Re: America at War
- Subject: Re: America at War
- From: Judi Hirsch <judih@OUSD.K12.CA.US>
- Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 07:45:28 -0700
- Reply-to: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
- Sender: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Re: America at WarDear Michelle,
Thanks for writing. I feel very close to you from all we have written about and to each other on the list, and I also want us to keep thinking about the bigger picture while this horror goes on.
As a Jew I am conficted about some of the realities of Israel. The Holocaust was the most important event of my life. I was born during the war and the effect it had on my mother has left its scars on me.
I lived in Israel for nine years, from 1970-79, and really got to know the country and its people, including many many Palestinians. there are innocent people getting killed on both sides. I would even say that most of those who die are victims of an unresolved political situation. I did not in any way mean to imply othrwise, and hope that this message makes that clear.
I am deeply concerned about Israel and do not believe that it is in Israel's best interest to continue to brutally occupy another people. The only solution is a political one. Killing only begets more killing. What this is doing to innocent 18 year old Israeli young men is unspeakable. These children are being made into brutes because of the need for a strong army. What happens to their innocence? What happens to all of the settlers who roam freely with guns teaching their children that it's good to kill Arabs?
Israel will need to figure out how to deal with its internal divisions---Sephardic/Ashkenazi, secular/religious-- as much as it tries to deal with the Palestinians. If Israel is going to survive, we need to support peace efforts so that all who live in that area can live in peace and dignity. Oppression only breeds hatred.
One of the main reasons I teach is so that our young people will grow up having learned that they are smart enough to figure things out and not need to resort to force when there are difficulties.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2001 8:22 AM
Subject: Re: America at War
Look, I really respect your educational philosophies, I really respect a lot of what you have to say, but I can't let this go and not say something.
I am not anti-Arab, and I certainly know that a lot of my Moslem and Arab-American friends are having a very fearful time of it right now because there are those mob-mentality people who want to use anything they can to take out their racist policies against any group. . . but I can't let you speak of the "innocent Palestinians" without saying that there are a lot of innocent Jews and Israeli citizens that have been killed too.
Here's some things you might not be aware of:
Did You Know That...
-- Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
-- Jews have had a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
-- Israel is the only Jewish country in the world. It has less than 6 million people. It is surrounded by 22 Arab nations spanning Northern Africa and the mideast, all of which are Muslim.
-- Of the 22 Arab nations, only two have peace treaties with Israel. The remaining 20 countries are technically at war with Israel.
-- Israel is the only democracy in the mideast.
-- The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
-- Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
-- King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
-- Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
-- When Muslims pray, they face Mecca, not Jerusalem.
-- Gaza is a separate country from Israel. In its written charter, the Palestine Liberation Organization calls for the destruction of Israel.
-- The area of the Gaza Strip is 378 sq km (146 sq mi); its shape and size were determined by the armistice agreement signed by Israel and Egypt after the first Arab-Israeli War (1948-1949). From 1967
until 1994 the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Israel. Since May 1994 it has been a largely autonomous zone under the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority.
-- In 1947, the Palestinians were offered their own country right next to Israel. They refused.
-- As a separate country, Israel is neither responsible to employ, feed, provide water or electricity to Gaza.
-- The agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinians contain no prohibition whatsoever on the building or expansion of settlements.
-- Hundreds of Israelis have been murdered simply because they were Israelis by PLO assailants. More Israeli women and children have been assasinated than men. This is due to the belief that men are
more likely to be armed.
-- In the last 12 months suicide bombers have had 12 successful attacks in which 52 people have been killed and 500 wounded. Recently a nightclub in Tel Aviv was destroyed by a suicide bomber
killing 22 teenagers and young adults. A few weeks later, a pizzaria in Jerusalem was hit by a suicide bomber. 15 people died and 130 were injured.
-- PLO suicide bombers believe they will be met in heaven by 2000 virgins upon their death In Islam, Suicide is forbidden. "O ye who believe!... [do not] kill yourselves, for truly Allah has been to you Most Merciful. If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall We cast him into the Fire..." (Surah an-Nisaa 4:29-30). Yet despite their own teachings, suicide bombers are treated as martyrs.
-- Executions of spys, informants, or traitors is commonplace in Gaza. Israel has no death penalty.
-- When Yassar Arafat ran for election in Gaza and the West Bank, he was the only candidate. Those who did not vote for him were shot. He was elected with 99% of the vote.
-- Israel, being a democracy, has 7 Arab members in its 120-member Knesset (parliament). The United Arab List has 5 members and the National Democratic Alliance(Al Tahammu Al-Watani Al-Dimugrati) has 2 members.
-- Despite the mideast being an oil-rich area, no Arab nation will sell oil to Israel. Even the USA will not sell oil to Israel due to fear of offending oil-producing Arab nations.
(Compiled August 29, 2001 by Becky Johnson email@example.com)
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