by Steve Amsel
To borrow the words of Elias Akleh, I am not in the habit or in the business of arguing with my critics. Everybody is entitled to her/his own opinion. Those are my sentiments exactly. However, when arguments are presented in a most civil way as was done in Dr. Akleh’s response to my post, ‘The Demonization of the Jews’, dialog is definitely not out of the question.
I was not aware of the response until last evening when the Managing Editor of MWC News sent me a link to the following; Zionism vs Judaism. It took me by surprise as my post refuting his was written a month ago.
I presented the view that Dr. Akleh’s opinions were anti-Semitic. His response was:
"I would like, first, to point out to dear Mr. Amsel that my Palestinian Arab roots go back thousands of years ago to the Semitic speaking tribes indigenous to Palestine. Thus I could never be anti-Semite (anti-self) compared to self-hating Jew. Despite the Jewish attempts to monopolize the term people understand that Jews are not the only Semitic-speaking tribe. Many of the Hebrew words are the same Arabic words with a little semantic twist."
I can respond as well by pointing out that my Jewish roots go back thousands of years as well, to the bloodline of Aaron, the brother of Moses. My views in no way challenge you as a Palestinian, merely your views on the Jewish people.
Dr. Akleh seems to be under the assumption that all Jews, or at least most are observant. Nothing is further from the truth, including those that live in Israel which is officially a secular state despite the number of ultra orthodox parties represented in the Knesset. When he states:
"As for the accusation of being anti-Jewish or anti-Judaic I like to invite Mr. Amsel and all my readers to refer to any internationally acknowledged Bible to verify that all the quotes I mentioned in my articles, criticized above, are authentic literal quotes from the Judaic Torah; Five Books Moses in the Old Testament. According to observant Jews, as Mr. Amsel noted, the Torah was handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai by God. This makes it the most sacred Judaic scripture. Citing quotes from this most sacred Judaic scripture does not make me anti-Jewish; rather it reveals the ugly racist and genocidal realities of this so call divine Torah (god’s gift)."
I am not challenging the quotes mentioned in his text, but I am asking why he opted to chose only those that can be interpreted as racist and genocidal (which he rightly states). One of the articles that I refuted ends with:
"A blood thirsty genocidal destructive god such as this Judaic god cannot be the real God. He is a pagan god. Indeed he is really Lucifer himself in the soul."
Does the good Doctor not realise that the ‘Judaic God’ and the Islamic God are one in the same? His understanding of Islam itself seems as misunderstood as his views on Judaism. As I stated in my original post, nowhere in Islamic texts is that view given… it is the personal view of the author.
He further claims that: "Jews demonstrating against Zionist Israel can be divided into two main groups; Israeli Jews living in Israel (occupied Palestine), and international Jews living outside of Israel. The few international Jews are motivated by their humanity to demonstrate against the inhumane racist ethnic cleansing policies of the Zionist Israeli government against the Palestinians, the same way they are motivated to defend the human rights of any other group."
FEW??? Even the extremist Jews keep a growing list of over 7,000 ‘self-hating Jews’. This site can be found AT. A list, which by the way, I am a proud member of.
There are many more than those 7,000 both in Israel and internationally. Many put their lives on the line for the Palestinian Cause. The most recent example are those onboard the ‘Jewish Boat’ heading towards Gaza as I write this. Some of those onboard are observant Jews… and definitely not all zionists.
If you go to the side bar of my Blog you will find other Blogs linked as favourites of mine. Among them are many written by Jews, again, definitely not zionists.
The rebuttal ends with: "Opposite to the claims of many misinformed and misguided good intentions writers, such as Mr. Amsel and other non-Jewish writers, Zionism is Judaism incarnated in a different name."
Again assuming what is wrong, and stating that all who disagree with him are misinformed. Perhaps it is he, the good Doctor that is misinformed.
I understand his bitterness, even his justified anger towards the state of Israel. In his own biographical notes it is stated that: His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948, then from Beit Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967. He now lives in the US, and publishes his articles on the web in both English and Arabic.
It is my hope that one day, in the very near future, Dr. Akleh and myself can sit in HIS home together in the State of Palestine and muse over a potful of Arabic coffee…. justice will not be served until that State is established, with the Right of Return for ALL that were forced to leave by the zionists.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|