Sunday, August 27, 2006

Israel and US: Why Should Arab Opinion Be Any Different?

Dr. Khaled Batarfi,

Sunday, 20, August, 2006

In conflicts, interested people usually take extremely different stands. Writing about such issues usually invites angry responses. To my last article, “The Death of Moderates in Muslim World,” I received lots of steamy messages that I typically put on my e-mail list. Good examples are the comments from two American readers presenting different views about Israel, Zionism and the US stand.

The first, from a dear fellow journalist, said: “I reject your bitter abuse and overuse of the term ‘Zionists’ and the rather distorted twist of facts to support your presumptive and fragile view of the events of the past and of the present.

“As for Jews being in collusion with many fundamentalist Evangelists, guess you are reading something that is secret; as a Jew I know nothing about it. I consider those radicals to be in the same category as other radicals; now you share their company in terms of my list of suspects promoting intolerance and hatred. Let’s get something straight: Zionism was about a homeland for peaceful existence and protection and not about colonialism.

“Israel had no choice but to defend its population; Hezbollah had a choice of returning the two abducted soldiers, fighting in the open and not hiding behind women and children. The many deaths and the destruction will never sit right with me and though I understand the fangs of war, one wonders why we are intense about killing each other. You have given us the answer; lies breed anger and anger breeds hatred.

“My regret is that you are ignoring the whole story and your broad brush is food for those who thrive on bigotry and division.

“This reminds me of the KKK but as they have twisted Christianity, so perhaps are you twisting moderate Islam. -Ed”

Scott read Ed comments and responded: “An old movie, ‘The Hornet’s Nest’, opens with Italian civilians facing Nazis in an impromptu firing squad, repeatedly asking, ‘Where are the partisans? No answer? Murder them all —women, elderly and kids included.

“Here again, Israelis seemed to ask: Where are Hezbollah fighters? No answer? Bomb Lebanon’s airport, harbors, schools, homes, and nurseries!

“This unacceptable use of terror on civilians in Lebanon, the unbelievably excessive use of force and the brutal destruction of a struggling, and fledgling democracy have changed me forever. While I still respect Jews, I no longer respect Israel. I will forever look forward to the end of this failed social experiment.

“Israel has been in violation of UN Resolution 242 for over 35 years now. They refuse to sign the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and appear to have a fleet of nuclear weapons —the WMDs we cannot allow any nation to have in the Middle East. They habitually use US jets and helicopters (which ties regular Americans to these attacks) to assassinate alleged resistance or terror leaders.

“I saw Pat Robertson last week telling his millions of viewers to pray for Israel. I’m not sure if Zionists or Jews are in collusion with fundamentalist Evangelists, but these nuts sure are pulling for the nation of Israel. Regardless of the motive, we do not represent ‘honest-brokers’ any longer.

“In World War II, arguably, the Jewish people suffered the greatest in that dark chapter of human existence. Yet, what they learned appears only to be the methods of brutality. The assault of Lebanon confirms this.

“I now stand with the billions in the world who do not accept this cancer in the midst of Muslims. It was a difficult task to create a Jewish nation, and expect so many to relocate. Rather than exhibit the glorious patience that has characterized Jewish history, we have seen only excessive brutality and a complete lack of compassion for others.

“Israel was created by a UN vote in 1947. It is time to rescind that vote. It is time to end the failed experiment of the nation of Israel. The Palestinians have not been ‘right,’ but the Israelis sure have been wrong.”

Salam and shalom...Scott”

I am frequently asked: Do Arabs endorse the existence of Israel? We had to “accept” but I, for one, would never “endorse” its existence. This is a “certified” terrorist organization by even UN mandate authority. Britain still regards as wanted terrorists the prime ministers of Israel, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. Their terrorist organization was made into state, displacing native Palestinians, stealing their homes, farms and lands and denying them the right to return. However, thanks to the superpowers of the world, Israel became a reality. We accepted all UN resolutions, such as 242, and collectively sponsored King Abdullah’s initiative of 2002, assuring Israel normal relations if it returns to pre-1967 borders. Israel refused even the road map sponsored by the US, its protector and benefactor.

Overwhelmingly, the world public opinion, from Britain and Germany to Korea and Japan, regards the US and Israel as the greatest threat to world peace and stability. Why would the Arabs be any different?

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