Arab Like Me

(National Review) Lee Habeeb - There are two kinds of Arabs in this world. Those who hate Jews, and those who don't. And in my life, as a Lebanese kid growing up in New Jersey, I have met more of the former than the latter. The fact is, Arabs don't all think alike. Some of us believe in a simple universal truth: that every Arab deserves to live in freedom, wherever he or she might call home. Some of us want Arab countries to be more like America and Israel, places where the individual can flourish. An Arab American friend of mine, a Jordanian, is well educated, and he speaks five languages. But mention the word "Israel," and watch his blood boil immediately. Why is all of his passion, all of his anger and rage, directed at this one country? Why is it not directed at Syria, I ask him? Why not at Hizbullah, which orchestrated the takeover of Lebanon? Why not at Hosni Mubarak when he was in power? Or Saddam Hussein? Why not at the ways in which some Muslims are persecuting Christians? Two reasons: fear, and envy. To the dismay of Arabs around the world, Jewish people turned an ancient piece of real estate in the Middle East into a thriving oasis of intellectual, political, religious, and commercial activity, where people are free to do as they please, with a functioning government that respects religious and economic freedom. I ask my friend why he is obsessed with the 1967 border dispute, and not some other border grudge, as it would not take long to find other countries unhappy with the ways in which territories were allocated as spoils of various 19th- and 20th-century wars. I tell him that using his logic, Mexican terrorists should be blowing themselves up in Houston and El Paso. I now ask Arabs who show such a knee-jerk reaction to Israel: Why do you hate Jews? They quickly point out that they have no beef with Jews. It's Israel they hate. To which I reply, "If Israel had been handed over to Bolivians or Albanians or Estonians, would you still hate it?" It makes the point: Despising Israel the way Israel is despised in much of the Arab world is all about anti-Semitism. The writer is vice president of content at Salem Radio Network.

2012-02-17 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive