• Jay Becker

The Peaceable Kingdom, 1834 & Jerusalem, 1931/2020

A hundred years before the Peace Pipe initiative was started in Keokuk, Iowa, 1931, Edward Hicks painted a picture called The Peaceable Kingdom. A place of peace, an image of hope. In the background of the painting, the Quaker William Penn is concluding a peace treaty with the Indians. They will certainly also have smoked a peace pipe.

The Peace-Pipe letter sent by the Rotary Club of Jerusalem to Keokuk in 1931 contains the following sentences: 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-Zionist Arabs in the Club. Britishers, Americans, and Germans etc. And they all meet amicably as Rotarians, although acutely disagreeing on most other points. One of my warmest friends is a German Surgeon, who as a combatant officer, faced the trenches at La Bassee in which I was serving. So you will see that we are ourselves a sort of living Pipe of Peace always being smoked. They may be enemies, but the Rotary Club of Jerusalem is a place of peace for them.


A hundred years before the Peace Pipe initiative was started in Keokuk, Edward Hicks painted a picture called The Peaceable Kingdom, which refers to a prophecy made by Isaiah: Wolf and lamb will graze together, the lion will eat straw like a cow, and the serpent will eat earth. They will neither hurt nor destroy on all of my holy mountain, thus speaks the Lord. A place of peace, an image of hope. In the background of the painting, the Quaker William Penn is concluding a peace treaty with the Indians. They will certainly also have smoked a peace pipe. Dr. Dan Shanit of the Rotary Club of Jerusalem asked the editors of the book whether it wasn’t time for a new Peace Pipe initiative. Knowing Tony Conn, RC-Keokuk, IA, and Yogi Reppmann, RC-Northfield, MN & Flensburg, as I do, I believe they will fly to Jerusalem. (Page 85 in: “Jens Peter Becker, Silvae, Best of Becker’s Blog, 2010-2019, Kiel, 2019. Printing on Demand: www.LuLu.com)

PS:

A Peace-Pipe for East Jerusalem

Background:

In 1931, Jewett Fulton, RC Keokuk, IA, attended the first Rotary International Convention outside North America, at Vienna, Austria. There, he and other delegates grew concerned about rising nationalism which leads to war. Returning home, he sent letters to all 496 Rotary clubs outside the US in sixty-five countries, inviting them to symbolically smoke a peace pipe in the tradition of his city’s namesake, Chief Keokuk. Letters received back from those clubs have been remarkably preserved and are published in a 332- page book, The Peace-Pipe-

Letters, 1931/2&2019. Members of those clubs were invited to a Peace Pipe reception at Flensburg, part of the Hamburg RI Convention, 2019.

Eighty-eight years later, Fulton’s bridge-building spirit is being revived. Dr. Dan Shanit, RC Jerusalem, has asked Tony Conn and Yogi Reppmann to build a bridge to the Arab/Palestinian Rotary Club in East Jerusalem. Conn and Reppmann have accepted the invitation and will hand deliver an original peace pipe to the East Jerusalem Rotarian Club.

www.PEACE-PIPE-PROPOSAL.com (1931/2 & 2019)


From left: Yogi Reppmann, Flensburg & Northfield, MN;

Ive & Tony Conn, Keokuk, IA. After their talk to the

American/Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society, Bettendorf, IA.

“In 1931 the Rotarians in the city of Keokuk, Iowa must have sensed that dark clouds were brewing in the world, and especially in Europe. They thought about the namesake of their city, Chief Keokuk, and his peace pipe. Their invitation to other Rotary Clubs to join them in smoking the peace pipe was more than a symbolic gesture.“

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