Build Bridges - Not Walls

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Europe Views: 3868

Once again we see new walls coming up to separate man from man - this time in the Middle East - although the dust of the last one demolished in Europe is yet to settle. Thousands of people came from both sides of the Berlin wall to tear it down into rubble with their own hands. Exuberant with the sense of freedom after decades of restrictions, they ran back and forth the erstwhile border, jeering and hurling insults at soldiers of the wall-builders.

All can see how much man values freedom and how he has broken the artificial barriers in the past. In fact whatever mankind is and enjoys today in the shape of modern civilization, is a result of free movement of people from one end of the earth to the other. Not only did the intermixing improve the human genetic pool, it spread knowledge and built it bit-by-bit starting from the wheel and the Zero from the East to what one see in the West of today. All know of the messages of the prophets urging mankind to share the earth and have listened to the wise men about the greater good in greater sharing.

Yet, leaders of the nations choose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to them all. They persist on forgetting the basic truths of life as they pursue their selfish agendas to the detriment of the common good of man on earth. Oblivious of a history of futility of walls, fences, iron curtains, nuclear umbrellas and defense lines, they persist on trying to make the obstacles more impregnable. Not content with the brick and mortar, they devise more sinister barriers that block information between nations and end up in distorting minds of the people. Focused on the narrow national interests they play on the psyche of people to create mutual mistrust and animosity to justify further legal, cultural, economic and ideological walls. 

Essentially all walls are an affront to the solidarity and equality of the mankind and therefore destined to come down, sooner or later. What is sad is the human sufferings the cause while they are there. Walls are generally built to keep out the perceived barbarian or the terrorists who cannot be overpowered otherwise. But so far there is no universally accepted definition of either. It is all relative to the circumstances of the perceiver and his time and place in the history. In fact the pendulum of time has swung more than once pointing at the barbarian of the yesteryear as the elite of today's civilization, and vice versa.

In the larger perspective of history, the only truth that emerges is that all such intruders who want to force their way into a prosperous society are essentially the 'excluded ones'. They knock at your doors to be included as the members of the human family and to demand their share as the dwellers of the same earth. They may be claiming the fruits of what you borrowed from them in the past or what you expropriated unjustly, or to tell you simply that you have to stop robbing them of their freedom and their resources covertly and leave them alone. 

The first wall mentioned in the scriptures was built to keep out the barbarians Gog and Magog, which did not last with the will of God. The greatest edifice of all, the Great Wall of China could not stop the Mongols who marched on circumventing the wall at the invitation of the victims of an unjust Emperor. The invincible ramparts of Roman security could not stand the onslaught of the half-wild Huns and collapsed leaving historians wondering what went wrong. Coming to modern times, the famous Maginot Line could not stop the Nazis who by passed it and entered France through another route. Last but not the least, the all mighty nuclear umbrella of Communism kept sitting where it was, while the Capitalists tunneled their way through the economy to implode the USSR.

Once the blood thirsty barbarians of Mongolia were able to break- through the veritable walls of 'civilization' that had surrounded them in a state of stagnation, they were soon able to settle down. The herds that had crossed over the Great Wall gave up their tents, moved into palaces and ruled for centuries with all the sophistication of a Chinese dynasty. Their bands that had broken the snow barrier to the North adopted the Christians faith of mercy and kindness. Those who overpowered the faithful in the West espoused Islam and became defenders of the faith. The brutal Huns and the Nazis of Europe similarly melted away in the anonymity of civil societies once their disputes were settled. They are now reincarnated as the peacefully coexisting and progressive citizens of the European Union.

Building walls to keep others out, without realizing that it also amounts to keeping yourself in, is the oldest comedy that humankind has enacted repeatedly. This time 'God's own chosen people' want to build the promised paradise behind walls by keeping out the 'God's blunders' from their sanctified midst. Hundreds of miles of barbed (now razor) wire fences and even electrified ones, with landmines buried nearby, are being raised so that Kashmiris may not move within their own land --- because a Pilate-like disinterested alien had drawn a particular line on a map somewhere and an irrelevant person signed a piece of paper elsewhere else. A Home Security Wall effusing contempt is being raised on the USA borders to keep the hungry and exhausted out and to keep all the goodies to itself. The most opaque of all is the wall that keeps the American populace ignorant of their Government's misdeeds. It looms large to the sorrow of the entire humanity with its potentially deadly consequences. 

Has man still not matured to know better? Has he not broken the barriers of gravity and catapulted himself into space so far forbidden to the earthlings. Did he not see 'God's-eye-view' of a borderless world from up there? Has he not ripped open the heart of atom and come face to face with energy in its cosmic purity, and found it without a race or religion? Did he not break into the sanctum sanctorum of the organic cell and looked into the eyes of genes, the designers of life, who proved to be neither Jewish nor Arab, neither Hindu nor Muslims in their origin.

Humankind, no doubt has come to know a good part of the truth if not the whole truth, yet has the audacity and the foolishness to believe that God is a parochial and tribal creator and has been allotting pieces of land to his favorite creatures, granting them the right to kill and banish others. Is it not shocking that some believe so, and many more go along accepting it in a dishonest pursuit of their selfish goals? 

It appears that man is not one, but a split personality --- half possessed by the angels and the other half by the devil. He is a genius of creation that is capable of unlocking the secrets of life and harnessing the bounties of nature, but on the other hand he is also the nincompoop of Mother Nature who devours more than what he can replace, and cannot tread upon the earth without pillaging it. 

He has soon to grow out of his animal heritage that impels him to go round scent marking his territory and fighting for it. He has lost the 'instinctual wisdom' of his progenitor, who lived in harmony with Nature and regulated the balance between food supply and population that guaranteed him as eternal sustainability. He has, instead, opted for knowledge that gives him power to kill, but remains bereft of wisdom of life. He has tools and vision to build sky-high towers, but lacks the life-sense of an earthworm that lives by the code of nature without causing harm to any other life form. Sent in exile from the Garden of Eden for stealing awareness, this cosmic orphan may never reach the Kingdom of Heaven if he does not discover the wisdom of coexistence that he left behind. 

The panacea for the problems of nations, whether they live in pain of poverty or in a fear of losing their security and good life, lies in the realization that both are the problems of the entire humanity. The answer lies not in building walls but in demolishing them. It does not lie in acquiring better knowledge of means of destruction but in finding ways of doing away with the need of destruction. It does not lie in unending accumulation of material wealth, but in allowing and helping others to meet their needs. It lies in building up on the social, spiritual and scientific foundations of the common heritage of man and sharing it with all the residents of the earth. It lies in an egalitarian and just order between the nations of the world, the same way it is aspired for people within a society. 

All this will never be realized by the politicians who come in power to take care of the 'national interest' and find virtue in promoting it to the grief of others. It is the enlightened few, who talk of the 'human interest' that must be identified and followed by the people of the world. Only a massive activism can banish the mediocre from power and bring sanity to rule. Equality among mankind may require some to give up a few of the luxuries they enjoy, but they will be more than compensated and enriched in the secure joy of life that comes from sharing --- by building bridges to include others in their lives --- not by raising walls to exclude them.

 

The author is an independent commentator based in Karachi, Pakistan


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  60 Comments   Comment

  1. Nick Cameron from United States

    Here's another poll, this one taken by the Oxford Institute, co-sponsored by ABC News in the U.S. and the BBC.

    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/GoodMorningAmerica/Iraq_anniversary_poll_040314.html

    It seems that my gov't is building bridges in ways that I didn't expect. While that's good, I see this as potentially setting a disturbing precedent. Does this mean that the best way for my gov't to build bridges with the Muslims is to conquer them? If so, then it would support a neoconservative agenda here in the U.S. But it could also mean the start of a new world war. Not something I'd look forward to...

  2. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    I found an interesting poll taken by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It seems to confirm a lot of what I believe is true about Americans and the Muslim world. For example, there are more Americans surveyed who have a favorable view of Muslims than those who view Muslims unfavorably. On the other hand, people in three Muslim countries surveyed seem to view Christians and Jews unfavorably more often than not. One thing that surprised me though is the level of anti-Semetism in the West. Jews in America have warned the rest of us that it's rising in Europe, but the numbers don't seem to support this. So based on this poll, it appears that I was mistaken about this part since I believed that this was the case. A more comprehensive analysis can be found here:

    http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=206

    If the poll is a good representation of reality, then the Muslim world has a greater problem of prejudice towards non-Muslims than American has towards the Muslim world. I can believe this.

  3. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Sorry Nick but just because you don't want me to respond to your comments, doesn't mean that I won't continue to clarify and correct your hypothetical scenario's that have no basis, such as these so called "irresponsible Palestinian parents" you dream about. Ignore my comments if you like, but I reserve the right to address your false statements whenever I feel it is necessary to do so. You may continue to address my points, that is up to you..or just continue to accuse me of being rhetorical, when it is true, you are generalizing about the actions of Palestinian parents by calling them irresponsible.

    Real Eyes Realize Real Lies.

  4. Nick Cameron from United States

    Akbar Khan:

    Based on the presence of another message addressed to me which I have chosen not to open, it seems as though I have not made myself clear. You led me to believe that you were interested in dialogue, when in fact you've been playing rhetorical games. I have neither the time nor the patience for such things.

    If others genuinely wish to "build bridges", then they are welcome to do so. Naturally, I am willing to give it a go with someone else. But as far as I'm concerned, my efforts with you are concluded for the time being.

  5. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Still you can't grasp this basic understanding...it's pretty astounding that you didn't get the message. How do you know Palestinian parents do not tell their children not to throw stones at IDF Gunmen and Israeli tanks? And then, are you going to stop them from going to school in fear that they might start doing so? Like I said, in such a volatile situation, you cannot isolate the entire circumstance to just one hypothetical scenario, as you have conceptualized, of Palestinian parents being irresponsible.

    As I recall, we were never together, so we have been our separate ways the entire time. It is up to Israeli soldiers to stop occupying and invading Palestinian villages and homes, that is the only way any violence will subside. I do not think Palestinians are going to stand there and let themselves be shot in the street for disobeying a rudiculous curfew, or for looking at a IDF soldier the wrong way. It is quite the contrary, I have been very clear in my views based on the reality of what goes on in Gaza and the West Bank.

    If you are here to try and convince Muslims to share your views of this wall as being something positive and the only way to stop violence, then unfortunately even if you don't like to hear it, you are in error. Aerial attacks by Israel, and invading soldiers and tanks have no left from villages that have already been trapped behind this wall.

    Also if you are here to inform Muslims of somehow being guilty of prejudices and bigotry, while you do not address basic facts, then there is something lacking in your presentation when you respond.

    I think it's time for you Nick to address human rights abuses in the USA - the number of youths killed by guns, the executions of criminals convicted as juveniles, and the abuse of children in juvenile prisons. I suggest that you improve conditions in the USA before you blame Palestinian parents of being irresponsible.

    Charity starts at home.

  6. Nick Cameron from United States

    Peace Ahmed Asgher!

    I am not "naieve" [sic] as you claim; I'm well aware that Bush was just paying lip service. But the fact that he felt the political need to do so in the first place demonstrates the importance of MLK's legacy of non-violence to our culture. That's my point as far as that goes.

    And yes, I maintain that under our laws American citizens are not the same as foreigners. Whether or not you think that's fair, this is a true statement of the current state of our laws. As far my opinion of the wisdom of U.S. policy regarding the Gitmo prisoners, that is for another discussion. As you will note from my other comments, I haven't told you where I stand on that, mostly because I haven't been asked. In any event, I do not lock people up as you like to claim. (Do you really believe that I'm that powerful?)

    Peace out!

  7. Nick Cameron from United States

    Akbar Khan:

    I believe that it's time for us to go our separate ways. I do not believe that you've made a good faith effort at genuine dialogue.

    From your first comments addressed to me until your recent one you've insulted me, distorted my views, put words in my mouth, and accused me of close-mindedness. You imply that I "beat around the bush" about my beliefs, when in fact Istated them clearly.

    I understand that you have been unclear about certain things, but instead of asking me to clarify you respond with an accusation. For example, regarding Palestinian parents I told you the following:

    "Well Akbar Khan, as I said before if my children die due to something that I could have reasonably prevented (like by making them stay home instead of letting them throw rocks at soldiers), then I have acted irresponsibly. "

    Your response was to say the following the following:

    "Jazak-Allah Ahmed...as you can clearly see, Nick just refuses to accept the fact that he has no idea what it is like to be a Palestinian parent growing up in poverty and occupation..."

    When did I say that I "refuse to accept" that I don't know what it's like to be a Palestinian? Truth is that I didn't. But instead of engaging me in dialogue, you put words in my mouth in order put me on a rhetorical defensive.

    And this isn't the first time that you engaged in rhetorical games. Here are your very first comments to me regarding the "Better relations..." article:

    "Nick Cameron...here comes the HUMBLE AMERICAN once again! What a great showcase, bravo, your superiority complex is fantastically 100 percent, US-media brainwashed accurate. "

  8. Akbar Khan from Canada

    It's funny how Nick used the examlpe of a poor murderer to justify his position on Palestinian parents being hte ones responsible for the death of their children, when the true MURDERERS of their children are Israeli soldiers.

    This is not a difference of opinion of belief Nick, you should start to realiez that it is irresponsible of you to talk about such a complex situation with such narrow minded aspirations to understand hte plight of the Palestinian people. This is the problem once again that many Americans face. They use Christianity as an excuse to defend the actions of Israeli aggressors, and then call them their allies and friends...I wonder what they call Palestinians...oh I know, irresponsible parents and ignorant, just like what Nick just called them.

    It was good to hear what you think, so that everyone can see that no one can deny anymore, how stubborn people like yourself will never accept that Israel is the aggressor, even after presenting you with an array of facts that prove this to be so.

    I think it's quite clear that you bowed out because you could no longer defend your "concepts" as you call them because I presnted you with facts that basically disintegrated what you believe to be true, that is why you have bowed out from further discussion. I still see that you cannot fathom other people talking about your narrow mindedness. you sound like one of those extremists who don't like to hear criticism about them and their views and will never change.

  9. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    S.A. Abidi:

    You ask why is it that America is a friend to Israel. This is an important question that deserves a response, although I can only give my opinion.

    Many Muslims outside the U.S. are under the impression that a Jewish lobby "control" my gov't. This is a fallacy. Lobbies by definition do not control my government; they exist to influence. In addition, a Jewish lobby can only represent a small minority of voters because those they claim to represent, Jewish Americans, constitute such a small minority. So it makes no sense to attribute America's support for Israel solely to American Jewry.

    In truth, it's the Christian conservatives who have more influence on foreign policy based on their sheer numbers (some estimates put them at 40 million). They support Israel not because of any hatred against Arabs or Muslims or because the Christian conservatives want to "police" them. Instead, they believe that America must support Israel because that's what God wants. Do Muslims know what it's like to be so devoted to Faith that they would be willing to die for their beliefs? If so, then they understand Christian conservatives in America.

    Anyways, this is just my opinion. I could be way off.

    Ahmed:

    As much as I find your bigotry against America objectionable, I appreciate that you are honest about your prejudices and commend you for it. I encourage you to continue to comment about why Muslims believe that the American people are terrorists, because you serve as an important reminder of the state of the Muslim world.

  10. Akbar Khan from Canada

    It's a good thign that you finally accepted the fact that what you said about Palestinian parents and other things, were just concepts. You might think that I'm twisting them, but I am in reality just replying to exactly what you believe...that Palestinian parents are somehow responsible for the death of their children, while the obvious blame should be placed on IDF forces...it's as if you are trying to find any excuse possible in order to defend Israel's actions...and this is the sort of mentality that is plaguing many Americans today. Yes I wanted to know what you think, so that instead of you beating around the bush, you would come out and clearly state what you believe, so that I could present some solid facts to you about what you believe in order to change those wrong beliefs, or CONCEPTS as you called your own thoughts. If they are just concepts, then they are not proven. That is why I posted a lot of material for you to read about things which you believed to be otherwise. Insha'Allah...over time you will start to begin to experience the many things you do not know of Islam, as you said you have lived in a Muslim country...I still do not know which one it was?? Please feel free to share with us your great knowledge of this Muslim country and it's inhabitants so that we can see how you work to play the blame game on Muslims and not others...favouritism, bias, double standards, or hypocrisy? Maybe a bit of all of those...May Ilahi (the name Jesus used for GOD, as depicted on the cross in the movie The Passion) show you towards the true path of submitting yourself to Allah. By the way I just thought I'd let you know, in Arabic, Ilah is how you say God...Aramaic, language of Jesus, he says Ilahi...very similar don't ya think? To say Allaha for God in Aramaic...similar to Allah in Arabic hmmm...this is why I asked you to learn a bit more about Islam...you might find something that intrigues you.

  11. H.A. from Yathrib

    Nick Cameron is a "zionist-mouth piece". He is trying to reason here with us. Very funny!

    He is an avid fan of building the "zionist" wall. Has he done anything to stop the oppression of PALs?

    Has he even done anything to stop the funneling of U.S. dollars that are being used to build the wall and also to kill innocent PAL civilians by American made and paid missiles?

    It is time someone bulldoze him out of this site. Then and only then, he is going to realize his stupidities....

    However, since we Muslims as kind as we are, we must tolerate them and hug them and cuddle them and forgive them and let them continue to spread lies....We can't say anything negative about them. SSSSShhhh...they are always right! & we are always wrong...

  12. S. A. ABIDI from Pakistan

    As the author of the article I feel gratified that it opened a dialogue that I wish could be joined by more like Nick Cameron who must be complimented for his persistence and keeping his cool.

    The walls we talk about are only the physical symptoms that erupt out on the surface while the cause is buried deep in our minds.

    When Nick said that America supported Israel because it was a friend and America had a right to chhose its friends said it all. He was in fact conceding that on the same principle the Palestininas had a right to identify their enemies and react correspondingly. Well should that be the answer to the problem let us contine killng--- and let it be known it will, in other places and in other ways--walls or no walls.

    But this is not the answer that will satisfy the mothers of the dead children, the orphans and the widows. What they want to know is why? And that is what Nick must address to. Why have you chosen Israel as your friend and why do you keep on pouring in billions to support that killing juggernaught--as Nick wonders in one of his comments.

    If your answer is,' to police the Arabs' and 'to guarantee oil supplies'--it is honest but in denail to sovereign equality of nations. If you say it is to make Israel stronger then why should you not be accused of tyrannising the Arabs and made to face the cosequences?

    The answer does not lie in the brick and mortar of the wall, but in the material that makes bridges---and that is the acceptance of equality of all human beings and understanding of their aspirations.

    The day Israelis stop reducing Palestinian homes into rubble, there will be no rocks to be found for the children to throw at the Israelis. The day life is made worth living for the Arabs they will stop wasting it on their enemies in desparation.

    Use of force is no answer.You cannot afford to go selling Coca Cola in tanks.

  13. Ahmed from UK

    Frankly Akbar, I think its a lost cause trying to reason with deluded proponents of empire like cameron. Apologists for terrorism like these have no interest in the sufferings of others.

    What do you expect from bottom feeders who still make ficticious claims about Iraqi WMDs ?

    Dont expect much, if at all.

  14. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Here's one more long analysis and outline of many facts that show how free masons are a heretical group that dis-associates itself from the Catholic Church, and has secretely for centuries, tried to indoctrinate the masses to their ideology. Please refer to this link below:

    http://www.harunyahya.com/knights01.php

  15. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Akbar Khan:

    I'm finding you to be a disingenuous person. You claimed earlier that you were interested in what I believed, and so I told you. But in instead of trying to find common ground with me, you accuse me of being close minded just because I have a differing opinion. Moreover, you chose to twist my comments to imply that I "refuse to accept" the circumstances of Palestinian parents. Not once have I claimed that I know what it's like to be another someone else. Besides, I do not consider such circumstances to be excuses for misbehavior or irresponsibility, so I don't need to know precisely what it's like to be another person.

    Perhaps this is the difference between my religion and whatever it is that you believe. I have been taught to believe that even though we must remain compassionate for the plight of others, we cannot accept the mifortunes of others as an excuse for their sins. In my religion, God does not absolve a murderer merely because he is poor or feeling oppressed. A man is not righteous merely because he suffers. He is righteous because he chooses to do good even in the face of evil. But that's just what I believe, for I am a Christian.

    In any event, you have shown that you're not interested in genuine dialogue, because once again you have engaged in "war of words" tactics. Therefore, I believe that our discussion has once again run its course.

  16. Akbar Khan from Canada

    (...continued)The Jewish historian, Theodore Reinach, says that the Kabbalah is "a subtle poison which enters into the veins of Judaism and wholly infests it."17 Salomon Reinach defines the Kabbalah as "one of the worst aberrations of the human mind."18

    The reason for Reinach's contention that the Kabbalah is "one of the worst aberrations of the human mind" is that its doctrine is connected in large part with magic. For thousands of years, the Kabbalah has been one of the foundation-stones of every kind of magic ritual. It is believed that rabbis who study the Kabbalah possess great magical power. Also, many non-Jews have been influenced by the Kabbalah, and have tried to practice magic by employing its doctrines. The esoteric tendencies that took hold in Europe during the late Middle Ages, especially as practiced by alchemists, have their roots, to a great extent, in the Kabbalah.

    The strange thing is, that Judaism is a monotheistic religion, incepted with the revelation of the Torah to Moses (peace be upon him). But, within this religion is a system called the Kabbalah, that adopts the basic practices of magic forbidden by the religion. This substantiates what we have presented above, and demonstrates that the Kabbalah is actually an element that has entered Judaism from the outside.

    But, what is the source of this element?

    The Jewish historian Fabre d'Olivet says that it came from Ancient Egypt. According to this writer, the roots of the Kabbalah stretch back to Ancient Egypt. The Kabbalah is a tradition learned by some of the leaders of the Israelites in Ancient Egypt, and passed down as a tradition by word of mouth from generation to generation.19

    For this reason, we must look to Ancient Egypt in order to find the basic origins of the Kabbalah-Templars-Freemasonry chain.

    So Nick, check out Global Free Masonry by Harun Hahya, and Hiram Key, by two Masons, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, and learn truths of Masonry.

  17. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Nick if you want a researched base of information with great use of references, then please read the exerpt from Harun Hahya's book, Global FreeMasonry which I will post for you below, and it's relation to Jewish black magic (the kabbalah, a practice carried out by people such as Madonna, who openly admits to practicing this):

    A book written by two Masons, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, entitled The Hiram Key reveals some important facts about the roots of Freemasonry. According to these authors, it is evident that Masonry is a continuation of the Templars. Though, in addition to this, the authors also examined the origins of the Templars.

    According to their thesis, the Templars underwent a great change while they were in Jerusalem. In the place of Christianity, they adopted other doctrines. At the root of this lies a secret that they discovered in the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, whose ruins they had set out to investigate. The writers explain that the Templars used their purported role as protectors of Christian pilgrims visiting Palestine as a pretense, but that their real aim was quite different:

    ...There is no evidence that these founding Templars ever gave protection to pilgrims, but on the other hand we were soon to find that there is conclusive proof that they did conduct extensive excavations under the ruins of Herod's Temple...12

    The authors of The Hiram Key were not the only ones who found evidences of this. French historian Gaetan Delaforge makes this similar contention:

    The real task of the nine knights was to carry out research in the area in order to obtain certain relics and manuscripts which contain the essence of the secret traditions of Judaism and ancient Egypt.13

    At the end of the nineteenth century, Charles Wilson of the Royal Engineers, began conducting archeological research in Jerusalem. He arrived at the opinion that the Templars had gone to Jerusalem to study the ruins of the temple. (continued...)

  18. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Jazak-Allah Ahmed...as you can clearly see, Nick just refuses to accept the fact that he has no idea what it is like to be a Palestinian parent growing up in poverty and occupation, where they not only kill children on streets, but invade their privacy in their homes and kill entire families....Nick accept the reality that you will never know until you put yourself in their shoes...maybe you should try an experiment...go back in time to when British colonialists were killing native American children for simply being Native...I'm sure if you study American history a little but, just a little, you will open your mind and stop setting up road blocks and walls up in there.

  19. Ahmed from UK

    I see Cameron is still at his typical american best, lazy rhetoric and illogic as usual. I guess its a cultural thing for such delusional individuals.

  20. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Well Akbar Khan, as I said before if my children die due to something that I could have reasonably prevented (like by making them stay home instead of letting them throw rocks at soldiers), then I have acted irresponsibly. This is one of those situations where ignorance is not an excuse, because as a parent I should have made it my business to know what my children are doing outside the house.

    Regarding the Freemasons, more can be found here:

    http://www.masonicinfo.com/

    They seem like a nice group of people. I might do further research about their works.

  21. Akbar Khan from Canada

    But you see Nick, that situation faced by Palestinian parents, you would never know if they tell their children not to fight or to fight with Israeli forces, or tell them to or not to throw rocks at tanks as we discussed before. So if you can admit that you wouldn't know that your children would obey you, than how can you know that the parents of these children are irresponsible, or somehow encourage their children to fight against IDF forces. I mean I think the truth is that you, I, and anyone else who is not in the occupied territories, has NO IDEA how it feels until we put ourselves in their place.

    Yes about the Free Masons, they are not just a bunch of old guys sitting around, they are and always have been a hidden secret order that has kept itself hidden in order to hide it's heretical beliefs from the public who believes in the the God of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. They are still very powerful and active, George W.H. Bush, used references to Masonic goals in many of his speeches, saying things such as, "we are building a new idea, a new world order." In fact every single president of the United States of America, has been a high ranking free mason (a 33rd degree mason), except for Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy, and both of these US president's who were not Free-Masons, were assasinated. I am not one who follows or has faith in conspiracy theories, but it is a serious area of study, that many people have written books on, such as the Hiram Key, as one very good example of beliefs outlined by Free Masons in where the book says one of hteb eliefs of hte Free Masons is that they are awaiting the coming of their leader, "Jah bu-lon"...when I think of how the Jews have rejected Jesus Christ (AS), and also rejected Muhammad (SAAW), it makes perfect sense as to why Zionist-Jews and Christian Zionists get along so well. They in fact no longer follow the Bible or Pentateuch (Taurah), as they move up in degrees, they reject belief in Yahweh.

  22. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Peace Yahya Bergum!

    I just saw the map, and I find it fascinating. If the map is exactly what it represents, then it explains why so many Israelis oppose the positioning of the Wall. Therefore, I think it'd be fair for the Israelis to construct a secured highway for the Palestinians that would connect all the Palestinian areas. Such a highway, where it crosses through Israeli territory, could take the form of overpass bridges or tunnels. Alternatively, Israeli highways could take those forms when crossing the Palestinian highway. The imporant thing is that Israel and Palestine each have highways to connect their separated parts.

    Peace out!

  23. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Abdur Razzaq, Assalamu 'Alalikum Wa Rahmatullah!

    I appreciate your kind words. God willing, we can turn walls into bridges.

    Peace out!

  24. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Peace Yahya Bergum!

    I hear what you're saying, and I'm willing to take it on faith (no pun intended) that the Wall cuts into Palestinian territory. As I said I don't think that's fair, but I do still support the idea of the Wall. Interesting website you posted, though I get most of my "Tyrannical Zionist Propaganda" [TZP] from the Jerusalem Post. 😉

    Peace out!

  25. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    About the Freemasons...I did a little research a while back. Traditionally, they were a group opposed to organized religion. This is why I can't fathom the theory that they have an alliance with Christian "fundamentalists". Anyways, as of today they're just a bunch of old people who spend their days dedicating buildings and sponsoring community activities. Not exactly a threat to global security.

  26. Nick Cameron

    Akbar Khan:

    I appreciate that you've chosen to take a different tone with me, so God willing I will be able to respond in kind.

    Concerning the importance of realizing that the rest of the world is not like America, I'm fully aware of this. As I said before, I lived in a Muslim country once. I had the pleasure of getting to learn about the culture of the country, and I had the opportunity to be introduced to the beauty of your religion. In fact, most of my friends I had there were members of an ethnic group known for their devotion to Islam as well as their moderation, and I found them to be among the nicest, most generous, and most compassionate people I've ever met.

    But these people were not perfect. One thing that really bothered me was their somewhat ambiguous hatred for all Jews. When asked for the reasons behind their hatred, they would point to Palestine. When asked if they've ever met a Jew, they said that they hadn't. How so many otherwise reasonable people could harbor such bigotry against an entire group of people with whom they've never had any contact is something that I've never understood. Generally I held my tongue about this, but I'm sure that they knew on some level that their views troubled me.

    To get back to your point about the necessity of learning Islam, you say that I miss the point by talking about homeland security. But what you must understand is that for Americans, this IS the point. In a negotiation between policymakers from the U.S. and a Muslim country, the Americans will ask the Muslims what they need to know in order to ensure the security of America's interests. The standard response from the Muslims would be to bring up Palestine as well as America's apparent turn to unmitigated unilateralism. That being said, how does Islam pertain to this discussion? As an American, this is the issue. Of course, Islam is probably much more than this. But for us, the "more" is beside the point.

  27. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Here is your map, Nick, with a picture of the so-called fence. Note that Ha'aretz is an Israeli publication. Evidently however Bush is pressuring Sharon to move the "separation fence" closer to the Green Line -- so perhaps that is why I could not find the map itself shown at any "fair and balanced" websites. The map (alas) comes from Al Jazeerah. (Oh well.)

    http://www.aljazeerah.info/News%20photo%20negatives/

    2003%20news%20phot%

    http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasite/images/iht_daily/D090304/

    fence.jpg

    Also, in my searches, I ran across a delightful little Zionist website. The site published an interesting accusation of (alleged!) Saudi efforts to construct a "separation fence" on the border with Yemen. It might be worth noting that the article appears under "Opinion" even although there is nothing in the article which seems to be expressing an opinion on the part of the author. Might the section-heading "Opinion" perhaps represent some sort of Talmudic concept of truthfulness, reminiscent to some perhaps of Qur'an 21:57, 21:58, 21:63? My thinking was that the article might potentially be no more than opinion. Well, at least the Saudi government (allegedly) seems to exercise fairness when it establishes a neutral zone, unlike...

    Note that I am unfamiliar with the ".var" extension. Please examine the following page at your own risk.

    http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/news/opinion/

    ?disp_feature=V7WWKm.var

    Also, on that same page, there is a wonderful little poll asking, "Do you think that Mel Gibson and his father are anti-Semites?" Note that the radio button for "Yes, I think both of them are" has already been selected possibly for the reader's convenience.

    PEACE!

  28. Abdur Razzaq from usa

    Yaa ikhwaan ... I think this guy Nick Cameron is very balanced as a non-Muslim. You should take it easy upon him and give him his due respect.

  29. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Peace Yahya Bergum!

    I checked out your links, but in truth I don't think I really needed to because I'm aware of these things. I've said before that I used to sympathize more with the Palestinians than with the Israelis, and the things that the sites talk about are the reasons why. (Isn't it interesting how a terrorist attack can change a warm-and-fuzzy dove into a hawk?)

    Anyways, I might decide become a member in time. Actually, I used to be an active participant on islam.com, where I've developed quite a rep lol. People know me there by a different moniker, though...

  30. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Just to bring up an important point here, while we are talking about Jerusalem as being involved as a highly important aspect of this separation wall. How will Palestinians have access to their holy sites, what do you think Nick, only the Jews will have access to them, so that they can fulfill their plans of destroying Masjid Al-Aqsa (it is not Dome of the Rock - Qubbet as-Sakhrah), they are two different Masjids. What I am talking about is Al-Aqsa, the Masjid which Israel wishes to destroy, and build their temple because they believe it was originally the Temple of Suleiman. God knows why they would want to destroy a Masjid because they "believe" that the Temple of Suleiman stood there more than 1400 years ago, without any proof or claim to back themselves up that this is true.

    Now back to the wall, I must say, it is quite interesting to note that the birthplace of the Nights of the Templars, who, when they invaded Jerusalem and killed 40,000 Muslims and Jews in the year 1118 C.E. (they were better known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon), that after killing all those people in order to take control of a strategic place in the Middle East (strange how history has "accidently" repeated itself), that when Salah u-deen Ayuubi came in 1187 in the battle of Hattin and rescued Jerusalem from these murderers and put these templars to death for hte murders they had committed, all other Christians who were not involved with them were all pardoned and set free. They suffered heavy losses and continued to exist in Europe, where eventually they found power in France. in 1307 when King Philip le Bel arrested them, it was because they even admitted to heretical beliefs, rejecting the Christian faith and insulting Jesus in their masses. one of these Grand Master Heretics, Jacques de Molay was executed as an example by order of the Church and King Philip (continued)

  31. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Not every place in the world is the same as it is in America. That is the problem that you are encountering. You need to learn and indulge in the ways of other places in the world, that are different from yours! You can say that you have lived in a muslim country, but what did you learn about the lifestyle, the atmosphere, the society at large? I cannot speak on behalf of all places in the world, but I can tell you that not every place in the world is the same as what you see in the USA.

    I believe it is vital for you to understand hte basic teachings of Islam, in order to udnerstand the viewpoints of Muslims. It is like telling a Catholic that, I don't need to learn about his faith, in order to understand him/her. Homeland security, developed by whom, for what reasons, and who is homeland security targetting? There have already been too many gross violations by the US Homeland Security, under the orders which they carry out, against Muslim populatoins, whether they are American citizens, or not.

    You totally missed the point, you go off on these tangents and bring in homeland security, when I'm talking about people like YOU. YOU talking to a Muslim and understanding a Muslim's perspective. This is what it comes down to. you see from what you have told me about Islam, are basic things which are partially correct, but you have missed the most important ones! It does have a lot to do with humanity, and our capability to understand and respect each other's views. Unless you can begin to sit down and understand where Muslims are coming from, then you will never get across to realizing WHY they believe something the way they do...why so many people villify America, for no reason, do you think it says that somewhere in Islam? The truth is that it does not, this is why I am trying to present to you, that as a human being, you can say you would not allow your child to fight...what makes you think your child will listen to you. In fact you don't.

  32. Nick Cameron from United States

    Well Akbar, I will tell you what I think since you are asking me.

    Regarding the article, actually I read it earlier today. While Carl Ernst makes important points, my own approach is more like that of Daniel Pipes. I agree that Americans should learn more about the Muslim world in order to understand the nature of the present conflict. However, I don't think it's necessary to actually learn Islam in order to do so since much of what Islam teaches has little or no bearing on the concerns of Americans.

    For example, Islam teaches that believers should pray 5 times a day and must avoid haram foods like pork and intoxicating drinks. But what does this have to do with homeland security? On the other hand, KSA has lent considerable support in other countries to indigenous Islamist organizations that have openly called for "jihad" against American civilians, and this is very important for us to know. Of course, many Muslims tell me that the "greatest jihad" is when an individual struggles to overpower the evil of his nature to become good. But again, how is that relevant to 9/11 families who lost loved ones in the WTC? So it's not Islam so much as it is the recent history of its practitioners that we need to understand.

    As far as what I'd do if an invading force came to my country, I would of course oppose it. But I would not allow my children to become a part of my fight if they are too young to die for our country. Even at the cost of my personal humiliation I would do all that I could to ensure that my children live to see a brighter day. Anything less would make me something other than a loving parent.

  33. Hudd D'Alhamd from North of your Border

    This is an answer for Nick Cameron, for whatever is worth. First I want to make a correction: I was awfully mistaken when I supposed you had insight! My bad. It is clear to me now that you are far less intelligent of what I speculated. Every person in the USA that tries to make the eagle scream has something on his/her conscious. Although is a waste of time to stoop to your level of ignorance, I still want to show you my good will and try to educate you. You said: "I do support my people, i.e. my fellow American)." My question which ones? The KKK, the McVeighs, the Mob, the Mormons, the Jehova Witness, the NRA(National Rifle Association), the killers at Columbine, the pedifiles, the gays and lesbians, the live-burners of people at Waco TX, the prostitutes, the mentally deficient, the judgement impaired, which one of your fellow American? I know what you don't support, fellow Americans like: blacks, hispanic, muslims, underpriviledged, out-of-work, immigrants(no matter where they came from), the poor, the wrongly accused, the persecuted. In your country of the free there are over two million people in jail! More than in the whole world combine!! You are worthless without your weapons. A fearful nation of cowards. Watch "Bowling for Columbine" directed and produced by Mr. Moore, I still hope that you might get the message..., You are afraid of your own shadows, all about you Americans is Hollywoodism, made believe. Just look at yourselves, with all your nuclear arsenal you wet your bed at night out of fear for a bunch of Afghan troglodytes! USA after al-Qaeda? Give me a break. If they wanted bin Ladin and al-Qaeda, after the carpet bombing in Afghanistan they would have sent all their troops to comb the country from one end to the other. Instead they orchestrated another Hollywood-worthy flick in history. After disarming the Iraqis for years, how easy was for US to walk in Baghdad? After carpet bombing Afghanistan, how easy was to enter Kabul?

  34. Nick Cameron from United States

    Peace Yahya Bergum!

    I don't know for a fact that the Wall is being built outside the "1967 borders", but I admit it says a lot that Israel's government has not denied it, so I think it's quite possible. If you're asking me what I would personally prefer, I'll tell you that I agree in principle that all parties *should* respect the 1967 borders. (Of course where these borders actually lie is presently subject to much disagreement, but that's another discussion.) Or even better, I'd be thrilled if all parties agreed to unify under a single flag and, through putting the matter to a vote, all the people Israel/WB/Gaza jointly decide their united destiny, with the capital of this newly christened destiny residing in Jerusalem, which is as it was meant to be.

    But since these things are probably pipe dreams at this point, I think total separation is in order. On the problem of the Wall separating the two territories, I understand that the majority of Israelis would agree to building a highway to allow egress between them as long as such a road is secure. If the Israeli people can be convinced that building such a road is the price of a genuine resolution, then I think the Palestinians will have their road.

    Peace out!

  35. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Nick, the following is a list of URLs I have selected, from searches made at http://www.google.com using words such as "catholic palestinian relief conditions" (without quotation marks!) and replacing the word "catholic" with "presbyterian," "methodist," and "lutheran." (again with neither quotation nor punctuation marks). Have an unbiased look at the sort of conditions to which the Palestinian people are subjected, from a (primarily American) Christian perspective.

    http://www.catholicrelief.org/emergency_responses/peacebuilding_in_jerusalem,

    _west_bank_and_gaza/index.cfm

    http://www.pcusa.org/washington/030317-healthworseningaza.htm

    http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/0/

    21ef94215f4515ab49256dc7000c08d4?OpenDocument

    http://www.lwr.org/news/00/101800.html

    God willing, we (i.e., the other commentators at iviews/IslamiCity) have not succeeded in "chasing you away" from this site before you read this comment. Have you considered subscribing as a member?

    http://www.islamicity.com/membership/?CH

    Peace!

  36. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Nick, in very few places does the wall appear to border on Israel. Are you perhaps suggesting that the Palestinians in effect partially blockade Jewish settlements? What other reasons do you imagine there would be for the Palestinians guarding points of passage from one part of Palestine to another and further inhibiting commerce (within Palestine itself) as a consequence?

    May peace be upon you. (Ameen.)

  37. Nick Cameron from United States

    Well Akbar Khan, I will not congratulate the Muslims on this site for not hacking my system or sending me hate email. I consider civility to be a bare minimum moral requirement for all people, and the lack thereof will not gain any respect from me. And yes, some Muslims have chosen to engage in GENUINE dialogue with me (as opposed to the pseudo-dialogue more typical of a war of words), but I fear based on personal experience that this might be an exception rather than the rule among Muslims.

    In any event, I never said that I like to build walls. However, I think that in this specific set of circumstances, a wall is one of the best options available to the Israelis. Better to fence out an enemy who wants to kill my children than to allow him access in the false hope that he might change his mind and sing "Kumbaya" with me.

    We must all oppose terrorism.

  38. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Point and fact Nick...The Israeli's have a major upper hand on Palestinians simply because of the help that the United States Government has given them because they seem to be the ally of hte USA...even when in modern times, people like Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli National, was caught spying for Israel on the US Government, and was indeed convicted in a US court for doing so.

    Yes, contrary to what you might think of many Muslims, I do want to know what you think, because as you had previously believed, Muslims are not looking for a fight, if a physical one is brought to us, then yes we will defend ourselves, but to adhere to our faith, we must exhaust all other avenues of dialogue and discussion...this is the nature of Islam. It's core and essence is peace. I would suggest to you, so that you may gain a better insight into the many misconceptions Americans have of Islam and Muslims, is that you read this article from Islamicity....I will post it again, so please do read it:

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1147&dept_id=483434&newsid=11089767&PAG=461&rfi=9

    Now what I am really disagreeing wiht you here is that it is a matter of closed-mindedness to accept the fact that it is simply okay to block off Palestinians from freely travelling to and fro across the land of Sham (which is hte name of the region before it was called Israel). It is obvious that you will go your way, and I will go mine...but I do ask of you to reconsider your opinion of this wall...it is not the only solution, and is not hte best solution. If Israel simply went back to the 1967 borders, you wouldn't hear this from Muslims who disagree with you. It is because this is the land of an ancient people, and to deny Muslims to pray on hte holy site of Masjid Al-Aqsa in Al-Quds, by running in between them with your guns pointed at them while they are praying to God...I beg to differ from your opinion of Palestinian parents being held responsible for the (continued)

  39. Akbar Khan from Canada

    I hope everyone on this site notices...that every single comment that Disagrees with this article, is by Nick Cameron. ALL 6 of them. He wants to build walls, not bridges it seems...You are in the minority here Nick Cameron. Good thing you're on an Islamic web site...we won't hack your system or send you viruses hate e-mail like other places do...this has happened to me while on Christian and Jewish websites where I was basically not disagreeing wiht people, but rather relaying our similarities to them, unfortunately, they didn't like to hear how similar we are.

    As you must know by your many visits to Islamicity and iviews, that Muslims are engaging in dialogue with you...but you continue to refuse to accept basic facts, such as Israeli confiscating Palestinian lands with the construction of this wall....don't worry though Islam teaches us, Lakum dee nu kum wa'liy'a'deen, so may Allah have mercy on you.

  40. Nick Cameron from United States

    Response to Hudd D'Alhamd:

    I do support my people, i.e. my fellow American). I am not Jewish, nor have I ever claimed to be. However, my views have tended to favor the Israelis since 9/11. (Prior to this, I had more sympathy for the Palestinians, although I always felt some sadness for the Israelis as well.)

    I've been exposed to a range of Israeli opinions, and the thing I've noted is the diversity. Many seem quite reasonable, like those who believe in negotiations and complete rapproachment with the Palestinians. Many take a hardline, like those who compare Arafat to UBL. Some opinions are quite unusual, like those who think that Israel should just give up and apply to become America's 51st State. And finally, there are those who think that the Zionist legacy has corrupted Judaism at its core, and that it's time for the Jewish people to pack up and leave for the U.S.

    No Israeli that I have ever spoken to about this has ever told me that Israelis are a superior people.

    As for the rest of your comments, I find them to be full of over-the-top rhetoric and unfounded allegations. So I have no comment at this time.

  41. Nick Cameron from United States

    Akbar Khan, I will quote exactly what you said:

    "If you haven't noticed already Nick, which I am not surprised you don't mention this, this is a matter of two wrongs making a right..."

    If you meant that two wrongs do NOT make a right, then you misstyped. Remember, I have said myself that I am not a mindreader, so I will not know if you mean something other than what you type.

    Seeking peace is not about blaming the Palestinians. In fact, Sharon's Wall policy seems to me to be a message that the blame game is over and total separation in the cause of peace has begun. Forget the assignment of blame, because soon this will all be moot.

    About Gazans "swimming" to Egypt, I thank you for pointing this out. In addition to sea access, Gaza also borders Egypt, so Gazans can just take a walk if they want. It's true that WB won't have sea access (and I've never claimed that it it would), but the fact that WB Palestinians can walk into Jordan means that the Wall cannot be a prison any more than an open jail cell can be a prison. And even if there are Israeli soldiers now on the border of Jordan, this will also be a moot point since the IDF will completely withdraw after the Wall goes up.

    Yes, I do believe that many Palestinian parents act irresponsibly. There are children throwing rocks at tanks and crowding around gunfights, and the adults let them do that. Admittedly, there are times when a parent cannot save her child. But that doesn't mean that she should stand idle in the face of dangers that she *can* prevent. Children are not meant to be cannon fodder, so parents have no business letting their children throw rocks at soldiers. Period.

  42. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Nick if you want peace...give the Palestinian Authority Fighter Jets, an Airport, and top of the line tanks that you give to Israel, if you truly care for peace, and your concept of peace is to arm Israel with the most advanced weaponry in the world, then why not equip Palestinian authorities with the same weaponry? Is it because you trust Israel more than Palestine? Please answer that question straight out without giving me any gobbledy-gook, by saying either Yes, you trust Israel and do not trust Palestinian authorities, or No, I trust both so they both deserve to be well armed to defend their civil populations. Do not beat around the bush, really, I want to know what your opinion is.

    If you cannot accept the fact that Palestinians have the right to arm themselves in self defence with equal, or greater military power as Israel, then that basically means that you leave them with no option but to throw stones, and attack IDF soldiers who smear shit on classroom walls...drop bombs on innocent families driving in cars, level a town of houses with Caterpillars and other machinery, annex their lands by snaking this wall through, a matter you still have not addressed...I have been waiting a while for your response to Israel's confiscation of massive amounts of Palestinian lands....but you have not addressed it yet, and that is an indication that you do not have an argument to counter the truth that they are stealing land from Palestinians little by little, and eventually wish to rid them of the West Bank and Gaza, for them to leave to Jordan, and Egypt, an opinion which you seem to share when you said that they have "sea access" from Gaza, and access to Jordan...but u would also know when you say that, that Palestinians don't have ships to leave their 1200 year old family land, and they cannot cross into Jordan easily while IDF soldiers patrol the border for people who wish to EXIT! Quite genocidal, thanks Yahya, Ahmed, wassalaamu'alaiykum W.W.! 🙂

  43. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Nick if could take the time, next time, to read my post correctly, you would haev noticed that I said that this is not about two wrongs making a right, I said it is a cycle of violence, you can't have peace blaming Palestinians, or else you are against peace. U say Palestinians are not being imprisoned, as if they rae in a jail cell because the people in "Gaza would still have sea access, while people in the WB could cross into Jordan at anytime."

    That is such a lie, and childish for you to say that people in Gaza have sea access, to where, and how you expect them to swim to Egypt? For a 20-30+ high foot wall sticking through them separating them from the West Bank, and for them to have "sea access" is no justification to say that it is not like they are being imprisoned. Where do you expect them to flee to through the sea as refugees to? On the point of people in the West Bank having access to Jordan easily at any time, that is also another lie. There are Israeli soldiers guarding the border crossing into Jordan, where any Palestinians who are caught leaving the West Bank, are immediately shot.

    Saying that Palestinian parents should be more careful in protecting their children, if you walked to school every day of your life, and every day of your life you encountered Israeli soldiers who harrassed and beat someone or killed someone infront of you everyday while you went on your journey to school, possibly harassing you as well a number of times...are you going to tell me that the parents who live in disgusting poverty in Palestine are supposed to teach their children to shut up and obey IDF soldiers no matter what they do, and that the kids will listen? That is a silly concept of your own Nick, American kids are no shining example. walk in Mahmoud's shoes before saying that it's stupid for a little boy to throw rocks at a tank. See the similarities from your own independence, of how hard they fought to rid America of British loyalists.

  44. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Peace Yahya Bergum!

    I'm not sure what you mean by "monitoring", because I presume that once this Wall goes up each side will set up guard posts to ensure against incursions by the other. It'd be a bit like what the two Koreas on their respective sides on the DMZ.

    Admittedly, I think we might have finally found some common ground here as fellow taxpayers. While my sympathies tilt more towards the Israelis on the issue of the "peace process", I don't know why Israel is so vital to our interests that we need to give them billions of $$ in military aid, in grants rather than loans no less. But that's another discussion...

    Peace out!

  45. Hudd D'Alhamd from Land of the Great North

    I am amused over your comments Nick. You have insight but you either lack knowledge or you simply support your people...no matter what. You wrote: "If my neighbor sought to kill me and my family and other people didn't care enough to try to stop him, then I'd do everything in my power to prevent him from approaching me or those I love." If you are not Jewish, put yourself in the place of a Palestinian, no, no, no, I mean honestly(make an effort) put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian!

    Israel is not there for land grabbing? Are you serious, since when did you talk to an Israeli? Leave the media, talk to an Israeli. One of these days I had a conversation with one, he said: "What Palestine or Palestinians? Palestine is an Arab terroristic organization and the Palestinians are its members" I asked: "What about the indigenious population?" He said: "What? There was an empty land that we were willing to cultivate and the Arabs coveted it from us but we are going to reclaim all our lands. Did you not know that on the Knesset is written: 'the bounderies of this state are from Nile to the Euphrates?' God created the world for the jewish people, the rest of humanity is just fodder for hell and the best fuel for it is the Arab!" I almost lost my footing and went into shock hearing such abominable statements, I asked: "Is this your own oppinion or a restricted group I suppose?" He laughed and then continued: "We Jews are very well known of splitting the hair in eight not four and always bickering, but on the Arab issue we all agree, they are not humans they are some sort of man-looking vermin, much like roaches and how do you control roaches?" He looked me in the eye smiling before answering: "You destroy their eggs!"

    Did you ever hear about places like "Deir Yassin", "Kufre Qasim", "Sabra", "Shatilah", "Jineen", "Lydah", etc.? This very similar opinion, other wording though, I heard in the seventies, then eighties, nineties and of course today.

  46. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Also, what use is a barrier deep in Palestinian territory if Israel positions no one to monitor it? It would seem a bit curious, would it not?

    As an American taxpayer, I am growing tired of funding this particular effort -- or, obviously, funding other efforts that would (otherwise) be competing for funding. Doubtless, even that great champion of spiritual diversity and kosher living, U.S. Representative Tom Delay, could think of other ways to spend my modest contribution to the cause of his own nation.

    And thanks, for Nick Cameron, who encourages me to share my views on the subject. (May peace be upon him!)

  47. Nick Cameron from United States

    Akbar Khan, two wrongs do NOT make a right. Palestinian terrorists have no moral justification for willfully targetting and murdering noncombatant Israelis. Doing so is immoral, and no amount of rationalizations from leaders and media in the Muslim world has convinced me otherwise. This is Truth.

    Concerning your notion that the Wall is a "prison", that's clearly erroneous. Prisons are areas that are completely surrounded by impenetrable barriers. On the other hand, a simple glimpse at a map should reveal to you that neither WB or Gaza would be surrounded. Gaza would still have sea access, while people in the WB could cross into Jordan at anytime. This idea of "imprisonment" is a fanciful invention of Arab propagandists who are aided and abbetted by the Arab media. I encourage the Arab people not to be boxed in by such illusions.

    I agree with your contention that Israel is "artifical", for essentially all nation-states are artificial constructs created by human beings. In fact, the idea of a "homeland" is little more than sentimental value that people assign to plots of dirt. Nonetheless, the artificial nature of Israel does not make its globally recognized sovreignty any less real. The Muslim world needs to accept this and learn to move on.

    Feces in Palestinian offices is not acceptable. And I don't like when children get hurt, although I will note that Palestinians are sometimes a bit negligent when it comes to the safety of their own children. Therefore, I think the best way to deal with the situation is for both sides to cease all contact with each other indefinitely. A good reason for the Wall, in my opinion.

  48. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Careful there, Nick. You appear to be in danger of becoming open-minded on the subject of Israel. Take my word for it, friend; you're alarmingly close. Whenever the "Israel expansionists" loose someone like you, as a spokesperson, they've lost a lot -- for one thing, because you don't happen to number among them.

    Offhand, I would suggest that the ultimate plan for "peace with justice" would be Armageddon. Of course, I would also suggest that the righteous among us would be preparing to serve in such a war rather than attempting to start it. (Peace!)

  49. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    To Yahya and Ahmed:

    Yahya, I'm familiar with the allegation that Israel is building the Wall on the "wrong" side. I'll preempt your point by saying that I don't support Israel trying to further increase its territory. I think it's fairer (and is also in America's interests) if Israel built the Wall in an "equitable" way. But whether or not I approve of the precise positioning of the Wall, I nonetheless think that the Wall itself could be a workable plan for peace. Not perfect in a "Kumbaya" way, but it'll do if the result is final resolution.

    Concerning Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, I'm a bit ambivalent. On the one hand, this is a sacred place to the Jews so he had every right to be there. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that Sharon didn't know that he was stoking a few flames when he went there. In any event, while the second Intifada "officially" began soon after this, Hamas and IJ had already been attacking Israelis for a while prior to this. In fact, that's a big reason why Netanyahu became Prime Minister back then. So I think it's unfair to put the blame solely on Sharon here.

  50. Akbar Khan from Canada

    If you haven't noticed already Nick, which I am not surprised you don't mention this, this is a matter of two wrongs making a right, this is a constant cycle of violence that is taking place, where Palestinians are retaliating because their land and children have been robbed from them, like I said before, these are facts...please do disagree with the truth.

    The way you compared the Israeli wall to fences is simply a wrong comparison...one is a fence, and one is a 20 foot WALL imprisoning Palestinians, while it steals their land at the same time. Common sense tells me that even after putting up this wall, Israeli forces still have not stopped violating the rights of Palestinians inside of the artificial Israeli state, and inside the Palestinian territories. Just take a look a few weeks ago Israeli forces denied to Muslims to pray outside of the Dome of the Rock. Or the aerial attack on Palestinians driving in a car in Gaza..how about the little seven year old Palestinian child who threw a stone at a 70-ton tank, and an Israeli sniper on a rooftop sent a bullet through his neck for throwing a little stone. Did you think of the well-being of little Mahmoud? He was on his way to SCHOOL through the streets of Block C, East of the Nuserat refugee camps, where Israeli tanks were pushing through HIS HOMELAND. It is not Israeli's to push around in the way they do, so is this little boy wrong? Is this what you are telling me? Is that Israeli soldier like thousands of others who practice this, going to be held responsible?

    The Palestinian Ministry of Culture is proof for you Nick, IDF forces smeared feces all over the walls, urinated in empty water bottles and sprayed it everywhere. There was a photocopy machine with bags of shit on it. You want a Jewish perspective, read the Ha'aretz newspaper and you will see true Israeli terrorism. I wonder HOW IDF forces can greet each other "Shalom Aleichem" when they gloat about killing "filthy arabs."

  51. Ahmed Asgher from Bahrain

    Dear Nick cameron: asking the oppresedd to make peace with his oppressor is like telling the girl and her raper to make peace with each other.

    No one objects to Israel building this wall as much as it is abhorent by today's standards, but hell, build it on your own land. Just think how you would behave if your neighbour built his wall on your property???

    Besides Geneve Convention states categorically that the responsibility for the welfare of an occupied people rests squarely with the occupiers. Yet your tax dollars support all the killing machinery of Israel to control and himiliate a defenseless epole. Israel has armies and nuclear arsenal, all funded by the US whilst Palestinians have nothing except hame made bombs and rocks! This is how they fight the occupying force.

    Remember Israel was formed by taking 80% of the Plaestinian land when the UN actually gave them 55% against the will of local indigenous people. They then took their 80% by force and now are eyeing and taking the rest by any trick in the book, yet zealots in this Bush admin see that this is their religous duty to ship every Jew to Israel to achieve the next coming of Christ. Poor helpless Palestinians have to put up with such political nonsense. And now you are asking them to be peaceful to their captives and give more of their land to their enemy.

    The Zionists will never be happy until they achieve their set policy of ethnic cleansing by any trick and they seem to have sold their vision to you Americans, who contrary to what you hold dear, seemingly deny it to another and that is to live freely in ones land free from oppression from brutal force. Still you can dress it in any other rehtoric but this is the simple reality of what was Palestine.

  52. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Nick, the genius of the wall is that it is being built upon land confiscated from Palestinians. Consider for a moment that the current intifada began when several Likud Party Ministers of Parliament, accompanied by one thousand Israeli police, paid a visit the Temple Mount -- as part of Ariel Sharon's bid to become Prime Minister. The wall is being built (supposedly) in response the current situation.

    In a nutshell, the more trouble that results from the confiscation of Arab property, the more land that needs to be confiscated in order to provide for the "security" of Israel. By the way, have you taken any time to see where the barriers are being constructed? Exactly how might the Palestinians, as a people, go about staying on "their side" of barriers that have been constructed deep within Palestinian territory?

  53. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    I will answer Akbar Khan's arguments point-by-point:

    1. Under Netanyahu, Israel created buffer zones in order to counter the rising tide of terrorism that occured post-Oslo. If Israel violated the Accords in doing so, then it was wrong. However, two wrongs don't make a right. The Palestinian retaliation specifically against Israeli civilians was unacceptable.

    2. It is erroneous to say that walls never bring peace, for they promote order insofar as they solidify borders. In America, homeowners frequently put up fences to separate their properties from their neighbors. Such fences helps to ensure that undesirable waste and other nuisances do not seep over property lines. In any event, common sense tells us all that if parties in conflict stay on their respective sides, then there will be no conflict.

    3. Whether or not the Palestinians trust the Israelis will become irrelevant if the Wall separates the two sides. Total separation will mean two sides won't have to deal with each other anymore.

    4. There is no evidence of an organized program of rape and urination by the IDF. (We can't say the same for many Arab militaries, incidentally.) If they occur, then I view them as isolated incidents. Therefore, I put this aside.

  54. Akbar Khan from Canada

    I disagree and disqualify what Nick Cameron just said, that the wall will help bring about peace.

    1. tens of thousands of acres of Palestinian land including farming land and olive plantations, have been annexed by the borders set up by the wall. If the present Israeli regime was sincere about having peace, they would have made the border along the 1967 borders, or even the oslo accord agreed borders.

    Point 2: Walls have never brought about peace in the history of humanity, they have only brought about occupation, injustice, crimes against humanity, and oppression upon innocent peoples. To say that this wall will be called a wall of peace, is a pipe dream. To be constructed by the Israeli regime along it's current borders is proof that it is a politically motivated border that furthers the interests of Israel, and villifies and undermines Palestinian statehood.

    Point 3: The Israeli regime cannot be trusted by the Palestinians, if they are not only dropping bombs on their supposed "targets" in Gaza adn the West Bank, but also because Israeli's are violating crimes against Palestinians and killing those, who are NOT living in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Point 4: For a wall to stop violence, and then for IDF forces to be making checkpoints along school children heading for school, and making them take a journey of 4 hours a day to go to school, and have all the rights you can name be violated against them including rape which has happened to Palestinian girls, and shit and urine sprayed and rubbed across their classrooms, is no indication that Israel wants peace.

    The INTIFIDATISTS as you call them, are not hte aggressors...the word intifada is in itself a direct response to Israeli extremist attacks against Palestinian people. That is where the movement came from buddy. Only Israel has ever made incursions, you should apologize for saying Palestinians do the same. they have no tanks man who are they making incursions on?

  55. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    Well Asif, I think you're right that both sides need to stop killing each other. The genius of the Wall is that as long as each party stays on its own side, then there will be no clashes. The IDF should remain in Israel, while the Intifadists can stay in the WB and Gaza. And as long as there are no more incursions by either side, there will be peace.

    If all goes well and the Palestinians honor the Wall's purpose (which is to keep both sides separated), then history will remember it as "The Wall of Peace".

  56. Asif from USA

    For Nick Cameron...

    Both side should stop killing each other..not just Palestinians. Easy to point finger at other side.

  57. Nick Cameron from United States of America

    If my neighbor sought to kill me and my family and other people didn't care enough to try to stop him, then I'd do everything in my power to prevent him from approaching me or those I love.

    The best way for the Palestinians to convince the Israelis to their down their wall is to convince them that they will no lobger allow their terrorists to kill Israelis.

  58. Saleem from usa

    different walls, different countries quotas, different visa requirements, different restrictions on business, restriction on travel, under UN's double standard one world order = more human suffering.

  59. Hudd D'Alhamd from Land of the Great North

    Thank you S.A. Abidi, indeed a very beautiful article, my sentiment exactly, why on earth there is so much strife for a patch of land when we should be out there. Exploring the space. As far as history repeats itself, unfortunately, the Jewish people opted always for a sort of seclusion or separation from the rest of the society. The notorious ghettoes, the little Israels that they form in the suburbans of the North American cities. I am Muslim and where I live it happens that my oposite neighbour is Muslim but the following two are Christians, then Hindus and again Muslims. Of complete different ethnicity. A Jewish person wouldn't attempt to live among us noy for the love of Jerusalem. It could be that this is what makes them happy. Segregation from the rest of the world. If this be the case there would be little left to negotiate. However, wall or not wall, they should go about it on the Green Line marking, their self incaceration would be more paletable to the Palestinians that got weary of being robbed of the little land is left for them. If this land grabbing and illegal settlement building is going to continue indefinitely, Palestine would be reduced to merely an enclave of a couple of cities. In that sense, the Israelis rather build the fence but on their own premises noy on stolen land. My opinion.