I am not anti-Semitic and not anti-Israel. I was raised Jewish and wanted to be a Cantor in a large temple at one point in my early years. Since then, with a lot of experience and learning, I have gained the ability of separating religion from reality, government from the people, and policy from the nations.
It is my belief that the actions and policies of the Israeli government have heightened the tensions between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. I also believe that the current Israeli government is kowtowing to the ultra-orthodox Jews, a minority of the Israeli population, as the Palestinians are kowtowing to their own radical militants.
With that said, this is not about the state of Israel or its right to exist. This is about the United States government not supporting the call for independence of the Palestinian state and allowing the Israeli government to subjugate the Palestinian people through threats of military action and restricting their food, supplies and abilities to make a living and travel. (Jerusalem Post)
Americans would not stand for this treatment in other countries, so why Israel? I see this as one of religious prejudice.
Reps. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Berman (D-CA), Royce (R-CA) and Engel (D-NY) are now circulating a letter to the President, asking that he close down the offices of the PLO in Washington, D.C. and work to prevent “elevating the status of the PLO in other UN bodies or international forums.”
Why? Is it not the course of the United States to encourage and support duly elected representatives of the people? Didn’t the political arm of the PLO, Fatah, win that right in an open and fair election on the Western Bank? Was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not elected by the majority of the Palestinian people?
Admittedly so, the PLO has conducted terrorist attacks against Israel in the past, but they are not the threat we see today.
The PLO/Fatah is not Hamas. In fact they really do not like each other, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor. It appears that it is not the militant wing of the PLO raining rockets upon Israel, but Hamas.
Should not the United States take every opportunity at hand to work with the PLO/Fatah and Israel to achieve peace without bullying in the region? And if so, why is the U.S. hesitant? The voting blocks of American Jews and Christians.
For most American Jews, but not all, there is no distinction between the various Palestinian factions for “all Arabs hate Jews.” For the land of Palestine was given to the people of Israel by their god, the same god they share with those of the Muslim faith.
Most Israelis, but not all, are not from the Palestine, but from Europe, the United States and Russia. The lands of the non-Jewish Palestinians are not there for confiscation because of one’s nationality, ethnicity or faith. Other than through their religion, most of the immigrants to Israel have no claim to the land.
A Jewish friend from Tele Aviv once told me that it is the European influence that has caused the majority of the conflicts. The web site, “My Jewish Learning” writes,
“The Ottoman Empire emerged as a great political and military power in the early 14th century—but only in the wake of the expulsion of the Jews of Spain did the Ottoman Empire become a Jewish center. Tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from the Iberian Peninsula made Salonika, Constantinople and other cities of the Ottoman Empire their new home, bringing with them the latest European developments in technology, medicine and artisanry. (sic)”
It was towards the end of World War I, as the Empire collapsed and the Europeans with their anti-Semitic vices filled the void, did the Zionist and anti-Zionist movements emerge from the shadows. As European Jews sought refuge in a Jewish nation and the British brought in their own form of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, the Arab nations, now cut up by the English colonists, saw new invaders enter their lands.
The American Jewish communities, the majority of who share only a European ancestry not Palestinian, genuinely believe that the Arabs and Muslims have no right to the lands they have lived on for centuries.
The Israeli government, with the blessing of the ultra-orthodox rabbis, is doing what Americans despise the most – the practice of Eminent Domain land confiscation.
The argument of who God favors with his/her/its blessings, Jew, Christian or Muslim, is the faux issue. It is the propaganda, political and religious, from all corners, which is the driving force. It is the radical and hawkish forces on all sides that keep the conflict fueled.
If America values independent self-rule through a democratic process, then the U.S. must stop supporting the irrational religious conflicts, as Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did, and look at the secular conclusion to this disagreement.
Unlike our Representatives’ remarks of unilateral PLO violations of the Oslo Peace Accords, the PLO claims Israel’s violations as well. Their two major points: “1) Israel Has Failed to End its Occupation” and “2) Israel Continues to Build and Expand Its Illegal Colonies.” We have seen this in Israel’s plans to expand settlements in disputed territories after the UN vote to recognize the state of Palestine as a nonmember observer state.
This is a foul case of the religious on both sides battling over something in their holy books that has neither a known origin nor credence. There is no factual reason for today’s struggles in the Middle East except the Israeli government’s territorial grab and pressure from one small community and the Palestinian’s irrational need for retaliation and retribution.
Gershon Baskin, “the co-chairman of IPCRI, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel for the release of Gilad Schalit” wrote,
“Instead of strengthening the pragmatic trends in Hamas, [Israel] gave the most radical elements in Hamas a platform and removed any chance of the pragmatists coming to the fore…
“The pressure on Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to reconcile with Hamas has now increased. Hamas-Fatah reconciliation at this time is the opening of the door to Hamas takeover of the PLO and the West Bank.”
This should signal a change for American religious communities’ attitude on the PLO and Fatah. That this is an ethnical war, not one of religion. That the United States must support peace through a recognized and elected government must take priority.
The states of Israel and Palestinian have the right to defend themselves from all attacks, domestic and foreign, but punishing the whole people for the acts of a few will never bring peace.
The only way to accomplish peace is to recognize and work with the legitimate government of the state of Palestine, the PLO and Fatah.
David Rosman, an award winning author, speaker, essayist and philosopher tackles these questions and more involving the religiosity of the United States, politics and religion, and the misconceptions concerning our distant and recent past. Author of “A Christian Nation?: An evaluation of Christian nation theories and proofs.” (Dec. 2011 IVC Publishing) David takes the objective evidence provided by Christian nation advocates and explores each. You may contact David at InkAndVoice1@gmail.com and David@InkAndVoice.com.