Losing a Friend


My friend is upset at me. Why do you criticize Israel? My friend asks. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel has the right to exist. Israel has the right to defend itself. Don’t you know about the holocaust. Why don’t you criticize Arab regimes, Why don’t you criticize Saddam Hussein. Why don’t you criticize Osama Bin Laden. You are defending and excusing terrorism. Arabs are using Israel as an escape goat for their own failings.

My dear friend, you are telling me that Arab society is brutal; you see I don’t think that Arab society can be brutal, I know it. I have lived in the Middle East for 22 years and I have seen that brutality first hand. You are telling me that Arab regimes are corrupt, I know that very well my dear friend for I have lived in Saddam Hussein shadow for many years and I still get nightmares about it today. You are telling me that many Arabs blame Israel and the US for their own failings, I haven’t read that in some article, I have heard the pathetic ” US does this to us and Israel does that to us” a million times. When you read the translated transcript of something that Osama Bin Laden said and it scares you, I understand what he is saying in his own words, I understand the historical references he is drawing on and when he quotes the Quaran I know which sura he is referring to. Believe me his message is much more terrifying in Arabic than the translated English you read. The most terrifying of all is that I can feel some his anger inside me. So what do we do with all this knowledge, what do we do with all these facts? We have two choices, we can use it to demonize all Arabs all around the world and call for complete annihilation, or we can decide to take constructive action and attempt to reach peoples hearts, minds and souls. Ask yourself what is it that I am trying to achieve? Kill, destroy and maim, well congratulations the world situation is so ripe for that. Have a blast. Because if you believe it is justified to deny basic human rights to millions of people despite the fact that they are imperfect, the problem is not your intellect, I can see you are a very intelligent person and you know your history inside out. The problem is not in your emotions; I can see from the passion you display about this issue that part of you is alive and well. The problem is inside your soul. Get spiritual guidance and I can’t help you with that.

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“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously

committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to

separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the

heart of every human being. And who is willing to

destroy a piece of his own heart.”- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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