Monday, December 31, 2007

Israeli Physician Feels The Breath Of The Beast

From Breath of the Beast:

Irad ben Zvi is an Israeli physician, working in Chicago. Here is his story:

I have a patient in my medical practice, a very gentle and polite Muslim Egyptian. We became friendly over the years, and he brought in his wife as a new patient. She was a Coptic Christian from a well-to-do family. She had a "liberal" upbringing and she even attended university in Cairo. Before moving to the US, she lived in Gaza and visited Tel-Aviv many times. She told me about her relatives living in London, South America, and the US. She seemed to come from a truly modern, cosmopolitan family.

She had a nephew, also a Christian, who moved to Gaza.

I asked her if her nephew felt intimidated by the Hamas government in Gaza. She answered that there are only 5,000 Christians in Gaza today, and they have all learned to keep a low profile.

When I asked her why her nephew stayed in Gaza despite discrimination against Christians, she replied that he wanted to "fight the Zionists."

I asked her why Gazans were still fighting after the Israelis had already left Gaza? She replied that Gazans are defending themselves from the Zionists, who threaten to "shoot every Arab and throw them into the sea!"

I told her this is utter nonsense. I reminded her that this quote came from Egyptian president Gamal Nasser in 1967, and originally referred to Arab intentions toward the Jews.

I then asked her why the good people of Gaza don't stop the few radical terrorists in their midst from firing rockets into Sderot? She replied that everyone in Gaza supports the rocket attacks.

"Why?" I asked incredulously, to which she replied that it was a part of the struggle against the "Zionist occupation."

I reminded her that Sderot was over a mile from the border of Gaza and well within the 1949 Armistice Lines that defined the State of Israel until the 1967 War. I also pointed out that Sderot has no military bases, and that the rockets are hurting innocent civilians. She replied melodramatically: "When the people of Gaza look out across the border to Sderot, they see their former homes. They yearn for their land! They just want their homes back!"

Her impassioned pleas were worthy of an Oscar®. But this critic doesn't buy such nonsense. Gaza residents would need super-human vision to see their homes from over a mile away, past security barriers and walls. More importantly, if they wanted their homes back so badly, then why are they destroying them with rockets and mortars?

Perhaps I was taking her too literally. English is her second language, after all. Perhaps she was speaking metaphorically. So I re-stated the question: "If, for the sake of argument, Sderot was built on the site of a previous Arab village, why then should innocent people living in Sderot today have to suffer for a 60 year old battle they had nothing to do with? If an Arab really had proof of ownership of any land in Israel, then I am certain there are dozens of Israeli lawyers willing to represent them in front of the Israeli Supreme Court. These disputes can be resolved without a single rocket fired."

She completely ignored my appeal to judicial conflict resolution, and repeated the hackneyed phrase that "Palestinians are desperate! They have nothing left to loose!"

She was clearly unwilling to address the moral implications of terrorism. From her perspective, the displacement of Arabs 60 years ago was a crime that deserves eternal worldwide media attention, and justifies bloody vigilante retribution against innocent bystanders today. In stark contrast, the present-day suffering, displacement, and deaths of completely innocent Israeli civilians is not criminal, and barely deserves acknowledgment in any media reports.

If hers was the voice of liberal, educated, and affluent Arabs, then I, too, have felt the breath of the beast.

I eventually told her that I was born in Tel-Aviv, that my father was Ben-Gurion's bodyguard, and that I strongly support preserving Israel as a Jewish state. She was immediately embarrassed for having spoken so ill of Israelis. She realized I had caught her in the act of spreading false propaganda. I had exposed her anti-Semitism.

When her husband returned to see me, he brought a box of halvah as a present, and he apologized, not for anything she said specifically, but for her "getting carried away." They both still see me, and they even referred their children as patients.

The lesson I learned is that political correctness is not the answer to conflict resolution. Political correctness creates a false veneer of civility that hides deep seated hatred. If the source of the hatred is never addressed, it will never be resolved, especially if the source is misinformation.

Go read the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

Too bad, a quick search couldn't reveal the name of the program I watched last week on cable television. In the program, a daughter is victim to terror in Israel. The mother of the victim and the mother of the female shahid arrange a teleconference to discuss their daughters and their differences - as mothers.

The characterizations of this Egyptian woman given by this doctor corresponds to the character of the shahids muslim mother. Tone deaf, thoroughly inebriated with unjustified victim propaganda. Thoroughly blinded by hate for the jew, she is satisfied with the solace of her daughters elevated status as a shahid. Her sole source of pride paid for in her daughters bloodlust. Disgusting.

Pastorius said...

What country did that program air in?

Anonymous said...

In what country? The US . . .via cablevision. I found an article discussing the film -!entertainment!television

GRIEVING: Israeli, Palestinian mothers talk, by satellite, in film

By Elizabeth Jensen
The New York Times

The cover of Newsweek framed the story starkly: side-by-side pictures of Ayat al-Akhras, an 18-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber, and 17-year-old Rachel Levy, killed by the bomb that al-Akhras detonated March 29, 2002, at a Jerusalem supermarket. The two looked as if they could have been sisters and should have been living the lives of carefree teenagers, instead of becoming tragic symbols of the intractable Middle East conflict.

HBO’s documentary president, Sheila Nevins, haunted by the cover, dispatched two established American producers - she declined to name them in an interview - to begin work on a film. They were unable to make inroads with al-Akhras’ family.

But HBO got its film anyway, from a first-time Israeli feature-filmmaker, Hilla Medalia, who saw the same magazine cover, had the same idea and succeeded where the others had failed. Her film, To Die in Jerusalem, will be shown on HBO at 9 p.m. today.

The film traces the efforts to bring the two mothers of the dead girls, who live less than four miles apart, face to face for a meeting that Levy’s mother, Avigail Levy, said she believed would be cathartic as well as a symbol of hope, a chance to transcend entrenched hatreds. Ultimately, stymied by fears of venturing into enemy territory, cultural differences and the bureaucracies of war, the two meet only by satellite, unable to bridge the physical chasm. The emotional gulf proves equally unfathomable.

At the time of the bombing, Medalia, now 30 and living in New York, was looking for a topic for a film she needed to make to complete her master’s degree at Southern Illinois University. The story of the girls struck her as a way to show the conflict in a manner that even those who didn’t follow the situation closely could comprehend.

“This is a very humanistic, personal story of mothers and daughters that can be told,” she said.

With a call to directory assistance, she found Avigail Levy. It was harder to track down al-Akhras’ parents in the Dheisheh refugee camp outside Bethlehem, but soon she was talking, separately, to Abu and Um Samir al-Akhras. The resulting film, Daughters of Abraham, won an award at the Angelus Student Film Festival in Los Angeles and drew the attention of the brothers John and Ed Priddy, entrepreneurs in Boise, Idaho, who were beginning to finance films.

“Here you had two dead daughters, two grieving mothers and a woman who had the tremendous courage to go in and examine what was going on,” said John Priddy, one of the executive producers. Nevins of HBO learned about the project, and jumped at the chance to get the film she had wanted.

Medalia, who had initially been afraid as an Israeli to venture into the Palestinian territory for the filming, returned to Jerusalem, confident that she could arrange a meeting of the mothers. It was obvious to anyone who saw the student film, Priddy said, “that these two women have to meet, which was the naivete of the whole thing.”

Al-Akhras’ mother would not or could not travel without her husband; he, the father of a suicide bomber, was ineligible for a visa to visit Jerusalem, Medalia said. At one point the filmmakers reached out to the Rev. Mitri Raheb, the pastor of Bethlehem’s Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, to be a neutral mediator, and in April 2006 he escorted Avigail Levy into the West Bank.

But the accompanying members of the film crew were detained for several hours by Palestinian authorities, and night was falling. A scared Avigail Levy asked to return to Jerusalem.

There it stood, some 300 hours of footage shot, and still an unfinished film, until Nevins ran into the Priddys in August 2006 at the Sundance Institute. Over lunch the idea was floated that the mothers could meet by satellite. Medalia said, “The satellite to me really represented the reality.”

For four hours the mothers talked, which Medalia found hopeful. But many viewers will not get the ending they want. The renunciation of violence that Avigail Levy seeks never comes, supplanted by the rhetoric of grievances, as Levy talks about hate that goes back years, and al-Akhras’ mother details the hardships of Palestinian life.

At one point, when Avigail Levy says that resistance is not worth loss of life, her Palestinian counterpart asks: “Should I resist occupation with a bouquet of roses? On a tray of gold?”

Pastorius said...

Oh, how eloquent is the talking monkey.

That makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Just read this comment over at FPMag re: Debating the Islamist-Nazi Connection with Dr. Bostom and thought you might find it of interest:

Koran Affirms Jews' Rights to Jerusalem
Comment: Even the Koran Affirms Jews' Rights to Jerusalem

Muslim critics of Israel often say that Jerusalem's holy sites must be transferred to Muslim control, because of the central role they play in Islamic theology. For instance, the Dome of the Rock was built on the site where Mohammed is believed to have ascended to Heaven to receive the revelation of the Koran.

However, these people seldom actually quote the Koran itself. This is probably because the Koran actually supports Jewish claims. Here are several quotes straight from the Koran:
-Mohammed in Sura 5:21 quotes Moses telling the Jews to "enter into the holy land which Allah has assigned to you". While Mohammed later criticizes the Jews for their sins and their refusal to accept Mohammed's message, he never says that, as punishment, Allah has revoked their title to the land. Hence the title still stands, and Muslim anti-Zionists are apostates.

-A case could even be made that Israel's victory over the Arabs in the 1948 war was a judgement by Allah against the Arabs for their apostasy in opposing the Jews. This would be their just reward for transgressing Sura 2:190, which says, "Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities."

-Moreover, Sura 60:9 forbids aiding the enemies of the Muslim people.
Contrast this with the Palestinians' continued support of Saddam Hussein, whose hands are red with the blood of Iranian, Kurdish, and Kuwaiti Muslims.

-The Jews' return from 19 centuries of exile is actually the fulfillment of Islamic prophecy. Sura 17:104 says that "when the promise of the Hereafter comes to pass, We [Allah] shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations".

-Sura 17:4 says, "And We [Allah] gave (clear) warning to the children of Israel in the Book, that twice would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance (and twice would they be punished)!" The succeeding verses tell us that the punishment referred to was banishment from the land. But "twice" means twice, not three times; hence the Jews, having been banished from the land once by the Babylonians and a second time by Rome, will never again be banished from the land. According to the Koran, Israel is an eternal nation.
-Sura 83:1 says, "Woe to those that deal in fraud"; yet Yasser Arafat & Co. reneged on his promise to guard Joseph's Tomb in Nablus after the Israeli troops withdrew.

-The Palestinians deny that there ever was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. But Sura 17:7 records the destruction of the First Temple by Babylon and the Second Temple by Rome, and Mohammed never contests the Bible's claim that the Temples were in Jerusalem.

Pastorius said...

You taught me something new.


Anonymous said...

This zionist needs to realize, you can't go on blaming "Islamo-facist" (what a stupid and uneducated term) to paint all the arabs. If Christians are against your racist endevours, you gotta wonder. Israel has occupied Palestine for 40 years. How are they gonna be driven out? Maybe like the Brits were driven out of America. Answer the question and you win a prize!