Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Beit Hanoun

In the aljazeera article about the Beit Hanoun tragedy:

'Ghazi Hamad also said that Israel was an inhuman state that "should cease to exist."'

Personally: I am extremely sorry about this tragedy. I truly and sincerely wish it did not happen. No one deserves such deaths. Not Palestinians, and not Israelis. Not innocent Palestinian civilians, and not Hamas militants.

But Israel is not an inhuman state. It is a country fighting for its existence - exactly because of opinions like the one presented by Ghazi Hamad.

Israeli violence gains momentum from opinions like Mr. Hamad's, from Qassam rockets and Palestinian violence in general. Palestinian violence gains momentum from Israeli violence - and the cycle continues.

This tragedy is not the fault of Israel any more than it is the fault of Palestinians. Threatening to destroy Israel only increases the violence, when it is the vicious cycle of violence that must be stopped!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Harun Yahya video - not really the philosophy of Zionism and Israel

Mohamed Maher pointed me to a film which I found intriguing. I feel that contrary to its title, this film demonstrates a total misunderstanding of the philosophy of Zionism and Israel. I wonder how this film is understood by Arabs.

Zionists are portrayed here as murderers with a racist agenda. The film explains that "devout Jews oppose Zionism", and are against Israeli violence. I was very glad the film showed pictures of Israelis opposing Israeli violence (e.g., demonstrating against the Sabra and Shatilla massacres). I'm sorry the filmmaker forgot(?) to mention that these people are also Zionists.

There are many truths in this video, but there are also many many omissions, and even some falsehoods. Mohamed - I wish you could have heard the Israeli Zionist crowd cheering as Zionist writer David Grossman, in his speech tonight, called on our Prime Minister to acknowledge Palestinian suffering. David Grossman lost his son in the recent Lebanon war. He gave his speech during a remembrance to Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin. Rabin was murdered by a Jewish right wing extremist. Indeed - there are Israeli Zionists who are criminals and brutal murderers. But things are not so black and white as the film suggests. Not all Zionists are racist fanatics. In fact, the vast majority of us are not.

I was surprised to hear the opinion in this film that suicide bombings are against the sayings of the Qur'an. As far as I know, these brutal killings of Israelis are carried out mostly by devout Islamic factions. (@Mohamed - I'd really like to hear your opinion about this).

I found the film's call for peace at the end especially surprising, because most of the film seemed to me like propaganda against Israel. The film puts a lot of emphasis on Israeli violence, but chooses to explain this violence as rooted in some social Darwinist philosophies which I have never heard of, rather than the vicious cycle of violence and counter-violence which we all witness.

I see this film as another example of each side viewing itself as "the good guys", without even a minimal sympathy towards the feelings of the other side, and without acknowledging its own responsibility for much of the violence.

@Mohamed, I wonder how you feel about this film?