Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism
I've made offensive remarks in the past to be provocative, controversial and to shock people. These statements do not reflect my personal views. Technically speaking all ethnic or religious humor is racist and I often find it in poor taste but I am hesitant to subscribe to a strictly politically correct view of the world and not tell any such jokes in private even if they are in poor taste because I feel that a strict politically correct view of the world is oppressive. I often refer to myself in unflattering terms such as hillbilly, retard, fag etc when I am alone and not in danger of hurting other people's feelings. I am not anti-Semitic and identify very closely with the Jewish people and their struggle for justice and equality. They have been the targets of religious persecution and used as scapegoats by governments or religions to deflect popular anger away from themselves. One is reminded of the old saying, "the nail that sticks out farthest is the one that gets hammered down". I have often felt that this phrase applies to myself as well. I began to study the Holocaust as a teenager and read accounts of Nazi hunters who searched the world for war criminals and marveled at their courage. I consider the Palestinian conflict a tragedy that must be brought to a swift and just conclusion for both sides. I feel that there has not been an honest debate in the US about the conflict because anyone who disagrees with the Israeli government line is called an anti-Semite. This is strange because this does not happen in Israel. Golda Mier said the conflict had turned a race of scholars and healers into a race of warriors. When I Google Talmud I find a torrent of anti-Semitic diatribes and disinformation such as the Protocols of Zion. I find this very alarming and think that much of this is fallout from the war and another reason why the conflict must come to an end. Most people argue for a two state solution but I think a one state solution is preferable for several reasons. Two historically hostile states in such a small geographic area will probably continue to remain hostile. The Palestinian state would not control it's borders or air space and will not be a state in the truest sense of the word. The Palestinians are divided politically and geographically and the future government will probably remain divided, corrupt, and unable to function effectively for the people. A one state solution will allow Palestinians to enjoy the rights of Arab Israelis and immediately raise their standard of living and give them political expression. Minority political parties exercise real political power in Israel. The Palestinians could join the new nation of Israel/Palestine and triple their standard of living in 10-15 years with the help of the UN and the Arab League. The Israelis could retain majority control of the government for 20 years and portfolios such as defense. If the Palestinians are unhappy after 20 years they could vote to leave the agreement and form a state on the West Bank. Peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is the basis for peace between the West and the Arab world. Finally I wish to say that my Jewish friends have been a source of great joy to me over the years. One friend I made when I was in my twenties was a geologist who had a Bull dog and twenty cats and the ability to say things I had never heard voiced and the courage and gift to look at the world with originality. Another friend was a microbiologist who made his work his whole life and challenged me to do original scientific work of my own. There is no single Jewish political outlook and philosophy. I have noticed an intense drive to search for truth and to search for God down many different paths along with the courage to follow them wherever they lead. This propensity to search for truth and God has been an inspiration and informed my own journey. I do not think I could have made this journey without their example.

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