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Monday, July 07, 2003

My rant against local liberals

Submitted to the Boulder Weekly
Stewart Sallo’s editorial, “Don’t Think” (7/3/03), was a good try. Stewart and I are friends, and he has my utmost respect --not just because he is a good writer, or because he agrees with me in supporting Israel, but because he is a mensch. He went out on a limb to show the film “Relentless” in Boulder. He put a huge effort into the project --because he is essentially optimistic, and places his hope in the prevailing power of truth. This is where we differ -- I am less optimistic, more cynical.

I wanted to believe Stewart, that “if we know the truth, we can build a solution,” (BW News, 6/19/03) but my doubts have expanded exponentially after hearing comments at the film and reading Chuck Davis’s letter (“Truth vs. propaganda,” 7/3/03). I’m sorry, Stewart, but liberals, progressives as you call them, are pretty solid in their opposition to Israel. It is perhaps that they are misguided. Or maybe the situation has their minds on tilt (baby-boomers will remember the pinball term), and they simply cannot believe the truth, even as it stares them in the face.

Take the scene in “Relentless,” where a lovely, soft-spoken American immigrant to Israel, Sherri Mandell, quietly tells how her 13-year-old son, Koby, went on a hike one day with his friend Yossi. The two were found by Palestinian terrorists along the way, and consequently bludgeoned to death. The boys’ bodies were found in a cave, their skulls crushed and their blood smeared on the walls. Chuck Davis says this film is “fear-mongering propaganda.” I disagree. I think it is simply, truly frightening.

The film also shows a young Israeli child who was terribly burned by a Molotov cocktail thrown into her moving car by Palestinian terrorists. She was strapped into her car seat at the time, so her parents couldn’t easily extricate her when she caught on fire. We saw the child’s bandage-masked face and heard her mother explain how the child's fiingers on one hand were so badly burned that they fell off.

Not one person who spoke in the Boulder Theatre, after seeing this child, objected to that. Not one of your compassionate liberals, Stewart, not one, spoke of their outrage. Not one stood up and said this must stop! They talked about love and peace and non-violence and embracing terrorists and so on, but not one stood up against what was done to these children. And not only do they not object, but they can find the most amazing ways to justify it. It is a Talmudic teaching brought to life: “If you are compassionate to the cruel, you will become cruel to the compassionate.”

In his letter, Chuck Davis accuses the filmmakers of “half truths and exaggerations,” and says he still cannot get rid of his “almost sick feeling about the tenor and the content of the film.” I would say that the sick feeling comes, not from a half truth, but from a whole truth, one that people seemingly can’t come to grips with: Way too many Arabs are mad to kill Jews, and want to eradicate the state of Israel.

This is the truth shown in the film’s video clips. It is the truth unabashedly borne out by Arabs themselves. They admit to it consistently, intractably, and fairly unanimously. A recent Pew Global Attitudes opinion poll showed that 80% of Palestinians agree with the statement, "The rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the State of Israel exists."

90% of Moroccans, 85% of Jordanians and 72% of Kuwaitis also agreed with this statement, as did solid majorities in Lebanon, Pakistan and Indonesia. We’re not talking about just a few extremists, and the issue is not so simple as Palestinians wanting a country. The Middle East must be free of Jews.

I find it revolting that many liberals, and many Jews among them, sympathize with this position. Stewart, our lefty friends are cruel indeed. I can’t tell you how many of them have said to me, “I’m on the opposite side on this issue.” That’s like telling a Tibetan that you support the Chinese, or telling an African American that you’re on the side of the KKK!

If you are pro-Palestinian, then you take the side of those who would bludgeon my son to death as easily as they killed Koby Mandell, the side that would just as soon hurl a Molotov cocktail into my car (or Stewart’s, or Chuck’s) as they do any other --because they don’t want Jews there. It’s what they say, it’s what the polls say, it’s what’s happening, it’s the truth.

They didn’t want Jews in Germany either. And nobody could believe it. Even as they saw it, they denied it. Today’s “progressives” are in the same state of denial. They’re on tilt. They’re in a fog where they can’t tell the two sides apart, where bloody terrorism is no different than high moral ground. They’ve sacrificed any ethical clarity they might have had, for some heightened sense of their own goodness. They don’t give a twit about the moral imperative of Jewish existence. They’re not going to watch your back, Stewart. They’re on the opposite side on this issue.