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Arabs Speak Out
AN ARAB SUPPORTS ISRAEL

WHY I SUPPORT THE STATE OF ISRAEL
by Nonie Darwish

After 9/11 I was horrified, angry and disappointed at the Middle East culture where I grew up. The country that has given me shelter, protection and hope is under a monstrous attack from the Middle East. No one is taking responsibility for this insanity, but people were celebrating in the Arab street!  The U.S. and the West are finally realizing what we are truly up against. Our civilization and liberty are under attack by Arab dictatorships who in my opinion use some lost souls for terrorist acts to accomplish their mission then say they didn’t do it and ask the US to prove who did it! then accuse Israel for plotting the 9/11 attack.

 Rich Arab dictatorships could use oil money for the betterment of the lives of their citizens as well as the lives of the Palestinians they support, but instead they pursue war and Jihad. They believe no true peace is possible between “Islamic” and “non-Islamic” counties and that is the bottom line. The Western civilization and Israel are facing a tremendous danger greater than Bin Laden, Afghanistan or even Saddam Hussein.

 Liberty once lost is very hard to get back.  Moslem countries lost their liberty a long time ago, and have no memory of how to live in and bring about liberty. Now, they are trying to take away ours, and it is up to us to stop them.

 After 9-11 I needed to know first-hand what Arabs thought of the situation, so I called several Arabs to get a feel of public opinion on what happened. A top journalist in a prominent Arab news paper denied that this was done by Arabs and said that the Arab public feels “Let the Americans get a taste of what the Palestinians go through on a daily basis”. He also dismissed the idea that this was orchestrated by El Qaeda saying that these people were incapable of such a sophisticated operation. The Middle East Media cannot claim to be unaware of the terrorism networks operating openly from several Moslem countries and reaching the globe. Without exception everyone I called denied this was done by Moslems or Arabs and said this is a Jewish conspiracy. I was yelled at and told “how dare I criticize 9/11 and blame Arabs!” Never mind the fact that the 19 men who committed this atrocity were Arabs from so called “Moderate” Arab states. Some said that the US will never win the war in Afghanistan and believed that this was a war against Islam. The Arabs I talked to are some of the nicest people, but the propaganda war against Israel and the West has blinded most of them to the truth.  Newspapers are telling the people that the US food drops are poisoned and that the US asked permission from Pakistan to use Chemical and Biological weapons against Afghanistan!

 I wish I did not have to be critical of my own national origin, but how can I pledge allegiance to the US flag and not do so. How can any US citizen of Arab origin defend 9/11. We owe this country some gratitude and it makes me sick to see one Arab after another on T.V. trying to explain 9/11 away.  I am angry and ashamed of a Middle East culture that is out of control. My integrity cannot allow me to accept anything but the truth, what is moral and right, and the truth is that I see Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and the ONLY one truly committed to peace.

 Some Americans try to justify 9/11 and ask “why do they hate us?” I want to ask a question to Americans who think that the US should not respond militarily after 9-11. As you all know the Soviet Union was brutal in its long war against Afghanistan. They never did the careful surgical operations and food drops that we are doing. How come I don’t see one suicide terrorist operation against the Soviet Union? Can anyone guess why? Because the Soviet Union could be just as brutal as Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran, and Arabs and Moslems know it and know what the consequence would be if such a terrorist attack happens. Sometimes it is better not to understand evil but simply defeat it. Another example of how fairness and goodness does not always payoff in real life is how Iraq and Kuwait are now perceived in the Arab world. You would think there is more anger at Iraq and sympathy for Kuwait. However, just the opposite is true. The Arabs and their Media have sympathy towards Saddam Hussein and Iraq and hostility towards Kuwait! Even some Kuwaities sympathies with Suddam; yet another example of Arab media distorting reality, in a culture that has respect only for power. Very simply there is no acceptable justification for what happened on 9/11. It is just insane to explain it away.  The US is not unfair to Arabs and is actually bending over backwards to be fair in the Middle East and it’s time for us to demand some appreciation.

 There are many reasons why I support the state of Israel. It would be a mistake to think that by supporting the existence of Israel or Jews in the Middle East then I must be hating Moslems or Islam. Supporting Israel does not have to cancel out my love of my national origin.  First, Israel is not a threat to Arab nations. No one in their right mind would think that Israel would want to occupy or take over Damascus, Cairo or Baghdad! Who would want to take that job anyway? However, the Arab Media and culture as a whole is relentlessly perpetuating the fear in Arab minds that Israel wants to take over the Middle East. It is easy for Arab media to manipulate the minds of citizens in a “Macho” culture dominated by factions, tribalism and an “us against them” mentality.  I really don’t think they can even comprehend the concept of co-existing in peace with Israel. When the latest peace talks between Barak, Arafat and Clinton failed, the true intentions of Palestinians became very clear; they don’t want peace and they don’t want to co-exist with Israel They will do anything and everything to stay in the headlines and keep the world busy with their “melodrama”. That’s all what the world is talking about…the Middle East crisis!  That does not mean that humanity and the rest of the world have no problems, but it is a reflection of a paranoid Middle East culture. Whenever Middle East news take second place and things get a little calm, you suddenly hear of yet another suicide bomb.

The corrupt dictatorships of the Middle East find it very convenient to point at Israel and the West as the cause of Arab problems. In this way they can continue their oppressive rule without much threat of internal uprising and without making much effort to improve living conditions. Arab nations are breeding resentment and their government-controlled media then directs this resentment to outside forces as the cause of their problems, namely Israel and the West. “The enemy is outside, not among us” mentality is how evil survives in this part of the world.

 Second, Israel is an asset in the region, economically, culturally and historically. The Middle East culture is richer with Israel in the area. The Jewish heritage tie us to the historical origin of the region. The Arab dream of limiting the population of the Middle East to only Moslems is not only wrong but also would result in further deterioration of conditions in the Area. There is very little in modern day Islam that drive people to excel in innovation, economic development and the practical solutions to their problems. Money comes easily through selling oil, thus their energy and money is mobilized to hate, war and Jihad. Egyptians joke that the Sinai was a wasteland up until Israel occupied it between 1967 to 1973, a period in which Israelis built an infrastructure with some upscale hotels.

 Third, I believe the Jewish people are special.  I reached this conclusion after I moved to the US and dealt with many Jewish Americans. As a child I had attended a Palestinian school and the word “Jew” brought fear down my spine. A Jewish person was portrayed  as less than human, an “evil alien from outer space” who is about to destroy the world. When I questioned their hatred of Jews the response was that I was a traitor and as a Moslem I would go to Hell. After I moved to the US, and started interacting with Jewish people, the question was finally answered: “Jewish people are O.K.”.  I also discovered that most of them did not discriminate against me because of my background. My first job was given to me by a Jewish small businessman, and when I moved to my first apartment his lovely parents were very generous to give me all the extra dishes and stuff from their home. I still use a couple of them after 23 years and I still remember their kindness.

 Several years ago my brother was rushed to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and was given a 3% chance of survival. He lay unconscious in the hospital for almost 3 months. Thanks to the heroic efforts of the Jewish doctors and nurses, his life was saved. I understand that Hadassah hospital treats many Arabs. I want to know how, many Jewish people’s lives will be saved by Arab doctors in Arab countries? My mother who was with my brother in Jerusalem for 3 months was very impressed with the kindness and generosity of everyone around her especially a Jewish family who was originally living in an Arab country before 1948. They visited my brother regularly in the Hospital and comforted my mother a lot.   For that I think Jewish people are special.

 Fourth, I am afraid of the current Moslem supremacist culture and the totalitarian police states that most Arab countries have. Living in the US and enjoying our freedoms for 24 years, just opened my eyes to how bad the situation is in the Arab World. The Moslem and Arab hatred of Jews scare me and I feel it is very destructive for my soul and humanity. You don’t have to be Jewish to want to resist this hatred. You only have to be human being. I am not against the Moslem Religion, however, there is something very unhealthy about the current Moslem culture and it hurts me personally because this is where I came from. I am afraid of a Religion that gives a “Fatwa” to kill Salman Rushdi because he wrote a book offensive to Islam. You are born or become a Moslem by force and remain a Moslem by force. If you say something critical of Islam in favor of some change, you could end up dead, or if you’re lucky, in jail. Moslems will look you in the eye and say “we have freedom of Religion”, however, to them freedom of Religion is only that of Islam.

 What kind of culture would treat its women like a herd of sheep who should neither be seen nor heard? What kind of a culture would hand its children guns to fight and die in Jihad and many suicide bomb attempts.  Even men aren’t getting a much better deal. Under the Taliban, simple pleasures of life such as music, flying kites and the sight of a woman’s face is forbidden. No wonder there is nothing for them to really live for except Jihad.

 Moslem clergy have failed miserably in stabilizing their society. Instead of being a source of comfort to the people they have become a source of anger, rage and subversion. Moslem clergy have no respect for the legitimacy of any government or its constitution, and no government is Moslem enough for them, even that of Saudi Arabia!! Middle East governments are all struggling to stay in power always under the threat of a coup d’etat. The result is only tyrannical governments can survive. Some Arabs blame the US for dealing and supporting these governments! as though we created them. Arabs have no one to blame but themselves for having corrupt governments.   

Every aspect of the Moslem culture and Media is geared toward the hatred and elimination of Israel. But even if they were to succeed and eliminate Israel, then what?  Will they live happily ever after? Will suddenly Suddam Hussein start respecting Moslem countries around him such as Iran and Kuwait? No. Will Moslems in India, the Philippines and Bosnia suddenly decide to coexist in peace with the rest of the non-Moslem population? I don’t think so. Will the hatred and jealousy of the Western Christian democracies go away? No. Israel is the excuse for terrorizing the West. The 19 terrorists were mostly Saudis, a couple of Egyptians and a Lebanese; all are from what we call “Moderate” Arab counties!

 Saudi Arabia and other Moslem States are financing and building hundreds of Mosques in Britain, the US and around the World. Some of these mosques are breeding and recruiting terrorists and spreading extreme forms of Islam such as the mosque that inspired John Walker and his parents to send him to Yemen at age 16 to learn Arabic and Islam! We all know the rest of the story. I wonder what would happen if we try to build a church or synagogue in a Moslem Country. We all know what happened to the two Christian women in Afghanistan. The US should place restrictions on those countries that do not reciprocate cultural exchanges. 

 Finally, I support Israel because of its unique stewardship of Judaism, the origin of the three great religions. The Middle East will be a much richer culture if the three religions can flourish and co-exist in peace. The U.S.A. has set an example to the world on how different races and religions can coexist with respect despite their differences. I wish Islam would show some Grace and accept the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The way the Jews are being treated in the Middle East is tragic! I dream of a day when Moslems welcome and celebrate the Jewish existence in the Middle East and realize that the Jewish Religion is not a threat to them.  Arabs need to put down their arms and be grateful for their wealth and land, from the Atlantic to the Indian Oceans.. They have to put aside the historical aspects of the conflict of who did what to whom and when, and deal with the present reality. It is not only better for Israel, but it is also better for Arabs in ending the chaos, rage and self-destruction. I hear a lot of Arabs say “We only want to live in peace”, it sounds great, but how active are these people in speaking out against terrorism in their own country? That is why the first condition in any peace agreement should be to stop the propaganda of hate against Israel and the west at all levels of education and the Media. I hope the UN can show some leadership in stopping the propaganda of hate.

 Let us pray that sanity and reason will gradually take over the hearts and minds of Moslems and may God give them the wisdom and courage to coexist with Israel and other cultures. What a missed opportunity for Moslems to show the world that the Holy Land can be made truly holy by giving the Jewish people the respect they deserve in the area. I see only one hand extended for true peace in the Middle East and that is that of Israel and in the spirit of the peace that late President Anwar El Sadat of Egypt made with Israel, I would like to extend a hand of peace to you my Jewish friends from just one person of   Arab/Moslem origin.

 

Ms. Darwish is a writer
Former editor and translator
And an American of Arab origin
Her web site: www.noniedarwish.com
Her e-mail: nonie@noniedarwish.com 
Or noniedarwish@hotmail.com