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Urgent need for peace education: Teaching hate in Gaza

08/27/2006

One example can sometimes teach us a great deal about the Middle East conflcit and answer many questions.

This example answers a few questions for me, and for all the various commenters who WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS because they think that will make them right, and it is very very sad.

Here is a report about a summer camp in Gaza - one of many. It is not the first summer that such camps have been reported. The program of the camp in the words of a director:


We teach the children the truth. How the Jews persecuted the prophets and tortured them. We stress that the Jews killed and slaughtered Arabs and Palestinians every chance they got. Most important, the children understand that the conflict with the Jews is not over land, but rather over religion. As long as Jews remain here, between the [Jordan] river and the sea, they will be our enemy and we will continue to pursue and kill them. When they leave we won't hurt them."


The most optimistic advocate of compassion and dialogue cannot mistake the message. The most enthusiastic proponent of peace cannot dismiss the evidence, which piles up each year, about the massive education for hate undertaken by extremists in Gaza and the West Bank, for there are camps like this every year, and during the school year there are Shebab youth movements. There are sermons about the Jewish sons of dogs and pigs, and textbooks that show all of "Palestine" belonging to Palestinians and worse. Ending the occupation will not stop this sort of hate. Anyone who really cares about peace in the Middle East, and that excludes the Al-Qaeda groupies whose comments are evident in some of these pages, has to take this into account.

This sort of indoctrination explains why Israel could never accept, and must never accept a "Hudna" (truce) with the Hamas, no matter how "peaceful" a Hamas run state might appear. Such a state would be preparing generations of Palestinians to destroy Israel.

This sort of systematic mass indoctrination can only be countered by an equally massive program of peace education. Otherwise, the vision of a Palestinian Arab state living in peace alongside a Jewish state of Israel is hopeless.

Unfortunately, the ingredients to make this happen are just not there:

  • Massive funding of schools like Hope Flowers and summer camps for peace

  • Mass programs of dialogue between Jewish and Arab youth.

  • Political intervention to neutralize terror threats against these programs.

  • Massive health social and educational programs that compete with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad charities

  • A non-corrupt Palestinian authority to administer those programs.


Like the Hezbollah in Lebanon, extremist groups in the Palestinian territories entrench their hold on the population by providing a network of services. If the Israeli government is going to have a foreign policy that isn't based on despair, such programs must be part of the policy. If the US and EU want to get involved in peace making, education for peace and adequate social services have to be part of the policy.

If we are serious about peace in the Middle East, education and welfare programs have to be on the agenda, in a big way.

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000502.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 12:33 PM CST [Link]

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Replies: 27 comments

Ami,

Please explain this situation to me, an American of neither Jewish nor Arab descent -- I am just trying to get opinions from both sides. I just read some articles and saw footage of the West Bank. Israel has several settlements there and controls the roads via military checkpoints. At times, Israel also demolishes houses belonging to Palestinian families to build or expand these settlments leaving many Palestinians homeless and destitute. The Palestinians are squeezed into smaller and smaller territories with less access to water supplies and other resources. Basically, life for most Palestinians, at the hands of Israel, is very bleak. Now, I haven't been there to see this in person, but a close friend of mine has -- he describes the area as an Aparteid situation (he is black from Grenada, not Arab or Jewish, in case you were wondering). Also, I have read about the U.N. declaring this situation to be "genocide" of the Palestinian people (only Israel and the U.S. disagreed).

Now, how many of these Palestinians hate Israel due to what Israel has done and is doing and how many due to blind prejudice? After WWII, had 800,000 Palestinians not been forced off their land, would they hate Jews? (Probably not all of them and not to the same degree) Do you think Israel is blameless? So, you won't give the Palestinians GOOD land and a state because you are afraid they will build up economically and militarily and attack you? Would you ever be willing to give them a chance -- give them land and a state but vow to take it away if they attack?

Posted by Ed Rowe @ 08/28/2006 12:27 PM CST

Ed Rowe,
I think that you are confusing political statements with facts. Despite the many pronouncements coming from the UN over the years, Israel is not structured according to apartheid laws nor are it's actions even vaguely similar to genocide. Were Israel to conform to such descriptions then Israeli non-Jews would not have the vote, and we could reasonably expect that from 1967 until now that the IDF would carry out the same type of actions that were seen in Rwanda and the Balkans.
At the time of Oslo three quarters of Israelis wanted a peaceful two-state solution, and the Palestinian leadership could have pursued that. There are considerable economic and social benefits for Israel in a stable two-state solution, and the peace bonus would be considerable.
However the emergence of open, democratic, and stable government in Palestine would pose considerable problems for the dominant Palestinian factions. In the first instance the leadership would be able to steal from the public purse. In the second instance the fighters would loose all status and income.
As can be seen in post-revolutionary China, once the struggle was over normality sought to re-assert itself to the disadvantage of the revolutionaries. Mao Tse-Tung responded by initiating the Cultural Revolution to maintain his factions grip on society. Ultimately it wrecked society.
The same can largely be seen in Palestine. once the beginning of nationhood and peace began it directly threatened the ruling elites and so they responded by re-commencing the struggle, despite its futulity.
Despite the grandoise descriptions of the 1948 war, it was a civil war between two groups of people that would not live together. The outcome was a disaster for the Palestinian people as it lost them their lands, and placed them in a position where they were denied the opportunity to explore the potential for peace with the newly formed Israel. While it would be absurd to deny that the Israelis carried out some terrible acts against the Palestinians, it would be dishonest to assign all or even the majority of culpability upon them.
Even were the Palestinians able to drive the Israelis out of the West Bank and Jerusalem, without negotiations with Israel there is no law on this earth that requires the Israelis to open their borders to Palestinian goods and people. Thus in such circumstances Israel could simply close the borders and drive Palestine further into poverty and chaos.
The current Palestinian policy of hating the Israelis leads only to further impoverishment and the collapse of any semblance of a nation state.
It is also worth remembering that the Palestinian policy in 1948 of eradicating the Jewish population was effectively and thoroughly implemented in the areas they held after the cease-fire.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/29/2006 02:19 PM CST

We here, in the US have many similar camps, founded by Arian organizations, christian organizations, and various other looney cult groups. We do not use this for a pretext to war with or murder those groups. Your point is..."Look at the 'EVIL' Arabs, it's ok if we kill them, they are all bad guys." Your statements and the drive of your articles conveys a message of absolutes and generalizations. Anyone who speaks in absolutes is absolutely 100% full of BS. Thank you for finally outting yourself for the true biased commentator that you are! I now know where to go to get my daily fill of BS Israeli government propaganda. You sir, should be held liable for tarnishing the word truth with your BS racist, Anti-Arab..oh hell why don't we just say it, Anti-Gentile dribble.

Posted by OMFG @ 08/29/2006 07:06 PM CST

OMFG,
Can you tell us what proportion of the US population between the ages of 5 and 18 attend these Arian organisation camps, and the degree to which the current US administration supports this organisation. I ask this only to make the comparison between the activities that you cite and those in Palestine so that I can understand the real threat that the Arian organisation, and by association the USA, poses to the rest of us.
It occurs to me that I am unaware of the scope of the Arian organisations activities because they are so insignificant in relation to the entire US society, and thus their activities have negligible impact. But I may be wrong...

Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/29/2006 08:59 PM CST

I will attempt to get you the figures when I have more time to research Rod. You can lookup for yourself on "Warriors for Christ" and other similar phrases. Alot of these are analagous to Hitlers youth camps, who hide under the guise of christianity. Alot of them are southern and mid-west organizations. These two regions make up the majority of the Republican vote, Bush and Cheney's people. Yes, we all have our extremeists, but that does not give us the right to classify whole groups or nations as evil or devoid of hope.

Posted by OMFG @ 08/29/2006 09:29 PM CST

OK Rod,

Let's not use the words Apartheid or Genocide (not my words anyway). But, lets admit, with the number of settlements in the West Bank, that Israel is slowly taking over all the choice land in the region. In 1948, the Palestinians were given the choice to have 50% of the entire region comprising Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. They refused, wanting it all. They lost the war, and now they are on the verge of having nothing. What is the moral choice for Israel now? Does Israel continue to squeeze the Palestinians into smaller and smaller areas of useless land like the U.S. did to the Native Americans? Or, do they grant the Palestinians a decent portion with statehood regardless of whether the Palestinian factions and leaders will manage it correctly? It's really not any of Israel's business as long as they don't attack Israel.

Posted by Ed Rowe @ 08/29/2006 10:12 PM CST

Dear Ed,
I believe that Israel should end the occupation as quickly as possible for it's own benefit. Ideally that should occur within a negotiated settlement. I would like to see an economic, and ultimately political, confederation between Israel, Jordan and Palestine, thus bringing together the three parts of the original Palestinian Mandate.
In my view the Palestinians have exacerbated the issue of the settlers in defining them as such and demanding their removal. Had they been a little more imaginative, they could have defined them a foreign residents and invited them to eithers join in with the construction of the Palestinian State, and open up to them the possibility of acquiring Palestinian citizenship. Such an approach would have taken the sting out of the issue and opened up the possibility that these settlers could actively contribute to Palestinian society.
However by making the settlers an issue the Palestinians have created the circumstances where the settlers have secured a disproportionate amount of influence within Israeli politics, and ensured that the IDF remains in the territories.
As we have seen in Gaza, the Israelis are ultimately committed to removing the settlers if this will bring about peace. There was an opportunity at that moment for the Palestinians to seize control of the situation and start focussing on building a stable civil society. Sadly the military factions dominate Palestine and they stepped forward, claimed a victory where there was none, and used it as justification to continue the war.

While in essence I agree with you that it is none of Israel's business what type of society the Palestinians create. It does become Israel's business if the international community demand that Israel opens it's border to Palestinian trade and people, and threatens Israel with sanctions if it does not. To date this has not happened but were Israel to whole withdraw from the West Bank and close the border to any movements, then undoubtedly there would be demands that Israel allow Palestinian people and goods to transit Israel between Gaza and the West Bank, and allow Palestinian industry to have access to Israeli port facilities.

Finally, the so-called friends of Palestine undermined it from the outset by failing to demand that the nascent Palestine focus exclusively upon creating a modern, stable civil society where the rule of law is paramount, the judiciary is independent and the security forces wholly subservient to the state. It is my opinion, that despite the relatively high levels of entrepreneurial activity amongst expatriate Palestinians this has not been translated into significant inward investment simply because there is not an effective government. There is a deafening silence from the friends of Palestine over this. It is not the business of the fascist, apartheid, genocidal, colonial Zionazis to promote a stable Palestine. But if the friends of Palestine will not do it, who will?

Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/30/2006 10:36 AM CST

Two things here.

Ami, unlike some on the 'western' left I agree the election of Hamas was a disaster, but I would put a big share of the responsibility for that disaster on the failure of successive Israeli governments to arrive at a decent settlement with the secular nationalists of the PLO, despite a 20 year window of opportunity. (The discourse on the Israeli side is also turning worryingly from the political to the religious).

Secondly, the Ha'aretz article refers to Islamic Jihad and not to Hamas, although you try and elide the distinction. Hamas are the elected government of the PA, Islamic Jihad are a small group on the extremist fringe even of Palestinian politics. While there may well be Hamas 'summer schools' with an identical 'curriculum', this article does not say that, and you have not produced evidence.

Rod, I think it would be a great idea for the settlers to become individual citizens of a Palestinian state, but even leaving aside Palestinian objections to that, how many settlers are going to accept that status? As far as I can see, the settler project is to extend Israeli sovereignty from the Jordan to the sea, hence the flap when they were evicted from Gaza. These are people who equate the IDF with Nazis and bulldoze Palestinian olive groves. I can't see them agreeing to become model citizens of a Palestinian state any more than Islamic Jihad would agree to become model citizens of Israel.

Posted by Spike @ 08/30/2006 02:57 PM CST

I do very much agree with your counter-proposals, by the way, but there is no way they could work while the IDF continued to demolish Palestinian homes, assassinate Palestinian leaders, confiscate land and hassle people at checkpoints. Stopping the shooting war is an essential prerequisite to the program you propose, not an alternative.

So I would say negotiate on the Hudna, and make internationally supervised non-sectarian education a condition of agreeing to it.

(Insisting on the cessation of all terrorism no matter who by is also not a workable precondition, by the way. It didn't happen in Ireland (Omagh was the work of ex-IRA dissidents) but the peace is still holding.

Posted by Spike @ 08/30/2006 03:08 PM CST

Rod,
Did these West Bank "settlers" buy this land they are on? Or, did the Israeli government seize it for them? Do they now pay taxes to the PLO or to Israel? Do they have the right to be there if Palestine did not give them permission? Sometime in the future, it would be great if Palestine could have a state and sell land to those wanting to build and settle there, but now is not that time.

Yes, a Palestinian state should be able to move products from the West Bank to Gaza uninhibited -- therefore the lands should be joined. Whether they choose to trade with Israel is up to them. There are plenty of other countries they can do business with.

Posted by Ed Rowe @ 08/30/2006 10:14 PM CST

Ed,
The time is never right. There are always reasons not to be ambitious imaginative and brave.

The right or privelege for the Palestinians to transit Israel back and forth from the West Bank and Gaza is a complex one. The Palestinians of course should have the right to move goods and people between the two areas as they are the (or would be) sovereign territories of Palestine. The impass is that the UN recognises that the area within the green line is Israeli sovereign territory.

If the UN SC were to determine that the Palestinians have an inalienable right to transit Israel it would set a precedent that would have enormous implications in international law. This is because such a decision would determine that the principal that sovereignty enables nation states to preclude the entry and transit across their territory, including air space and coastal waters, to persons and goods that they deem undesirable. In effect it would set the precendence for the ending of national sovereignty as it is currently understood.

To understand the implications for this I sketch this scenario. The Palestinians decide to enter the highly lucrative business of handling and processing toxic waste. They site the specialist port close to the Israeli border in Gaza, and the reprocessing plant close to the border in the West Bank, ensuring that prevailinG winds are likely to carry any outfall into Israel. The waste is transfered along a corridor across what is currently Israel, but controlled by the Palestinians. As time passes there is a build up along the corridor of toxic waste spills due to careless handling and occassional crashes. The Palestinians do not put in place containment measures because they are not affected by this toxic build up. All along the corridor agriculture and residential settlement cease as the area becomes uninhabitable. Israel complains to the UN, but the UN insists that the PNA has a right to move whatever goods it likes along the corridor. Israel goes to the international court but the processes takes so long that by the time the hearing opens the area along the corridor is so poisoned that it is projected that human habitation cannot occur for at least 100 years. The Israeli health care system is faced with a massive long term burden of providing treatment to people affected, and it soon becomes apparent that the presence of certain minerals and metals means that a disproportinate number of children are born with signifiacnt defects. The PNA refuses to desist from operating this industry or indeed paying for the consequences.

This scenario may seem far fetched but one only has to look at some of the environmental disasters / abuses around the world to realise that no nation can allow it's territory to be used with it having control over that use.
All countries insist on this and in the USA individual states retain this right, as can be experienced entering California from Nevada.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/31/2006 10:56 AM CST

Spike
I think if the settlers were told that they had to accept they would become residents of Palestine it would focus their attention upon what they want. For many they would scuttle back to Israel, especially those that are dependent upon IDF protection and Israeli funds. Initially there is no need for these people to become Palestinian citizens, but if they don't acquire it then they can't vote in national elections. (Same as in any other country) If the PNA had said "Stay and be partners in building peace in the Holy Land" to the settlers it would have largely taken the wind out of their sails. By seeking to evict them inherently causes a problem.
In my opinion Hudna can not be the basis for a peace treaty because it is simply a temporary cessation of hostilities and delays actually dealing with the issues. Also why on earth should Israel commit to peace and normalisation of relations if the Palestinians are not willing to do the same. Hamas and Arafat before them played a game where they seek to avoid actually making peace. If they as the leaders of the Palestinian nation do not really want peaceful co-existance then they and the Palestinian people must live with the consequences. It's a tough world.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 08/31/2006 12:00 PM CST

there is light and hope even in these terrible days. the only real answer to the hate and violence in the camps and some schools in Gaza and other places influenced by extremists- is a counter educational activity , as I heard , it is implemented even nowadays in Gaza with Palestinian kids: online teaching by Language Connections Org. Even a small initiative - but in the area itself and with local group of kids - has an impact far beyond that group itself. It should be expanded and duplicated to reach greater impac in the mainstream education. That is the only effective answer. The irony is that even full implementation of such program costs less than 1% of the military budget, but governments tend to believe \ or make us believe that the use of force solves problems. In areas where more than 50% of the population are kids under the age of 15 - that approach by the gov. is a dangerous illusion.

Posted by rachel @ 09/01/2006 12:59 AM CST

To OMFG

I AM TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS (to displease jackoff Ami Isserfuckk)TO STATE THAT OMFG TYPES THE TRUTH SO SHARPLY THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR ME TO ANSWER TO ANY OF YOU THAT SUPPORT ISREAL. ONE MORE TIME PEOPLE LET US SAY ALL THIS TOGETHER, "ISREAL NEVER NEVER EXISTED BEFORE 1948, ONLY 60 YEARS AGO". THE LAND DOES NOT BELONG TO ISREAL IT BELONGS TO PALESTINE. I AM A US CITIZEN THAT HAS LIVED IN THE U.S. FOR 30 YEARS. THE UNITED STATES AND ISREAL ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS. 9-11 WAS THE CONSEQUENCE OF THE UNITED STATES MEDDLING WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. IF WE KEEP OUR NOSES OUT OF EVERYONES ASSSHOLE THEN MAYBE OSAMA WOULD NOT BE SO ANGRY TOWARDS US.
NOW FOR DUMBASS BUSH. TRYING TO DEFEAT TERRORISTS IS LIKE TRYING TO DEFEAT MURDERERS AND CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND AND ARREST A MURDERER BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY COMMIT THE CRIME, OR ELSE WE WOULD NOT HAVE ANY CRIMES IN THE UNITED STATES. A TERRORIST IS A MURDERER. NOT AN EXISTING NATION. BUSH WANTS THE ENTIRE U.S. TO BELIEVE THAT THE WAR ON TERROR IS LEGITEMATE SO THAT HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE PLEASES AROUND THE WORLD THAT IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS TO FUNDAMENTALISTS CHRISTIANS AND JEWS ALIKE. FUNDAMENTALISTS IN THE UNITED STATES, SUCH AS THE BIBLE THUMPERS AND THE JEWS, ARE JUST AS INTELLECTUALLY STUPID AS A FUNDAMENTALISTS MOSLIM. BOTH ARE DANGEROUS. IF YOU ARE A FUNDAMENTALISTS CHRISTIAN THAN START ACTING EXACTLY LIKE JESUS OR ELSE SHUT THE FUUCCCKK UP. IF YOU ARE A BIBLE THUMPER AND YOU ARE NOT ACTING, BEHAVING, AND IMITATING MOTHER TERESA AND JESUS, THAN YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN. SO QUIT BLAMING THE MOSLIMS AND TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU AROGANT FOOLS. AMI, I AM TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE I AM 100 PERCENT RIGHT.

Posted by John @ 09/01/2006 03:42 PM CST

Posted by Mike Jebara @ 08/24/2006 11:01 PM CST

To Mike Jebara,

I am a United States citizen. I have lived in the United States for 32 of my 33 years of life. YOU SIR ARE 100 PERCENT ACCURATE IN YOUR STATEMENTS. People like Ami and other right wing idiots in the United States are the real terrorists. Let me prove this to you Mike.
Most if not all Right Wing Republicans in the United States are Christian conservatives. So this is really simple, who is the main character in the Bible????? What is the main idea of the Bible???? Many of these Republicans quote everything in their Bible execpt the Gospels. So, now for the proof. The main character is Jesus. The main idea is Love. What is a christian???? It is to be "Christ-like", right??? Not only is Jesus the main character of the Bible, but he is God himself in flesh and blood. The same God that created these Republican conservatives, came down as a human. So what did Jesus do???? How did he respond to physical, and verbal torture???? He did NOTHING. HE LOVED THEM. HE SAID FORGIVE THEM THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
So here is your proof Mike Jebara on why the real terrorists are the Republican conservatives in the United States. If you are a Republican right wing conservative you are usually a Chrisitian. To be a true Christian, you have to BE LIKE JESUS, NOT JUST EXEPT THAT HE SAVED YOUR SINS. It is true that no one can be perfect, but that is the IDEAL MAN. To all the the people on there radio talk shows, such as, Rush Limbaugh, and others on there right wing media, you are either a CHRISTIAN, AND YOU DO NOT BEHAVE IN ANY MATTER THAT IS DISPLEASING TO JESUS OR YOU GO TO HELL BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT REALLY CHRISTIAN. YOU CLAIM THAT IRAN, SYRIA, AND HIZBOLLAH ARE TERRORISTS, BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IF EVERY SINGLE POLITICIAN IN THE UNITED STATES WHERE EXACT COPIES OF MOTHER TERESA, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT NO TERRORISTS WOULD EXIST.

Now for all the right winged idiots, especially Rush, who will say that we can't be weak, all those psycho left wingers, are going to kill us all. I only have to say this again. Was JESUS WEAK??? WHY WOULD GOD TEACH TRUE CHRISTIANS ON HOW TO BEHAVE AS A HUMAN IF IT IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. IS GOD WEAK????

MIKE THE REASON TERRORISTS EXIST WETHER IT IS IN THE MIDDLE EAST OR HERE IN THE UNITED STATES (EX. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY), IS BECAUSE OF SOME KIND OF REACTION. LIKE I SAID IF IRAN, SYRIA AND LEBANON WHERE HANDLED BY MOTHER TERESA AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THOSE COUNTRIES WOULD BE OUR ALLIES TODAY AND WE WOULDN'T HAVE ANY ENEMIES. THE UNITED STATES ACTIONS IS WHAT GAVE BIRTH TO TERRORISTS IN THE MIDDLEAST. THAT IS FACT, NOT AN OPINION.

WHY WAS THERE NEVER A MUSLIM JIHAD AGAINST TRUE SAINTS, LIKE ST. NICKALAUS, ST. PATRICK, MOTHER TERESA, AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER SAINTS IN THE PAST????

FOR ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE THINKING THAT OF COURSE THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT ATTACKED CHRISTIANS AND, THERE WERE THE CRUSADES WHERE MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS BATTELED, BUT ONCE AGAIN, CHRISTIANS THAT BATTLED ARE NOT REAL CHRISTIANS. JESUS SAID TURN THE CHEEK.

MOST SAINTS AND MOST TRUE CHRISTIANS IN HISTORY WHEN FACED WITH PERSECUTION WHERE LOVING TILL THERE DEATH. DO ALL THE REPUBLICANS FORGET THAT ST. PAUL AND MANY SAINTS IN THERE BIBLES DIED PREACHING LOVE AND DID NOT FIGHT BACK.

I CANNOT RECALL THAT ST. PAUL AND THE OTHER 10 DISIPLES AFTER LOVING JESUS, FELT LIKE TAKING A WEAPON FOR ARMS AND KILLING HUMANS IF THEY DID NOT AGREE WITH THE GOSPEL (MEANING GOOD NEWS).

SO I WILL REPEAT ONE MORE TIME FOR THE IDIOT RIGHT WING CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VIEW THAT IS JUST PURE LIES AND HYPOCRITICAL TOWARDS THE MIDDLE EAST. EITHER YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN AND YOUR ASS BETTER BE BEHAVING EXACTLY LIKE JESUS, OR YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN AND YOU ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO THE HELL THAT YOU PREACH ABOUT. SO WHAT WOULD JESUS DO WHEN 2 SOLDIERS WHERE KIDNAPPED??? LOVE THEM. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO IF IRAN THREATENS TO WIPE OF ISREAL OF THE MAP???? LOVE THEM. IT IS NOT WEAKNESS, IT IS STRENGTH TO LOVE AN ENEMY, THAT IS WHY IT IS SOO DIFICULT.

IF YOU ARE SCARED TO DIE FROM A TERRORIST OR A NUCLEAR WEAPON FIRED FROM IRAN, THEN AGAIN I QOUTE JESUS "DO NOT BE AFRAID". AGAIN FOR ALL THESE RIGHT WING CONSERVATIVES, IF YOU KNOW JESUS IS GOD, AND THAT HE DEFEATED DEATH THEN DO NOT BE AFRAID OF TERRORISTS.

FOR THE PEOPLE THAT NOW ARE SAYING BUT THEN HOW WILL WE DEFEND THE UNITED STATES??????
SAME LOGIC AND REASONING. ACCORDING TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, GOD IS IN CHARGE, RIGHT???? IF THE UNITED STATES IS STRICTLY ADHEREING TO THE GOSPEL AND IS TRYING TO BEHAVE EXACTLY LIKE JESUS, THEN I AM PRETTY DARN SURE THAT GOD WILL PROTECT THE COUNTRY. SO ONCE AGAIN, YOU ARE EITHER A CHRISTIAN AND YOU CAN SEE THE FACTS OF WHAT IS IN THE GOSPELS OR YOU ARE LYING HYPOCRITES THAT PISSED OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE.

MIKE, GOOD LUCK TO YOU. LIKE I SAID I AM A PROUD UNITED STATES CITIZEN, AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT NOT EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES REPRESENTS THE TERRORIST REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE TERRORIST STATE OF ISREAL.

Posted by JOHN @ 09/01/2006 03:56 PM CST

John - the question posed is too long for this blog, the answer is excessive. Nevertheless this statement made by a prominent jurist in 1788 illustrates why your comments are erroneous and the reality of the condition of non-Muslims. If you cared to read some factual accounts of the Arab Conquest you would soon learn that it was marked by massacre after massacre.

The Answer Of The Shaikh Hasan Al Kafrawi, The Shafiite [Professor of canon law in Cairo, d. 1788 CE]

Praise be to God, the guide of the right way!

The decision given by the Shaikh ar-Ramli [a great Cairo legal authority, d. 1596], by the Shaikh al-Islam [the Muslim religious authority in Constantinople], and by the learned scholars whose decrees can hardly be written down here, may be worded as follows: "It is forbidden to the tolerated peoples living on Muslim territory to clothe themselves in the same manner as the chiefs, the scholars, and the nobles. They should not be allowed to clothe themselves in costly fabrics which have been cut in the modes which are forbidden to them, in order that they may not offend the sensibilities of poor Muslims and in order that their faith in their religion should not be shaken by this. [Poor Muslims may regret their faith when they see how well-dressed the Christians and Jews are.]

"They should not be permitted to employ mounts like the Muslims. They must use neither saddles, nor iron-stirrups, in order to be distinguished from the true believers. They must under no circumstance ride horses because of the noble character of this animal. The Most-High has said [Qu'ran 8:62]: 'And through powerful squadrons [of horses] through which you will strike terror into your own and God's enemies.' [A verse of the Qu'ran makes a good support for a law. Verses may even be torn out of their context.]

"They should not be permitted to take Muslims into their service because God has glorified the people of Islam. He has given them His aid and has given them a guarantee by these words [Qu'ran 3:140]: 'Surely God will never give preeminence to unbelievers over the true believers.' Now this is just what is happening today, for their servants are Muslims taken from among men of a mature age or from those who are still young. This is one of the greatest scandals to which the guardians of authority must put an end. It is wrong to greet them even with a simple 'how-do-you-do'; to serve them, even for wages, at the baths or in what relates to their riding animals; and it is forbidden to accept anything from their hand, for that would be an act of debasement by the faithful. They are forbidden while going through the streets to ape the manners of the Muslims, and still less those of the cities of the religion. They shall only walk single-file, and in narrow lanes they must withdraw even more into the most cramped part of the road.

"One may read that which follows in Bukhari and Muslim [religious authorities of the ninth century]: 'Jews and Christians shall never begin a greeting; if you encounter one of them on the road, push him into the narrowest and tightest spot.' The absence of every mark of consideration toward them is obligatory for us; we ought never to give them the place of honor in an assembly when a Muslim is present. This is in order to humble them and to honor the true believers. They should under no circumstances acquire Muslim slaves, white or black. Therefore they should get rid of the slaves which they now have for the), have no right to own them. If one of their slaves who was formerly an infidel, becomes a Muslim, he shall be removed from them, and his master, willingly or unwillingly, shall be compelled to sell him and to accept the price for him.

"It is no longer permitted them to put themselves, with respect to their houses, on an equal footing with the dwellings of their Muslim neighbors, and still less to build their buildings higher. If they are of the same height, or higher, it is incumbent upon us to pull them down to a size a little less than the houses of the true believers. This conforms to the word of the Prophet: 'Islam rules, and nothing shall raise itself above it.' This is also in order to hinder them from knowing where our weak spots are and in order to make a distinction between their dwellings and ours.

"They are forbidden to build new churches, chapels, or monasteries in any Muslim land. We should destroy everything that is of new construction in every place, such as Cairo, for instance, founded under the Muslim religion, for it is said in a tradition of Umar: 'No church shall be built in Islam.' They shall no longer be permitted to repair the parts of these [post-Islamic] buildings which are in ruins. However, the old buildings [of pre-Islamic times] which are found in a land whose population had embraced Islam need not be destroyed. They shall not, however, be enlarged by means of repairs or otherwise. In case the tolerated peoples [Jews, Christians, etc.] act contrary to these provisions we will be obliged to destroy everything that has been added to the original size of the building. [Only pre-Islamic churches and synagogues may be repaired; new ones must be torn down.]

"Entrance into Muslim territory by infidels of foreign lands under the pact guaranteeing protection to the tolerated peoples is permitted only for the time necessary to settle their business affairs. If they exceed this period, their safe-conduct having expired, they will be put to death or be subject to the payment of the head-tax.[Jews and Christians of foreign lands must pay a special head-tax if they wish to remain permanently in Muslim lands.] As to those with whom the ruler may have signed treaties, and with whom he, for whatever motive, may have granted a temporary truce, they form only the smallest fraction. But they, too, must not pass the fixed limit of more than four months [without paying the tax], particularly if this occurs at a time when Islam is prosperous and flourishing. The Most-High has said [Qu'ran 2: 2341: 'They should wait four months,' and he has again said [47:37]: 'Do not show any cowardice, and do not at all invite the unbelievers to a peace when you have the upper-hand and may God be with you.'

"Their men and women are ordered to wear garments different from those of the Muslims in order to be distinguished from them. They are forbidden to exhibit anything which might scandalize us, as, for instance, their fermented liquors, and if they do not conceal these from us, we are obliged to pour them into the street."

This which precedes is only a part of that which has been written on this subject, and if we should wish to mention it all here it would take too long. But this brief recital will be sufficient for those men whose intelligence God has enlightened, to whom he has given the breath of life, and whose inner thoughts he has sanctified. Now let us beg the Sovereign Master of the world to extend His justice over humanity universally, in order that they may direct all their efforts toward raising with firmness the banner of the religion.

In a tradition of the sincere and faithful [Calif Abu Bekr, 632-634] it is likewise said: "The abolition of a sacrilegious innovation is preferable to the permanent operation of the law." In another tradition it is also said: "One hour of justice is worth more than sixty years of ritual." The verses of the Qu'ran and the traditions are very numerous on this subject, and they are known by all the faithful. God has cursed the former nations because they have not condemned scandalous things; and He has said [Qu'ran 5:82]: "They [the children of Israel] seek not at all to turn one another from the bad actions which they have committed. 0 how detestable were their actions. But He has punished these men because of their obstinate conduct." The Most-High has also said [Qu'ran 9: 1 131: "Those who bid what is right and forbid what is wrong, who observe the divine precepts, will be rewarded. Announce these glad tidings to the Muslims."

May the Most High God admit us to the number of this company and may He lead us in the paths of His favor. Certainly God is powerful in everything; He is full of mercy to His servants; He sees all.

Written by the humble Hasan al Kafrawi, the Shafiite. [1772 CE]

Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/01/2006 10:33 PM CST

To Rod,

I don't give a rats asss about what some arab muslim said or quoted. I am not muslim. Muslims suffer from the intellectual stupidity that most christians ans jews suffer from. So that long quote means absolutely nothing to me. The point I was making was directed towards the terrorists in Isreal and the United States. The Right winged idiots. Now if I wanted to takle the stupidity of muslims, I would at my own good time.
Rod the crap you mention about isreal wanting peace is BS. Isreal does not want peace. If you had a soldier in a tank and a soldier holding a knife, then the soldier holding the knife would want peace. I dont' need facts from history to prove common sense. It is not my fault that you do not have common sense and that you need to constantly use other people's brains to support yours. Since Isreal has the POWER to deliver peace than that is exactly what they can do. Palestine has no POWER TO DELIVER PEACE OR TO INHIBIT IT. If Isreal really wants peace than they would FIND A WAY. Isreal can provide security with their military arms and protect its borders. Isreal is doing just fine economically without peace, so that is not a valid argument that Ireal would prefer peace because it would improve their life. Not true. Isreal does not want peace because they are holding all the cards, and have nothing to lose. So they can either be NICE, AND MAKE PEACE, OR THEY CAN JUST ABUSE THEIR POWER LIKE MANY NATIONS IN THE PAST SUCH AS THE HITLER WITH GERMANY.

Posted by John @ 09/02/2006 05:35 PM CST

ROD, what you mentioned earlier about transfering toxic crap between both regions. That can happen everywhere between any two existing boundries of two nations. The United States and Canada can easily do harm to the other country across their border.
This is exactly the proof I was looking for Rod. Isreal is a macroscopic version of Rod. See they make exuses so that they do not have to give up land and make peace. It is all bulllshiit.
As you are well aware Rod that many countries have violated borders and caused harm to one another. It is up to the two nations to live peacefully side by side. If Isreal makes Palestine HAPPY with the two-nations state solution, then Palestine would respect Isreal's territory and not make it toxic.
See Rod, you just make exuses for Isreal.

Posted by JOHN @ 09/02/2006 05:45 PM CST

"This sort of indoctrination explains why Israel could never accept, and must never accept a "Hudna" (truce) with the Hamas, no matter how "peaceful" a Hamas run state might appear. Such a state would be preparing generations of Palestinians to destroy Israel."

Your evidence is somewhat flimsy. While I agree that peace must be taught in schools, you provide no direct link suggesting that Hamas would prepare the Palestinians for the ahnilation of Israel.

The ending of racism is not something that happens overnight. Blacks and whites are still racist to each other to this day. Yet people try to move forward with the ending iof segregation and affirmative action. Protestants and Catholics don't like each other but Northern Ireland is attempting to function as a normal society. To assume the same cannot happen with the Palestinians and Israelis isn't true. Racism takes to mend and requires societies willing to show alternative like a peace process.

Also looking from a Palestinian perspective, the Palestinians should continue to make peace with the Israelis despite the Israeli society's desire to be a Jewish state. This desire opposes the multicultural aspect of democracy. A democracy with a Jewish majority sets a predetermined rule that one ethnic group will almost always dominate the other ethnic groups. Sectarian democracy considers all men are created equal. The U.S. and South Africa are good examples of what happens when people are not treated equally. Both countries had protests and violence that brought less stability. Thus Israel like the Palestinians should embrace socail equality as a foundation for peace.

Posted by Butros Dahu @ 09/04/2006 09:21 AM CST

Yep, John, I agree with you:

1) So called Christians need to act like Jesus if they are to call themselves Christians. Would Jesus order missle strikes in civilian areas to kill a handful of terrorists along with tens and hundreds of women and children?

2) Hatred towards the U.S. in not an inherent trait of Arabs/Muslims but is,
in large part, due to U.S. policy. Likewise to Ami: hatred of Jews by Palestinians is not an inherent trait but is in reaction to occupation (sure, some prejudice was already present, but not the amount due to policy). No amount of "education" will fix this hatred as long as the grossly unfair deal between the two groups continues.

3) Rod, are you a defense lawyer? Like many Israelis, your tactic is to divert, confuse, and add complexity to the issue so that Israel can stall for time and hold on to land as long as possible, maybe forever. The simple fact is that Israel is on Palestinian land and is slowly gaining all of it. If there is a problem transporting toxic waste through Israeli territory, then redraw the territories so that Palestinian territory is further south and joined to the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians were originally supposed to have 50% of this area, Gaza plus West Bank does not equal 50%.

Rod, I notice how you invoke U.N. when it helps your case. But, when the U.N. states that Israel is committing "genocide" on the Palestinian people or that the Israeli wall is illegal, I am sure you are quick to call the U.N. worthless, corrupt, full of thieves, etc. Make up your mind!

SUPPORT THE TRUE CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT -- THOSE WHO FOLLOW CHRIST'S WORDS!

Posted by Ed Rowe @ 09/05/2006 03:45 AM CST

Ed,
Jesus invoked biblical prophesy as many before and after him have done. Yet it did not result in the removal of the Roman Imperial oppression. It is perhaps the lesson of the intervening two millenia that guides Zionism to conclude that hoping for divine intervention leads only to disappointment.
As for antipathy towards the USA, as soon as the US assumed it's dominant world position following the demise of the British Empire it was awarded the appellation of Great Satan. What drives the current anger is more likely a combination of self-hatred, impotence and economic dysfunction within the Muslim world, and there is little that the West can do about it.
There is a signifiacnce difference between the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. Sadly the General Assembly has made successive pronouncements which can only serve to prolong the conflict. As for Israel committing genocide, such claims are risible. Such statements merely serve to devalue the term genocide, and are pathetic propoganda.
As for supporting the "True Christian" movement, I am at a complete loss to determine what you mena by this. There are so many groups and individuals claiming to be "true Christians". Sadly too often those claiming the true Christian way end up butchering those who disagree with them.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/11/2006 03:18 PM CST

To Rod,

You wrote: "As for antipathy towards the USA, as soon as the US assumed it's dominant world position following the demise of the British Empire it was awarded the appellation of Great Satan. What drives the current anger is more likely a combination of self-hatred, impotence and economic dysfunction within the Muslim world, and there is little that the West can do about it."

Not true. Not everyone that is poor dislikes the United States. Look at Cubans. They are dying to come here. Look at Mexicans they are dying to get here. That is just an exuse and a coverup to the idiotic foreign policy of the United States. People hate us because we harm them. Pure and simple. For example when we give the green light for Isreal to hit Hizbollah and Lebanon without any restraint, that causes hate. What happened to the U.S. in 9-11 is tragic. So what is the answer, make the arabs feel what we felt during 9-11. Is that the answer??? Make the arabs know what if feels like to lose 3000 civilians and cause a huge catastrophie. Than yes the arabs will hate us, just as we hated Osama bin Ladin when he cause 9-11. Our idiotic morals and sense of revenge is what keeps getting Isreal and the United States in trouble. Anything else mentioned of the muslim world's anger is just an exuse to cover up our mistakes.

Now about the "true Christians". I do agree with you Rod, on who can claim to be a true christian?? But the fact still remains that even though many different forms of Christianity do exist, the one obvious word that sticks out when talking about any Christian movement should be the word "love". If someone is not practicing love for their enemies, then they are not following Christ's commands. That is directly out of the Bible. I am not Christian. I just know what I have read and studied.

Posted by john @ 09/11/2006 06:17 PM CST

John
The hatred of the USA is not universal or linked to poverty. However in the Middle East since WW2 the USA has assumed the mantle of Great Satan from GB.

The most striking factors in my opinion that make the Muslim world quite distinct are the following combination:
1. Population growth has exceeded social and economic development and the society's capacity to provide constructive employment. Un and Under employment is at record highs. Successive governments have funded expensive military systems rather than invest in basic social needs ior simply robbed the people.
2. Islamic societies are fully aware of the inadequacies of their societies and culture when conpared / contrasted with the West. They despise their own cultural inadequacy and weakness, yet cannot bring about change.
3. Islam presents itself as naturally dominant, masculine and militaristic. However despite the warrior imagery, the vast military establishments and the bellicose language, they have unable to translate this into effective battlefield performance. The recent Lebanon "war" is an example of the degree of weakness and desperation. The Muslim world called this a victory against Israel, but it was no victory and the Israelis performed abysmally due to internal problems. Hezbollah merely hunkered down in largely prepared positions and tried to sit it out. But they did not and could not deny the Israelis freedom of movement.

This social environment was ripe for the plucking by the fundamentalist and nationalists. They exploit and feed the frustration by providing simple explanations that assuage the people's sense of frustration and self-hatred. They can do this because it is so much easier to blame the US, or Israel, or whatever for your ills rather than face up to your own inadequacies and take control of your own environment.

If it is to end I think the Arab / Muslim world will have to go through the same painful phases that Christian / Western society went through. The values that mark both UK and US society are built upon bloody conflicts as ordinary people struggled for individual and collective rights. It is easy to forget that the UN Charter of Human Rights is the product of this very painful experience, and it is most notable that the countries that share and implement those values are countries that share the experience / history that developed it. The Arab / Muslim world has not point of commonality in respect of these values. As can be readily seen in Iraq, the imposition of these values cannot be easily achieved unless the collective to implement them for themselves and is willing to fight for them.

Posted by Rod Davies @ 09/11/2006 09:34 PM CST

I can only agree with you, Ami. I have only been browsing this site a week or so, "on and off", and so I don't know everything about the Hope Flowers and similar peacemaking enterprises, yet it is immediately obvious to me that such camps and schools are desireable on a huge scale if there is to be a rapid improvement in the tension between Palestinians and Israelis.

No doubt, however, there will be people who benefit from the current polarisation who will try to resist such peacemeking moves, unfortunately.

A two-state solution is of itself not going to bring peace when youth are being taught to hate the other side. Walls can be built, but so long as there is hate, attempts will be made to overcome the walls.

People from both sides, who currently can only see the worst side of each other, need to be made see the best side of each other instead.

Posted by Joseph @ 09/14/2006 04:19 PM CST

I agree with you Rod, but the problem of human rights has to be solved within the arab and muslim world. We can not and have not the will to solve every problem. First even though we have a better moral ground, we still are very very far from not being called hypocritical. On issues of islam and christianity, one either has to follow their religion exactly or then do not claim the others are wrong. Christians in this country still behave like a runnaway semi truck. That is a problem. We do have human rights. But those human rights should be used to set an example for the rest of the world. It is a bit ironic to preach human rights and then FORCE our values onto others.

Posted by john @ 09/15/2006 03:26 PM CST

The UN should have made a resolution after WWII to give Jews a small,
yet prime, piece of Germany (and left Palestine alone).

Posted by Jay @ 10/05/2006 11:18 PM CST

totally agreed, Jay. Exellent point.

Posted by john @ 10/07/2006 03:41 PM CST


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