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Tuesday, June 03, 2003

The Letter the Rocky Mountain News Won't Publish

This letter was written in response to an article in the Rocky Mountain News 5/13/03: "Discussion on Israel draws protestors: Outside synagogue, Israeli, Palestinian backers are peaceful." Things changed after the reporter left, according to this eye witness. I think it's absolutely shameful that the RMN won't publish the letter.

Dear Sirs;

I was one of the participants in the rally for truth and against terrorism held at synagogue Rodef Shalom, written about by Ms Tillie Fong (RMN 5/13/03, "Discussion on Israel Draws Protesters"). I found it to be much more than a face-off between supporters and detractors of Israel, as implied in this article. Instead of equivalency, I found portents of the kind of evil decent people pray never to see face to face.

I was struck by the lack of symmetry between the two opposing groups. For the most part, the supporters of Israel were quite content simply to be there, holding their Israeli and American flags, and occasionally singing the songs "America", or Israel's national anthem, "The Hope" (Hatikva in Hebrew). Quite a contrast to the signs carried by Arafat's supporters comparing Israel to the Nazis, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Hitler, Zionism to Fascism and Apartheid, and the plight of Arabs in Palestine as a genocide worse than the Holocaust. Israel's supporters carried no banners denouncing Arafat, the Palestinian Authority, homocide bombers, or any of the many Arab atrocities which have come to define terrorism in our age.

This makes sense, since the pro-Arab group came to Rodef Shalom with the stated intent of disruption, provocation, and confrontation, angered as they were by the discussion of Israel advocacy taking place inside the synagogue. Israel's supporters, however, were there to affirm basic rights, that of free speech and free assembly. And so the well rehearsed taunts and insults flung by one side against the other were largely ignored, properly so, since there was nothing of merit in them.

As the demonstration wore on, and after your reporter had left, this group of spoilers, now becoming angry at being ignored, gradually became more animated and agitated, then breaking into a chant, meaningful to those who know Arabic and those who know hate.

"Idbach al Yahood, Idbach al Yahood." "Kill the Jews, Kill the Jews," they were saying. First only a few, then more, then even more joined this cry for blood. Since many of the people there, including the police, did not know what was being said, there was not a general reaction. But some understood, for I heard one Jewish man tell his young son, about eight years old, to run into the synagogue if anyone rushed across to his side of the street. And those chanting understood, and they laughed, and they danced about in glee.

If one wants to know the truth of the Arab-Israeli war, here it was in bold display. This is not a dispute over borders or land or water. This is not a quest for yet another Arab state, to which Israel, in any case, has already agreed. No "road map" can point the way here, no Israeli concession short of suicide can satisfy this blood lust. The simple sad truth is that the Arab-Israeli war drags on because Arabs do not accept the right of Jews to have a sovereign state in their ancestral homelands. All of the Israeli concessions under Oslo have only stoked Arab hatred, masterfully orchestrated by Yasser Arafat into a worldwide campaign of genocidal Antisemitism not seen since the 1930's. Now, even in Denver, a handful of Jews meeting in a synagogue to discuss Israel is enough to trigger a mob calling for their murder.

Perhaps the best example of the corrosive, self-destructive effects of this obsessive hatred is the reflexive violence of the Arab world in general and of the Arabs in Palestine in particular. Whatever their differences, these people are united by their hatred of anything that hints at being Jewish, and that means the very values that underpin America, and what we call Western Civilization. So caught up are the Arabs in their hatred that they have sacrificed their economy, distorted their religion, neglected their education, betrayed their culture, even transformed their children into aspiring, hateful suicide bombers. Taken together, they have denied themselves a future. What could be worse? By their own hands, the destruction Arabs wish so fervently for the Israelis is coming down upon their own heads.

Michael Wolin