ISRAELI MONOPOLY ON RIGHTEOUSNESS?
April 25, 2002
Letters to the Editor
25 Lower Freeborn, UC Davis
Davis CA 95616
Anti-Semitism is a dangerous and hateful form of racism that must be vigorously opposed wherever it appears. However, fighting anti-Semitism shouldn't encourage anti-Arab racism, as does the latest contribution to the Aggie's letters page by Michael Malk ("Reader speaks out in defense of Israel," 4/25/02).
Attempting to claim a monopoly on ethical righteousness, Malk repeats the pervasive nonsense that Israelis want only peace, while Palestinians want only blood. "We are good, they are evil." Please. Malk's letter is merely the latest tiresome reprise of the racist "blood-thirsty savages" stereotype used by all colonial occupiers to justify their murderous violence against indigenous peoples. "We are civilized, they are barbaric."
Writes Malk: "Israelis have always extended the olive branch and taught their children to compromise." Huh? Perhaps he's missed the recent devastation of Jenin by Israeli tanks, helicopters, and bulldozers? What compromise lesson is Sharon teaching there? Perhaps Malk has also never heard of Deir Yassin? Kafr Qasem? Qibya? Sabra and Shatila? And now Jenin? What lessons do those massacres of Palestinians, and countless others, teach?
Perhaps Malk has never heard of Dr. Baruch Goldstein? A follower of the venomous Rabbi Meir Kahane, this US-born physician entered a Hebron mosque in 1994 with an automatic weapon and killed 39 unarmed worshippers before he was beaten to the ground and killed. Hundreds of Israelis hailed Goldstein as a hero, including Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, who eulogized this suicide attacker with the infamous declaration: "one million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." What "olive branch" was Goldstein extending? What lessons were Rabbis Kahane and Perrin teaching Israeli children?
There are violent extremists on BOTH sides. Unfortunately, the extremists in Israel control the government and are extravagantly armed, courtesy of an annual gift from US taxpayers of $3 billion of weaponry. There will be no peace in the Middle East until this military aid is ended and these murderous Israeli extremists are reined in.
Fortunately, most Israelis and Palestinians are tired of the violence and desirous of peace. We should remind ourselves, and especially folks like Michael Malk, that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians HAS NOT attached explosives to their bodies to launch suicide attacks. MOST Palestinians want peace, ALL Palestinians suffer from a brutal Israeli occupation.
Peace for both Jews and Muslims in Palestine is possible. Justice for Palestinians and an end to Anti-Semitism are not mutually exclusive goals. But to accomplish these necessary ends, we need honesty, not more racist distortion.