“Read our lips, how many times do we have to tell you?”
There’s a well-known quotation by the American writer Eric Hoffer. “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.”
Among the lives of people, individuals and cultures there are many living in the Palestinian Territories who maintain that the best thing for man to strive for in this world is to take revenge on his enemies. For many young Muslim Palestinians who have been educated at an early age in their schools to hate Israel and hate Jews, the satisfaction for revenge cannot be clearer than it is today.
The great ninth century Jewish philosopher Saadia Gaon commented that the thirst for revenge affords the pleasure of seeing discomfiture of its enemy, assuages the vehemence of its wrath and puts an end to excessive brooding. Saadia said that the man who is consumed by the desire for revenge gets into a frame of mind of refusing to accept intercession or entertaining any feeling of compassion or pity.
“Hatred brought on by illiterate Imams.”
Over one thousand years later Saadia’s comments still reflect the attitude that we have learnt nothing. As we observe the hatred in the Palestinian Territories against the Jew we find very little is based upon the acceptance that, heaven forbid, my world can also be shared in peace, equally, without reservation.
And as to its leaders, today’s Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, openly falsifies historical evidence, instills hatred in his young people’s minds towards the Israeli citizen, young and old, that I maintain no civilized democratic government has a hope in hell in stopping. It is a hatred that has its own direction, its own time and space, egged on by the perverse nature of fanatics utilizing the services of weak squabbling western-based democratic governments, of financially-strapped international media that have no time, or will, to verify the accuracy of its stories, the ten second clip, satellite dishes, mobile phones, photos of children and Internet web sites and social media outlets. It is a hatred brought on by illiterate Imams to the masses of the uneducated and their educated children.
Christopher Hitchens, the noted British born author, religious and literary critic once said: “It is a moral idiot who thinks that antisemitism is a threat only to Jews.” How right he was! Look no further than in the Middle East. Those who hate Jews also hate Christians.
“The Church is being silenced and driven out of its ancient biblical heartland.”
Earlier this week, a bi-annual report on Christian persecution, produced by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, was published. In essence, the report states:
At a time when the numbers of displaced and refugees have hit an all-time high, Islamists groups—ISIS foremost—are carrying out religiously motivated ethnic cleaning of Christians, notably in the Middle East and in parts of Africa.
In parts of the Middle East—particularly in Syria and Iraq—the crisis is so severe that barring significant interventions on the part of world powers, the Christian presence may disappear completely within a decade or even sooner. For example, there may be as few as 275,000 Christians left in Iraq, down from 1 million 12 years ago.
For Palestinian Christians, in towns such as Bethlehem, which used to be uniquely Christian, Muslims now are a clear and growing majority. As it’s been said, “The veil has replaced the cross.”
To return to Hitchens: “And the most depressing and wretched spectacle of the past decade, for all those who care about democracy and secularism, has been the degeneration of Palestinian Arab nationalism into the theocratic and thanatocratic hell of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, where the Web site of Gaza’s ruling faction blazons an endorsement of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
Many Jews ask me, “What actually does the Palestinian want?”
For Palestinians, the answer is simple. Time and time again, in numerous opinion polls and studies, the vast majority have said; read our lips, how many times do we have to tell you? We do not want to make peace with Israel. Yet, for some crazy implausible reason many Jews on the political left, don’t believe them. Why is it that by some twisted conclusion we wholeheartedly accept that Iran wants to annihilate Israel, yet, in our hearts and minds we have become mired in the conviction that we can help to transform a Palestinian people, indoctrinated from birth to hate and kill Jews, to live side-by-side with their Jewish neighbour?
Was it not Shakespeare who said: “In time we hate that which we often fear?” For the ordinary Palestinian perhaps we should first try to understand what they fear more than what they want.
Well, that’s my opinion!
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SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”