THOU SHALL NOT STAND IDLY BY is my account of finding an entry point to take on an intractable humanitarian crisis through humanitarian diplomacy. It is a largely untold story of unprecedented and improbable partnerships between Syrians and Israelis, sworn enemies, who rose above mutual suspicion and hatred in order to alleviate terrible suffering. We had to navigate politics while keeping a tight focus on the critical task of delivering life-saving aid. That human story is told against the background of geopolitical obstacles that threatened our work at every turn. While I’ve built what we did and what we learned into policy recommendations, THOU SHALL NOT STAND IDLY BY is also a guide for anyone of good will who wants to find a way to help, but doesn’t know how to get started. It has been said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in Syria, making this book particularly timely.
Bennett joins Condoleezza Rice, Dr. Najat Arafat Khelil, and Susan Rice as women who helped shape the course of modern American foreign policy and human rights.
“Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By is the story of one of the most important and improbable humanitarian initiatives of our time. In turn inspiring, heartbreaking, and exhilarating, this book is above all a testament to how a few determined people can change one tortured corner of the world. Anyone concerned with the future of the Middle East—with the future of humanity—should read this powerful book.”
--Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Author, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor
Georgette Bennett is not one to stand idly by, and when confronted with the Syrian refugee crisis of historic proportions, she dove in to find a way to help. She never took no for an answer, pulled out all the stops to corral governments, armies, organizations, and civil society to stop their real wars and their turf wars to cooperate, at least in ‘the crevices,’ to help people most in need on a huge scale, and in doing so building new relations across long-time enemies. This is humanitarian diplomacy at its best, engineered by a civilian Jewish woman of conviction in a region where any or all of those can get you in huge trouble. Not only is the blow by blow riveting, but here is a story to inspire all of us to use what we have at our disposal to help each other as humans, and to get past the rigidities which have left way too many as collateral damage.”
—Anthony Marx, President and CEO, New York Public Library
Georgette Bennett has turned her life story into a force for humanity. When she sees suffering, she takes personal and moral responsibility to do something about it. The Syria war is a stain on humanity and this book shows what it means to stand by Syrians suffering at the hands of their own government. The world needs more people like Georgette Bennett.”
—David Miliband, President, International Rescue Committee and former UK Foreign Secretary
"Georgette Bennett is truly one of our better angels, caretaking all of us by caretaking those most in need: Syrian refugees. A child of the Holocaust, she is also the woman who established the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian refugees. Refugees everywhere need everyone’s help all over the world and Georgette Bennett is on the front lines of it all. We owe her a debt of gratitude.”
—Mandy Patinkin, Actor, Activist on behalf of refugees
This remarkable book is a testament to three things: first, the inhumanity that persists in the world, seen in the brutal treatment by the Syrian regime of millions of its own people. Second, the painstaking, behind-the-scenes and largely thankless work that goes into trying to help those suffering on a massive scale. And third, the difference that one person can make. It's the story of Georgette Bennett, private citizen with a steely determination to come to their rescue, who found the unlikeliest of benefactors, and to this day, simply refuses to give up.”
—Judy Woodruff, Anchor and Managing Editor, The PBS NewsHour
Blessed are the peacemakers and blessed is Georgette Bennett. In this fascinating and well written book she describes her dogged efforts to help those devastated by conflict and search for ways to bring people of differing faiths together. The stories she tells are an important reminder that we could all do more to try to make the world a better place.”
—Fareed Zakaria, Host, CNN GPS
A brave and timely proposal to name, investigate, and ultimately stop a new crime–the mass murder of millions of people for their faith.
Religion-related violence is the fastest spreading type of violence worldwide. Attacks on religious minorities follow a clear pattern and are preceded with early warning signs. Until now, such violence had no name, let alone a set of policies designed to identify and prevent it. A unique attempt to create a new moral and legal category alongside other forms of persecution and mass murder, Religicide explores the roots of atrocities such as the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Bosnian war, and other human rights catastrophes. The authors tap into their decades of activism, interreligious engagement, and people-to-people diplomacy to delve into a gripping examination of contemporary religicides: the Yazidis in Iraq, the Rohingya in Myanmar, Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists in China, and the centuries-long efforts to wipe out Indigenous Americans. Yet, even in the face of these horrific atrocities, the authors resist despair. They amplify the voices of survivors and offer a blueprint for action, calling on government, business, civil society, and religious leaders to join in a global campaign to protect religious minorities.
"[This] highly regarded book analyzes the ripple effect of intersecting new social forces in changing the nature of crime and society's changing responses to crime. It has attracted as much praise as it has caused commotion:'
"A Megatrends of crime: fascinating speculations on America's next half-century of law-breaking and enforcement from a top criminologist. A ground-breaking book, solidly researched but easy to digest:'
"Crime remains one of people's most pressing concerns and government'sgreatest challenge. This book explores every aspect of crime today and dares to predict what it will be tomorrow. And it is not justabout crime, but about our whole society and where we are headed.It may not always prove right, but it certainly is insightful and intelligent-full of fluent, fact-packed, provocative prognostications--
of value to anyone interested in understanding crime and trying to stop it."
- Governor Mario M. Cuomo
Through the prism of crime in America, Georgette Bennett takes a myth-shattering look at our culture with implications and predictions for the future of crime, personal values, civil liberties, sex roles, etc. I found CRIMEWARPS powerful and provocative, an unusual view of our society and the direction it is taking."
“Dr Georgette Bennett’s book is must reading for criminologists and laypersons alike concerned about our criminal justice system. The author, a respected expert in this area, provides new and invaluable insights about justice and crime. A unique aspect of the book is a perceptive analysis by the author of the deleterious influence of the radical right in opposing efforts to deal reasonably and effectively with crime and its consequences to society.”
—The Honorable Arthur J. Goldberg, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
“Only a sociologist could provide such an encompassing, penetrating, well-written analysis of crime as Dr. Bennett did.”
—Dr. Amitai Etzioni, author of An Inmodest Agenda: Rebuilding America Before the 21st Century and director of the Center of Policy Research
“Georgette Bennett is highly qualified to write CRIMEWARPS. Dr. Bennett makes you think, and when you have a thinker writing a book like this, there is always some controversy. I found this book to be both controversial and stimulating.”
—The Reverend Dr. Bill Graham
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