The irrationality that drives the failure of the peace process
Monday, April 9, 2012
The irrationality that drives the failure of the peace process
Here are two letters that were published in the Jerusalem Post today criticizing my column which explores the moderate voice and support of two-states. It characterizes the fanaticism that thrives in Israel and makes it impossible to reach peace. These kinds of views help push others to irrational acts and to oppose peace.
Neither writer addresses any of the points that I raise in the column, which criticizes the Palestinians as much as it criticizes the Israelis.
Two letters appearing in the April 9, 2012 Jerusalem Post:
Sir, – Ray Hanania reveals his own prejudices and irrationality while calling for a more evenhanded approach to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict (“Out of place with irrationality,” Yalla Peace, April 4).
Hanania lauds the oft-criticized Edward Said as “a brilliant theorist and writer.” He then describes Said as “the most misunderstood Palestinian since Jesus.” In so doing, Hanania totally rewrites history.
He suggests that there is a direct line between modern Palestinians – a group that did not claim peoplehood until the 20th century and whose nationality many would argue is a convenient fiction – and the inhabitants of this region 2,000 years ago. At the same time he pointedly ignores Jesus’s membership in the only group that has lived here continuously and claimed direct attachment to the land for three millennia – the Jewish People.
This is entirely consistent with his complaint that the Jewish names Judea and Samaria are “disrespectful” to those who would now expel Jewish residents and claim that ancient Jewish territory as their own.
Denial of Jewish historical ties to the land is at the heart of the entire dispute. The Arab refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to their own nationstate in their ancestral homeland makes the lasting resolution of any of the other issues virtually impossible.
If Hanania expects the parties to interact rationally, he must first be willing to accurately describe and recognize who the parties are.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – What is so sad about Ray Hanania is that he really wants peace between the Jews and Arabs here in the Middle East but is unable to see the existing situation.
How often must our neighbors refuse our extended hand before he realizes that the Arabs do not want a two-state solution? They say it often, loud and very clearly: Israel is to be wiped off the map.
Up to now, their children are taught that Israel does not exist, with maps that obliterate the country, and that all the land belongs to the Arab people. Martyrdom is lauded as long as it is against the Israelis.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is touted as a partner for peace, refuses to come to the table to continue talks. Could it be because he fears assassination should he come to an agreement to divide the land? Believe me, most of us do not harbor vengeance and revenge.
Peace is our dream and all the terrible wrongs perpetrated against us would be forgiven and forgotten when the two states were in place. Would it be the same for the Arabs? Or would they, like the Gazans, start bombarding us with rockets to drive us off our land? Let me take this opportunity to remind Hanania that the land west of the River Jordan was always Jewish, according to the League of Nations, the United Nations and the British Mandate.
It was never meant to be Arab land. The names Judea and Samaria, against which he objects so strongly, are and have always been the names of those territories, just as his name is Ray Hanania and mine is...
What is tragic in both is the failure of the writers to understand the column. As all critics and foes of reason, these two writers focus in on one or two points and ignore the bulk of the column. They ignore the point of the column which is that Arabs have failed to tell their story fully and properly.
I think I can say with certainty that my family at one time was Jewish and we converted to Christianity, as many Jews have done. So the idea that people today who are not Jewish have no ties to the Biblical lands of Palestine is ridiculous and, in my opinion, driven by hatred.
Finally, both writers explicitly reject the two-state solution. The later claims that Abbas fears negotiating peace and then justifies his view that there is nothing to negotiate, that all of the land west of the Jordan River should be Israel.
Fanaticism at its worst.
-- Ray Hanania
Friday, December 9, 2011
Ikhras haters Thabit al-Arabi and Qassem Lufti, who have a life-long difficulty with the English language, moderation and accuracy, have laid out (or lied out) a long list of reasons why they think Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad shouldn't be attacked and that the pro-Democracy protesters should be blamed and criticized.
But they know that their support for the Syrian government, which has murdered more than 4,000 innocent civilians including hundreds of children, is not an easy one to argue. It makes them look like hypocrites as they assault and slander an array of people including. Their targets include star comedians Dean Obeidallah and Maysoon Zayid (who host the annual New York Arab Comedy Festival), and writers Hussein Ibish, Ray Hanania and Mona eltahawy. These are but a few of the scores of people that Ikhras brutalizes in their online verbal assaults as if they were the Syrian military police attacking civilians seeking freedom in Homs. (I can just see the Ikhras goofs cheering as new statistics surface about innocent Syrian civilians being killed by the Syrian Government that they consistently defend.)
All you have to do is read their Twitter posts, posts that Qassem and Thabet recently referred to as "Twits" in an email. Maybe that's because they are the "twits."
Hussein Ibish has penned a scathing expose of who these sad refugees from truth really are.
(Click here to read that priceless unveiling of the rotten core of Ikhras.)
Here's a direct link to Ibish's article: Click here.
But here are some of their most recent Tweets (Yes Thabet and Qassem, they're called Tweets, not Twits!) that demonstrate and prove their loyalty to the Syrian Dictatorship and why they pick and chose their words carefully to pretend as if they care about, say, the Palestinian refugees (they don't) or the people of Egypt (they don't) or ADC (which upsets them the most because ADC fights for the rights of victims of discrimination including those bullied by cowards like Qassem and Thabet and the Ikhras gaggle of online bullies).
Read how they carefully tiptoe and pretend they do not support the brutality of the Syrian regime, and then use that argument as a means of attacking others. The way they exploit the suffering of the Palestinians as a means of saying, hey, what's happening in Syria isn't that important because Bush is a liar and a murderer, too.
Their theme here is right out of the Little Red Book published by Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Baath Party dictators.