Friday, October 28, 2005

I don't like what this man is saying. And I don't like what the Palestinians he's quoting were saying. I don't like any of it. See, yeah, Jew. Totally. Family, at least of the far extended sort on the maternal side, living there. Have friends who have family there. Have a friend in the Israeli Army. Worry about their safety and their lives, all the time. Got it? NOT HAPPY WITH THE SITUATION IN ISRAEL.

I don't love that there are Muslim clerics (or clerics of any sort really or anyONE) who are preaching the destruction of the Jewish people.

I have not forgotten the Holocaust, I don't ever forget that we're a People who have been persecuted and driven out of our homes and murdered for thousands of years. I don't think someone can be a Jew and forget that.

I do not love that Palestinian suicide bombers feel the need to desecrate our holy places when we leave Gaza, blow up our busses and kill us. It makes me ill. They hated us enough to oppose the creation of Israel. They hated us enough to try to destroy Israel then and they are still trying. I don't know who the hell started it, way back, but suffice it to say, there's enough hatred and enough killing on either side that "who started it" seems moot to me. They throw a rock at us, we throw a rock at them, when the hell does it stop?

What makes me sad is that we, or at least some of the Jewish people, are meeting hatred with hatred. Granted, nobody I know has been blown up lately. I don't worry about a bomber in my Starbucks, on the bus, in the marketplace. I haven't lost anyone. I don't live in fear. Maybe that's the difference. I don't live in fear each day, my life is not steeped in anger. I should also point out that I don't live in a pathetic refugee city, nobody threw me out of my home when they created a new nation and the army hasn't bulldozed my house or sent rockets to blow up insurgents living next door. Not a lot of that going on in LA. So honestly, I probably really don't get it. I am an outsider.

I may be an outsider to this conflict, but I am a Jew and I will say that I do not think that the entire Palestinian people or for that matter, all Muslims, are bad. I do not think all Muslims are filled with hatred against Jews. I do not believe we can judge an entire people by the words of a few clerics and a few radicals and a few really pissed off terrorist type people. I live down the street from one of the largest mosques in Los Angeles. These people are my neighbors and they are good neighbors. They are active in my community and the spiritual leaders there reach out to the Jewish community all the time. We live and work together. When a small bunch of Jewish radicals plotted to bomb my neighbors place of worship shortly after 9/11, I was very upset. We live here. We must live together.

I think that "anti-Palestine" propaganda is just as damaging, hateful and destructive as "anti-Jew" propaganda. It is all hate and in my opinion, hate is never okay. Ever. Hatred leads to suffering and here we all are, smack dab on the Dark Side of the Force, lobbing rockets at each other.

Pot, meet Kettle. We're all pissed off.

Maybe this is gonna lose me my Jew card.

I firmly believe that we must learn to live together in peace, all people, and we all need to stop the hatred. It is not okay coming out of Jewish mouths, it is not okay coming out of Christian mouths, it is not okay coming out of Muslim mouths, it is not okay, PERIOD.

Do unto others. I believe that we are supposed to act in a way that we want other people to emulate. I believe we are supposed to set an example by being loving, compassionate and good to all people. I do not believe in an eye for an eye because eventually, you end up with a lot of blind people. A lot of dead bodies. A lot of hate and a lot of tears.

Like I said, maybe this makes me a bad Jew, maybe it is going to lose me friends, maybe I will piss people off by saying this. I am unapologetically not gonna perpetuate hatred of any people, no matter how sad and angry I am about the actions of some of them.

We gotta learn to live together and that means both sides need to stop it. Just, knock it the hell off.

I don't know that it is possible to get through centuries of rage, hatred and murder, enough for that to happen. And that makes me want to pull something over my head, rub my face with ashes and start keening. If we can't get past it, we are truly doomed.

I think G-d challenges us to love each other and not just the people who are easy to love. Maybe G-d wants us to love the person who is holding the gun that is holding the bullet with our name on it. Maybe G-d wants us to love the person who hates us, most of all. I dunno. I'll ask G-d when I get the chance. It's only my opinion.

""I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."

You could replace "Jew" with just about anything. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist... I think maybe what Shakespeare was trying to say was, maybe the whole revenge thing should be rethunk. Maybe, not so much with the revenge thing.


Frances Goodman فرانسيس said...

Agreed. Everyone who is sensable is tired of violence.

Todd Fiedler said...

I'm the "man" mentioned, it was my blog originally posted in. I don't remember saying all Palestinians, nor all muslims, thought this way. What I did say that since it was ran on state sanctioned PLO TV, that is was the state sanctioned view of the government.

I also never mentioned revenge nor retribution. I too would like to see people just get along. However, I don't believe that can happen until the Palestinians, and muslims in general, stop these types of rants, these types of "sermons", and move to reconciliation. AND I don't think it will happen until they also condemn the very behavior that they ululate to in the streets.

We'd be fools to think otherwise.

janinsanfran said...

That was awesome. Thanks for writing it.