As anticipated the Times and Post (I’m sure Safire, Krauthammer, George Will, and others will join the fray) lambasted Bashar Al-Assad for what is characterized as Anti-Semitic remarks. I’d like simply point out that the paper’s credibility and defense of Anti-Semitism would have been enhanced (Arabs are the original semites and only Jews who speak Hebrew are Semites by the way) had a similar editorial appeared condemning all the vile words of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (head of Shas, Israel’s third largest party), Sharon and cabinet ministers who’ve called for the murder and expulsion of Palestinians and for the military reoccupation of Palestinian areas.
The Rabbi called the Palestinians “evil” and called for their annihilation from the face of earth.
Speaking in West Jerusalem during a religious homily, Yosef said that Israel should destroy the Palestinians mercilessly.
“We must not have mercy on them, they should get missiles and more missiles, they should be annihilated, those cursed evil people.”
Yosef added that “God will take deadly revenge against the Arabs, will wipe out their seed, will annihilate them and defeat them and eliminate them for the face of earth.”
A few months ago, Yosef described Arabs and gentiles in general as “snakes,” saying “the Lord was regretting having created them.”
I don’t recall any editorials condemning his remarks as Anti-Semitic or even inappropriate in an editorial or by Richard Cohen or anyone else.
Neither of your papers commented on the Settlers massacres of Palestinians or the Israeli right wing call of “Let the IDF Win” meaning kill the Palestinians. As far as Assad’s comment that Jews have killed and expelled God’s prophets Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” As for his comment that Jews are responsible for killing Christ (not an Islamic belief), Christians for two thousand years have held that belief which led to an unprecedented Anti-Semitic persecution and murder of Jews in Europe, not the Middle East.
It is only after the Holocaust that Christians have not vocalized this belief although many privately still believe it. Thus we see the politically correct phrase: “Judeo-Christian” tradition of our country. Perhaps someone should reread some of the comments on Judaism and religion of our Founding Fathers. It is also true that the Jews in Arabia conspired many times to kill the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Thus his remarks are historically valid but I agree that they were extremely inappropriate not only for the occasion but goes against the need for interfaith dialogue, respect, and pursuit of peace which Israel has defied for 53 years.
Ironically, our media chose not to highlight the vile anti-Christian reception the Pope received in Israel or Barak’s welcoming words at the airport that Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel. If one would only read the religious beliefs of ultra-Orthodox Jews one would find the most vile and despicable characterization of Jesus which stands in sharp contrast to Islam’s veneration of Jesus, peace be upon him (in fact an entire chapter in the Holy Quran named Mary is devoted to Mary and Jesus, blessed be both of them).
According to the famed Israeli Journalist in his column: Galilee (Feb. 25, 2001) he writes:
“Rami Rozen expressed the Jewish tradition in a long feature in a major Israeli newspaper Haaretz[i]: Jews feel towards Jesus today what they felt in 4 c or in the Middle Ages It is not fear, it is hatred and despise. For centuries, Jews concealed from Christians their hate to Jesus, and this tradition continues even now. He is revolting and repulsive, said an important modern religious Jewish thinker. Rozen writes that this repulsion passed from the observant Jews to the general Israeli public.
On Christmas Eve, according to a report in the Jerusalem local paper, Kol Ha-Ir[ii], Hassids customarily do not read holy books, as it could save Jesus from eternal punishment (the Talmud teaches that Jesus boils in hell[iii]). I still remember old Jews spitting while passing by a church, and cursing the dead, while passing by a Christian cemetery.
Last year, the biggest Israeli tabloid Yedioth Aharonoth reprinted in its library the Jewish anti-Gospel, Toledoth Eshu, compiled in the Middle Ages. It is the third recent reprint, including one in a newspaper. If the Gospel is the book of love, Toledoth is the book of hate for Christ. The hero of the book is Judas. He captures Jesus by polluting his purity. According to Toledoth, the conception of Christ was in sin, the miracles of Jesus were witchcraft, his resurrection but a trick.
Joseph Dan, a Professor of Jewish mysticism in Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writing on the death of Jesus stated: The modern Jewish apologists, hesitantly adopted by the church, preferred to put the blame on Romans. But the medieval Jew did not wish to pass the buck. He tried to prove that Jesus had to be killed, and he was proud of killing Him. The Jews hated and despised Christ and Christians. Actually, adds Prof. Dan, there is little place to doubt that the Jewish enemies of Jesus caused his execution.
Even today, Jews in Israel refer to Jesus by the demeaning word Yeshu (instead of Yeshua), meaning Perish his name.”
Oddly, the NYTimes editorial shed confusion as to what happened in Qunietra, the Golan Heights. I didn’t think the Times, the pillar of record, would so distort historical truth. In 1974, the US forced Israel to withdraw from the city. While withdrawing Israel demolished the city. That’s a point of record in the U.N. and State Dept. Israel even then did not deny it so why the deliberate confusion? Even more shocking is that the Times yesterday had a story on the Pope’s visit titled: May 7, 2001 Pope Prays for Peace at City Destroyed by Israel By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
Of course I could waste my time and write letters in response but it’s obvious that my letters and those of other Arab/Muslim American letters are not welcome in your papers especially if they are critical of Israel or of our pandering Congress. I even wrote a letter a couple of days ago on the US being kicked out of the Human Rights Commission (see below) that was not used but three letters were published on the subject. It’s fascinating how an Israeli or Jewish issue generates so many published letters (5) as is the case today on Elie Wiesel’s hypocritical column on forgiveness.
I have not seen editorials on the murder of the four month old Palestinian baby, on Israel’s nightly bombardment of refugee camps, or on the Mitchell report that Sharon rejects.
It does seem obvious that “Vile Words Against Israel Are Far More Painful than Vile Bombs Against Palestinian children”. As I’ve told you both, for months in 1982 Sharon was killing civilians much faster than I could save them. By the way, Bush is supporting Israel’s request for millions of dollars to compensate the depleted weapons Israel has lost in Palestinian bodies. I haven’t seen that reported. I understand your position as two editorial employees of two Jewish owned papers but I still subscribe to the view that there is no Zionist media conspiracy to only show Israel’s positive civilized democratic behavior and exclude or only paint Palestinians as terrorists.
Israel will win the military and public relations battle thanks to you for sometime. But as I travel and speak to people, many are realizing the truth despite the best efforts of our media. It’s only a matter of time before someone is brave enough to speak the truth and given America’s changing demographics, Israel is bound to lose our tax-dollars and weapons and then what. The world is finding some courage to stand up to America’s power and weight. It’s odd how our media elite and politicians are thinking of their short term monetary gain and stability rather than humanity’s future and peace.
I write you because your papers have made a conscience decision to disallow my viewpoint that counters Israel’s lies. Thank God for the internet.
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.