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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

A Second-Hand Emotion

President Bush, whose boundless tact can only be compared to his bottomless sense of history, announced in his speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee last May: “Our nation, and the nation of Israel, have much in common. We're both relatively young nations.” I voted for Dubya in 2000, am going to vote for him again in 2004, and hope you will follow my example, because, frankly, this time we simply don't have a choice. But let's be honest: when it comes to relativity, he is no Einstein. The United States has recently begun its third century, which may seem a very long time to our president, but Israel has been around almost 20 times that long. George W. Bush apparently does not consider what has happened to the Jews since the beginning of time up to 1948 a part of Israel's history. So let me correct our president: while the United States really is a relatively young country, Israel remains the oldest living nation on this planet. Nevertheless, the United States and Israel do have something fundamentally important in common.

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has become almost as universally hated as Israel. The fact that not a single country in the whole world, except for the United States and Israel, is even attempting to resist jihad, is not just a coincidence.

Manifestations of that hatred would be funny to watch if they were happening on another planet. When a bunch of fools in American military uniform stupidly, but harmlessly, made fun of a few prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the world responded with outrage, both public and official. The United States Human Rights Commissioner contemplates pursuing the matter as a war crime. Why were they not protesting while thousands of people were systematically tortured to death in that prison when it still belonged to its original owner? Why was it that the UN never attempted to interfere or even simply objected? Well, the UN was too busy skimming billions of American dollars off the oil for food program. But why was there no public outcry? Why were there no protests when a bunch of Arabs sawed off Nick Berg's head in front of the entire world? Why was there no popular outrage around the world in the aftermath of September 11, either against the mass murder, or against the open celebration of it by the Arabs? Why was there no outcry against the March 11 atrocity in Madrid? Why is nobody protesting the systematic hostage taking by the Arabs? Or their systematic murder of Westerners and mutilation of their bodies?

Why is nobody planning to prosecute those whose very way of life constitutes one ongoing crime against humanity? Why is it that the world's anger is always directed only at those who are trying to defend themselves?

I'll tell you why. We are witnessing the fulfillment of another old promise: the meek have finally inherited the earth, and now the earth is going to hell in a handbasket.

During the last hajj, a leading Saudi cleric preached to millions of pilgrims that the murder of a Westerner constitutes jihad, while the murder of a Muslim constitutes terrorism. The cleric explicitly endorsed the murder of Westerners, but cautioned against killing Muslims. There was no public outcry, no official or unofficial protests, and no accusations of racism. Instead, his sermon made headlines that read “Leading Saudi cleric condemns terrorism.” Nobody protested that outrageous lie either.

Those who committed the recent mass murder in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, followed their religious dogma to the letter. They separated Christians from Muslims and killed only the Christians. No one called it religious cleansing, although that was precisely what it was. This is not a conjecture; this is what those people said they were doing: cleansing the “sacred” Saudi soil of the vile presence of the infidel. The world took it in stride, as if this was how the majority of humans of all persuasions had envisioned our most desirable future.
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