- I Was So Surprised
Published on May 11, 2008 By Larry Kuperman In Current Events

Last weekend I was informed (loudly, repeatedly and, in my not-so-humble opinion, obnoxiously)  that I am a supporter of genocide. The story follows and you can judge for yourself.

I will confess that I could have entitled this "I support genocide?" as a question rather than a statement, but the rebuke was offered to me so aggressively that I will keep the statement form.

For a decade, I have  been a  member of the  Ann Arbor Jewish Cultural Society (http://www.jewishculturalsociety.org/ for anyone who cares to visit, feel free to click on Adult Education.) We are a Secular Humanist institution and school. If you are not familiar with Secular Humanism (and I mean in the sense of actually having VISITED a place) you may be surprised at all the things we have in common with churches. Yes, we have Sunday School and yes, we teach values and yes, we do community activities and we even observe the Sabbath. We just don't think that we have a monopoly on a vision of God.

I taught Sunday School to kids for five years and began the Adult Education class last year. Not exactly the profile of a mass murderer so far, right? (All my neighbors said that I seemed so normal....well, not really, being normal is not an accusation that is often leveled at me.) I also volunteer for activities as often as I can. Usually these are in the form of raking leaves for senior citizens and such. Last weekend I was called upon to do something else. (Cue the scary music.)

You see last weekend was the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Founding of Israel and we, the JCS and the JCC, hosted a community day. It is an annual event celebrating the foundation of the State of Israel. Members of all the other Jewish institutions were invited to attend. These included the Reform Congregation of Ann Arbor, the Conservative  Congregation, even the Hasidim from Chabad House were represented. My good friend Rabbi Alter Goldstein was there. It is the one time of the year when we all gather together.

The celebration is very family oriented with lots of activities for kids. There was one of those big thingies where the kids can jump up and down. There were lots of booths with crafts and such. Artists were displaying their works. It is a sight that would be familiar to anyone.

If you have ever attended one of those events you know that there is always some poor schmuck wandering around in costume. Okay, confession time. I was that schmuck. I wore a costume as "Blue Box Bob" the blue box representing the charity or tzedekah box used to collect money for the less fortunate. The costume covered me from above my head (some people would say that was a GOOD THING) to about my knees. I was there to emphasize the importance of giving charity, a requirement if you accept the Bible and a value, an important value, if you are a Secular Humanist. I had just been in attendance at the last day of JCS Sunday School, where the kids got to announce the charities that we supporting this year. We support the Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, the Red Cross. Last year, my class donated to the Invisible Children's Fund, a fund to help build schools in war-torn Africa. The Invisible Children's Fund was again supported this year. We also donated to Seeds of Peace, a camp in Maine, dedicated to bringing together kids from Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan, the Balkans, and other areas of the world. How could I refuse to support such worthwhile efforts even at the risk of what little dignity I might have? (See http://www.seedsofpeace.org/about)

Kids at Seeds of Peace

So, all is good so far. I am sweating happily in my Blue Box Bob costume for a good cause, the sun is shining, kids are playing, everyone is having a good time....and then the protestors show up.

There were only three or four of them and in theory they were supposed to keep off our private property. They didn't but that is neither here nor there. You see they brought a bull horn. From fifteen or twenty feet away they screamed, screamed I say again, as loudly as they could that we were Zionist murderers, commiting genocide against the Palestinian people. I looked around (as well as I could inside my Blue Box Bob costume) and I didn't see any murderers. Just kids and their families trying to have a good time. Say, wait a minute, that eight-year old kid might be building a wall with his blocks....nah.

Blue Box Bob

Jokes aside, it was terrifying to the kids to have someone screaming at them through this bull-horn. How do you explain to a child why someone that you have never met hates you so much?

I should state that these were not were not ethnic Palestinians. These were Caucasian, "white bread" liberals from Ann Arbor. They were out there standing up for the "rights" of the downtrodden. And in all fairness, it is hard to come up with a people who have been more thoroughly screwed over than the Palestinians over the last sixty years. If you read up on the history of the al-Hijra al-Filasteeniya, or the 1948 Palestinian Exodus from Israel, it not clear as to what degree the Palestinians fled from what they believed to be a hostile Israeli government, or were forced to leave by a combination of terrorist acts by the Irgun and Lehi, followed by Palestinian reaction and then Hagannah reprisals. There is a lot of good work coming from the Israeli "New Historians" relying on recently (1980's) released government records that changes the way that shows that the traditional view of a voluntary exodus by the Palestinians in anticipation of the 1948 war is simply not true.

But regardless of what happened 60 years ago hating Israel just isn't helpful. Israel just isn't going to go away despite the Palestinian flag showing a Middle-East without Israel.

These people were not demonstrating for a two-state solution. Zionism was genocide to them, Israel was genocide...and I was genocide, just by exsting.

Do these people pay any attention to the news? Do they understand that Hamas refuses to accept Israel's right to exist as prerequisite for peace talks? Saying "I won't kill you" is usually a first step in the peace process.

The nature of their protest was that, in order for the Palestinians to have a homeland, Israel must go. What would happen to the 7 million Jews living there now? ...... Silence. If you look at how Jews have fared in the Arab lands since 1948, I think that answer is pretty clear.

You see, to them we are not the Chosen People, we are the inconvenient people. Our very existence is a threat. We commit "genocide" by our very existence. And, in their logic, I support genocide by affirming that the Jewish people have a right to exist and to have a land of our own. Even if I was wearing my Blue Box Bob costume.

Link is to a Haaretz article entitled: "If everything is genocide..." an interesting read.


Comments (Page 1)
on May 11, 2008

Don't worry. They're wrong, not you.

on May 12, 2008

Larry,


You are a Jew. OF COURSE you support genocide! Have you learned nothing from the liberals?

 

on May 12, 2008

Thanks for commenting, all. And thank you for the support.

Leauki, the thing is that I AM one of the Liberals. Pretty ironic, eh?

"Od yavo' shalom aleinu" as the song says.

on May 12, 2008
Some people live to hate. Rational thought is completely lost upon them.


Wiser words were never spoken.

But I am curious about your self proclamtion of Secular Humanism. From their web site, and from my previous understanding, the term and organization is not about acceptance of all religions (I dont see them not accepting it, just not professing any), but in the belief in "Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions"

Now there is nothing wrong with that. But it hardly qualifies as "We just don't think that we have a monopoly on a vision of God." Their beliefs mean unless they can prove God (something no one has been able to do since the dawn of recorded history), then they do not believe in God.

Your professed faith seems to be more in line with Unitarians than Secular Humanists. As I am neither (although I do believe as you do on the monopoly of a vision of God), I was just curious about your use of the term, and how it fits in with those who say they are according to their creed.
on May 12, 2008

Leauki, the thing is that I AM one of the Liberals. Pretty ironic, eh?

It is immaterial. If you are a Jew and disagree that attacking Jews and trying to murder them constitutes a genocide committed by the Jews, you are dead meat and evil.

Actual political opinions do not come into it. Most Zionists were socialists opposing wealthy local landlords. But that doesn't matter to today's "left".

 

"Od yavo' shalom aleinu" as the song says.

Peace will still come on (upon) us?

We can hope... We must hope.

 

on May 12, 2008

Incidentally, when liberals speak of "genocide", they mean this:

http://forums.joeuser.com/97234

Due to the word's similarity to the English word "genocide", it is often misunderstood.

 

on May 12, 2008
Um . . . Wow.

Just wow.

Don't know what else to say to that.
on May 12, 2008

What I don't get is how can Israel be accused of genocide when they only respond to some rockets aimed at them from Palestine? I don't believe Israel would harm anybody if the Arabs stopped attacking them first.

I believe Israel want sto live in peace with their Arab neighbors, unfortunately, the Arabs aren't as playing.

 

on May 12, 2008

I'll be honest (unlike many people here) and admit that my view of Palestine and Israel is highly distorted by the media and as such i could quickly assume that the Israeli state has done little wrong during the entire conflict.

All i know for sure is the following, Palestinenian settlements are buldozed down and in their place  Israeli settlements are built. The rest of the stuff, for example who shoots who first is immeterial, why? Well quite simply because if a foreign goverment came into my town, bulldozed some buildings and built a settlement i'd be sure as hell willing to fight to take it back.

I don't consider people in your position as supporting genocide. I think most people are just generally unaware of what goes on because we rely so much on the media for our source of information and the media is able to dictate which issues it reports and in how much detail as well as what sort of context. It's because of this, none of us (unless you've actually been there!) knows whats going on.

 

on May 12, 2008

I'll be honest (unlike many people here) and admit that my view of Palestine and Israel is highly distorted by the media and as such i could quickly assume that the Israeli state has done little wrong during the entire conflict.

You accuse us of dishonesty?

Let's look at the "distorted media reports" that would make you "quickly assume that the Israeli state has done little wrong". What are those reports?

Would it shock you to learn that everything you know about Israel's wrongdoings has been things that the media have told you? Would it shock you to learn that the media never told you why Israel did these things or in what context they happened?

Let's look at a few reports and judge them by some objective standards.

I propose the "refugee problem" as the objective standard.

When did you read the last report on Israel that mentioned Jewish refugees as well as Arab refugees?

Be honest. When did you see such a report?

If the message the media deliver were distorted as you claim, wouldn't we see a pro-Israel view of the refugee situation?

There have been more (but let's claim "as many") Jewish refugees fleeing Arab countries for Israel than ("as") Arab refugees fleeing Israel. One would assume that distorted news reports in favour of Israel would mention Jewish refugees and ignore Arab refugees. Have you seen that to be the case?

All i know for sure is the following, Palestinenian settlements are buldozed down and in their place  Israeli settlements are built. The rest of the stuff, for example who shoots who first is immeterial, why? Well quite simply because if a foreign goverment came into my town, bulldozed some buildings and built a settlement i'd be sure as hell willing to fight to take it back.

You don't know for sure. You "know" only what the "distorted" reports tell you. But oddly enough they told you about THAT.

Perhaps you are just assuming that the reports are distorted and that hence Israel must have committed worse crimes than the media report? You probably don't even consider it anti-Semitic to think like that.

But oddly enough, the reports you read are wrong. "Palestinian" villages are not bulldozed down to make room for Jewish "settlements". It's a lie and you fell for it.

And, incidentally, the question of "who shoots first" is not immaterial. It is quite material for those who are shot first.

But let's look at the settlements. Take the settlement in Hevron for example. Here's a few things you probably didn't know about the settlement in Hevron (because the pro-Israeli distorted news reports somehow never told you):

1. There has been a Jewish "settlement" in Hevron for thousands of years until Jordan expelled the Jews in 1948.

2. The Jewish "settlers" there today enjoy a good working relationship with the local Arab clans who have been reprimanded by the PLO government for that fact.

3. Western "pacifist" activists tried to tear down the synagogue in Hevron but were stopped by the Arab land owner who refused to allow the destruction of a house of prayer on his land.

4. Both the Jewish "settlers" and the leaders of the two local clans condemned the "pacifists" for their attempt to interfere in Hevron.

5. The Arab clan leaders have asked the Jewish "settlers" to petition the Israeli government to remove road blocks in and around Hevron since those roadblocks are not necessary in an Arab town that does not support terrorists (and is on the PLO's black list).

The sheikhs in question are Sheikh Abu Hader Jaabri and Haj Abu Akram Abu Sneineh. As far as I know Mr Jaabri is the son (or nephew) of a former Jordanian minister who himself tried to make peace with the Jews when Hevron was taken by Israel in 1967. Unfortunately his attempts were blocked by the PLO taking power and Israeli paranoia (due to earlier Arab, but certainly not all Arabs', attempts to eradicate the Jews).

You can see the meeting where the Jewish "settlers" thanked the Arab clan leaders for their initiative here:

http://players.mediazone.co.il/media/authors/34/playlists/180677/180677_static.asx


Unfortunately it is not a distorted media report or Arab propaganda but a simple recording of event in Hevron, but maybe you can trust it anyway.

 

 

I don't consider people in your position as supporting genocide. I think most people are just generally unaware of what goes on because we rely so much on the media for our source of information and the media is able to dictate which issues it reports and in how much detail as well as what sort of context. It's because of this, none of us (unless you've actually been there!) knows whats going on.

I have been there.

I was a student in the University of Haifa when it was shelled by Hizbullah. At the same time I saw the media reports in the west that never even mentioned that

a) Hizbullah had been shelling Israel for the last five years (according to the pro-Israeli distorted media reports the war started when Israel first shot back after five years of taking it)

Hizbullah was actually shooting at schools and universities (the pro-Israeli distorted media reported merely mentioned whenever Israel hit civilian targets)

c) Israel evacuated the entire north of the country to avoid casualties (the pro-Israeli distorted media reported the raw numbers of victims without informing people WHY there were fewer Israeli victims)

Interesting? Would you have expected such distorted reports?

But that's not all.

Israel had fliers warning the Lebanese of attacks, asking them to leave the area. And the Lebanese didn't. I have seen the fliers, with Arabic and English text on them. Did the pro-Israeli media reports tell you about the fliers? I certainly never heard of them outside Israel.

And I have seen the rockets. The pro-Israeli distorted media never mentioned it, but the rockets were filled with explosives and metal parts, designed to kill as many people as possible while having no chance against buildings. Those were not rockets designed to win a war as they could not stop Israeli tanks or planes. Those were rockets designed to kill as many civilians as possible. Did the pro-Israeli disorted media reports mention that? I have seen a Lebanese rocket. I was there.

When you talk of media distortion and how we are all liars and how it is important to have been there, did you even consider for a moment that perhaps we were telling the truth, have been there, and that perhaps the reports might be distorted the other way? Did it even occur to you to think that perhaps the media could be not on the Jewish but the other side?

Or was it _obvious_ to you that those who defend Israel must be dishonest and that obviously all the media are on their side?

I think it was somehow obvious to you. And that is sad.

Either way, you were wrong and I was there.

And "none of us knows whats [sic] going on" is not true.

I have been there.

Have you?

 

on May 12, 2008

And while we are at it.

The pro-Israeli distorted media also report massacres whenever the PLO claim there was one (like in Jenin where the UN never found any evidence for a massacre and was allowed to investigate) plus usually blame Israel for the death of an Arab whenever the PLO or Hamas say so, without waiting for an investigation or anything like that.

The Jews are as bad at controlling the media as they are at genocide.


If you want to know what's going on in the middle east, just go there and try it out.

Dress up as an obvious Arab and Muslim supporter of "Palestine" and walk through Israel. And then dress up as an obvious Jew and supporter of Israel and walk through any Arab country.

Observe the reaction and you will know why there is no peace in the middle east.

I'll give you two valuable tips:

1. For reasons of completeness, do the experiment in that order: travel to Israel FIRST, THEN to an Arab country. You will figure out why that is important once you get your second result.

2. The pro-Israeli distorted media will NEVER send a reporter to do that experiment and report the results. You will have to do it yourself.

 

Ever met a peace activist who didn't have time to condemn Israel because he was due at a demonstration against an Arab attack on Israel?

 

 

on May 12, 2008

You accuse us of dishonesty?

Yes. I don't think many people will admit (whether conciously or not), that their view of the middle east is constructed almost entirely of news reports and news papers. This isn't always the case, but for most of us it is, myself included.

How do i know that Settlements are built on top of former villages? It's simple Maths really. People moving to Israel needed a place to live. Prior to 1948 Palestines Jewish population was 6%. It is now upwards of 76%. The very land the west gave Israel was Palestinian in origion, and held Palestinian towns and villages.

It is an interesting point you make about the Jewish refugees, indeed it's never been brought up here, a point that refers me directly to the distorted media issue.

I think you worried incase i think there's a big world wide jewish conspiracy. I don't, you right in that distortion works both ways, but lets take my point a bit further and say walk down any English or American high street and ask the average person whose responsible for the conflict in Israel / Palestine. The answer i'd assume would be Palistine in most cases (i could be wrong). Most people, in my generation especially, are not even aware of the 1947-1948 war and how it was the UN's inconsideration that caused the war.

 

If your going to sit there and deny that Palestinian houses and villages have not been demolished then i'm sorry mate but this 'debate' is over, but before it is, let me just say i agree entirely with your point of Arab lack of tollerance for your people.

It's a disgrace really and i think if Islam is to become more accepted in the west it needs to distance itself with people who act so aggresivley towards those that don't follow it's teachings.

I've not visited that part of the world just yet, i'll be going hopefully some time in the near future with a friend of my fathers who voulenteers out there, to do exactly as i said, get a proper opinion of the place. Perhaps i'll come back and agree with you, perhaps i won't.

on May 12, 2008
Todah Raba Leauki!

I have several friends that were there during this time that you spoke of. Their reports identical to what you mention.

A friend of mine that was visiting Lebanon when the Israeli rocket killed several civilians when it was aimed at a Hezbullah target. They were telling me that they were going around looking for children and women to be in their buildings. Some were even kidnapped, many others were bribed.

Shalom Aleichem.
on May 12, 2008

How do i know that Settlements are built on top of former villages? It's simple Maths really. People moving to Israel needed a place to live. Prior to 1948 Palestines Jewish population was 6%. It is now upwards of 76%. The very land the west gave Israel was Palestinian in origion, and held Palestinian towns and villages.

No, my friend. You didn't say that Jews replaced "Palestinians" in 1948. You said:

"Palestinenian settlements are buldozed down and in their place  Israeli settlements are built."

Present tense, not past tense.

Anyway, Jewish population in "Palestine (Land of Israel)" (as the official name of the territory was then) was not 6% before 1948. It was more than 50% in the part that was to become the Jewish part.

If it had been 6%, there would have been a grand total of 30,000 Jews in the area during the war of independence. You are so wild on maths? Do the maths!

Incidentally, the land the Jews lived on back then was land the Jewish National Foundation legally bought. The Arab villages were not part of the plan. The Zionists did not actually believe that the Arabs would attack them and that there would be a war.

Do the math. Do you believe that 30,000 Jews believed that 500,000 local Arabs plus millions of Arabs from Judaea and Samaria, Gaza, Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and Iraq could be beaten if only somebody started a war? That would be insane.

The truth is, and if you do the math you will see it, that there were several hundred thousand Jews, a majority in the western half of "Palestine" who did not want a war and were not prepared for it.

The question is not how you know that there are Jewish villages now where Arab villages used to be (and I am sure it is the same in Arab countries except the other way around), the question is why you claim that Israel _is_ bulldozing Arab villages now to settle Jews at their place. That's the allegation you made and it is still a lie.

It is an interesting point you make about the Jewish refugees, indeed it's never been brought up here, a point that refers me directly to the distorted media issue.

It has been brought up here. I was referring to the media who you claim reported a distorted pro-Israeli image of the conflict. My point was that you won't find many reports in the western press who even mention the fact that Jews and Arabs, in roughly the same numbers, shared whatever pains come with being expelled or fleeing. However, there is no UN plan to help Jewish refugees and nobody mentions them in the western media.

If you insist that the press has a pro-Israeli bias, I will have to demand that you show me examples. I gave you two examples of anti-Israel bias (not mentioning Jewish refugees but claiming that Arab refugees are a problem and Israel's fault and not reporting the fact that Hizbullah shelled Israel for five years).

 

I think you worried incase i think there's a big world wide jewish conspiracy. I don't, you right in that distortion works both ways, but lets take my point a bit further and say walk down any English or American high street and ask the average person whose responsible for the conflict in Israel / Palestine. The answer i'd assume would be Palistine in most cases (i could be wrong). Most people, in my generation especially, are not even aware of the 1947-1948 war and how it was the UN's inconsideration that caused the war.

 

No. It was an Arab attack that caused the war. It was Arab nationalism that tried to unite Syria and "Syria Palestina" for decades and it was Arab nationalism that fought a war against ALL ethnic minorities, especially Jews, and especially a Jewish state.

Arab Palestinian leaders cooperated with the Nazis. Did you know that? Arafat's uncle and mentor recruited Muslims for the SS. He spoke on Radio Berlin about it during World War II. The Arab nationalists also planned a pro-German revolution in Iraq (then a Hashemite kingdom). And to this day Syria refuses to hand over the last remaining German war criminals.

The conflict has NOTHING to do with the UN. Nobody thought that the Arabs would actually go through with trying to exterminate the Jews. People thought those were empty threats, especially considering that the Holocaust just ended in Europe. The Zionists thought that the Arabs might attack though and were prepared... prepared to the extent that they could be without major allies.

If you ask an American who is responsible, few will answer "the Nazis" or "Arab nationalists". The reason for that is that most people, like you, have fallen for the lie that "Palestinians" are a distinct Arab people. They are not. They are inhabitants of Palestine, a region. And they were Arabs, Jews, Druze, and others. The idea that inhabitants of middle-eastern regions or countries would be ethnically pure is not an Islamic idea, it came from Europe.

If you ask me who is responsible, I will tell you that Arab nationalists are resposible. Just like they are reponsible for what happened to the Kurds in Iraq and for what happens to the Darfurians in Sudan now.

If your going to sit there and deny that Palestinian houses and villages have not been demolished then i'm sorry mate but this 'debate' is over, but before it is, let me just say i agree entirely with your point of Arab lack of tolerance for your people.

Good. Then the debate is over. You tell your lies about Israel and pretend you are never called on them. But repeat the bulldozer story, and I will point out the lie. You don't have to debate it.

And in my experience Arabs have a much greater tolerance for a Jewish presence in "Palestine" than western liberals and do-gooders who believe the stories made up by the PLO, Hamas, Syria, and Iran.

I have met Israeli Arabs and Arabs from the territories. The vast majority were really friendly. And very few had even heard of the stories I was told about Israel by American and European liberals.

The next time you see a picture of a Gazan blackout and people with candles, do yourself a favour: check the background of the picture. Last time they did it wrong and the street and shop lights were still on (and very bright) and plainy visible. It doesn't take much to fool westerners.

It's a disgrace really and i think if Islam is to become more accepted in the west it needs to distance itself with people who act so aggresivley towards those that don't follow it's teachings.

Islam has nothing to do with it. The PLO and the secular rulers who kept attacking Israel before the 1980s were not Islamic. They were secular nationalists trying to unite all Arab countries into one big entity with no room for smaller state. (Syria still doesn't recognise Lebanon as a country.)

You are mistaking Iran's mad mullah and their militias and the "Muslim" Brotherhood (including Hamas) for Islam. They are not.

Islam is a monotheistic religion based on the same myths and legends as Judaism. Muhammed himself believe in the same G-d as Moses and the Quran repeats and confirms the story of G-d telling Moses to lead the Jews into the promised land AND LIVE THERE. The Quran also speaks of two exiles and says that there won't be a third.

Muslims call Jerusalem "Al-Quds" ("The Holy") because it is the city of the temple of G-d. A Muslim ruler built a mosque on the Temple Mount a few hundred years after Muhammed for that reason. (Otherwise the city would have no meaning in Islam, but it does; and the Muslims did not just build beautiful mosques on all hills in conquered cities.)

I completely accept Islam and have no problems with it as a religion. But the secular nationalists, like the PLO, the Baath party, the Nasserists, and the Syrian Nationalsocialist party, are certainly to blame for the violence and the conflict.

Read this:

http://www.netneurotic.net/Extrablatt/

It's satire, but all the quotes are real. I just rewrote all the descriptions in a politically correct way. The news I report is real. The quotes are indeed from 1944 (except for Elizabeth Herman and "Franz" Buchanan). I just renamed Nazi officials as "human rights advocates" (without changing the report of what they actually did) and Arab Nazis became "religious leaders" (again without changing what they did).

Reads like todays news. But maybe you know what really happened back then?

 

on May 12, 2008

Todah Raba Leauki!

Na'im meod.

 



I have several friends that were there during this time that you spoke of. Their reports are identical to what you mention.

I suppose they would be. It's the simple truth. And I don't know what good reason European and American media might have not to report it.

But as you can see, their reports are still understood as biased and pro-Israel.

There were demonstrations all over Europe against Israel FIGHTING BACK! NOBODY demonstrated against Hizbullah ATTACKING. Nobody... but Star of David flags they burned, just like in the 1930s.

 

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