.رسالتي الشخصية للشعب الفلسطيني تكريما لشهر رمضان
I say this to you with all the sincerity I can muster. I can’t help thinking of the famous quote by Dr Martin Luther King Jr: “Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction… The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
As a Jew, I shake my head in bewilderment at the reluctance of many hard working and respected Palestinian Muslims to stand up and be counted against terrorism, against hate, against intolerance, against racism of other peoples and for good measure while I’m at it, against the vile cesspool of antisemitism. I ask myself what does it take for you, as Muslims, to vigorously express yourselves openly, as individuals or as a community, against these concerns without losing your dignity or honour?
Why do many of you still find it so much easier to demonstrate against all that is Jewish, yet lack the courage of openly demonstrating against the abhorrent acts of brutality initiated by your own Muslim brethren, who have slaughtered thousands of your fellow Palestinians in Arab lands through sectarian violence, bombings and the kidnapping and rape of your women and children?
I ask you, is your fear of being shamed, of having to admit these atrocities are committed by other Muslims so powerful that to openly convey your thoughts to non-Muslims might affect whatever power and influence you personally have in your community?
As the Islamic spiritual scholar, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan so eloquently puts it: “Not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all might be held culpable. This is because that section of Muslim–in fact, the majority–who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic Shariah itself, if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible.”
For me, I can tell you proudly, we Jews no longer suffer from what is called a victim mentality. So, learn from our tragedy because whatever you negatively throw at us will almost certainly bounce right back at you. Learn that you can still have honour and respect without the sword. Learn, before your own fanatics devour all of you, your families and your communities.
As Ramadan approaches, wherever you live, be gracious and reach out to non-Muslims. Your concept of hospitality, charity, spirituality and community can be shared by all, irrespective of one’s religion, race and nationality. During Ramadan extend your hand out to non-Muslims by inviting them into your home for Iftar.
According to a hadith, Prophet Muhammed said, “Charity is a proof of faith” and “The best charity is that which is given in Ramadan.” Make it so.
Ramadan Kareem. Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair! May the future of your children’s lives find peace, happiness and a feeling of belonging amongst you.