Found this on Yahoo. Have no idea where it's from. BW
Growing up in New York City with a large Jewish population, I
have been on the fringe of Jewish society since I was eleven years old.
In my junior high school (PS 118), many classes were reduced in size by
or more on Jewish holidays.
I grew up assuming that the Jews had a Godgiven right to the land of
Israel. After all, isn't that what the Bible teaches? But in my late teen
years, as a Catholic, I learned the traditional Catholic teaching that the
Church, not some modern secular political entity, is the "New Israel."
The New Testament teaches that through and in Christ, the Church is the
continuation of ancient Israel. Baptized into the Body of Christ, we
Christians become Children of Israel by adoption and grace. This teaching,
is also traditionally accepted by Anglicans and Lutherans, is
roundly denied by large numbers of fundamentalist Protestants, who see the
secular state of Israel as the fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy. That
view has contributed significantly to American zionist foreign policy.
Still, until I was in my 50s, I continued to believe that there was
certainly nothing wrong with the Jewish state of Israel, and I believed the
Jews had every right to it. I couldn't fathom what those crazy Arabs were
upset by. I realize now that this mental image of the Palestinians was
by the American media.
It certainly appears the media bias is pro-Israel, and favors the
Palestinians only when their mistreatment is so blatant it can't be ignored.
The cartoon on the Tuesday editorial page has convinced me even further of
I'm still in favor of the Jews having a homeland. The Church's belief that
She is Herself Israel, renewed in Christ, does not imply we would deny the
Jews their rights as a people. And Israel is an accomplished fact: let it
stand. But now that I know in detail the story of this modern Jewish state,
I'm very disheartened by the way the Israelis have accomplished their
The Encyclopedia Britannica. hasBegin, Menachem in it, Menachem Begin joined
Irgun Zvai Leumi, and was a commander of that group from 1943 to 1948.
(Encyclopedia *Britannica, *Volume 2, page 47.) He was our first Zionist
What exactly was the Irgun Zvai Leumi? The Irgun was
"an extreme nationalist group ... whose policies called for the use of
force, if necessary, to establish a Jewish state on both sides of the
Jordan. Irgun committed acts of terrorism and assassination against the
British ... and it was also violently anti-Arab. . . " (En*cyclopedia
Brittanica, Volume 6, page 382.)
According to Colliers Encyclopedia (Volume 3, page 782), "Another such
group was the Stern Group, or Stern Gang, headed by Yitzhak Shamir. " In
Volume 13, page 343, *Colliers *speaks of "the terrorist groups, the Irgun
Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group."
In the Encyclopedia Americana, contributor J. C. Hurewitz of Columbia
University tells us "the Irgunists claimed that their acts of terrorism
against the Arabs and British largely forced Britain's decision to end its
mandate in Palestine. " (Volume 15, page 438.) These terrorist acts included
the murder of the British representative, Lord Moyne, in Cairo in November
1944 and the murder of Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN-appointed mediator, on
Sept. 17, 1948.
The Americana tells us, "Shamir was believed to have played a prominent
part in planning the murders of a British minister and a UN diplomat."
(Volume 24, page 665.)
I'm very disheartened by the way the Israelis have accomplished their
In the Britannica Year Book for 1948, page 577, under the entry
"Palestine" it reads, "Meanwhile the [Jewish] terrorist attacks in Palestine
continued, taking almost every conceivable form. Attacks on airfields and
radar stations, armories and military posts, the wrecking of railway lines
... and bank holdups all bore witness to organization on a larger, dangerous
and ingenious scale, and were by general admission made possible chiefly by
the active or passive support which the terrorists received from the great
majority of the Jewish population [in Palestine]."
Returning to the Britannica (Volume 6, page 382), we learn that "On July
22, 1946 the Irgun blew up a wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem,
killing 91 soldiers and civilians ... On April 9, 1947 [remember Menachem
Begin was at the time leader of the Irgun], a group of Irgun commandos
raided the Arab village of Dayr Yasin [also spelled Deir Yassin] killing all
254 of its inhabitants. " But how many Americans know about the
massacre at Deir Yassin and its direct contribution to the conflict in the
Middle East today? How many Americans realize that "this highly publicized
act terrorized the Arab villagers, who began a mass exodus from Palestine"?
(Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 22, page 143.)
Begin was a terrorist was hardly a symptom of Palestinian fanaticism. And
not only Begin, but Yitzhak Shamir, his friend and successor in the Israeli
government. Why hadn't I ever read about this in the papers? Heard it on TV
or the radio?
The massacre at Deir Yassin and the consequent Palestinian exodus, the Israelis simply took title to the real estate of the fleeing Palestinians as "abandoned property. " When Palestinians tried to
return home, they found they had nothing left to their names.
Ramallah, along with Bethlehem, Nazareth, and a number of other Palestinian
towns, have long been predominantly Christian. Some 25
percent of the Palestinians are Christians, of whom half are Orthodox.
But you get the impression from the media that all Arabs are Muslims.
Have you ever seen a documentary or even a news story focusing on the
The Zionist slogan "A people without a land for a land
without people," is sheer nonsense, for a very large population of
Palestinian Arabs had lived there for more than a thousand years. Arab fury
at Israel is based not on some sort of wild hysteria: it is the anguish of
people who have been systematically and ruthlessly dispossessed from their
homeland and personal property.
The Zionist movement began sponsoring Jewish settlement in Palestine early
in this century. At first the Arabs and the Jews got along well. But more
and more Jews began to move in before World War 11, and the idea spread
among the Arabs that the Jews were planning to take over Palestine
completely for themselves. The rapid influx at the end of World War 11
increased Palestinian Arab fears. To take over completely was in fact
precisely the plan, and still is. The actions of Begin and Shamir, now
recognized as great statesmen and, unlike Arafat, welcome in the United
States, have made that clear.
So of course the Palestinians were and are upset! You would be too! The
irony of all this is that the Zionists claim all of Palestine on the grounds
God gave it to them 3,000 years ago, but the majority of Israeli Jews are
"not religious." Most of them are agnostics or even atheists. So
it's as if they are saying, "There is no God, but He gave us this land, and
we intend to take it all."
In any conflict it takes "two to tango," and there are of course two sides
to this issue Arabs have certainly committed their atrocities, starting
before World War II. The Arabs have made their mistakes, and in several
cases have failed to take responsibility. Both sides have refused
compromises, and at this date, compromise they must, or we'll all be
destroyed in a new holocaust. Also, I hate "Jew bashing," and I'm at pains
that this admittedly forthright criticism of the state of Israel not be
construed as that.
But it seems "Arab bashing" is quite okay in this country, and we only
faintly hear the Arab side of the story. It's okay to caricature Arabs
unkindly, but no one would dare so abuse the Jews. We all remember how Leon
Klinghoffer was thrown into the sea in his wheelchair by Arab terrorists.
But how many remember that Alex Odeh, a spokesman for the Arab viewpoint,
was also murdered that same week by Jewish terrorists in Los Angeles! Alex
also had loved ones; his murder was as tragic as Klinghoffer's.
Up until the intifada, the media created impression was that the Jews are
always the good guys, and the Arabs the bad guys. Media coverage of the
intifada, however, has brought home to Americans how brutal the Israeli
military very often can be. I sometimes wonder if it has sunk into the
brains and hearts of the American public that most of the Palestinians
killed by the Israeli troops have been teenage boys. I have read about
two who were shot in the head for writing slogans on the wall! Can you
outcry if American soldiers were shooting down rock-throwing Black or
Mexicans youthful protesters or gunning down young boys writing
antigovernment slogans on a wall! Ironically, American Jews would be the
first to protest, and justly so!
I have no negative agenda for the Jews. I do indeed wish them well. But in
the name of integrity and decency, let's have more prominent Jewish voices
raised, confessing the Israeli part in the Middle East mess. The whining of
some columnists, "We're always innocent victims, first it was Hitler, and
now it's the Arabs" is being consciously used to manipulate public policy,
and that is disgusting. The Jews were innocent in Nazi Germany. But
the Israelis are hardly innocent of great offenses.
I see some Jewish leaders setting themselves up for backlash, and I wish
they'd take heed. The perception is growing that powerful Jewish interests
wish to control our politicians' votes on, and media coverage of, Israeli
questions. I don't know if that's the truth: but it would help dispel that
perception if vocal and courageous Jewish leaders would encourage both
dissemination of media information about Israel's dark side and public
debate on Israeli issues.
We're told by Israel that its policy is none of our business, but we
American taxpayers are asked to foot Israeli bills. Israel now wants more
dollars, and I'll be very surprised if that gets debated in public. What a
subtle form of taxation without representation! Why shouldn't we publicly
debate this multi-billion dollar issue?
The Arab world can only become filled with rage when virtually every person
in the street knows full well the US has tolerated Israel's continued
incursions into foreign territory and other violations of international law,
but has attacked Iraq, ostensibly for its violations of international law.
The war in the Gulf was certainly not simply a long-term result of the way
the Zionist movement has proceeded in the past 50 or 60 years. The
Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not the only serious issue afflicting the
Arabs. But only if you are blind to or ignorant of history can you fail to
recognize the destabilizing effect Israel's policies have had on the Middle
East. I believe that if the Zionists from the beginning had been willing to
Palestine with the native Arabs, without wanting to take over completely,
there would have been no major strife. Contrary to popular opinion, at
several times in history the Jews and the Muslims have gotten along very
well. The Jews rose to great heights in Islamic Spain. When, after the
Reconquista, Isabella and Ferdinand exiled the Jews, the Muslim sultan of
ships to bring them to his domain! The sultan wrote Isabella thanking her
for sending him her crown jewels.
I believe if Israel today will quit its ruthless expansionism and begin to
respect the God given civil rights of the Palestinians, the strife will be
reduced to the point where there is no physical violence. I would like to
see more American Jews who would like to see Israel change its tactics speak
up openly and loudly, because their voices will be heard in Israel.
Let us pray for peace in the Middle East, that justice and love will
prevail. Let us pray that the Palestinian-Israeli issue will become a matter
of open discussion in this country.
Lets give the coming Anti Racism Summit a chance.