Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Palestine

Back in January I posted that I wanted to understand the ongoing conflict between the Jews and the Arabs in Palestine here. We had the usual debate going in the comment section. In April I received a couple more comments on that thread. We were discussing why Israel hasn’t just taken care of the problem and I made the following comment:

I don't know... I liken it to the way my husband kills bugs. He taps them and often they get away. I obliterate them... and not many escape me. Although, it has led to the need for spackle and paint on occasion. Fortunately, we rarely see bugs here in Colorado.
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I'm sure Israel is very advanced technologically, as is the U.S. The problem in Iraq was that we went in with too few troops and tied our own hands in an effort to "fight fair." Is war ever fair?I certainly do not want to see innocent people killed.
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It just seems to me that by not dealing with things effectively in the first place, when you have more than the capability to do so, costs more in the long run in terms of lives and dollars.

Susanne left me this comment:

Wow, it's disturbing to read of Palestinians likened to bugs that need obliterating all at once so the problem won't crop up again and cost more money and lives. Amazing!
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I guess these people don't have souls worth saving? Just so long the Zionists are saved here on earth, the others be damned to hell for eternity, right?
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Whatever happened to "overcome evil with GOOD"? I think that would be from Jesus. And you think your method trumps His? Yours is better than GOD's?!
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I don't see the world in better shape for all the conflicts of "fighting evil" that we have done in recent years. What gives? Whatever happened to "if your enemy is hunger, feed him" and all that stuff? Where does bomb the daylights out of 'em and hope they all die like bugs come from?
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Argh!
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Is there any wonder not many people want Christianity? THIS is being the light of the world?

And then this comment:

Please quickly scroll through the pictures at this link. Do you see these as precious people who need Jesus or bugs that need obliterated once and for all?

http://americanarab.wordpress.com/2009/01/

Thank you for your consideration.

I immediately e-mailed her and said that I would respond in another post on my blog. That was two months ago.

The truth is that I feel very convicted by Susanne’s words and ashamed of my choice of analogy. I was referring to the terrorists, not the Palestinian people. However, I can see where my comment could be taken the way that it was and for that I apologize.

I never did click on the link she left until recently. I sensed that whatever she linked to would upset me. I did start doing some research and quickly became overwhelmed by the scope of it all. I then entered into a cycle of trying to put it out of my mind, doing research, trying to walk away from it, and then back to researching again. The more research I do, the more questions I have. When I finally did click on that link I had come to the conclusion that I, as well as most Americans and Christians are misinformed. What I saw, did in fact, upset me.

In many ways I am very much a girly girl. However, at the same time I find emotions highly suspect and don’t trust them. I have the ability to step out of the emotional and look at things from other perspectives. It is a sort of zooming in and zooming out. There is always a bigger picture. At the same time, the fact is the bigger picture is comprised of all the small pictures. I sometimes try not to zoom in too closely because it is then that it is hardest for me to zoom back out.

In my mind, Israel became a nation in 1948 when the United Nations gave them land in Palestine after the atrocities inflicted on the Jews through WWII giving those displaced by the war a place to live and heal. I equated Zionists with those who led the Revolution here in our country. God entered into an elaborate and eternal blood covenant with Abraham. In this covenant, God gave the Jews a biblical mandate to possess the land forever (Genesis 15:8-21) and that is the reason why we Christians support Israel as a nation.

Through my research everything I have believed about the ongoing conflict in Palestine has been turned upside down.

First of all, Zionism got its start in the mid 1800’s. The Zionist movement was officially announced in 1897 and the goal was to create a nation for Jews in Palestine. Turkey was in control of Palestine at that time and refused to give any part of it to the Jews. Small numbers of Jews moved to Palestine and initially the Arabs were not concerned.

The Zionists turned to Britain in an effort to advance their cause. In 1903 Britain offered some land in Uganda but they were only interested in Palestine. During WWI the French and British governments gave Zionists documents that expressed support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The French document was vague and never went anywhere. The British document, known as the Balfour Declaration, stated that the British government would help the Zionists create a homeland for the Jews as long as it didn’t bother the Palestinians.

In 1918 British troops drove Turkey out of Palestine. Due to the length of time they were under Turkish rule the Palestinians did not have a government. Britain agreed to protect Palestine until they were ready to self govern. In 1922 the League of Nations agreed to a policy extending that protection to 1948. The Zionists put pressure on the British government to allow them into Palestine. Britain allowed them to emigrate in small numbers but fighting began to break out between the Jews and the Arabs. Britain then entered into a cycle whey they tried to placate both groups where they would allow Jews in and then would not.

After WWII the Zionists took the Balfour Declaration to the League of Nations. As Jews fled Europe the size of the Zionist movement increased. The Holocaust gained the sympathy of the world, understandably so, for the Jews. As the time drew near for Britain to withdraw from Palestine it was clear that they were not in a position to self govern. Britain was trying to recover from the war and was no longer interested in protecting Palestine. They warned the United Nations that there was about to be a problem on their hands.

Representatives of the U.N. tried to figure out how they could divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states and a plan was drawn up in 1947. A vote was taken that was passed in favor of the plan with 10 countries abstaining, one of which was Britain. But… the resolution to implement that plan was never passed. I was stunned.

At midnight on May 14, 1948, Britain officially withdrew from Palestine. At the same time the Zionists announced the new Nation of Israel using the borders set forth in the 1947 U.N. plan. Initially, only the United States recognized Israel as a nation. Slowly, other nations followed suit. Britain did not recognize Israel as a nation for two years. Interestingly, Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948 cites the U.N. “resolution” among items recognizing the right of the Jewish people to establish a state as did the failed 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence.

Did you know that not all Jews are Zionists and that not all Zionists are Jews? I did not. In fact, I’ve been reading about Jews who see Judaism and Zionism as incompatible and irreconcilable… that Zionism is rebellion against God and treason to the Jewish people.

I have uncovered writings by well known and respected evangelicals that have historical inaccuracies. What is the truth? There is propaganda thrown out by everyone. I have been reading some crazy stuff! The more I get into this the more I see that the big picture here goes back to the very beginning of recorded history. Whether you believe in God or not, religion is at the core.

I am going to step away from the politics as usual scene here in the United States and concentrate on history. Until I get that straight in my mind I think I am not going to be able to truly understand what is happening now. I also need to really understand what the bible says about war, the differences/similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, the differences between Zionism and Judaism, why Christians support Israel, and the history of the relationship between Israel and the U.S. I need to reconcile what I know and believe as a Christian with all of this. This even includes my re-evaluating what being a Christian means to me.

I have visited Susanne’s blogs and briefly skimmed through them. I refrained from really reading them because I did not want her personal experience to color my research. It is that zooming in too close for me that brings in the emotional… I do plan on reading them in their entirety at some point. The images on her blog are graphic and deeply disturbing. I know that similar images could certainly be found of the carnage brought on by Palestinian suicide bombers that includes children. I leave you with this image and the heartbreaking knowledge that no matter what the race, religion or political background, a mother’s grief over the loss of her child is the same.

**Note: The post below this one was added later in the day after I posted this one. I decided to move it below this post in order to keep this post at the top.

111 comments:

Joni said...

Isn't it something? You think one way then you are challenged and suddenly your whole world shifts and you realize that your beliefs were all wrong. Susanne did that to me too. The pictures ARE hard to see. We don't want to see that here in our nation.

I too have been 'converted' by Susanne (and her dear friend, who must remain nameless, but not forgotten!) and her tireless efforts on behalf of the Palestinians. These are HUMAN BEINGS. They have a right to life, a right to live and bring up healthy children and we will never, Never, NEVER win them - or any other Muslim - to Christ by supporting the murder of their children.

I no longer believe that my nation is lead by Godly men of integrity who are looking out for the best interest of all mankind. It's caused a 'personality-crisis' of sorts, trying to figure what exactly it is that I DO believe and how to act on it in a nation where I have the right to have my political voice heard. I no longer believe that the war in Iraq is a just one, nor the war in Afghanistan. I no longer believe that the Jews are 'protecting' themselves from Palestinian terrorists.

Anyway, I don't mean to use up your blog to share my own epiphany - it's just that your words and experiences so encapsulated my own journey for the truth and subsequent realizations. I am so thankful to God for what he's started through Susanne and her nameless friend - I am convinced it is so much bigger than just telling a few people. Susanne has become a tireless crusader - only this time she crusades out of love for the Muslim people and a desire to win them to Christ the way Christ would.

BLBeamer said...

Your illustration was unfortunate, but I'm not the sure point you were trying to make should be ignored. Did Susanne write that response or did Samer, her co-blogger? If it was actually Samer, I wonder if maybe language difficulties may have caused him to miss the point.

I once worked with a fellow who was from Algeria. He was a very intelligent fellow, quite educated. He was a proud Bedouin, a people he claimed were not Arabs. He grew up speaking something other than Arabic although he spoke Arabic, English and French when I knew him.

Abdel was not a religious person, but I was fascinated by his stories about a culture that was so foreign to me. One day, I told Abdel that I had just finished what I thought was an extremely interesting book, "Arabia, a Journey Through the Labyrinth".

When Abdel heard the title he exploded in anger saying that author was biased. I was puzzled because I thought the book actually made Arabia sound like a fascinating place. Abdel had never read the book nor had he ever heard of the author. However, he thought a labyrinth was a very bad thing. I tried to explain that it wasn't a bad thing, just a maze that was difficult to navigate without getting lost - particularly for someone who was unfamiliar with its layout.

He insisted that a labyrinth was an insulting term for the author to use. My explanations were for naught. Abdel thought he knew what the author meant and no amount of my soothing was able to calm him down. Abdel and I spent very little time together after that.

It's sad, isn't it, how our well-meaning illustrations can confuse the other person? A native English speaker probably would have been able to understand the broader point you were trying to make.

Coffee Bean said...

Hey BLBeamer,

I believe Susanne did in fact make the comment.

Bug analogy aside, I'm still wondering why Israel has not prevailed in taking all of Palestine when they have the military capability to do so. That is not to say that I think they should.

The thing that is bothering me is that those in power, whether through governments or terrorist groups, are a small percentage of the population. Most people are just living life and trying to have the best life they can for their families. I feel that I really understand very little of what is going on within our government and I know only a few women personally that know more than I do. I suspect that is the same in other countries.

There is a lot about ourselves that we have no choice over... where we are born, who we are born to, whether we are male or female, our physical characteristics, our basic intelligence, etc. I read something today that has so deeply disturbed me... it was that Christians aliegence to Israel is a life and death matter and the scripture that was used to support that was when the gentile centurion called Jesus to his home and Jesus went "because he had supported the Jews". The scripture saying that whatever you do for the least of these was also pointed out as the "least of these being the Jews"... not all who are hungry or thirsty. To me this is a twisting of scripture! Our salvation as Christians is not dependant upon our support of Israel! Not in my understanding of the gospel! Wow.

BLBeamer said...

I completely agree that someone can be a good Christian and not hold any allegiance to Israel. In fact, someone can fervently disagree with every policy of the Israelis and still rest assured in their salvation in Christ.

That doesn't mean, however, that one must therefore believe that the Palestinians are the epitome of innocence. The Palestinians are responsible to a certain extent for the situation in which they find themselves.

Coffee Bean said...

I'm not saying that the Palestinians are innocent of any wrong doing. War is ugly business! I'm sure there are Palestinians that do not agree with Hamas and their tactics. Just like there are people in the U.S. that do not agree with our foreign policy and/or many of our laws. The Palestinians got screwed and have never had the capability to protect their land on their own.

I've been studying timelines and I understand that Israel has taken more and more land after each war/conflict. It is just a sad deal. I guess the hardest thing for me in learning about this right now is the U.S. Christian part. It had never occurred to me to question our support of Israel. It is so hard to grasp the intricate workings of the world and the effect each country has.

BLBeamer said...

CB - I didn't mean to imply that you felt the Palestinians were innocent of wrong doing.

Coffee Bean said...

I didn't really take it that way BLBeamer. I was just stating that as a clarification for anyone else who might be reading.

Two Dogs said...

Here's all I got to say about "Palestinians."

Define: refugee-an exile who flees for safety. When four generations of a population are born in a particular area without being forced out, they are NO longer refugees. Assimilate.

This is called LOGIC, something that has never even been tried when dealing with the Middle East. Or Mexico for that matter.

Coffee Bean said...

Hey Two Dogs!

Bear with me here, I'm just trying to figure this all out. It is hard for me when I have held certain beliefs and come to find out that I really don't know why I have those beliefs. Does that make sense?

I'm not in a place where I believe that the U.S. needs to step away from Israel. I'm in a place where I've suddenly realized that the issue is more complicated than I believed and I've got serious questions. I very much value your input on this blog and am always interested in how you view things. However, for me, things are not always black and white and I struggle through coming to my own conclusions. I have to figure things out for myself. Sometimes it is a long process.

I do understand what you are saying. I've just been reading some things that contradict Arab flight in 1947-1949. To be honest, I've got so much information now that is contradicting that I don't even know where to begin to get to the actual truth.

I think the thing most upsetting to me at the moment is some of the garbage I've come across from some Christian sites.

Joni said...

I think that the point that Susanne was trying to make is that many of us have believed that the Palestine-Israeli conflict is simplistic, without really thinking it through. Many Christians think that they should support Israel because of the Jews - I know I did - and they have the right to that land just because God gave it to them back in the OT times. If God wants them back in Israel and to have the land, he certainly can do that without Israel's military, without the US, without war.

"The thing that is bothering me is that those in power, whether through governments or terrorist groups, are a small percentage of the population. Most people are just living life and trying to have the best life they can for their families. I feel that I really understand very little of what is going on within our government and I know only a few women personally that know more than I do. I suspect that is the same in other countries." I agree. If my family had been living in repression and war for years and years, then I too might turn in desperation to people whose views and methods are more extreme than I otherwise would choose.

It's certainly true that there are offenses on both sides - Israeli and Palestinian. But the more I read, the more I see Israel as the bully. More than that though, how will there ever be peace when both sides continue to live in the past, holding grudges and unforgiveness?

I've also been challenged about what my love is for the Muslim people. REAL love, not like "I love them so I send them some money or donate clothes to groups for them."

BLBeamer said...

I don't for moment wish to deny that a mother's grief over a dead child is a terrible, heart-rending thing.

But what of those mothers who raise their children in the belief that their most righteous aspiration is not only blowing themselves up but taking some dirty Jews with them? How much sympathy should we hold for their expressions of grief, and their refusal to admit that the Jews didn't kill their child - they themselves did?

We can't deny that a sizable portion of the Palestinian population are adherents of a death cult.

The tragedy comes into play when we realize that those Palestinians - Christian and Muslim alike - who do not subscribe to that cult are caught in the middle between the Israelis and the cultists. They are almost completely helpless.

Those are the folks for whom I pray, and for whom I grieve.

Two Dogs said...

CB, I guess that was not all I had to say regarding the "Palestinians." I am of the mind that the United States SHOULD let Israel handle their own problems. Of course, it shall immediately ramp up the supply of glass in the area when the Arab countries immediately invade Israel again, as THEY ALWAYS DO when a very weak Democrat President is in the White House.

What is somewhat forgotten in this debate is that Israel was created out of response to the Nazis and the Muslims KILLING Jews during World War II. Yes, the Muslims sided with the Nazis. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." The Jews were offered a safe haven FROM the anti-Semitic people. If given enough time, those sentiments resurface as they always do, hence President Obama giving historically incorrect speeches in Arab land just last week and his spiritual mentor saying YESTERDAY that the Jews wouldn't let him talk to Barry.

Oh, and Barry's philosophical brethren shooting up the Holocaust Museum, too.

Wonder why those "Palestinians" are still trying to get "their" land back? Because the entire Arab world ATTACKED Israel and Israel needed that area for DEFENSE against Arabs. Please point out a single aggressive act that Israel has initiated. Going into Gaza to weed out rocket launchers does not count, sorry.

When you have an administration that is decidedly anti-Semitic, like the Obama administration is, we shall ALWAYS get more of these talks of "Land for Peace." Please give me one single instance in history where appeasement of aggressors has ever worked.

Here's some scale.

Now, that is really ALL I have to say about that.

Coffee Bean said...

BLBeamer,

I agree with you. However, my shift in thinking is more along the lines of making a distinction between Jews and a Zionist Nation of Israel. Does that make sense?

There are people who call themselves Christians who actually do not live nor conduct themselves in line with Christian principles. Right?

Doesn't it stand to reason that there are also Jews who live and conduct themselves according to the principles of their faith and then there are those who do not?

Did you know that Zionists were originally viewed as terrorists? Did you know that there is a group called Christian Zionists? I didn't. Did you know there are even Atheist Zionists? How can that be?

I most certainly hope that anything I say on my blog in my questioning of Israel will not be taken as anti-semitic thought. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Two Dogs,

Your map is excellent in providing some perspective.

The Zionists had their eye on Palestine from the mid 1800's and had been working in the direction of aquiring that land long before WWII. Interestingly, through my research, I have learned that Hitler was in favor of the Zionist cause. Surely, because he wanted the Jews out of Germany. Try to separate Jews from Zionists in your thinking for a moment, if you can. They were not "given" anything. They declared it when Britain pulled out. The U.N. plan for the separation of Palestine was never implemented.

Two Dogs said...

CB, Hitler did not want the Jews "out of Germany," he wanted them dead, but I guess that would certainly mean out of Germany in a sense. He shared the same ideology as the Muslims in North Africa, that is why Germany did so well in the area, they had philosophical brethren.

Sorry, but to define "Zionists" as secular Jews, ignores the fact that yet again, the secular Jews are the very same folks that are now and have always been backers of Communist ideals.

See: NAACP. Or read David Horowitz's "Radical Son."

Coffee Bean said...

Two Dogs,

Oh, Hitler wanted the Jews annihilated! I believe what I read may have been earlier on, before WWII.

I'm not following you on the secular Jew thing??? What do you mean? The point I was trying to make is that I'm questioning the motives of those in control of Israel.

Really, I don't know squat. You switched gears on me...??? What are you saying about Jews and communism?

BLBeamer said...

CB - Sure.

Not all Israelis are Jews and not all Jews are Israelis.

Not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews.

Not all Jews are Jews (i.e., practice Judaism), either.

Jew is one of those terms that refers to not just an ethnicity but a religion. It's easy to conflate the two but one must be careful because it doesn't hold true in all cases.

Two Dogs said...

CB, to appreciate the cause/effects of "Zionism," one has to know what the current definition of a Zionist is. Is it simply described as someone that is usually more in line with the "secular Jews" of activist government. The left has begun to separate some as "Neo-cons" as well. Yes, "Neo-Con" is Democrat slang for Jew that is observant. And actually voting Republican.

(BTW, a "Zionist" is supposedly someone that advocates a Jewish state, which Israel IS, allegedly, whole still allowing ALL other religions.)

Understand, there are two (supposedly at least) decidedly different secular Jewish branches. There are the ones that the left uses as the strawman to create their version of the economic vulture Robber Barons, ie Jeremiah Wright screeching about the Jews ruining the banking system, and then there are the apologists "Jews" that run the media and film industries. Most of these Jews are not only lauded by the leftists, but also vilified in the same stroke. Remember, contradiction is their whole premise for their existence. Leftists eschew factual ANYTHING. Math, science, whatever, the leftist cannot accept any of those things, they must always slink back to a moral relativism that says that anything is equal to anything. An example is that Man is ruining the planet, so man and his advances must be eradicated. By the way, wonder why so many of those Neo-Con banking folks supported Obama?

An aside, a "Jew," David Letterman, just made a joke about A-Rod knocking up Sarah Palin's daughter Willow.

These are the very same Jews that help create the NAACP, were ALL Communists to the core, and even supported the KKK take over of Anaheim in the 1920s. You know, those Hollywood (Jewish) folks that were outed by Senator Joe McCarthy later on. Yes, McCarthy WAS correct, he has been proven correct so many times, but the story and his name are still synonymous with a "witch hunt."

What we are dealing with as far as "Palestinians" are concerned is a very small group of people that are generally Muslim and have a propensity to blow stuff up and kill women and children in Pizza Huts. That is why they were run from every other Middle Eastern country and migrated to their current location. That is WHY they are referred to as "refugees."

Israel accepts any "Palestinian" that wants to assimilate and those people are making great strides in wealth, education, the list is endless.

I have no PITY for someone that does not want to improve their own life, and that is offered to any of them that want to live in the MOST industrious and wealthy nation in the Middle East, Israel.

Also, I posted a link to a Nobel winners list the other day. Of all those Arab countries, there were a few, but there is NO comparison to those won by the folks from Israel.

My basic point is that all bad things come from Democrats, always have, and always will.

Bob Cleveland said...

According to some stuff I read, and my own feeble memory, Palestine never was a nation, per se. The Palestinians were simply a people from a geographic area ... you might think of Southerners not being from the nation of "Southern"... and in fact were previously known as Philistines.

Israel, on the other hand, was a sovereign nation that was overrun by the Romans and they became purely a diaspora. Then in 1948, the UN divided up what had been Israel originally, and thus was established pretty much what we now see as Israel and Jordan. The boundaries changed as a result of a couple of wars, and what you see now is the result of all that.

What the secular world cannot understand is that the Arab population descended from Ishmael, who God said always would be a thorn in Israel's side.

Coffee Bean said...

Hey Bob!

I understand the Arabs descended from Ishmael and would always be at odds with Israel...

However, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah of the OT were all not born Jews, yet they are great matriachs of the Jews. Ephraim and Menashe's mother was an Egyptian woman who became Jewish and had married Joseph. Moses himself married a Midianite woman who became Jewish. Ruth was not only not Jewish by birth, she came from the Moabites, traditional enemies of the Jewish people.

As Christians we are taught that Jesus came for the gentile as well as the Jew. Right?

Susanne said...

Wow, look at all these great comments! I hope to take time tomorrow to read through everything.

Coffee Bean, thanks for sharing this although I am a bit embarrassed for the tone of my April comments. I should have been more gracious, but you have been kind enough to excuse me for that via e-mail. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate that and the fact that you didn't dismiss my views like so many have.

I grew up strongly favorable to Israel and support for them wasn't something easy for me to give up. Please let me mention that I am not anti-Israel now. I simply wish for us to "bless Israel" (Genesis 12:3 anyone?) by pointing her back to God and doing things His way instead of the way they currently do things. (It's a lot like we treated black people in America in past years. Different roads for the Arabs than for the Jews, etc.)

And what's wrong with loving our enemies? If you believe the Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims worth labeling your enemy, then good for them because if you (I'm talking to the general audience, not you specifically, Coffee Bean) are a Christ follower, you are supposed to love them, bless them and pray for them!

So let's get busy showing Jesus to this world that desperately needs Him right now! That'll show them something really powerful! And who knows? Maybe it will actually change things for the better! :-) The bombs surely aren't.

I'll read up soon. Thank you all and especially, Coffee Bean.

BLBeamer said...

CB - Don't forget Rahab, the Canaanite who was an ancestor of Jesus.

I hope my memory isn't completely wrong, but weren't Rebekah, Leah and Rachel kin of Isaac and Jacob?

By the way, Abraham wasn't born a Jew nor were any of the OT Israelites until those born after the generation that perished in the Sinai. Judaism arguably did not exist until God gave to Moses the law and all the icky sacrifice temple practices recorded in Leviticus through Deuteronomy.

On the other hand, if you want to define Judaism as beginning with God's election of a people, then Isaac was the first person born a Jew, since he was of the promise.

Coffee Bean said...

Hey BLBeamer,

Rebekah's grandfather was Nahor who was a brother of Abraham. She was also Isaac's wife.

Rebekah and Isaac were the parents of Esau and Jacob.

Leah and Rachel were the daughters of Laban who was the brother of Rebekah. And they were the wives of Jacob.

Lotta first cousin action going on back then.

It was through Jacob's wrestling with God that his name was changed to Israel.

Two Dogs said...

And Lot begot Salem, and New begot Hebron and York, and District begot Columbia, yada, yada, yada....

Coffee Bean said...

Oh, and of course, Rahab!

For those who don't know, Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho who hid Israelite spies. They in turn spared her family. She became a Jew and is in the lineage of Jesus.

Two Dogs said...

Oh, please understand that you are certainly in good company when you don't hate Jews, you just hate Zionists.

Just misspeaking, you know.

Coffee Bean said...

Oh Unh Uh... No you di'n't Two Dogs!!!

Did you post that before or after I told you about it on Gateway Pundit?!?! LOL!

Okay, everyone else, I got a little freaked out earlier today when I saw that Reverend Wright was defending his "Jews" not letting him speak to Obama comment by making a differentiation between Zionists and Jews. I'm just trying to process my way through on this issue and certainly don't want to be put in a boat with him! I'm just asking questions and doing some digging.

Bob Cleveland said...

CB,

Yes, Jesus came for all who would turn to Him in faith. But as is mentioned several times, the gospel is the power unto salvation first of the Jew and then for the Greek. Jesus was born a Jew, the message was given to the Jews, and then the Greek .. or Gentile. It wasn't an order of preference (in my mind), but merely the chronological order of things.

I'm sure there are lots of meanings to that beyond what my feeble mind can comprehend.

And, last thought I can possibly squeeze out today, we've actually been grafted into the "chosen" category via adoption as reflected in Galatians 3:29 .. if we belong to Jesus, then we're Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.

I have the feeling you guys are way too smart for me to be mixing it up with; I'm just a old guy who flunked out of college before most of you were probably born.

:)

Coffee Bean said...

Now Bob, I've read enough of your blog to know you are a wealth of information!

Excellent point on the Galatian text.

Samer said...

Thank you for trying to understand our perspective concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. I know how difficult it must be for you to reconsider things you had taken for granted for a long time. And that is why I felt so glad when I noticed your sincere efforts to learn about the different sides of this complicated issue.

First of all let me acknowledge the fact that I AM biased to the Arab side since I am an Arab and I feel protective for my people, however I hope you open your heart for the argument I am going to say and try to imagine how you would feel if your land was occupied and your people were displaced out of their home country just because their race is different.

I disagree with those who say that the conflict between Ishmaelites, who are said to be Arabs, and Israelites is something inevitable and natural because God created them to be in an everlasting hostility. History shows clearly that the Arabs honored the Jews when Europe unfortunately mistreated them. Whenever they were persecuted by Europeans, they would find safe haven in our land and they prospered and were able to achieve powerful positions within the Arab society. The Arabs kept their land opened to any Jew who wanted to live in it even in the city of Jerusalem .

However the Zionists, who are surely different from Jews, believe that the land should be only for them and for no one else. They never supported sharing the land. Their armed forces displaced Palestinians out of their land and homes and as a result nowadays there are more than 4 million Palestinian refugees throughout the world. That can only be described as racial cleansing.

The Zionists did not accept the United Nations partition plan and in 1948 they occupied land that is bigger than what was decided for them and in the 1967 they waged a war against 3 Arab countries, Egypt, Jordan and Syria and in 6 days they occupied a territory that is bigger than their original territory by 3 times. And until this very moment they keep building illegal settlements and keep their checkpoints which harden the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank .

You all in the US do not see what we see in the region and that is why it has become difficult for you to understand us. Please check out the following link. It is a photo gallery of some victims who were murdered in Israel 's latest offensive in Gaza . I am deeply sorry for the cruelty of the photos but please I urge you to check them all and try to imagine how we feel about them:

http://gazamassacre.wordpress.com/

ALL of these photos were taken in Gaza in the period between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009. During these days 1324 Gazans were killed including 437 children under the age of 16, 110 women, 123 elderly men according to the Palestinian health ministry. We wish someone out there cared for our victims even as much as Westerners care about their pets. We see the burned and bloodied bodies of our children and know that you all would protest if this happened to a beloved dog or cat yet our children do not seem to be worth much.

I am sorry this was long but I had so much to say and I still have many things I can share if you would like. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Coffee Bean said...

Dear Samer,

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment here! I pray that you will come back as I wade my way through to, hopefully, the truth. I have been coming across so many contradictions in what the facts actually are. There seems to be a lot of misinformation on both sides of the fence. Whatever the truth turns out to be, I think we can all agree that the fighting in Palestine must come to an end.

Please know that people do care about the loss of life in your region!

BLBeamer said...

Thank you, Samer, for admitting your point of view is biased, also.

I disagree that Arabs are a different race from Jews, however. They are both human and subject to the same emotions, vices, sins and acts of charity in common.

I for one would be interested if you believe the Arabs share any of the blame for the tragic situation in the Middle East?

I personally believe the Israelis share some.

Roland Hulme said...

Coffee Bean, that Big Sexy Brain award I gave you was CERTAINLY well deserved. This post is astonishing - open minded, well-researched... You have humbled me and I only wish every commenter that came her (cough cough, two dogs) would do as much independent appraisal as you have.

I will post my thoughts later, but I've got to run. AMAZING post, though.

Samer said...

BLbeamer,

Of course Arabs are not angels or saints and they have done many wrong things. However, don't we have the right to ask for our rights and our independence despite our sins? Are there "sinless" people in our current world?

Susanne said...

Ah, I finally read all the comments. Interesting stuff. Here are a few things I wanted to mention.

BLBeamer, nice illustration about the Bedouin and the book, but I am a native English speaker and still I must have misunderstood Coffee Bean's comment back in April. ;-) Oooops!

Speaking of terrorists ... you know, one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter (e.g. the American soldier!). Maybe we don't realize that many Arabs feel **Americans** are the biggest terrorizers in the Middle East and we brought our own WMDs to Iraq. (Depleted uranium is affecting innocent civilians and if you don't care about them, then what about our own soldiers who have had DU-related problems?) I am by no means a supporter of Hamas or Hezbollah, but in reality, many Arabs support them because they fight for their rights against Israel. I don't think we understand how much the root of the whole problem goes back to the Zionist movement's goal of settling Jews in Palestine and the manner in which it was done. We expect Muslims to accept our Genesis theology about the land and say, "Sure, come on, God's chosen people, here's your promised land. You can even have our houses and olive trees and farms." I'm not even arguing about whose land it is. My gripe is how these Zionists have treated Palestinians. We can go way more into this issue, but I'll leave it at this for now.


Coffee Bean, wow about what you read in that book re: supporting Israel being a "life or death" matter for Christians! I realize Genesis 12:3 is important to most Christian Zionists, but does anyone else believe you can best bless Israel by pointing her back to God? I mean, does blessing her mean letting her oppress, mistreat and murder? One doesn't bless an alcoholic friend by supplying her with alcohol so . . . ??

Last year I read "The Lemon Tree" and "Victory for Us Is to See You Suffer" both of which I blogged about extensively on my personal blog if you care to read some things from them. They were very helpful for me seeing the situation from a non-Christian Zionist point of view. (I grew up more in the CZ "camp" so I know their thoughts already and have read more from them recently as well. I try to read from both sides.)

Thanks for letting us discuss these things.


Joni, thanks for your words! " I've also been challenged about what my love is for the Muslim people. REAL love, not like 'I love them so I send them some money or donate clothes to groups for them.'" -- Wow! Great words!


I've enjoyed it!

BLBeamer said...

Samer - Thanks for your note. We agree already: Arabs as a group and as individuals are imperfect human beings and have done many wrong things, just like every other group and person throughout history, including Jews and my own forebears, the Swedes.

Susanne - It wasn't clear to me after reading your blog who had written those comments, so I was speculating on the author. Don't you think understanding is improved when we know more about the author? I sure do! My interpretation of your comments is different now that I know who wrote them since I recognize that you most likely used the words you meant, rather than mistakenly using a word (like "labyrinth") that could portray an idea you did not mean. Thanks!

P.S. I've never heard of "Christian Zionism". What in the Sam Hill is that?

Susanne said...

BLBeamer, thanks for your words! Yes, understanding the author indeed helps. :)

As for CZ, here is how one website puts it in their heading:

CHRISTIAN ZIONISM
"a movement, largely among Gentile Christians, supporting the right of the Jewish people to return to the Promised Land which has, of course, happened right before our eyes during this century"


Again, I grew up this way and I am not saying God can't and didn't do this. My problem is the WAY it was done and how Israel continues to mistreat the Palestinians.

Thanks again. :)

Louai said...

So pleased ,but yet so sad !!

Pretty sure, this is one of the most interesting blogs i've read recentlyr!!

BlBeamer ,
you said "I for one would be interested if you believe the Arabs share any of the blame for the tragic situation in the Middle East?"

Probably we will run in a closed circle; speaking about who will should be blamed !

If you put not a human ,a CAT in a corner of your room (without food)for 62 years what will you expect? will become a monster ,i guess or at least .
My friend ,You can Google as much as you like ;pictures ,images you will find a lot (from both sides Arabs or Isaeli),however putting people in a big jail ,i don’t think any reasonable human being will accept it ,the media right now focus in Gaza ,but they forgot that Arabs (Palestinians) cant move in or out even before of this latest conflict ,
My friend , what is happening right now is not a sudden thing ,Hamas is something (good or bad) grew dramtaicly through years .Its impossible to blame any Arab but Israel about it !

At the end ,what ever the answer i hope one day we can live together with anyone ,visiting Jerusalem and living in a calm way ,and thats what Islam tought and teach us !

Coffee Bean said...

Roland, I look forward to hearing your perspective!

Samer, There is no one without sin. No one.

Susanne, I wrote "The Lemon Tree" down after visiting your blog last night. I have not seen where you talk about "Victory For Us is to See You Suffer," yet. It is going to take me awhile to work my way through your blogs. I just wrote that one down too.

BLBeamer, On Susanne and Samer's blog the top of each entry shows who authored the entry next to the comment button. There are also Athiest Zionists. Google it. It seems that the modern term of Jew encompasses a much broader description than I ever imagined.

Louai, Welcome to this blog! I sincerely hope that you come back and offer your insights as we continue to delve into this subject.

I am working on my next post and will be concentrating on Judaism, Christianity and Islam as they relate to one another.

Two Dogs said...

Cb, maybe some of us take a different view of what exactly what constitutes a sin.

Jesus was the only one without sin. At that time.

Coffee Bean said...

You are right Two Dogs! I was talking about all the rest of us. That is a point I should have made though seeing that others that may not be familiar with Jesus might read this.

Coffee Bean said...

And... there is the issue of innocents, children.

Mrs. Beamer said...

I frequently follow this blog, but seldom write anything. At first I was going to ignore this topic but after seeing some of the posts, I feel compelled to say something.

My understanding is that the Middle Eastern civilization is one of the oldest in the world. They were on the fore front of many early innovations that contributed to the advancement of the world prior to their acceptance of Islam. For centuries since the rise of Islam, the loss of historic prominence is a self inflicted humiliation that poisons the Middle East. Islam has been the catalyst of their downfall. It now presents its people with a choice of hating themselves for their own failures or hating other nations, races, cultures and religions for their respective advancements and successes.

It seems to me that blaming and hating others is the easier choice many Middle Easterners have made. America and Israel are the current and convenient scapegoats. Islamic civilizations began their decline long before there was an America or state of Israel.

I feel great sadness for the living conditions that many Arabs endure on a daily basis and I have intense sorrow over injuries and deaths of their children. Maybe instead of fanning the flames of hatred for other religions or nations for their perceived fault in their tragic way of life, Arabs should use that energy to make a productive change of course in their behavior.

I am saddened that several blog contributors have now expressed their eyes being opened to the Arab perspective. You say we Americans and Christians have been misinformed. You use words conveying conversions and convictions changed by some terrible Palestinian pictures and one sided words.

My enlightenment came on September 11, 2001, when Arab Islamic terrorists slammed a Boeing 767 into the North Tower in New York City and killed my cousin David. That is the day that my conversion happened and my perspective changed. If you are all so persuaded by pictures, watch videos of Arabs dancing and celebrating the terrorist-inflicted deaths of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, Washington D.C, and Pennsylvania on that day. Look at the pictures of the smashed and mangled bodies of the people that had to choose between being burned alive by a intensely hot building fire or jumping many stories to their deaths.

Actions speak louder than words. I hear that Islam is a so-called religion of peace and love, but many followers of that religion have caused grief and pain in my family as well as many other families in many other countries around the world.

BLBeamer said...

Louai - Welcome. It seems you and Samer disagree on who gets the blame. Once you two hash it out, then I'll be willing to address the topic.

CB - Thanks. When I looked at the blog before I didn't notice that. I went right to the articles since you linked to them.

Even though I wasn't familiar with the term "Christian Zionist" (thanks Susanne!), I am pretty familiar with the term plain old "Zionist". My impression is it seems to be used primarily (but not exclusively) by people who want to criticize Jews without having to use the word Jew.

Two Dogs said...

BLB: "My impression is it seems to be used primarily (but not exclusively) by people who want to criticize Jews without having to use the word Jew."

Finger to nose.....Jeremiah Wright apologized for his anti-Semitic words by saying that he is anti-Zionist.

Susanne said...

Mrs. Beamer, I am so sorry for the loss of your cousin. I, too, have been angry seeing Arabs rejoicing at terrorism on our soil so I can strongly relate to your sentiments there.

It seems perhaps my words here have caused you heartache so I wanted to address a few things you said if I could.

First of all, AIPAC was voted by our Congress as one of the top ten lobby groups -- it's up there with the NRA and AARP. That's a pretty heavy Israeli influence. And our media is often pro-Zionist as well. I was only pointing out that I had never heard much of the Arab side of these conflicts until the last 20 months. I'm not making anyone into a scapegoat. I agree that the Arabs need to take action first -- overthrow their dictators, help their brothers and sisters, have courage.

Also anyone who knows me, realizes I don't care at all for Islam. Louai and Samer both know this because I have talked to them about trusting Jesus instead of their good works/faith in Allah for salvation. So, I can honestly tell you I love Muslims, but not their religion which I think is false. I didn't want anyone to think I'd become a Muslim or anything. I believe all who follow Christ are called to share the good news with others, thus I'd likely be labeled among the evangelical Christians. God has given me a great tenderness and love for Muslims -- which I never asked for! I did not ask for someone from Syria to contact me, but God brought them into my life to love them and share Christ with them. And I DO love them very much.

You wrote -- "Actions speak louder than words. I hear that Islam is a so-called religion of peace and love, but many followers of that religion have caused grief and pain in my family as well as many other families in many other countries around the world."

I totally understand where you are coming from and I feel much the same way. However, as much as I hate to admit this, people say the same thing about Christianity. We say Jesus' message was of love and peace -- and I know it was, however many Muslims believe George Bush to be an evangelical Christian and they saw how 80% of American evangelicals supported him -- even in his war in Iraq, which they often equate to some neo-Crusader mentality (Christians vs. Muslims again). So until we can respond as Jesus told us --- love your enemies; if your enemy is hungry, feed him -- I'm afraid we are only doing as they are doing. We are not showing them a better way. When we respond to hungry Gazans with bombs instead of food, we are doing just as the heathen do. (Matthew 5:42-47) There is no Christ-like difference.

I hope you better understand where I am coming from. I didn't mean at all to make anyone saddened by simply sharing that I now understand the other side a bit better.

Thank you for your comment.


CB, you can do a search on my blog for that book. I read it in 2008 and it presents some things from both sides.

Susanne said...

Let me try this again. Here is that book I mentioned. It just presented a side I'd never heard before.

http://susanne430.blogspot.com/2008/08/israel-
and-palestinians-in-west-bank.html

Coffee Bean said...

Mrs. BLBeamer, Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and express your view. I am so sorry about the loss of your cousin on 9/11. I hope that you will continue to chime in as we go through this subject.

BLBeamer and Two Dogs, You are right about the making of a distinction between the Zionists and the Jews being a way to criticize the Jews without saying Jew. At the same time, I did not know there was a difference between the two... and there is a difference. How far that difference reaches into the Nation of Israel, I don't know. I'm trying to figure it out.

Susanne, Thank you for your heartfelt reply to Mrs. B and clarifying where you are coming from in regard to Islam.

The thing I really like about blogging is that we can discuss issues like this and everyone is able to have their say without being interrupted. I truly hope that all y'all who have chimed in keep coming back... and I pray that more will come join in and share their unique perspectives.

Samer said...

Mrs Beamer,

Thank you for your comment and I am sorry for the loss of your cousin. All of those I know from my family and friends strongly oppose al-Qaeda terrorists and the terrorism they have done against civilians not only in the US but all over the world. The number of Muslims and Arabs that have been murdered by them is way more than the number of their non-Muslim victims. We consider them enemies that need to be fought and brought to justice.

All of the famous Muslim Imams strongly opposed what happened but unfortunately no one in the West seems to care about the Muslims' rejection of what happened. As for the celebration footage that was aired, it is not proved that it was a celebration for the attacks and even if it was, the ones shown celebrating were children and few adults and it is not fair at all to judge the whole Muslim or Arab world according to the childish and evil behaviors of few people.

I believe it is a good start for each side to address the grievances the other side has experienced. During the invasion of Iraq, thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed by US troops and I saw by my own eyes many burned bodies of young Iraqi children and their mothers weeping over them. When I would check Fox News or other American news channels, I would only see celebrations and victory songs. That made us feel very cheap to you all. Later Susanne told me that most Americans did not see the same images we saw. But still we would like to hear a clear condemnation from Americans for the thousands of Iraqi innocents that were killed.

I totally disagree with your perspective concerning the history of our region. Before Islam, Arabs belonged to divided and illiterate tribes in Arabia and they were controlled by the 2 superpowers that reigned back then, the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire. However after Islam came, the Arabs were able to form an Empire that was stronger and more advanced than both the Roman and the Persian empires. You can check in Wikipedia the article about the Islamic golden age. I will quote the following from it:

" The Islamic Golden Age, also sometimes known as the Islamic Renaissance,[1] is traditionally dated from the 7th to 13th centuries C.E.,[2] but has been extended to the 15th[3] and 16th[4] centuries by more recent scholarship. During this period, artists, engineers, scholars, poets, philosophers, geographers and traders in the Islamic world (who were not all necessarily Muslim) contributed to the arts, agriculture, economics, industry, law, literature, navigation, philosophy, sciences, sociology, and technology, both by preserving and building upon earlier traditions and by adding inventions and innovations of their own.[5] Howard R. Turner writes: "Muslim artists and scientists, princes and laborers together made a unique culture that has directly and indirectly influenced societies on every continent."

Samer said...

BLBeamer,

I agree with Louai that the first ones to blame are the Zionists since they are the ones who are occupying and controlling the lives of Palestinians. Tell the Israelis to give the Palestinians and other Arabs the land they occupied and tell them to end their inhumane siege of Gaza and see how peace will come to the region. The Arabs have done many wrong things but they are not the ones who are controlling things.

Finally, I want to prove to you that Judaism is very different from Zionism. Zionism was originally a secular Jewish movement found by secular Jews. Here are the websites of 2 Orthodox Jewish anti-Zionist groups:
http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/
http://www.nkusa.org/

I will quote from an article in the second website entitled," What is Zionism? Judaism versus Zionism "
" There is a vile lie, which stalks the Jewish people across the globe. It is a lie so heinous, so far from the truth, that it can only gain popularity due to the complicity of powerful forces in the "mainstream" media and educational establishment.
It is the lie that declares that Judaism and Zionism are identical.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Judaism is the belief in revelation at Sinai. It is the belief that exile is a punishment for Jewish sins.

Zionism has for over a century denied Sinaitic revelation. It believes that Jewish exile can be ended by military aggression.

Zionism has spent the past century strategically dispossessing the Palestinian people. It has ignored their just claims and subjected them to persecution, torture and death.

Torah Jews the world over are shocked and pained at this short-lived dogma of irreligiosity and cruelty. Thousands of Torah scholars and saints have condemned this movement from its inception. They knew that the pre-existing good relationship between Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land was bound to suffer as Zionism advanced.

The so-called "State of Israel" stands rejected on religious grounds by the Torah. Its monstrous insensitivity to the laws of basic decency and fairness appall all men be they Jewish or not."
And I will quote some statements said by Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, and you can see if he is a true Jew or not:
“It is essential that the sufferings of Jews.. . become worse. . . this will assist in realization of our plans. . .I have an excellent idea. . . I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth. . . The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews. The anti-Semites shall be our best friends”. (From his Diary, Part I, pp. 16)
"In the diary of Hertzel, page 14, he writes a way to solve the problem of anti-Semitism was to speak to the head priest of Vienna to get an appointment with the Pope, to make a mass conversion of all the Jews of Austria to Catholicism. He continues: "It should be done on a Sunday, in the middle of the day, with music, and pride, publicly. We are the last generation that held on to the faith of our for-fathers. The conversion would be in St. Stephen's Cathedral." (How could you honor a Jew that wanted to abolish Judaism?)"
"In his article "Deutche Tsytung newspaper" Hertzel writes: "The Jews make countries fight each other and when they want, make peace. But whatever happens, they get rich from this." (Hitler said this also)."

BLBeamer said...

Susanne, I have to admit that all the pro-Zionist slant of our media has largely escaped me. I guess it got lost amidst all the anti-Obama and pro-Bush stories out there.

BLBeamer said...

Samer,

I also saw the celebrations by Palestinians after the 9/11 attacks that Mrs. Beamer referred to. The film I saw was on CNN and was reported to be taken in Ramallah, I think. There were both adults and children shown - women celebrating as well as men dancing. I also saw footage of Palestinians, mostly Christian ones, going to their churches to pray for the victims and their families. I believe that footage was from Bethlehem and was also on CNN.

Samer said...

BLBeamer,

The video you are refering to is the only video of alleged celebrations that was taken on that day. This is from Wikipedia:

"The Panorama report, dated September 20, 2001, quotes Communications Professor Martin Löffelholz explaining that in the images one sees jubilant Palestinian children and several adults but there is no indication that their pleasure is related to the attack. The woman seen cheering (Nawal Abdel Fatah) stated afterwards that she was offered cake if she celebrated on camera, and was frightened when she saw the pictures on television afterward."

Two Dogs said...

Death of 3000 people = CAKE CELEBRATION. Seems fair. I gotta look into joining this religion that offers CAKE for celebrating terrorist murder.

Samer said...

Again, it is not right to judge all of us because of the behaviors of few childish people in one video allegedly celebrating terrorist attacks. There are evil people every where.

Two Dogs said...

But, it was FOR CAKE!!!!! Cake is decidedly UNevil.

YAY! For cake.

BLBeamer said...

Samer, Who offered the people cake and filmed them? The Zionists? I mean no disrespect, but I find some of these after the fact explanations to seem a bit unbelievable.

I've heard lots of explanations and conspiracy theories. So many, in fact, that I've come to the conclusion that in this case, Occam's Razor applies: the simplest, most likely explanation is the one that should be accepted.

You will please note I did not state that I held all Arabs responsible for cheering for the 9/11 attacks. I did mention those in Bethlehem, for instance.

Also please note for future reference I do not speak for my wife. Her opinion in these matters may differ from mine. As you can see, she is a person who is capable of expressing her own opinions quite eloquently.

Two Dogs said...

CB, please make BLBeamer quit tossing up those big, old, fat pitches for me to whack out of the park. He is doing it on purpose trying to entice me to go nuts on Samer and he knows it.

Susanne said...

For what it's worth ... My husband and I went to Syria earlier this year and the people were unbelievably welcoming, kind-hearted and generous. One young dentist invited us to his house and at one point said, "I'm not saying much, but I am just sitting here amazed that I actually have Americans in my house." Seriously, we felt like celebrities half the time. We loved it there, and I really want to go back one day. The people were truly amazing!

As for Palestinians cheering 9/11...while I personally find it utterly disgusting to cheer any kind of murder like that, I wonder if some Arabs saw it as payback because the US has murdered so many of their innocents. Kind of a "you reap what you sow" / karma type of thing? I find it despicable to dance for joy while others are suffering, but it does mitigate things *a bit* in my mind when I understand it that way.

Two Dogs said...

Must.....control......myself.......CB......

The Jimmy Carter Solution.

Louai said...

Some jotting down in the train from my thoughts , probably briefly again ,Palestine ,the country in a small prison from 60 years ,no identification card ,no passports no human rights for 60 years ,everyday war ,Arabs left them alone in the conflict of Gaza (i can’t blame Arab people ,why ?you can ask Susanne!!),their long life capital became a capital ,Jerusalem, to another country, no normal electricity from the born of Addison ,and all the above in front of the states and with full support...
Then we are looking at one family from 3 million ,probably, have a cake after 9/11..

My friend ,during Hurricane Katrina ,I still have a lot of photos ,recording and videos from The Times about people who have parties in the same states that hit by this Hurricane and hundreds of people died at the same time next street!!
Perhaps this is our mother nature ,and here also ,do you think people who don’t know the electricity, or know it for one or two hours a day ,will care about what’s happening around the world ??

I think the idea is much more simple ,WE all sad about 9/11 what happened is really affect us in one way or another ,but yet what next?? Arabs and Muslims will blame for something that even we in Damascus had an explosion last year from this Terrorist ! Quite sure that you didn’t hear about it ,because it’s in a poor country ,cheap people ,aren’t we?

Thanks for your thoughts ,we can’t understand us if we don’t speak frankly without any hatred !!

Thank you ,and keep reply !!!

Coffee Bean said...

Those of us here in America need to keep in mind the fact that we can't trust our own media... it stands to reason that the media in other countries has its own bias that may or may not be controlled by different groups in those countries.

Propaganda is everywhere!!!

One of the reasons it is taking me so long to go through things is because I don't know what to believe and am trying to figure out how to get to the truth and check facts. I'm just a housewife tucked away in middle American suburbia with internet service and a library card.

I have no doubt there were Islamic extremist groups celebrating on 9/11... as well as some civilians that share a hatred for our country and for what they think it stands for.

I also have no doubt that there were Americans celebrating when Baghdad fell and we can all agree that there was a huge civilian toll there.

Images truly evoke an emotional response. They can be used as a powerful tool. I know that in churches all across America we have missionaries return with slide shows of pictures and video to tell the story of where they've been and the plight of those they are trying to help. It is those very images that move us with compassion and cause us to open our wallets in an effort to alleviate their suffering.

Images can also be manipulated to incite anger. We need to be careful when we think about the images we've seen, whether they are still pictures or video. We cannot say with certainty where those have come from and the purpose of the person or group behind their release.

We need to strike a balance. Does that make sense? I cannot, nor will I, brush off images of suffering and death. However, I will keep in the back of my mind that things are not always as they seem. That goes both ways.

The pain, anguish and anger that people feel when they see these types of images is real for them.

For Mrs. B, the image of Arabs celebrating the great loss of life here on 9/11 that took her cousin is an impression that can't be denied.

For Samer, the loss of life and images he sees have left an impression on him that cannot be denied.

For us here in America, we have seen the images of ground zero on our TV's. Many have gone there to see for themselves. The rubble has been cleared away but there still remains a silence about that place. I have not been but one of my daughters and my mother-in-law have.

I am only guessing here, but from the images that I have seen... the rubble is not always cleared away. There are people who are reminded daily of the violence that has taken part or continues to take part in their region. I can only imagine what it must be like to hear gunfire and bombs exploding close to my home.

I think we can all agree here that, while we may fall into larger group headings (Chrisitan, Jew, Muslim... American, Arab or Israeli), we don't all necessarily espouse the beliefs and/or actions of those particular groups in their entirety.

Two Dogs said...

OH. MY. G_D.

Coffee Bean, we now have New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina thrown into the mix. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

This simply cannot be happening.

My pat on the head better last for hours for not completely losing it. Belly stroking is expected as well.

FYI. Hurricane Katrina DID NOT hit New Orleans. It did not.

Louai said...

Sorry ,I put them as a small example but not the main thing !!

:-D

Two Dogs said...

Louia, since you put the smiley face at the end, I shall post a link to the truth about Hurricane Katrina.

That is at my blog. I am in Mississippi, had plenty of friends that lost every single thing when Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast, have many friends in New Orleans that never lost EVEN their cable service, and have been involved in much reconstruction on the coast from the Katrina damage. Nine Section 8 housing complexes so far of the twenty-two scheduled.

And I have also studied the renovation of the levees surrounding New Orleans that failed, the work performed by none other than Senator Mary Landrieu's BROTHER in 1995-97. The self same senator that threatened Bush with violence about the flooding that happened below her Pontchartrain home.

Needless to say, it is extremely frustrating to see the very same reporter, Susan Roesgen, that offered wall-to-wall "Katrina" coverage in NO wind up attacking my philosophical brethren at a Tax Day Tea Party.

There is a reason for my animosity and it is the FACT that leftists in the media LIED about Katrina in the effort to make conservatives APPEAR unsympathetic to poor people.

Louai said...

Thanks for your notification ,

Please dont take this as a personal matter .

I am living in a city far 7000 miles from you ,of course I am so sad for those people but i cant do anything for them ??!!

I think the chat now take a different direction about the main topic ,does that make sense ?!

Coffee Bean ,Totally agree 100% with your statement :
"I think we can all agree here that, while we may fall into larger group headings (Chrisitan, Jew, Muslim... American, Arab or Israeli), we don't all necessarily espouse the beliefs and/or actions of those particular groups in their entirety."

BLBeamer said...

All - I hope I did not give the impression I trust our American media to always be thoroughly truthful, honest, objective, hard-working and perceptive.

Any one who has read my comments here before knows that my opinion of them is quite the opposite.

I am pleasantly surprised when they occasionally achieve the 50% accuracy mark.

The more sources I can find on a story, the more likely it is I will be able to arrive into the general proximity of the truth. However, we must apply our reason and some logic to the information we have, also. That's why I do not accept the knee-jerk response from many Arab spokesmen that every bad thing that happens in a Muslim jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the Jews...excuse me, the Zionists.

If the Zionists are really as powerful as the Arab spokesmen would have us believe, then it would be best to surrender now because resistance is obviously futile.

Susanne - Like any culture (including American), Arab culture has its faults but inhospitality is not one of them. They are among the most charming people on the planet next to Mormons and Persians. :)

Your trip sounds lovely. Personally, I hope to someday visit Tunisia, Egypt and Iran.

BLBeamer said...

Susanne - Sorry, I also meant to ask you, how many innocent Arabs is the US supposed to have murdered prior to the 9/11 attacks?

Susanne said...

CB, wow, you've surely gotten a lot of replies to this post!

Two Dogs, interesting stuff you wrote about New Orleans...hmmm.

Louai, it's always a pleasure hearing from you. :-)

Beamer, good points about the media, and I'm glad you agree about Arab hospitality. Those places you mentioned sound great to visit. I just enjoy meeting foreigners. I wrote about the people we met in Syria at my personal blog if you are one who likes putting faces with names as I am. I hope you get to visit Tunisia, Egypt and Iran one day. Do you have friends in or from those nations?

As for your question re: innocent Arabs -- perhaps the Arab/Muslim world sees us as indirectly responsible for the oppression and murder Israel commits since we give so much money to Israel and they use many of our military weapons. I know in Syria some people encourage them boycotting American products because they know our corporations pay many taxes and some of that goes towards Israel. So perhaps that?

BLBeamer said...

I want to visit Egypt for obvious reasons, Tunisia because I admire St. Augustine, and Iran because I find their ancient culture to be deep and rich.

Joni said...

Mrs Beamer, I hope you have not misunderstood my words about 'conversion' in my comments here. When I talk about 'conversion' I am not talking about a faith conversion. I am still a believer in Jesus Christ as the only way for salvation though His atoning death and resurrection. What I mean is that I have a different perspective on Muslims than I had before. Not all Muslims are Arabs.

I was horrified by the 9-11 attacks, and sorry for your loss. Yet you wrongly assume that ALL of the Arabs and Muslims rejoiced in those attacks. And if some did rejoice, I'd surely like to know what their reasons for before I assume they hate us 'just for being Americans'. We can never lump people together and say that ALL of them felt that way. Some obviously did, but there are 1657.6 million Muslims world wide - we are fools if we think they all have the same goals, the same hates, the same fears, the same national ideals.

"You use words conveying conversions and convictions changed by some terrible Palestinian pictures and one sided words." I am offended that you would assume that. As if I am not a thinking or intelligent person who cannot research and come to her own conclusions about what is truth.

Coffee Bean said...

This is a very touchy subject and people on all sides of the issue tend to react to it emotionally.

Please remember that we are all coming from different places with different experiences. I will not moderate comments on this blog and I really want everyone to be free to express how they see the situation.

We don't know each other in "real life" and sometimes things do not translate well in written form. No doubt we will all be offended at some point but I hope that we can all extend grace to one another as we muddle through this.

Mrs. Beamer said...

Joni, you have a perfect right to your own opinion as I do to mine, and Coffee Bean has graciously provided each of us the forum to express them. As you said in your first post "...I have the right to have my political voice heard". I believe I also have that same right and if that offends you, so be it.

I understood that you were referring to a political conversion and not a religious one, as was I. I am also perfectly aware that not all Muslims are Arabs. In your post you said, "Yet you wrongly assume that ALL of the Arabs and Muslims rejoiced in those attacks." If you would read my message again, you would see that I never made any claim that ALL Muslims or Arabs celebrated the 9/11 attacks. However, all those I saw on the news clips celebrating were Arabs.

It is self evident that everyone in a religion of 1.6 billion people, of different cultures and nations, would not have the same beliefs. I do not share some of the same beliefs as my fellow Christians (Catholics, Pentecostals, Orthodox, etc.) down the street from my church.

I couldn't help but notice that you did say, "I no longer believe that the Jews are 'protecting' themselves from Palestinian terrorists."

What should we make of that statement of yours? A few years ago the State of Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in an operation called "The Disengagment Plan". In the several years since, there have been thousands of Katyusha and Kassem rockets launched at Israel. Deadly terror attacks have been perpetrated in Israel's major cities, at shopping malls, schools and busy crowded streets. If you were to have missile attacks, on almost a daily basis on your own town, would you not have the right to defend and protect yourself? I think you would and Israel does also.

Coffee Bean said...

The "Disengagement plan", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the northern West Bank.

Those Israeli citizens that refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline, were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days. The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005. The eviction and dismantlement of the four settlements in the northern West Bank was completed ten days later.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel's_unilateral_disengagement_plan

BLBeamer said...

Joni, I humbly would like to suggest that perhaps you have some prejudice in your heart against Jews.

Your respect for the Arabs and Muslims is admirable, and Christian, but Jews are worthy of the same respect.

You rightly said not all Muslims are responsible for the 9/11 attacks, yet in your first post here you said that, "I no longer believe that the Jews are 'protecting' themselves from Palestinian terrorists."

That comment sounds like someone who may be harboring resentment against an entire people.

I hope I'm wrong, but I also hope you will pray about this and repent if you are in fact favoring one ethnic group over another, in violation of Scripture.

It is a different thing to object to the policies of a government, however.

Your brother in Christ,

BL Beamer

Joni said...

I didn't reply last night as I wanted to make sure that I searched my heart. BLBeamer suggested that perhaps I have prejudice in my heart against the Jews and I wanted to make sure that I took those words to heart.

I do not hold prejudice(s) against the Jews as a race or religion. I think that the Jewish people are the same as the rest of us. I think they are people who need salvation just like all of us. It is the leadership of Israel that makes political choices that I disagree with, same as I disagree with Hamas or our own politicians.

In saying "...I have the right to have my political voice heard" what I meant was that since we live in a nation where each person is allowed the right to vote and believe according to his conviction that, this is a weighty responsibility and worth considering all sides of serious issues. Obviously not all people come to the same conclusion that I do. I wasn't trying to say "I am talking so people have to listen and agree!" but rather trying to convey what I think is a serious responsibility for us all.

"I couldn't help but notice that you did say, 'I no longer believe that the Jews are 'protecting' themselves from Palestinian terrorists.'What should we make of that statement of yours?" It is my opinion that the government of Israel acts as the greater bully.

When I said "the Jews" I should have said "the government of Israel". As was discussed earlier, the term Jew is tricky as it refers to the nation, the people and the religion. I was referring to the nation and I apologize if my lack of greater precision in terms caused confusion in the matter.

BLBeamer said...

Joni, thank you. I agree with the general theme of your sentiments, although I do not agree that Israel is the only party acting like a bully.

I have often wondered how much further the Palestinians' situation would have developed toward a positive resolution if they had emulated ML King, Jr. rather than the thief and murderer Yassir Arafat.

Two Dogs said...

And........BAM!

Susanne said...

BLBeamer, if you reread what Joni wrote, she said Israel was the "greater bully" not the only one. :)

Someone earlier mentioned Israel's right of self defense from those rockets. I totally understand what you're saying, however, I don't think we fully understand the prison that Gaza is. I realize this is far from a perfect example, but here is how I picture things. I try to think of it like the American Indians being herded onto some reservation. However because they are desperate to get back their land from the occupiers and thus hate the invaders, the more powerful occupiers (who are supported greatly by the most powerful nation on earth) put checkpoints at the entrance to the reservation and only allow a small portion of the needed goods to get through to the Indians. So the Indians start hurting for food and clean water, even electricity and medicines. Now moms and dads can put up with a lot, but when your children start begging for food and hurting because they cannot have proper medicine, you often get desperate.

Before you blame the Gazans for firing missiles, you should see what the Israelis are doing. Putting a blockade around a "reservation of Indians" and essentially starving them isn't exactly endearing the occupiers to the "Indians."

And as for building settlements in the West Bank...can you imagine putting the Indians on reservations (after having taken most of their land) and then coming in there and letting the "new" Americans build houses ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS??

Again, I know my example is faulty, but I am only trying to draw a picture. I never claimed the Palestinians were perfect. I am often disgusted by things they do (including fighting among themselves...sigh), however, when I actually try to put myself into their situations, I find it much easier to understand. Not excuse it, but understand it.

As for the Martin Luther King, Jr. thing ... I wish both sides would take his approach and end this cycle of hatred and violence.

BLBeamer said...

Hi, Susanne. Maybe I missed where she said Israel was the "greater bully" but the post I was referring to she said (emphasis mine), "But the more I read, the more I see Israel as the bully." Post #10 (I think).

If I misread her, I apologize.

Susanne said...

BLBeamer, no problem. :)

I was referring to the one she wrote right before you replied today where you thanked her and agreed with "the general theme" of her sentiments.

She wrote there: "It is my opinion that the government of Israel acts as the greater bully."

That's why I was confused by your words, but now I see. Thanks!

Two Dogs said...

We Indians, I am assuming you mean America Feather Indians, take offense to being compared to Palestinians.

Susanne said...

Two Dogs, that's funny. I know of a native Alaskan who said she hopes the Palestinians keep on having LOTS of children so they won't basically become extinct like most of her people did.


I guess you don't speak for all "American Feather Indians." It seems various opinions abound even amongst yourselves. :)

Two Dogs said...

Yeah, Suzanne, there was this one crazy lady in Alaska, who kept like fifty cats, that did not share the rest of our opinion. She was kinda an outlier.

Susanne said...

Ah, a crazy cat lady, eh? I can see how a guy named TWO DOGS would have a problem with her. ;-P

I am suspect of people groups who always think alike. I'm trying to get away from that myself. :)

Two Dogs said...

Me too, but then again, you drug me right back in with the Palestinian group think. Ah, I digress.

BLBeamer said...

Susanne - What is stopping the Palestinians from adopting Dr. King's approach unilaterally?

If three generations of Jewish comedians have taught us anything, guilt and shame are powerful motivators in the Jewish community. Therefore, it just might work against the Israelis. It certainly worked against the Southern racists in the US. The Northern ones have proven more intractable, though.

Shafiq said...

BLBEamer

I know I've come to this discussion very late but I just wanted to answer your last question.

Every potential Palestinian MLK Jr is languishing in an Israeli prison. No trial, no representation, just abducted in the night from the Occupied territories for daring to speak out against the Israeli occupation.

paul mitchell said...

I do believe that Shafiq just called Dr. King a terrorist. Maybe he thinks that Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, and Yassir Arafat should have won those Nobels, too.

Shafiq said...

Paul,

You're making the assumption that these 11,000 Palestinians and Lebanese are all terrorists. Simply put, they're not.

Some of them are but too many of them aren't.

P.S. Those 11,000 include two brothers, aged 14 and 16

paul mitchell said...

Shafiq, I am not saying that all are terrorists, but not standing up and pointing out the ones that are firing the rockets into civilian areas is CRIMINAL. If "Palestinians" want to be taken seriously as NOT a threat to civilized people, they should scream as loudly as possible and point in a very obvious manner where the Muslims are that are trying to kill innocent women and children.

It is extremely odd that there are plenty of people that have assimilated into civilization, have eschewed the victim mentality of the "Palestinians" and have become highly successful in Israel. But, then again, it is utterly incomprehensible that anyone would choose to be classified as a refugee for over fifty years while living in squalor. You see, I am NOT INSANE.

Refusing to help to root out the terrorists is the VERY SAME THING as being one.

Shafiq said...

Paul,

You've deflected the issue of these detainees by bringing up terrorism. The Palestinians did try peaceful methods to resist the occupation from 1967 up until the first intifada.

I don't condone terrorist attacks but I definitely understand why they do them. It is understandable why the Palestinians refuse to be occupied and continue to resist.

Where exactly do you expect the Palestinians to go and what choice do you think they have? To become a diaspora and forget their cultural homeland? Jews couldn't forget about their homeland for 2,000 years, yet you expect the Palestinians to forget after 60 years.

Not rooting out terrorists is NOT the same thing as being one - just ask every Republican in Northern Ireland.

paul mitchell said...

Yes, Shafiq, that killing of the Israeli Olympic athletes,the hijacking of planes and blowing them up, and the NUMEROUS bombers, are all very peaceful, and I am certainly glad you can understand why people would blow up Pizza Huts. You must be GREAT at parties.

By the way, my opinion is that those "Palestinians" FINANCED by Yassir Arafat, that killed those Israeli kids were MURDERERS. And people who strap explosives to their bodies and detonate them in crowded markets are MURDERERS, and those that fire rockets into neighborhoods in the middle of the night are MURDERERS. There is no other explanation in a SANE WORLD, but we are talking about "Palestinians" in Gaza and the West Bank, so that description does not apply.

I understand why Israel would try to keep "Palestinians" out of their country, but they are just like all of the other Middle Eastern countries that have kicked the "Palestinians" out of their own countries.

Shafiq said...

Paul,

The '72 massacre and plane hijackings were isolated incidents that did not have the support of ordinary Palestinians. Bombings came after the first intifada.

Before that, common methods of protest were things like Civil Deisobedience, Tax Strikes, educating children at homes when schools were shut down by the Israeli military.

In a sane world, no state would be allowed to occupy another state. And apart from Kuwait, which Middle Eastern countries have kicked out their Palestinian populations?

A final question, do you have any other solution to the conflict other than sending the Palestinians into exile?

paul mitchell said...

Sorry, there are literally THOUSANDS of examples of Muslim terror from the "Palestinians" throughout history. Trying to diminish a SINGLE ACT of those thousands hurts your case, CONDEMN the killing instead of saying "isolated incidents." Pretty simple. Syria and Lebanon are the main exporters of "Palestinians." Ask them why they kick those folks out of their countries. By the way, blaming Kuwait is yet another defense of terrorism, in a circuitous route.

The solution is simple, overthrow the Muslim government that y'all ALLEGEDLY elected. Assimilate into at minimum a culture that embraces a 17th Century culture and make peace with the Jooooooos!!!

This is really not rocket SURGERY, Shafiq, when people back terrorism, yet do not perform the acts themselves, they are in FACT terrorists. Normal, sane people know this, too.

Shafiq said...

Paul,

Now you're conflating Muslim with Palestinian. There are many examples of Christian Palestinian resistance too. There simply aren't thousands of examples of 'Palestinian terorism' throughout history, and I have condemned all attacks against civilians.

Neither Syria nor Lebanon have expelled their Palestinian populations. I never blamed Kuwait for anything and I've never defended terrorism. Why do you insist on making accusations that aren't true?

I suppose you're talking about Hamas in your second paragraph. Do you know why the Palestinians elected them in the first place? Because the only alternative Fatah, is corrupt to the core. So, you're in favour of democracy as long as they vote 'the right way'? Hmm.

Then you decide to deride Arab culture, which is something I'm not going to even bother responding to. Your final statement is misleading seeing as the Palestinians aren't at war against Jews, they are resisting the Israeli occupation of 1967 Palestinian territories.

I did ask you for your solution and I think you misunderstood what I meant so I'll rephrase it: Do you believe in a two-state solution where Palestinians live in the West Bank and Gaza and Israelis in Israel? If not, where do you want the Palestinians to go?

As for your last sentence, please research on the Northern Irish conflict and see if you fail the same way afterwards.

paul mitchell said...

Shafiq, I am vehemently opposed to any group of people, INCLUDING the IRA, that KILL women and children to try to wage ideological battles.

Take the United States for instance, militant homosexuals do not bomb our churches, they took over our schools and universities to teach their brand of moral relativism. And oddly, NO ONE WAS MURDERED.

There are literally THOUSANDS of terrorist attacks that have occurred that were perpetrated by "Palestinians." Again, denial of facts is NOT the way to push your point.

And here is my last comment on the topic, if you look at WHY Israel took the property that you refer to as "occupied territories," you shall have your definitive answer to the problems that you see. You see, those areas are NOT occupied, they ARE CONQUERED. To the victor, goes the spoils. That should teach the other countries of the Middle East to try to live within their means and cease the attempt to conquer other countries. When you live with your head stuck in the Third Century sand, you have a tendency to get the crap kicked out of you by people that have moved on and are running the most successful country in the area with relatively little natural resources.

Shafiq said...

Paul,

Again, you're being misleading. All Palestinians are not terrorists and most do not support terrorist acts so to blame Palestinians in general is wrong. The analogy I was trying to make is that the US government and many Americans supported the Republican movement in Northern Ireland without supporting (nor condemning!) the IRA.

The Palestinians broadly did not support violent resistance until after the first intifada. Only after did they support violent resistance (and it has now begun to wane).

After reading your last paragraph, I've realised that there's no point engaging in debate with you when it's not morals that drive you, but a deep hatred of Arabs. You are no better than the Muslim fanatics in the world today.

paul mitchell said...

Yes, Shafiq, blame me for hating someone for WHERE THEY LIVE. And you know what else? You are right, I hate everyone that does not live in my house.

You are a Master-Debater.

Your anti-Semitism just leaked out from under your burka, you terrorist.

Shafiq said...

Anti-Semitism? Where? If I have (which I doubt), I unreservedly apologise and take back everything I've said.

I'll forgive the terrorist jibe seeing as I honestly don't expect any better.

paul mitchell said...

Shafiq, I am a responder, not an instigator. I can debate either side of this issue, because right shall always prevail and most of us know the right side in this debate.

When someone takes the opinion that West bank and Gaza are "occupied" by Israel, they deny the reason WHY.

Coffee Bean said...

Welcome to the debate Shafiq. I appreciate your taking the time to read this post, the comments and to offer your view of the situation. I think it is good for us Americans to look at this issue from different angles other than our own.

I think it is common sense for us to be able to agree that not all Palestinians are Muslims or terrorists and that there is an aspect of injustice having been met out to them as a people. However, Paul made a point that I think is very important in that Israel has basically conquered Palestine.

Seeing as you are from the Middle East you have an up close and personal perspective. I think it is important to recognize that and to validate your views given you place in life. When you zoom out and look at current happenings within the context of global history though... you have to see that these kinds of conflicts and changing of borders has been going on since the beginning of recorded history. The fact is that the stronger always rule.

What I wonder about is why the Palestinians continue to fight when they cannot win. Why put your own people...women and children... at risk like that? Wouldn't it make more sense to find another way to stay in Palestine and live at peace with Israel? I know I may seem naive and overly simplistic here... but I don't understand. Is it even possible for there to be a two state solution anymore?

I don't know. I just seems to me that this is so far beyond what is right or wrong or fair. Who is stronger? Israel.

BLBeamer said...

Hi, Shafiq. I didn't see your reply to my question until today. Thanks for your answer.

Dr. King spent some time in jail, too, and wrote one of his most famous and influential documents from there. I know nothing about the conditions in Israeli jails. Are the Palestinians in Israeli jails forbidden the use of paper and pens?

From my perch here on the west coast of the US, I perceive that any Palestinian who wished to emulate Dr. King would sooner or later find themselves in danger of being lynched by their fellow Palestinians as a Zionist collaborator.

Shafiq said...

Hi CoffeeBean and BLBeamer,

I wasn't planning on replying but you've persuaded me to come back. Just to clear a few things up, I'm not Middle-Eastern, I'm British whose grandparents were originally from India, so I'm also seeing things from an outsider's perspective.

From my viewpoint, states stopped conquering other states at the end of 1945. We eventually gave back West Germany, Eastern Europe up until 1990 remained occupied and not conquered, and according to every government in the world (including Israel) the West Bank area is occupied.

To answer your question as to why the Palestinians continue to fight, the simple answer is they have no choice, the only alternative being they leave the area completely and start life in exile. I ask you to read this, written by an Israeli showing what life is like for West Bank Palestinians. The reason why Palestinians support a two-state solution is because most Israelis don't want a one-state solution where they live together with Palestinians.

BLBeamer,
It is true that Dr. King spent time in jail, but even he was given representation, something denied to many of the Palestinians. They're also denied visitation rights, which means even if they did write anything, there'd be no way to get it out.

Having said that, Mustafa Barghouti would be ideal to take up the mantle of a Palestinian MLK Jr. He is the leader of the Independent Palestine List, a group of politicians aiming to provide:

a truly democratic and independent "third way" for the large majority of silent and unrepresented Palestinian voters, who favour neither the autocracy and corruption of the governing Fatah party, nor the fundamentalism of Hamas.

BLBeamer said...

Thanks, Shafiq. I made no presumption about your ethnicity, but I did assume that English was your native language.

I didn't know that those in Israeli jails were not allowed representation.

I was surprised at your comment that Palestinians prefer a two state solution. That is not at all the impression Hamas and Fatah leaders give when they talk of killing all the Jews or driving them into the sea.

I was not familiar with Mr. Barghouti. Thank you for the information about him. I will read further.

Best wishes,

BLBeamer

Shafiq said...

Thanks for the reply, BLBeamer.

Most Palestinians know that a two-state solution is the only real avenue for peace. Many foreign Palestine activists prefer a one-state solution where Palestinians and Israelis live together but in reality, it's probably not going to happen.

As for Hamas and Fatah, both have come to accept that Israel's not going to disappear, and nothing they do can change that. The phrase 'drive Jews into the sea' was used in 1948 by non-Palestinian Arabs and although the PLO and Fatah did want to destroy Israel, they renounced that in the early 1990s. Hamas renounced its charter in 2006. The Palestinian public have supported a two-state solution for a long time and just want to get on with their lives.

BLBeamer said...

Shafiq said, As for Hamas and Fatah, both have come to accept that Israel's not going to disappear, and nothing they do can change that.

I ran across thisstory today.

I infer from it that perhaps the Palestinian political leaders are not as accepting of Israel as you believe them to be.

Shafiq said...

The deiffernce between accepting Israel and recognising it as a Jewish state is subtle but important.

If Fatah was to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, they would be pre-emptively conceding the Palestinian Right of Return (including symbolic ones) and any acknowledgment of the Nakba. In addition, it is feared that doing so may undermine the right of Israeli Arabs to live in Israel.

It's perfectly fine to accept Israel as a distinct state, which serves as a homeland for Jews, without recognising it as a Jewish state.

BLBeamer said...

I understand the difference but it seems like a double standard exists. How many of the surrounding countries would even consider renouncing themselves as Islamic states?

The right of return also works (or should) work both ways. There used to be a vibrant and vital Jewish presence in nearly all of the North African countries including Morocco, Libya, etc.

Now those communities are essentially gone. Do Jews have the right to return to Libya, for example? I understand that many of the Jews immigrated to Israel of their own volition, but somehow I don't believe any of those governments would welcome back repatriated Jews with open arms.

Shafiq said...

None of the Middle Eastern countries (with the exception of maybe Saudi Arabia and Iran) see themselves as Islamic. Two potential migrants to any of those countries (one Muslim, one Non-Muslim) will have equal chances of citizenship or residency permits. This is not the case in Israel.

I do agree with you however that the right of return should work both ways. It should also include full compensation for those whose possessions were confiscated but they don't want to return. This won't be popular with Arab governments who profited greatly from Jewish expulsion but it is just. As far as I know, Yemen is the only country that has taken steps to invite their Jewish population back.

Having said that, it would be unfair for the Palestinians to face the consequences of Arab intransigence on the issue.

BLBeamer said...

I don't think there's any "maybe" regarding Saudi Arabia and Iran.

I've seen the national flags of Tunisia, Algeria and Libya and I think I could be forgiven for mistaking them for countries that consider themselves Islamic.

You may be correct regarding the chances of two different potential migrants being granted residency, but I am sure that if one of those two was Jewish they would not stand equal chances.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog and though I haven't read all the way through, I see that you are on a similar journey to me.
I want to encourage you that not all Evangelical believers are pro-Israel.
We do have to think for ourselves, and it helps to research as you have done.
A book that is helpful is Colin Chapman's book, Whose Promised Land.
Also, we visited the West Bank last summer and saw for ourselves the injustice.
The problem for us is that we must not jump from one side to the other, suddenly hating the Jews for what they are doing.
Only God can put mercy in their hearts, and only God can help the Palestinians forgive the Jews.
Christians like us may have a unique role to serve in Christ's name, if we can advocate for a just solution.