A Palestinian hit-and-run suspect is sent to prison and winds up dead; a Jewish suspected of a similar but deadlier crime in the West Bank is sent home to his family.
Three months ago, on July 25, Raed al Jabari, a 35-year-old a father of five, was driving on Route 60 through the West Bank. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel (having earlier taken painkillers). Near the Gush Etzion Junction he hit a woman standing on the road. The woman was slightly injured. Immediately afterwards, he veered sharply back onto the road and turned himself in to Israeli authorities. There he explained what is outlined above.
Al Jabari was arrested and taken to the Ofer military prison. He was brought to the military court within the complex, where in light of these facts, the military judge released him on NIS 8,000 bail ($2140), having decided that he was not dangerous and his action wasn’t a deliberate terrorist act. But those were the days of Operation Protective Edge, and under the cover of the fighting in Gaza, the IDF greatly intensified its repressive actions in the West Bank. Without any additional evidence, the Military Advocate-General decided not to release him and Al Jabari became a “security prisoner.”
“The vilification of Islam has reached such heights that when the Muslim Sultan Mehmet II is cast opposite history’s bloodiest psycho-tyrant, it’s Dracula who emerges as the tragic hero.”
By Elesi Ali
This week I saw Dracula Untold in Istanbul, with an Italian Turkologist who shares my enthusiasm for vampire movies. It was past 10pm when the credits rolled, and the audience was disgruntled. Outside, Istiklal Street was still booming. An armored police van drove passed us, weaving through indifferent crowds. “That film was very anti-Muslim,” said my friend. I’m the Muslim one in our relationship, but I was trying to shrug it off, because frankly what else is new?
“Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” President George W. Bush said in 2002 as he set the stage for an invasion ofIraq.
The premise he invoked was that if a country believes it faces an imminent threat, a preemptive attack against that threat is tantamount to an act of self-defense.
An earlier use of this “anticipatory self-defense” doctrine occurred when Israel tried to justify its 1967 war against Egypt, Syria andJordan. Many people still believe Israel’s claim to self-defense was justified when actually it was just as fraudulent as the Bush administration’s “evidence” that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense (Cambridge University Press, 2013), John Quigley, professor of international law at Ohio State University, examines what actually happened in 1967 and how the misrepresentation of events resulted in giving credence to the doctrine of pre-emptive war. Quigley’s re-examination follows the release of documents declassified in recent years by the governments of France, Russia, Britainand the United States, all of which were involved in monitoring the simmering conflict between Syria, Egypt and Israel.
Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy once said, “There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.”
Her words seem particularly apt this week in light of Bill Maher’s recent opening of the Islamophobic floodgates during his “Last Word” interview with Sam Harris and Ben Affleck. In the now infamous segment, Harris argues “Islam is the mother load of bad ideas” and that “We are misled to think the fundamentalists are the fringe.”
Muslim American academic Reza Aslan was subsequently called on by CNN to comment on Maher’s views, which he demurely dismissed, but what was most interesting was comparing the treatment of Aslan and Affleck, both voices arguing against anti-Muslim prejudice, by mainstream American TV anchors.
One of the things that scares me the Most is the knowledge the West has of our desire for the return of the Khilapha. If you look at the past 100 years of Imperial Western Rule in the Middle East, there is a two fold tactic that many Anti-Islamic organizations employ.
1.) Is to fund and empower the so-called Muslim Secularists who secretly hate Islam and tend to be extremely violent towards religious Muslims.
(This is generally because they are really Hypocrites who don’t fear God and so they have no problem killing thousands of Muslims.)
2.) Is to create oppressive and overtly extreme Religious groups that makes Islam seem completely irrational and inapplicable in Modern Day Society.
They do this in hopes to sway religious Muslims and possibly their offspring to develop a distaste for anything Islamic. And so they set up a system of Government which only applies Shariah Law at face value and partially in most cases. Essentially making the application of Islamic Law seem barbaric and unjust.
On August 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind.
The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.
This is, however, just the most recent of a series of cease-fire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.
Since November 2005 the terms of these agreements have remained essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it—as Israel has conceded—until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality.
The answer lies in human psychology. And probably like the old observation about history, people who refuse to understand human psychology are doomed to be victims of psychological manipulation. How is it that even members of peace groups have now come to support US bombing? One lady framed the issue like this: “I request that we discuss and examine why the videotaped beheading of a human being is understood to be more egregious than the explosion (almost totally invisible to the public) of a human being by a missile or bomb fired from a drone.”
There are at least four main reasons that explain why Americans care far more about the beheadings (thus far) of two Americans and one U.K citizen, than they care — here’s the polling — about the thousands of foreign victims of US drone bombing. Here’s how people are likely being manipulated into believing that more US bombing is the answer to such terroristic killings even when almost all military experts have admitted that it won’t work and “there’s no military solution”:
The phrase “Biblical Israel” often passes on the lips of Republican presidential contenders, representatives of the Netanyahu government, and Israeli settlers. But where exactly is this Israel of the Bible to be found?
Not in the Bible itself. The Hebrew Bible (known to Christians as the Old Testament and to Jews as the Torah or Tanakh) contains five different “maps.” These “maps” aren’t pictures, but lists of boundaries that define the Promised Land. None of them resemble the modern-day “Biblical Israel.” One map — surprisingly found in the book of Joshua, which describes an all-out holy war — suggests a regional federation in which the tribes of Israel overlap and coexist with local inhabitants. Joshua chapter 15, verse 63 even states: “the Jebusites (local inhabitants of Jerusalem) and the People of Judah dwell together in Jerusalem until today.” This not only sounds like contemporary Jerusalem — a mixed city of Palestinians and Israelis — but also like a prophecy of how the division of Jerusalem might give way to dwelling together.
The emergence and success of Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq has been portrayed as arising from a vacuum stooped in Islamic ideology. An ideology purported to be the anti-thesis of everything liberal, pluralist and inclusive. Thus the killing of minorities, the beheading of journalist James Foley and the sexual slavery of women evokes Orientalist perceptions of Islam – the barbarians against the civilised West.
The carnage committed by ISIS is nothing short of atrocious, and focusing attention on their violent excesses in respect to minorities without any reference to their equally aggressive attitudes towards the majority Sunnis is a failure to understand the very core of the ISIS phenomena. Such shallow scrutiny further provides a narrative to the right wing extremists who indict Islam due to the actions of ISIS. The group has further provided a golden opportunity for scavengers like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ilk who now attempt to equate ISIS with Hamas.
I was dismayed to read about the pastor in a Dallas church who used a broad brush to condemn 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and to blame Islam. I am sincerely grateful to Steve Blow [News’ Metro section, Sept. 6] for pointing this out and to Robert Hunt of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology for condemning this blatant distortion in equating the atrocities of the Islamic State with all of Islam. These are sincere Christians like so many others with whom I interact daily.
As expressed by Nader Hashemi, director of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at University of Denver, how can we forget the great Western philosophers who were deeply interested in religion?
From Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau to Hegel, Mill and Marx, all wrote extensively about the relationship among religion, politics and society. Hashemi further queries, “How did the divine nexus between God, human beings and society gradually erode in the case of Latin Christendom, leading to the gradual separation of religion and state and the rise of political secularism?”
The answer is simple: wars. Religious wars tore the very fabric of the nascent Western civilization just coming out of the Dark Ages.