Jews, Israel


Israel got parliamentary approval for a unilateral plan that for the first time will remove Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This won’t move people out right away, but it does pave the way for changes in the near future.

While I do feel sympathetic towards anyone who is pushed out of their home (Israeli or Palestinian), I do not feel this is the tragedy that the right wing is purporting it to be. Sharon’s urging on of the settlers was questionable 30+ years ago, and by the time I visited Israel 10+ years ago it was plainly the wrong thing to be doing. Finally, there is agreement that it was wrong and I’m glad Israel is working towards correcting things.

The fact that this change is being lead by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the most surprising thing about it.

Who would’ve thunk it? Certainly not me. I may finally be able to use the “Z” word (Zionist) without shuddering. Previously this word has always been associated in my mind with settlers, not with my beloved Israel. I treasure the day when I will take back that term as my own.

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=a7CtNAmLycPo&refer=top_world_news

Is McCarthyism making a comeback? Is Terrorism the new Communism?

I was concerned today to find out that a plane load of people had been redirected because Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) was being denied entry to the US. He has made some unpopular and questionable statements in the past, but does that make him a terrorist? Certainly he hasn’t done anything to lead someone to believe he would endanger a plane. See some excerpts below of his comments.

How many other equally politically active, non-terrorists are prevented from entering our country or doing other benign activities each day? No one has a “right” to enter our country – it is of course a privilege. I am not suggesting we just let everyone in either – it is good that we are careful – we must be. However, I worry about things going too far. I’ve talked before about being concerned about intolerance leading to much bigger issues.

Two months ago he made the same trip and was allowed to enter the country – so what changed? If he supported Hamas years ago, he most likely was guilty of it 2 months ago. Regardless, this time he was not arrested and charges were not brought up against him. My thoughts are probably very unpopular with the current regime which makes me concerned about others in the same boat.

The reason he got on the plane in the first place? There was a spelling error in his name which allowed him to board the plane. How hard is his name to spell? It is not very long and his last name is the as common as mine.

Yusuf Islam’s Notes:

  • He supported Ayatollah Khomeini’s issue of a fatwa calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, Muslim author of “The Satanic Verses.”
  • In 1988, Islam contributed to an “informational pamphlet,” called “Eyewitness,” for the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), a Hamas related group stating: “The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his creation. Their own holy books contain the curse of God brought upon them by their prophets on account of their disobedience to Him and mischief in the earth. We have seen the disrespect for religion displayed by those who consider themselves to be ‘God’s chosen people.’…There will be no justice until all the land is given back to its rightful owners… Only Islam can bring peace back to the Holy Land.”
    **CJS: I am angered that I would be grouped into this negative sterotype of Jews. Unfortunately I have been witness to the atrocious behavior the “righteous – are capable of – Jews and Muslims – and it is upsetting to me anyone would make such a blanket statement. I am a supporter of a peaceful and fair conclusion to the current land dispute between Israeli’s and Palestinians, but I don’t think this statement had that interest in mind.
  • At a 1995 ISNA conference, Yusuf stated: “The Jews would have us believe that God has this bias to this little small tribe in the Middle of the Sinai desert and all the rest of humanity is just rubbish. I mean that this is the basic doctrine of the Jewish religion and that’s why it is a most racist religion.”
    **CJS: I can’t really argue here – Reconstructionism sought to remove those types of statements from their liturgy, but Jews as a whole continue to preach this type of line at our own expense I fear.
  • After 9/11 Islam told Britain’s “The Independent”: “They have hijacked my religion.”

BTW: His musical past is not why I am concerned – he was never that good and I hadn’t even thought of this guy for close to 10 years.

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