Monday, March 20, 2006

My Reply to One Who Has Called Me "Racist" and "Odious"

If you read the comment I received in the previous post you will find the words of someone who has taken deep offense from what I have written concerning the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian people and the ongoing conflict over the existance of Israel.

This person, who goes by the name Umkahlil, has written an emotional and angry response to another recent post of mine which I entitled, "Why Palestine Should Be Left To the Wolves."

In response to her posting I have written and posted a comment of my own.

By following the link to her blogsite you can read what she wrote about me.

What follows is the comment by which I responded to her.

As always, read all that you can and make up your own mind.

Umkahlil, I am the "debased Zionist schill" the "so-called 'man of God'" and "hack preacher" who posted the "Why Palestine Should Be Left For the Wolves." I am the one who wrote,

"In reference to this posting's title, I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE WORLD SHOULD TURN THEIR BACK ON THE WEST BANK AND GAZA PALESTINIANS . . . at least not completely. But there are many reasons to do so."

I am the one who wrote,

"Is there any sense of justice in (the Palestinian's) complaint over the existence of Israel? Yes, of course there is. It is an issue worthy of discussion and debate. It is worthy of pursuing a solution and a resolution, a compromise and a settlement."

I am the one who wrote,

"It deeply grieves my own heart to see how far these honorable and naturally hospitable people have fallen.

In the end it will up to the Palestinian people to decide whether they will forever blame Israel for their problems or whether they will let Israel exist and turn their energy towards creating a prosperous and glorious nation for themselves.

"Sadly, and ironically, their desire to destroy Israel has manifested itself in the destruction of themselves."

I am the one who believes that the 1948 Palestinian-Israeli War still continues today.

I am the one who believes that Israel's original desire was to live peaceably with her neighbors.

I am the one who believes that, after declaring its independence and establishing itself as a recognized nation, Israel made no effort to expand its borders beyond those proposed by the United Nations.

I am the one who believes that, although it coveted Jerusalem and desired to establish that city as its capital, Israel made no attempt to do so and cooperated with the international divisions and administrations of that city for 20 years.

I am the one who believes that, in an expanded continuation of the 1948 war, Israel was attacked in 1968 and 1973 by combined military forces representing the countries of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, supported by the active participation of many Palestinians, many of whom had been displaced from the land now occupied by the nation of Israel.

I am the one who believes that these two wars were initiated with the clear aim of defeating and destroying the nation of Israel and replacing it with a non-Jewish state dominated by Palestinian Arab Muslims (and a smaller share of Palestinian Christians); a state that would have been allied with the same Middle East Arab nations that attacked Israel.

I am the one who believes that Israel expanded and enlarged its borders (including Jerusalem) in response to these attacks upon its national existance.

I am the one who believes that Israel occupied the "West Bank" and Gaza as a defensive measure to protect itself from those nations and peoples who wished to see it destroyed.

I am the one who believes that Jordan was then attacked by Palestinians under the guidance and leadership of the PLO and Yassir Arafat with the intention of overthrowing the monarchy and establishing a national identity for the Palestinian people.

I am the one who believes that after being defeated by Jordan the more militant Palestinians fled into Lebanon where, with the tacit support of Syria, they shared in fomenting the civil war that destroyed Lebanon as an independent nation.

I am the one who believes that, with northern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley under the firm control of Syria, the displaced militant Palestinians, forced out of Jordan and the West Bank by both Jordan and Israel, used that location to continue to attack Israel along its northern border.

I am the one who believes that, once again in a defensive response to these attacks, Israel entered southern Lebanon and attempted to occupy, control and destroy those who were seeking its annihilation.

I am the one who believes that there was once a time when Israel would have been content to return to its original borders in exchange for an international guarantee of peace and security.

I am the one who believes that Israel no longer believes that, in the forseeable future, there is any real likelihood of either Fatah or Hamas (as elected representatives of the Palistinian Authority) pursuing a negotiated peace settlement that would affirm, accept and recognize Israel as a sovereign nation.

I am the one who believes that a state of war exists between Israel and the recognized leaders of the Palestinian Authority and that those under their authority must also be counted as citizens of a "nation" at war.

I am the one who believes that the casualties and suffering you have ennumerated so graphically in your own posting are casualties of war . . . as are those Israelis who have also suffered and died in the ongoing exchange of violence.

I am the one who believes that Israel has not always acted wisely or well in its response to the incessant attacks which have been directed against it; including its decision to build "permanent" settlements in Gaza, the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

I am the one who believes that the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza have suffered terribly as a result of this ongoing conflict.

I am the one who believes that this suffering is a direct result of the conscious and intentional decision of Palestinian leaders to refuse to recognize the state of Israel and to perpetuate the state of war with the expressed aim of destroying Israel.

I am the one who does not believe that a nation should be condemned for failing to extend friendship, medical services, economic trade and financial support to a neighbor nation which has openly declared and continues to wage war against it.

I am the one who believes that a nation should not be condemned for building a "security fence/wall" in an effort to protect itself against those who are seeking to destroy it...even if that barrier is built on land claimed, but not controlled, by its enemy.

I sm the one who believes that "peace" will only come when either Israel is destroyed and swept away as a nation or when Israel is accepted as a nation by a Palestinian people who will build their own nation alongside in peaceful cooperation and coexistance with Israel.

With the second scenario I can envision a bright and prosperous future for the Palestinian people.

With the first scenario I can envision only continued suffering, despair, destruction and death for the people of Palestine.

Both scenarios embrace some measure of injustice. Neither scenario is completely satisfying from the perspecive of history, religion, international law or personal and national aspiration.

Yet one path has the potential to lead towards life and hope for both nations.

The other path will bring only more suffering and death.

I am the one who wishes that there was another, better, more just and satisfactory option for peace. But I, along with the rest of a concerned world, has yet to find it.

In light of this unsolvable dilemma, I am the one who believes that the suffering of the Palestinian people remains a direct result of their choice, their decision, to continue their war against Israel.

I am the one who seeks neither the destruction of Israel nor the suffering of the Palestinian people.

I am the one who believes that, at the present moment in history, to support the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian people who elected them is to support them in their efforts to destroy the nation of Israel.

My heart is broken. I am torn. I yearn for peace and justice for all sides in this conflict.

If this makes me a "racist" in your eyes then I will not attempt to argue that point with you.

If this makes me "odious" in your eyes then I will not attempt to argue that point with you either.

In the biblical book of Ezekiel 18:32 I read, "I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD."

With this I agree.

With the Christian writer, John Donne, I affirm that "every man's death diminishes me." Whether the one who suffers or dies is Jewish, Muslim or Christian; Palestinian or Israeli, it is all one and the same to me. I say this because I agree with John Donne's conclusion, "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Call me what you will. I wish you no ill will. I shall not label you or call you any name that you do not wish to be called. And yet I stand by my use of the word "wolves;" acknowledging that there are wolves in Palestine, in Israel, in Germany and in the United States as well.

On occasion, Israel has elected "wolves" to represent them in their government. It is my belief that, in the last election, the people of Palestine did so as well.

While I respect the right of the Palestinian people to choose who they wish to rule over them, it does not logically follow that I must endorse and support their choice.

Our actions have consequences for which we must learn to take responsibility.