The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a humanitarian one, and it would be wrong to label it as Jewish and Muslim or between Judaism and Islam. We have to guard ourselves from labeling each other as enemies which we are not, and we shouldn't be. Of course a few among us look to the other Americans as if they have wronged us. No, none whatsoever.
The conflicts should not tear us apart; instead it should bring us together to
build a cohesive America, and hopefully cohesive societies across the world
where no human has to live in fear of the other.
On the other hand we need to ask people to appreciate the efforts of Jewish and Muslim peacemakers in the United States who are making every effort to find solutions. Calling it a Jewish Muslim problem amounts to belittling their efforts. Let's guard ourselves from such short-sightedness.
Rabbi Elana Zelony of congregation Beth Torah in Richardson affirms the above, "With all the media about violence between Muslims and Jews, it's easy to forget that many of us are yearning for peace. We will gather to strengthen one another with our prayers and affirm a vision of a peaceful world."
It is easy to destroy the relationships with reckless language, and I urge everyone to use the language that restores goodness. Let's take this as an endurance test of our wits. I hope we come out unscathed as conflict mitigaters and goodwill nurturers, and not the ones who mess up.
Shaheen Khateeb of Indian American Muslim council shares the note from Andrea Winters of Pace University, "It really was lovely dinner and opportunity to reconnect--and share--felt good, all the more because of what is happening in the world. Very painful.. but it is heartening to know that important connections can be made and kept despite all the bloodshed elsewhere. Now the world has to figure out what to do about the bloodshed."
Here is a summary of the conflict in the most simplistic expression;
1. The Palestinians are made up of Christians, Muslims and others, before the creation of Israel, even the Jews from the area were referred to as Palestinian Jews.
2. When Jews were persecuted or discriminated throughout Europe and the US respectively, Arab and Muslim nations were a safe haven for Jews for nearly 1300 years of Islamic existence.
3. The Israeli Palestine issue is not thousands of years old as
some blabber, it's just 67 years old, since Israel was carved out of Palestine
in 1947. There were no significant flare-ups between Jews and Muslims until
then while Europe was bent on annihilating Jews in the same period of time.
4. The United Nations rightfully took the responsibility to settle the Holocaust survivors in the then Palestine. The land was given to Immigrant Jews (even the United States refused a Jewish refugee ship to land on our shores), and it was handled poorly without proper local consent and cooperation, instead of dialogue and kindness people resorted to fighting and denying each other's rights.
5. Shamefully, the fight for the land began and continues today, the settlers are taking the land from the Palestinians, bulldozing their homes, and building their own settlements, there is no rule of law and justice. The occupation does it.
6. There is a solution to it; we have plenty of land here in the
United States. We should welcome the settlers in Texas; at least they can build
it guilt free. We have been subsidizing Israel with over $3 billion a year; and
we can reduce it to $1 billion for one year and offer them federal lands to
build their settlements in lieu of the reduced aid. It will create a lot of
jobs in the United States and peace in the Middle East.
7. We can offer the same deal to Palestinians; let's welcome them to the United States to raise their families in peace and prosperity instead of fighting a daily battle for survival. We can help compensate the Palestinians from the same funds and offer lasting solutions for them as well.
There are always people who eke out their living by evil means. Indeed, they have successfully built up prejudice against Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular, and many of us Americans have lost a sense of fairness and justice. There is no reason for us to be prejudiced against any people; we need to fight that instinct and live a prejudice free life.
I have been to several Mosques during this month of Ramadan, and it was good to hear supplications seeking justice and relief to the Palestinians, but no hatred towards Jews was expressed and that was the right thing to do. What a relief it was to know that the bad guys are not Jews, Judaism or Israel, but the ones hell bent on seeking revenge, and those cheering the death and destruction, and many a Muslims are praying that God give goodwill to those who rejoice in destruction.
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