
Today we sense once again that the fundamental values of our communal life are under threat, in the form of nationalism, populism, homophobia. The commitment to peace and mutual understanding among peoples remains a constant challenge—and a perpetual task for all of us.