How much do you hate Israel?
By Diana Appelbaum, November 18, 2003
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How much do you hate Israel?
Enough to go every day to www.petitiononline.com and type hate-filled remarks into all petitions supportive of Israel? Somebody out there hates Israel that much.
I recently mounted a modest petition campaign, A Call to the King of Saudi Arabia to Recognize Israel. My hope is to shame Saudi Arabia into recognizing Israel by presenting the collected signatures to Saudi Embassies around the world on Israel Independence Day, May 2004.
It is, after all, uncommon for countries not to have diplomatic relationships with close neighbors, not to mention ineffective as a way to get change in the world. The United States refused to recognize Cuba when Castro took power; four decades later we’re still refusing and Castro is still in power.
Of course, with Saudi Arabia’s failure to recognize Israel is a different case. What Saudi Arabia refuses to recognize is not the current government of Israel, but the right of Israel to exist. The Saudis, along with many other Muslims, truly believe that the entire Near East is mandated by God as Muslim land; that no non-Muslim state has a right to exist.
The existence of Lebanon was unacceptable to many Muslims because Lebanese Christians shared political power with Lebanese Muslims. The Lebanese state was therefore destroyed and replaced with a new Lebanon in which Muslims rule while Christians emigrate.
Egyptian (Coptic) Christians, who were 100% of the population of Egypt at the time of the Muslim conquest, still make up somewhere between 5% and 17% of the population. The number is uncertain because the Egyptian government has an interest in suppressing good statistics on the subject. During the heyday of secular Arab nationalism, Christians served in the government. They no longer do. Egyptian Christians in government would mean Christians ruling Muslims. The Egyptian government, although still secular, now kowtows to the demands of conservative Muslims by refusing to appoint Egyptian Christians to government posts. Instead, it allows Egyptian Christians to be persecuted by Muslim zealots.
In Muslim eyes, Israel is two kinds of abomination. It is a Jewish, non-Muslim, state in the Muslim Near East. And it is a state in which Muslims are governed by Jews.
It is my modest hope that when this petition is presented, it will bring attention to the fact that not only the Saudis, but most conservative Muslims, object not to any particular Israeli policy, but to the very idea of a Jewish State.
They are refusing to Israeli Jews the right to have a state of their own, the very right that they demand so stridently for Palestinian Muslims. Only when the Saudis and other Muslims concede to Jews the political rights that they claim for themselves, can real peace come to the region.
But peace is not the goal of the hate-filled people who tap into my petition every day.
I should make clear that the overwhelming majority of signers type in their names without comment, and that most of the comments that do appear are along the lines of “Israel wants peace.” A few people type “God Bless Israel.” Then there are the haters.
“Israel is doomed,” they write, or “Chrad al Yahood,” which translates as “Kill the Jews.” Some have typed “Kill the Jews,” and variants thereof.
Then there is the very articulate and orthographically correct “FUKK ISRAEL, FUKK ZION, FUKK YOU.”
One Jonathan Boxerman apparently spent several minutes typing in eight inches of “NO PEACE. NO APARTHEID.” And an anonymous individual wrote, “No peace with fascist nations, fight them,” which is confusing since while it is quite common for the radical left to fling the word “fascist” at Israel, or, indeed, at the United States, Great Britain, and all other countries they dislike, the nature of the Saudi state actually is very close to fascism. Israel’s boisterous democracy is not.
The idea of leaving space for comments on a petition is to allow people scope to express themselves, and many of the petition’s supporters do go beyond platitudes about peace.
Gordon Alpert of New York wrote: “Saudi Arabia will send an ambassador when pigs fly! These jihadis don’t want peace. They want to destroy the Jews and the Christians – or make everyone into Muslims. I’d rather eat one of those flying pigs than become a Muslim.”
Intemperate, yes, but a very long way short of the “Kill the Jews,” sentiments penned by the petition’s opponents. Plus, Alpert makes a valid point. The more enthusiastic Muslims among us do indeed expect to convert all Jews and Christians to Islam. Many Jews would rather eat pork.
One of the haters took the time to read and reply to Alpert. Calling himself, “NO PEACE WITH INFIDELS,” he states: "I call upons Gordon Alpert’s death. His death shall be today and not tommorow. No to peace with infidels, Death to all zionists and Gordon Alpert. There shall be NO PEACE.” (sic)
Imagine how hate-filed an individual would have to be to take the time to carefully read the comments on an online petition and post that kind of message.
All of this hatred and cyber-ink, along with much that I have not cited, was expressed on the pages of an obscure petition that, in its first week on the Web garnered about 2,000 names. Regarding the matter objectively, you have to be amazed by how much hatred of Israel and of Jews there is on the radical left and among Muslims. Amazed, and a little frightened. After all, when great evils happen it is rarely because a majority of the population supports evil. The usual case is that a small group pursues evil with unremitting zeal while the rest of us go about out daily lives. The hate-filled individuals who tapped my petition want to destroy Israel and to kill Jews. And as Burke said. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."