Saturday, December 6, 2008

"From Mumbai to Hebron" and "Jewish Jihadis"- by Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam

The horror that went on in Mumbai not doubt far exceeds the material horror of what has been going on in the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron. Despite this, the coverage of the Settlers aggression and 'pogroms' in the Israeli Media is extensive. In the centrist newspaper like Haaretz, the editors and reporters have not been shy calling a spade a spade. they are not wavering of mincing words describing the horror committed by Jewish settlers on innocent Palestinians (for examples see links below).
On this side of the world Richard Silverstein, who publishes the progressive Jewish Website Tikun Olam, is not shy either.
On December 4 and 5 he published two great posts with most provocative titles: Mumbai and Jewish Jihadis and From Mumbai to Hebron, Hate Speaks the Same Language Regardless of Religion.
In those 2 posts he looks for the similarities in the attitudes of fanatics in both Muslim and Jewish worlds. He also puts in perspective the attacks on the Jewish Chabad that was part of the Mumbai Massacre, ending with a murder of a Rabi and his wife.

Take a look at these excerpts, but please read the full articles on his web site. As you may have imagined, he is getting tremendous heat of his opinions form many right wing pro-Israel readers.

From the first article Hate Speaks the Same Language Regardless of Religion:
I tried to carefully calibrate my response to the attack on Chabad House so that I excoriated the terrorists without trashing Islam. Most commenters would have none of it. They placed the blame squarely on Islam. All of Islam. There was no nuance. No fine points. No distinctions. It’s goddamn depressing.

And that is the frustration I feel dealing with religious violence. It carries almost a hypnotic power. If you are an extremist the violence is like an accelerant to a fire or a drug. If you represent the victimized, then such terror cries out for vengeance.
And from the second article Mumbai and Jewish Jihadis :
My Jewish jihadi friends NEED to see the Mumbai attack as based in anti-Semitism because they either wish to, or are prepared to concede a religious holy war between Islam and Judaism in which we will all fight to the death leaving a world in which none of us shall remain standing.
So if you wish to see the Mumbai attack as one that threatens all Jews, be my guest. But you’ve only allowed yourselves to be drawn into the cycle of global Jewish-Muslim jihadi revenge. And that is a dead end literally in which the bodies of the future Gabriel and Rivka Holtzbergs korbanot will pile like kindling up to the heavens.
Silverstein's frustration with fanatics on all sides and from all religions is as deep as mine. Fanatics and extremists are all the same. They see the world form only one perspective; the only legitimate perspective: their perspective. And they see the truth through only one pair of eyes, the only eyes that can see the truth: their own eyes.

The Golden Rule in the Torah says Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said Love for your brother what you love of yourself.

To simplify it would be like that: put yourselves for a moment in the other persons place. Make some effort to walk a mile in their shoes. Take a moment and try to see the worlds through your 'enemies' eyes. If you do that, the other may not continue to be a stranger, and the enemy may be no longer an enemy. You may see the humanity in them, and they may see the legitimacy of your grievances.

Fanatics and extremists unfortunately are unable to do that, no matter what their holy scripture tells them. Domination and even exterminations of the others is their only way of doing business. Too bad the rest of us get in the line of fire.


Other links to Hebron Events:

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