Friday, December 22, 2006

The Middle Eastern Apartied

Occasionally, people like the left-of-center blogger Donovan at Where I Stand and I find ourselves in full agreement. Here's a real I find myself in full agreement with Donovan and, of all people, Jimmy Carter, who called Israel "an apartied state" this week.

I don't often agree with Carter. As far as American Presidents go, he has by far been the worst in my lifetime. His economic policy was a disaster, one for which he didn't help himself by blaming the American people for the problem and talking down to them in one of the most ridiculed speeches in American history. His foreign policy was far worse, with only the Camp David Accords standing as a success of any sort (and it could be argued that the accords haven't brought overall peace to the region over the long term).

Carter is, however, a very intelligent man, and despite my problems with him, smart people are usually able to call a spade a spade, and so Jimmy Carter has done where many of the policies of the State of Israel are concerned. Calling the Israelis out frequently results in those who are doing the calling being called anti-Semites and Jew-haters, and in some cases that is putting it mildly.

I am not an anti-Semite, and this post denouncing the so-called historical conference in Iran should serve as one example of my opinion of those who are. Yet I have been called an anti-Semite because I have been publicly critical of Israel. My "awakening moment" came several years ago when a priest friend of mine went to the Holy Land and was able to avoid going with any sort of tourist group or guided group-a rarity indeed. He returned with pictures of Palestinians living in slums, being guarded and told when to come and go. These people didn't look or (according to accounts) act like terrorists, and one of the things I was told by my friend was that he was welcomed into many a Palestinian home with great hospitality-especially when it was learned that he was a visiting Catholic priest from America.

The clincher for me was when he showed pictures and pointed out the Palestinians he met who were Christians and the churches they attended. These folks were treated like all the other Arabs-like second class citizens. They have it doubly tough because the Muslim community doesn't trust them either and they have a multitude of restrictions on being able to build churches or proclaim the faith in public-restrictions imposed by the Government of Israel.

I join Carter just this once and face reality: Israel practices apartied and breeds the terrorists who seek to destroy her.



At Wednesday, December 27, 2006 8:37:00 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

I too have been to Isreal (I'm a Christian) and stayed in the Old Quarter in an Arab hostel. Nice folks.

I think there is a something you're forgetting.

Palestinians aren't citizens of Isreal. There are Arab citizens ... those who live in Isreal proper. But Palestinians live in the occupied areas and are not citizens of Isreal by any means.

At Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:40:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

The one thing you are forgetting is that the Arabs have been there for the last 1100 years. Most of the Jews who are there now came in the last 40 years, and their anscestors converted to Judaism as a result of the converson of the Khazars...and thus they are not of the Abrahamic line.

Justice would demand that the long-term inhabitants should at least be put in a position of equal rights with the newer arrivals.

At Thursday, December 28, 2006 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous Larry said...

Under your reasoning, the Japanese and Germans should be American citizens since we defeated them occupied their lands. Especially those on Okinawa and in Berlin since those occupations lasted for decades.

And remember, there were no modern day "Palestine" before the '67 war. The West Bank was part of Jordan and Gaza was part of Egypt.

The "Palestinians" are on the verge of having their own country ... if the Palestinians could form stable gov't and recognize the state of Isreal.

At Friday, December 29, 2006 4:22:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Larry, you said:

"Under your reasoning, the Japanese and Germans should be American citizens since we defeated them occupied their lands."

Well, we withdrew, something the Jews have no intention of doing.

Recall that citizens of Puerto Rico and Guam are U.S. citizens with the freedom to trvel to and from the mainland, and they may establish residence here if they wish. This is pertinent because both PR and Guam were conquered as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898.


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