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I am a Jew -- Not a Zionist

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Message Sam Hamod

Recently, there have been substantiated reports that the Israeli occupying army has abused Palestinian children sexually, psychologically and physically, in Jerusalem and in the West Bank of Palestine.

A friend, who is a rabbi in the Princeton area, when we learned of this, was outraged. I asked what he felt about this as a rabbi. His response was, "I am a Jew, not a Zionist. What the Israelis are doing is against our religion. Somehow, the devils who run our military have ruined our sons and daughters in Israel so that they have lost their sense of morality, they have lost the sense of our religion."

I understand his being upset, it happens in all religions when political animals are in control and wear the mask of religion. This has happened in Christianity both during the crusades and afterward; in Islam when civilians were attacked and killed in what is called "honor killing," and in Judaism in the abuse and murder of Palestinians, both children and adults. In these cases, the criminals wore the false mask of "religion," and/or "patriotism."

Honest religious leaders like this man speak out, but too often their voices are not allowed to be heard on our major media, be it TV, radio, magazines or newspapers. Then, if they are allowed to speak, their words are taken out of context and they are attacked by the ignorant in their own religion, and by others who don't understand or care about their religion but are full of stereotypical hatred. This happened in Israel to the "refusniks" and rabbis who spoke out, and would not participate in the abuse and killing of Palestinians. It happened in New York City with Imam Abdul Rauf who speaks for peace and understanding and has, like his father, stood up against the violent ones in Islam and the ignorant ones who abuse Islam, and it has happened with people like those in Sojurners and in the National Council of Churches when they try to get the truth out but are drowned out by ignorant and uneducated "christians," like Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida and his congregation of a mere 50, who created a mess for everyone.

Of course, the media loves controversy -- it attracts viewers, that is why Fox TV is so popular -- it's a lot like the TV weathermen in Florida who don't call their coverage a "weather report," but call it "STORM WATCH!" as if a storm is imminent. The wise and educated in Judaism, Christianity and Islam are rarely allowed on TV or heard from in the op ed pages of our newspapers; instead, the loud-mouthed uneducated hold sway, people like Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and others despoil the name of Judaism and Christianity, as do some of the rabbis, ministers and imams who preach hatred.

It is time people realized that, as the rabbi put it, "Too many people think all Jews support Israel. I support Judaism, which is fast disappearing in Israel, and being replaced by the Zionism of Barak, Netanyahu, Lieberman and others who wear the mask of our religion while they commit crimes against humanity, especially the Palestinians. Eventually, this will all come to ruin."

I think that all of us, whatever our religion, must do all we can to educate people about the true Christianity, Islam and Judaism, not that being preached by the ignorant and hate mongers.

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Sam Hamod, Ph.D. is a graduate professor; he has taught courses in creative writing, politics, religion, mass media and intercultural relations. He has one of the very few PhDs awarded by The Writers Workshop of The Univ. of Iowa, has published 12 (more...)
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