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June 14, 2007

We're not Jews

We’re not Jews.

Those are some of the last words uttered by a Palestinian man before he was dragged out of a home in the Gaza Strip and shot to death during the recent fighting between Hamas and Fatah. The man, the un-named brother of Jamal Abu Jediyan, a Fatah commander, spoke these words to a radio station while Hamas gunmen stood outside, awaiting his capture and ultimate murder.

An article in the Telegraph reported that minutes after the man made his plea over the airwaves of the radio station, both he and his brother “were dragged into the streets and riddled with bullets.”

While our imagination is justifiably drawn to the horrifying scene of the murders, we would do well to pay close attention to the public speech that preceded the un-named brother’s death.

We’re not Jews.

In his appeal for mercy, the un-named brother was desperately trying to tap into vestiges of solidarity between him and his ultimate murderers by affirming a shared value – obsessive Jew-hatred. His plea for mercy was not based on his own humanity and that of his captors, but in his status as a non-Jew and their shared enmity toward Jews. Implicit in this statement is the notion that if he were a Jew, his murder would be understandable, obligatory.

Jew-hatred in Palestinian society has largely gone un-remarked by would be peacemakers in progressive mainline churches in the U.S. Mainline churches, which have largely remained silent about the violence in the Gaza Strip, have offered little if any criticism of the anti-Semitism that has crippled the Palestinian people in their quest for a future.

This enmity is no longer directed at Jews, but at Palestinians that Hamas deems insufficiently hostile to them, which right now means Fatah. The fault between Hamas and Fatah is not over whether or not Jews are to be hated, but by how much.

In an article recently translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Egyptian author Kamal Gabriel detailed the process by which enmity toward Jews – stoked by Arab leaders – has made Palestinian society a cauldron of violence.

At first [hate] was directed against the so-called the Israeli enemy, and it uprooted any possibility of or tendency towards rational mutual comprehension or of recourse to discussion, dialogue, and negotiation - what is known as peaceful resolution - and it raised the slogan of “clinging to the choice of resistance.”

This hate proved to be uncontrollable, Gabriel reports.

Thus we observed, and gave our blessing to, the conflagrations of violence and hatred, and they extended from [being aimed at] the Zionist enemy to [being aimed at] anyone who befriended it or helped it - even if they helped us as well, and even if it was someone on whom we depended for medicine, food, and everything.

Then, Gabriel says what peacemakers in mainline churches have so far refused to acknowledge.

… the true crisis in the region is that the peoples of the region need psychological and cultural reeducation - which must necessarily be preceded by halting the discourse of violence, incitement, and hatred, in all its colors and classifications.

Mainline church leaders and peace activists routinely invoke Israeli critics of Israel and anti-Zionist Jews in the U.S. to buttress the anti-Israel narrative they have embraced. When will they listen to Arab truth tellers such as Gabriel in a true effort to offer a narrative that makes for peace?

Posted by CameraBlog at June 14, 2007 04:10 PM

Comments

Excellent post, and very chilling. It brings to mind unwelcome images of the Gestapo. "First, they came for..."

Posted by: David Ross at June 14, 2007 09:26 PM

didn't mel brooks do something of the sort in one of his movies where a black man claimed the privilege of not dying violently by claiming that he was Jewish, and then opened his toga to prove it!
Ah. Mel! What a prophet you are!

Posted by: elixelx at June 17, 2007 07:59 AM

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