Wednesday, January 09, 2008

An unpopular perspective.

I posted this reply to a blog posting by Adam Lebor on Jewcy.

I wanted to write this in light of the fact that President Bush is making his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.


Thanks for your original post and this thoughtful response. One would like to believe that peace in the Middle East is possible, but responses like these serve to make me skeptical.

I am half Jewish, though I do not practice the religion. I won't pretend to be a great defender of Jews. I believe that there must be room in this world and that region for a Jewish homeland, safe and secure. But I reject the notion that Israel's interests are automatically America's interests. Absolutely not. If that were the case, we should just make Israel the 51st state and be done with it. They are an independent nation and where we agree we should support one another. Where we differ, we must be allowed to express that without fear of being labeled anti-Semitic. But that doesn’t happen in America. If you purport that there is a potential “different way” the chorus of condemnation rains down upon you (apparently even if you are Jewish).

The wall is bad. Settlements are bad. Pursuing policies that punish all Palestinians for the crimes of extremists is bad. The Israeli people want peace, many are willing to give a little to get a little. But it won’t happen as long as the United States pursues a policy of Israel first, second and last.”

The United States should continue to work aggressively to ensure that the state of Israel continues to exist. We should strive to help our friends in Israel acquire security and peace. But as others point out here, we must also combat the abject poverty that allows extremist ideologies to flourish in the neighboring countries. This malevolence that exists in the Islamic world towards the U.S. and Israel has as much to do with envy as anything. They see that we "have" and they "have not" and they resent us for it. They should resent their leaders, but they are repressed by their leaders and swallow the propaganda whole.

I don’t apologize for the extremists. The poverty and oppression they suffered does not excuse their hateful ideology. But I also do not believe that analyzing the situation and trying to understand the roots of that hatred is tantamount to condoning or excusing. I believe that it is the first step in developing an effective strategy for combating that ideology.

Does anyone truly believe that an ideology was defeated using violent force? Ideologies are defeated by attacking their root cause. Israel is not the cause of this hatred. Poverty and oppression are. The solution won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but methodically working to undo those root causes will be good for the United States, good for the people in the Islamic world and ultimately good for Israel.

Lastly, let’s put to rest this bogus notion that Barack Hussein Obama is in some way a Muslim. He was born of a Kenyan father and white American mother raised by white family in Hawaii (the least extremist place on Earth). He only saw his father once after he left the family. A name does not a Muslim make.

So, let the attacking begin…

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