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Friday, August 22, 2003
Re: Israel

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. How can you not given the recent events and the terrible day-to-day situation that folks there have to live with? I agree with the many sentiments that have been expressed here. Israel has every right, and indeed moral obligation and authority, to protect its citizens from these senseless and cowardly assaults. They should do whatever it takes to make that happen, build a wall, target the known terrorist leaders… they too are at war, and it’s unacceptable that we should feel that we can tell them otherwise.

Increasingly, however, I’m having trouble looking at this situation outside of the context of the greater Middle East/Arab/Muslim/war-on-terrorism issues. That is, when two nations are at war, things are relatively clear. My forces must crush your forces in order to protect my people and interests and prevent you from threatening and imposing your will upon me and my people. This is even true when the other country is ruled by a dictatorial leader who oppresses his own people, in fact it is easier. Here you tell yourself that in addition to protecting the people and interests of your country, you are liberating a people who have had no say in their own destinies and bear no real responsibility for the atrocities committed by the people that hijacked their government and their nation. This war that we (and Israel) find ourselves in, however, isn’t against one nation, it’s against many nations and often against no nation at all. Here it’s not just a country that’s been hijacked, but a religion. And the process has taken a long time, a slow transformation that has been fueled by corrupt mullahs, state sponsored anti-Semitism and an anti-western philosophy that has been constantly reinforced by the “brain-washing” style educational system and the propagandized Arab press. With this level of ingrained hostility, often cowed to and coddled by the European and even American left, how can this war ever really be won – conclusively?

What I believe will be needed for the world to ever move beyond this terrible period is for rational Muslim leaders and reasonable secular Arab leaders to step forward and say that this campaign of hostility and aggression that has gone on for so long must end, and it must end not just between governments, but between peoples. The Koran does not preach the destruction of Jews or Christians, and Muslims need to stand up and say so. They need to convincingly make the case, that their only hope for a bright a future is to accept Israel‘s right to exist and be willing to live in a world community in which everyone is not a Muslim. Until this happens, the Arabs and Muslim peoples will continue to be their own worst enemy, and we (and Israel) will still be at war.

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