Perhaps I was wrong.
When I was a child growing up in the Arab world, I thought about the Jews. I thought about 'THE Jews'. A strange word; Jews; sounds like 'juice', to a child. But I thought, why are these people called 'the Jews'? And why were they bad to the Arabs? Eventually, I came to understand that the invaders and settlers in Palestine were almost completely Jewish, and I supposed that that was the rationale behind using the words 'Israelis' and 'Jews' interchangeably.
But still, I clung tight to the belief that not all Jews were evil, and I never found anyone who would disagree with it. My faith was inseperable from the tales of the Jewish prophets, and I knew that there were bound to be Jews who were not Zionist.
Maybe I was wrong.
When I left the Arab world for education, my beliefs were confirmed. Many anti-zionist Jews were out there, and they didn't make any excuses for it. Some were very strict Orthodox Jews. I met a Jew through a list that I still frequent. A list of information on Palestine, that has Muslims, Christians and Jews, amongst others. His name is not important, although I will forward any message to him that is sent to me regarding what he has said in response
to a Zionist. I just wish more people would speak as firmly as he.
''In Montreal we stayed in a student hostel, and their were students from many countries there, some from Arab countries, and I recall how we taunted them. But then, I was only about 19 or so, and having been a good Jewish boy and gone to afternoon Hebrew School at the Young Israel across the street from my apartment building in the Bronx, I had learned that the Arabs were primitive nomads who got about on camels, made their living through shady dealings and the like. Since I had no frame of reference and since at that time I was between the ages of 10-14, I had no frame of reference and since I was being taught this by adults, they had to be correct.''
Let this be a lesson to all those Arabs and Muslims in Europe and North America; they cannot blame the people of those areas to be so ignorant if they themselves do not jump up and speak the truth.
''When we arrived on 2nd Ave [for a pro-Israel demonstration], there was a group of people on one side of the street holding placards and chanting something, marching in a circle behind police barracades. The men were wearing business suits and the women were dressed appropriately. They were quite orderly, and I assumed that those were the Jewish demonstrators. On the other side of the street, were a group of swarthy men, wearing gaudy gold neckchains, with their shirts opened down to their navels, cursing at the top of their lungs at the other group. I assumed these were the Arabs. Upon closer approach I realized I had it exactly backwards. The first group were Arabs and the maniacs were the Israelis who were screaming in Hebrew.''
Let this be another lesson.
'''..... with much consideration is that I firmly believe that Zionism as it is presently constituted is a Jewish heresy. It is not the transcendental religious Zionism of Asher Ginsberg, who left the movement early on, and who was so prescient that he feared for what would transpire under the circumstances and is known to have said, "if this be the Messiah, I do not wish to see his coming".
''Zionism IS a form of Racism, and any Jew who fails to see that self-evident fact has blinders on.''
Note; BLINDERS. So, enlighten them. For I firmly believe that when the truth becomes evident, it becomes evident to all.
''I can understand the blindness for six million of us perished in the Shoah, including no doubt some of your relatives, as well as some of mine, and definitely some of my wife's. This incredible trauma has caused an entire generation to refuse to see that it is so easy for the victim to become the victimizer.''
''I understand what Zionism was meant to do. It was meant to be a liberation movement, and it was utopian in nature, and Herzl was a dreamer and a fool at the same time. I'm quite sure it didn't start out to seek to displace people from their homeland; the Orthodox of the time were completely anti-Zionist for they knew it was pasche nischt (forbidden), for "we were slaves in mitzrayim". The Reform Jews were against it because it sought to separate the Jews as a group from their European neighbors just as assimilation was starting to be successful. Zionism (political - for Herzl was an atheist, as was Ben-Gurion and most of the others) was a mirror image of the virulent 19th Century European anti-semitism of the time. It accepted the credo that the Jews were unassimilable and therefore needed a homeland of their own, while across the sea, the great american experiment was proving by fits and leaps how wrong Zionism was. Ben-Gurion was no fool and neither was his arch rival Jabotinsky, and later Jabotinsky's heir, Begin. What all of them had in common was that they were all audacious, egocentric and cunning. They all knew they were STEALING SOMEONE ELSE'S LAND from under their noses, and they knew that to accomplish that they needed the assistance of a world power, which at first was Britain and of course now is the United States. What is so horrible is they DIDN'T CARE. They didn't care about the "other". This is why for millenia, people have been killing each other - because the "other" was not seen as a human worthy of respect.'''
''I belong to a discussion group that is made up mostly of Arabs, with some Jews and non-Arab gentiles. At any hint, that the moderator detects any racist attitudes by any of the respondents, they are asked to leave. There is a great difference between disliking the way something is being done because it is following a certain doctrine with which one
disagrees and disliking people merely for who they are. How can you even characterize people as a group?
There are no group traits, except perhaps for certain genetic physical traits. There is no Jewish mind or Arab mind. There are only individuals all of whom hopefully have a mind of their own.''
''I will leave you with this quote from someone whom I deeply admire, Prof. Norman
G. Finkelstein of New York University: "What offense did the Palestinians commit except to be born in Palestine? The great offense of the Palestinians was that they refused to commit
auto-dispossession; they balked at "clearing out' for the Jews. It is perhaps true that the common ethical code joining humanity is - at present, at any rate - a fairly rudimentary one; but one does not need more than such a rudimentary standard to measure that the people of Palestine have fallen victim to a colossal injustice. And I fail to see any redeeming virtue in 'connecting' with the perpetrators of that injustice as against the victims of it." I bid you Shalom which is Peace.''
And I bid him Salaam, which is also peace.
He started his message with this simple idea:
''What matters is one thing Truth.
With Truth comes it's corrollary, Justice, and as you know it is written
"Justice, justice shall you pursue."''
No. I wasn't wrong.
10 November 1998.
[Currently, he is at the University of Sheffield undertaking a multi-disciplinary degree in law. He has lived in Abu Dhabi, Cairo and London. His main interests delves into peace, equality, righteousness and spirituality.]