Tuesday, June 12, 2007

There's only ONE Jewish country in the world

I have quite a number of Muslim and Arab friends. I avoid talking about politics, especially Middle East politics with them because I've already heard some of the things they say regarding the subject. And I'd like to keep them as friends.

Among these friends I must say I haven't got any who are die-hard Arafat-dishrag*-wearing Sharon-effigy-burning Pally supporters. Most of these friends don't care much for the subject (or any other world politics subject) and have the usual basic ideas that they were taught at home (Israel started the Six Day War, Israel is as aggressor, Israel is building an Apartheid wall, and your regular anti-Israel misconceptions) and since they don't care much for it, they'll never go read anything which will change their mind. The other bunch of friends are relatively more aware of what is going on, but are also very naive. They seem to think that everything can be solved if people just really got to know each other, etc. While I'd like nothing more than their vision of the world to be true, sadly it isn't.

I got an e-mail today from one of my "naive" Muslim friends. Before I go any further, I'd like to point out that he's not anti-Israel in any way, he's visited the country often and doesn't even mind too much the security checks he has to go through, he knows it's part of the deal. He's very attached to his religion and loves seeing the common points between our two religions, as well as between our two languages. His vision of Islam is very pure and very peaceful and not distorted. He's not very fond of the Israeli political scene, but that's okay. If every leftist anti-Israel moonbat would express him or herself in the same rational tones (naive, yes, but rational) as my friend's, then political debates would be equivalent to a Mary Poppins movie matinee. Imams should take a lesson from him rather than spew hate to an impressionable crowd during a Friday sermon.

Back to the email. (Sorry I tend to get carried away). I got an e-mail from him with an image of a flag of "An imaginary country."I don't know whether he drew this or got this from someone else and then forwarded it. In any case I wonder what he means by this. Does the mixture of the Islamic crescent together with the Jewish star in their respective colors mean that he'd like to have a Muslim country with all the freedoms that are natural in Israel? Does it mean that he would like there to exist somewhere in the world a country where Jews and Muslims coexist peacefully? Or does it mean that somewhere deep inside, even though he really likes Israel, he believes that the problems of the Middle East would be solved if only Israel would cease to be a "Jewish country" and would be a "Jewish and Muslim country"?

I'm not going to ask him, because I'm rather afraid the answer would be the third option (though the second one is quite possible too). Even if it's not what he meant by that picture, I know many people in the world believe that that would be the answer to peace in the Middle East.

Why? Why do people believe that the existence of one tiny country with a Jewish majority is such an obstacle to peace? One country of 6 million (or 7 now? I'm not sure) with nothing of monetary value on its lands, surrounded by a billion Muslims living in a dozen or so Muslim countries rich with oil, that's an obstacle? A country smaller than Rhode Island who asks nothing more than to live in peace with its neighbors and to cooperate with them to further advance the quality of life in the Middle East. Why does the one and only Jewish country in the world disturb people so much?

*Keffiehs look like dishrags to me. In fact, whenever one comes into my possession, that's the only use I have for it.

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