Thursday, December 26, 2002
Islamofacism and poverty: A "conversation on the beach" is an example of some first-person reporting that is sometimes some of the most insightful and informative available. In the article, which was first written as a letter to a friend, an Israeli holocaust survivor describes a conversation he had with a Palestinian who is apparently a college student at Hebrew University.
Then he smiled and said," You might as well enjoy the beautiful view from "Sidney Alley" while you can. You won't be able to do so for long. If I were you, I would pack and leave for safer countries." I gave him a long look.
"Thanks for the advice, but I remember another Arab who gave the same advice to us in 1948, when the British were pulling out. He may have been your grandfather, for all I know. He lived in a village somewhere around here and he was a friend of a Jewish man named Peytan whom I knew as well.
Peytan lived in Kefar Shemaryahu across the road. One day the Arab neighbor came visiting Mr. Peytan and strongly advised him to pack and leave. At the same time, he brought out a measuring tape and began to measure the room they were sitting in.
'What are you doing?" Asked my friend.
"Look, you are going to lose your house anyway. There is no way that six hundred thousand of you can stand up to the combined might of six Arab regular armies, not to mention our Palestinian battalions. We can actually kill you with our hats!" Yes, that is what he actually said: "We can kill you with our hats." We have been good friends for a long time. You might as well give me your house rather than to someone you don't know."
"His advice reminded me of your advice. Yet during the 1948 war, that was forced on us by you, your 'grandfather', not only didn't get the house in Kefar Shemaryahu, but he lost his own house and became a refugee. And now he is blaming it on the Jews. Fifty-five years later he still sits in the camp. His views haven't changed much. He still wants not only his house back, but he wants the house in Kefar Shemaryahu, of his Jewish friend as well. Will he ever get it? I doubt it."
"Yes, he will get it! And you know why? Because in 1948 they were all cowards! Today, our generation is proving that we are not! Eighteen determined men with carton cutters who were not afraid to die, defied the big American might, causing them thousands of dead and trillions of dollars worth of lbosses. We found out that we can bring the Western capitalist system to its knees, and we shall do so! It is a shameless selfish system that causes endless human misery around the world, especially in the third world countries and for Islam. It is time for it to go!" It was obvious from the way he said it that he didn't say it for the first time.
Remember, this kid is a college student -- so much for education and wealth being a salve for racism and hatred. If you're interested, there's also a discussion of this topic going on over at LittleGreenFootballs.com.
As I mentioned before, thanks to a benefactor, I just finished reading Oriana Fallaci's "The Rage and The Pride." In the book, Fallaci is really issuing a wake up call to Italy, and by extension Europe and that part of America that is represented by that band of great thinkers like Susan Sarandon, Noam Chomsky, Jane Fonda and Susan Sontag. (Fallaci has some very strong words for Fonda, especially, after the two had a run in back in the 1970s after they both visited North Vietnam during the war.)
Fallaci's point, one which many, including myself, have made is that there will be no truce with Islamofacism. There will be no truce with radical Islam. It is them or us. They have declared war on civilization, and there will be no quarter. Iraq is the first domino. Once it falls, Iran will fall on its own. After that, change will come in the Middle East -- one way or another.
Unfortunately, for we who value human life, many civilians will die. Hopefully Islam can come out of the dark ages and learn tolerance for other faiths.
But don't hold your breath.