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Saturday, April 1st

Cancer in its midst

It is hard when the noise is loudest, to hear the little voices. But, for sure, they deserve to be heard.

When bombs are detonating, and people are killed and/or are dying; it is seldom the time or the place to talk about the "voices of reason"; we tend to react and blurt out our inner discontent about the state of affairs, and our wholesale condemnation of any one and everyone of this or that ilk, religion, or persuasion.

Generalization is usually born out of frustration and lack of viable options in combating whether it be terrorism or just plain extremism of any sort; no one can suggest let's do this or that, we have the answer. Alas we don't, but we do have the option of reflecting on our initial outburst, and trade generalization with the more sane approach of understanding and reaching out to these "voices of reason".

They ultimately go against the tide, and a strong tide it is. We have witnessed in this forum, more than one Muslim advocating rationality and fighting against the blind hatred shown in the name of Islam. This is yet another one of those voices, to whom we say Kudos (Yishar Koach .. may G_d give strength to your voices and may they be heard).

Israel Bonan

The Washington Times


'Cancer in its midst'
By M. Zuhdi Jasser
Published March 30, 2006

During the dark days of our Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, "That these are the times that try men's souls." As an American Muslim, I feel the sentiment of these words like a red-hot brand on my brain.

I have watched horrified as assassins have read out the words from my Holy Koran before slitting the throats of some poor innocent souls. To my non-comprehending eyes, I have seen mothers proudly support their sons' accomplishment of blowing up innocent people as they eat or travel. It shatters some part of me, to see my faith as an instrument for butchery.

It makes me hope and pray for some counter-movement within my faith which will push back all this darkness. And I know that it must start with what is most basic -- the common truth that binds all religions: "Do unto others, as you would have them do onto you." The Golden Rule.

But that is not what I am seeing taught in a great deal of the Muslim world today, and, unfortunately, in America it's just not much better.


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Israel Bonan on 04.01.06 @ 07:14 PM CST [link]

Friday, March 31st

The devil is in the detail in the Middle East

Although Ehud Olmert's Kadima (Forward) party drew less support than anticipated, he still emerged ahead of everyone else in the recent Israeli election. He will have to struggle rather more than had been thought to put together a coalition, but it is clear that he will head Israel's next government.

There is hope in this because his election campaign left no room for doubt: he intends to evacuate some 80,000 Jewish settlers from 20 settlements on the West Bank. That campaign won him 28 seats in the 120-member Knesset (parliament). The revived Labour party (with its socio-economic agenda), which will back withdrawal, drew 20 seats. Together with other smaller parties (punting religious and other issues) they outweigh those who reject any withdrawal from the West Bank.


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Moderator on 03.31.06 @ 11:45 AM CST [link]

Tuesday, March 28th

Arab Moderates and Zionist Reactions

In a courageous Yediot Ahronot article, Ray Hanania wrote that a way must be found to bring forth moderate leadership and moderate policies in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. There can be no doubt in the mind of any decent person that Ray Hanania is right. The question we have all been asking is what people of good will can do to bring about this miracle. More particularly, what should Zionists do when a Palestinian moderate speaks out?


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Moderator on 03.28.06 @ 01:45 PM CST [link]

Israeli 'Dissidents' and Moral Dilemmas

by Ratna Pelle

We Western Europeans love dissidents. We applauded the peaceful 'revolutions' in Georgia and Ukraine, the current protests in Belarus, and of course the dissidents of the former communist countries in Eastern Europe. We especially love dissidents who are well educated and speak English preferably. African or even Arabian dissidents are far less popular than American or Israeli ones. The former have less opportunities to speak out, and maybe they are simply killed before they can do so, let alone talk to Western media. US and Israeli 'dissidents' don't have these problems, but they are also more popular because they criticize powerful Western countries; particularly progressive people have some difficulties in criticizing the perceived victim. Our former colonies and also the Arab world are still victimized by many people, and many of their problems and also wrongs are blamed on their colonial past or the USA and Israel.

More powerful than criticism from the outside is criticism from within. Almost every Jew who criticizes Israel is embraced by the European left. They especially love them when they express that after what happened to the Jewish people, they should not suppress and humiliate another people (maybe this makes Europeans feel somewhat relieved of their feelings of guilt because of the Holocaust). In contrast, Jews who defend Israel are often depicted as being part of the 'Zionist lobby', a sinister and very powerful plot.


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Ratna Pelle on 03.28.06 @ 02:38 AM CST [link]

Monday, March 27th

Pernicious lobby controls US foreign policy

Walt and Mearsheimer's "study" of the hold that the Elders of Zion have on US foreign policy has inspired numerous replies -- see the Walt and Mearsheimer Jewish Consipiracy Scrapbook. Professor Barry Rubin alerts us to a far more serious and vicious conspiracy. Americans beware - it's happening right here in your town!


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Moderator on 03.27.06 @ 10:52 PM CST [link]

The story will be in the coalition

Israeli elections will be held tomorrow. Latest opinion polls seem to show a consistent dip for Kadima and a large number of undecided voters. "Everyone" agrees that Kadima will get the most seats. The question is whether the center left block of Kadima, Labor and Meretz will get enough votes to form a viable coalition. The Likud has been uncompromising in its opposition to further withdrawals. If Kadima has to include the Likud in the coalition, what happens to the Kadima plans for further disengagement?


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Moderator on 03.27.06 @ 04:09 PM CST [link]

Sunday, March 26th

The Israel Lobby Revisited

The infamous Israel Lobby study of Walt and Mearsheimer was discussed previously in these pages, but it deserves more attention. I have compiled a
Web scrap book of articles about the Israel Lobby 'study' - click here to access it
and to add more materials.

There are two or three aspects to dealing with the 'study.' The first is to understand the basic fallacies and factual errors behind its claims. The second is to understand and deal with the weaknesses they attack and the errors made by Israel and the Zionist movement that help the anti-Israel lobby lobby. The third is to note with some alarm that very few people who were not Jews and Zionists have taken exception to the study, despite its numerous errors and obvious bias. The announced approach of the "Jewish Establishment" - to simply ignore the study and hope it goes away, is not going to work. This particular study might be ignorable. However, Walt and Mearsheimer's basic complaints represent a considerable body of thought in the US academic establishment, State Department and voting public. It would be courting disaster to ignore it just because it is unpleasant or inconvenient.


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Moderator on 03.26.06 @ 06:48 PM CST [link]


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