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Domestic Terrorism American Style -- An Analysis

By       Message Lawrence Davidson       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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That brings us to the Isreaeli style lynching that occurred on the night of August 17 in Jerusalem. Raised in an environment that purposely cultivates prejudice and hatred against Arabs, a mob of some 50 Israeli Jewish young people attacked four Palestinian male youths, almost killing one of them. The attack was unprovoked and apparently random, though the attackers "claimed they wanted to prevent them [the Arab boys] from speaking to Jewish girls." "Hundreds" witnessed this event but did not interfere. The entire thing was predictable, and indeed inevitable. It is what you get when you practice a culture that has evolved around racist views.

Part V -- Conclusion

There might be a human genetic inclination toward group solidarity, but its worst manifestations are not inevitable. You can feel solidarity with your family, your religious community, your ethnic group, your nation, etc., without hating others. The hating part is a learned attitude. And, as is often the case, fear will underly the hatred.

Both American and Israeli bigots or terrorists have focused on Arabs and Muslims as a threatening out-group. Both the Americans and the Israelis who do so draw strength from a culture that has deep racist roots. In today's U.S.A. many know that this is wrong and so there is a moral position from which to combat this behavior. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say the same thing about Israel.

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In the United States the core need is consistent educational and legal pressure against racist behavior both in terms of individual and institutional behavior. When I say consistent I mean over multiple generations, for at least as many years as it took to create the nationwide bigotry in the first place. 

If we do not succeed in this endeavor then American Zionists will be proven correct. We in the U.S. will be just like the Israelis.

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Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.

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