Deja vu - Judith Apter Klinghoffer
Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer taught history and International relations at Rowan University, Rutgers University, the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing as well as at Aarhus University in Denmark where she was a senior Fulbright professor. She is an affiliate professor at Haifa University. Her books include Israel and the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East: Unintended Consequences and , International Citizens' Tribunals: Mobilizing Public Opinion to Advance Human Rights
SCAPEGOATING ISRAEL MAY NOT BE ALL BAD NEWS
O.K. I may be playing Pollyanna but the PA absurd scapegoating of Israel you will find in the next entry gives me hope:
"So how did an 11--year-old walk into Israel with a bomb in his bag? According to official PA sources,". . . the intelligence services of the occupying authorities [Israel] were the authors, directors and the organizers of the script. . . . As [the boy] was coming home from school he was stopped by soldiers, who placed part of a rifle in his bag together with hand grenades and gas bombs, and then made the boy stand by his open bag so the weapons would be seen .." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 27, 2004]
Why? Because it implies that there are moral limits and using children as suicide bombers is crossing those limits. Yes, I know, the children are still taught not only to hate but to aspire to martyrdom - Shaheda.
I think the following exchange with an Egyptian friend would demonstrate just how crucial it is for Muslims to take back their religion from the Islamists. The context was the upcoming Jewish celebration of Passover.
Friend -"The typical traditional Muslim and that includes Egyptian Muslims identified completely with Moses (its all in the Quran and fact in a nicer version than the Bible -- in the Quran when the magicians are bested by Moses staff (his snake eats theirs) they testify that this is God's work not magic, like their own magic, and they take the shehada testifying that God is One and they are killed by the Pharaoh".
Me:"I am not familiar with the Koranik version and Shehada (martyrdom, right?) sends a shiver down my spine. I saw a documentary which included a clip from the Palestinian TV. It was an interview with a teen age girl who exalted the beauty of Shehada. If you have to chose between a just peace with all the Palestinian rights fulfilled or the Shehada which would you choose? Shehada, she answered, because it is so beautiful and we will not remain young forever.
Yes, I know it has more benign interpretations and Jews had Kiddush Hashem but right now the most prescient line in the Hagadah seems to be"Bechol Dor Vador"-"In every generation . . . .
Friend:"Shehada means to testify. IE to testify that there is no God but God. Meaning don't worship false idols. Prophets and saints in the Torah and in the Quran were martyred or in danger of martyrdom because they so testified in the face of idolatry and tyranny. That's the connection between testifying and martyrdom as the same word. And like every heresy a tenuous connection. In this case the tenuous connection between the martyrdom of he or she who testifies to the Truth that there is no God but God, and the idea that murdering civilians, as well as oneself is somehow martyrdom is typical of all zealots."
May I add, that we were lucky enough to have an Israeli Arab from my hometown of Haifa and her six (adorable) teen age children as well as 10 Israelis us reading the Haggada at our recent Seder. When we came to reciting the plagues we followed the Rabbinic tradition. As we read out loud the name of each plague, we dipped out little finger in the wine and shook some drops on a plate to signify that the misery of our enemies also diminishes our cup."I am so tired of these medieval crusaders," my hometown Arab friend said. Her sister was badly hurt at one of those Haifa suicide bombing. She is starting a new project to promote interfaith understanding in schools.
I know the polls, but I do not believe them. I think its time all the Arab Pharaohs and their wannabe false prophets let their OWN people go!