Its fun seeing the responses to some of the articles I churn out. Just knowing that I’m not the only one who has something to say about the likes of Ann Coulter or "Mr. U.S. Institute for Peace" Daniel Pipes gives me hope that the whole world hasn’t been brainwashed—-yet. Most people have been supportive—-and the surprising majority are white bread Americans, whose voices have been drowning in the sea of "rah-rah’s" from the yes-men and women of this "vigilant" regime.
What is bothersome, however is the content of the 1% of e-mails that I received from readers. No, not the one saying that I should be deported—-You can’t deport an American born citizen anywhere for that matter, buddy. The most offensive to me did not contain any expletives, death threats, nor racial epithets. They did, however contain one word that could stigmatize an individual for life. It is just one small word that could cause friends, family, and employers to turn their backs on you at its very mention. What is that word, you ask? Anti-semite.
All of you I’m sure are familiar with this word. There are people in the world who are thought to be anti-Jewish, and are therefore labeled anti-Semitic. This phenomenon, I tell you, does exist. There are people out there who do not like people from the Jewish faith, just for the fact that they are Jews. I am however, not one of them. No Muslim, for that matter can be an anti-Semite. Muslims ARE Semites, for crying out loud. Semitic languages are scripted from right-to-left. Three Semitic languages you may have heard of: Hebrew, Urdu, and Arabic. That is just semantics for the purpose of this argument. The 21st century meaning of "Semitic" has taken on its own meaning—just exclusive for the Jewish people.
But aren’t Muslim children taught at an early age to hate Jews? The answer to that is a definite "No". Muslim children (speaking from experience) are taught to respect Christians and Jews alike. They are considered "People of the Book", and Muslims embrace many of the prophets of those religions. Additionally, Islam tells its adherents not to judge people on the basis of their religion, or the lack thereof, "There is no compulsion in religion" (Quran 2:256). Many people out there would like for you to believe that the answer to the aforementioned question is yes though. Those people however have an agenda, and are usually seen on TV praying for Supreme Court justices to die. The "anti-Jew" slant is used to fuel animosity between Muslims, Jews and Christians. It has been a successful formula for selling books, and in some cases, justifying wars.
Why then, is this term being thrown around almost like a verbal grenade, nowadays? People like me criticize the policies of the nation of Israel, not the Jewish religion. Yet some individuals are sent into such frenzy, that they actually equate criticism of governmental policy to racism. That mindset is sweeping our country quickly. Just remember any celebrity who spoke out against the war in Iraq and was subsequently labeled as "anti-American".
Last week Gov. Howard Dean’s comments regarding the policies of Israel were relatively soft. All he said was that some of the settlements needed to be dismantled, and that a more "even-handed" approach needed to be taken. After some politicians and reactionaries got a hold of these statements, you would have thought that this was Yasser Arafat’s half brother making these statements. People were dumbfounded that an individual could make such "insensitive" statements to America’s "partner in peace". His statements don’t mean he is going to be seen at a Pro-Palestine march anytime soon. He was just trying to emphasize that Israel was in violation of International Law—–and that it was incumbent upon them to rectify that situation. When he used the term "even-handed", many people gasped for air. How could he say such things? Although both sides are guilty of their shortcomings, Israel seems to be above criticism. Sadly, this will be used as fodder by Dean’s political opponents against him. He will be painted as an insensitive, "pro-suicide bomber", just like anyone else who dares speak out against Sharon and his government. This trend has already affected (former) members of Congress such as Cynthia McKinney (GA) and Earl Hilliard (AL).
Will this absurd pattern of behavior continue? My hope is that it won’t. Every time that the government of an Islamic country is criticized, you don’t see Semites of the Muslim variety flooding the phone lines and screaming "racism" from the mountaintops—-we scream it out when someone attacks our religion and our beliefs directly. If someone says something derogatory about the beliefs of Islam, Judaism or any religion for that matter–that equals racism. It’s a whole different ballgame however, when it comes to politics. The sad truth is that there is corruption and murder out there, and a lot of it is emanating from Israel. While this nation continues on its current course of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, will the ignorant continue buff its actions and mislabel anyone who dares to criticize? This "Semite" hopes not.