Crucial aspects of Palestinian problem missing
In response to the article “Why Jewish educators need to teach Palestinians perspective” by Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim in Madison, Wisconsin.
Rabbi Zimmerman has a very good idea about teaching Jewish students about the plight of the poor Palestinians. However, based upon her article “Why Jewish educators need to teach Palestinians perspective,” she obviously omits several of the most crucial aspects of the problem. The first, and most important is the theo-political aspect. Going back to the creation/establishment of the Islamic religion with the writing of the Koran in Medina, replacing the Koran written in Mecca, Mohammed clearly introduced into his philosophy the death and destruction of all non-believers, including both Jews and Christians. One advantage the “People of the Book” had was three choices: They could convert, they could pay a special tax to show subordination, or they could die. All others had only two choices: convert or die. This concept of killing Jews is mentioned over and over again in the Holy Koran, in the Hadith and in the Sira. No room for discussion. It’s there in black and white. Period!
This goes back to the seventh century AD and has not changed. Rabbi Zimmerman is more concerned about the geo-political aspect of the current situation beginning in 1948. She fails to take into account all of the documented historical records that tell a different story. Author Samuel F. Clemmons (Mark Twain) even mentions how abandoned, how desolate, how impoverished Palestine was when he visited in the 1860s. Rabbi Zimmerman also fails to mention how Jewish immigration in the late 19th century, into an almost unpopulated area started the reclamation of the land, the creation of jobs, and the improved economy where none was existing. This resulted in an influx of Arabs (Muslims) from neighboring areas.
Also never mentioned is the term “Palestinians” from its creation by the Romans all the way up to 1964 when Chairman Yassar Arafat started referring to the Arab population as “Palestinians.” Thus begins the “Plight of the Poor Palestinians” from a geo-political aspect.
Let’s forget the Balfour Declaration. Let’s forget the San Remo Conference. Let’s forget-you fill in the blanks...Talk about what the Palestinian children are taught in their schools. Talk about how terrorists are revered.
I’m sorry Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, I have to disagree with your concept unless you teach or plan on teaching the entire truth about the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The Palestinians do not have a unique language, a unique culture, unique music, a unique religion, a unique history, unique food or anything else that really sets them apart from most of their surrounding neighbors. They can live almost anywhere and be assimilated immediately. The Palestinians don’t need Israel.