Thursday, 8 January 2009

Arabs for Israel

Given the hateful, often distorted, and almost inevitably biased rhetoric that is racing round the Internet concerning Israeli-Palestinian relations, the principles and goals espoused by the fascinating organisation Arabs for Israel is a true breath of fresh air. I've come accross pro-Israel Arabs and Palestinians before, but they have been former Muslim's turn Christians (see John Hobbin's fascinating post and Walid Schoebat's website). This website, though not exclusively Muslim, is showing me a different, more hopeful picture ... My image of Islam may change yet!

Here's what they have to say about themselves:

Who Are We?

We are Arabs and Moslems who believe:

-We can support Israel and still support the Palestinian people. Supporting one does not cancel support for the other.
-We can support the State of Israel and the Jewish religion and still treasure our Arab and Islamic culture.
-There are many Jews and Israelis who freely express compassion and support for the Palestinians. We Arabs also express reciprocal compassion and support.
-The existence of the State of Israel is a fact that we accept.
-Israel is a legitimate state that is not a threat but an asset in the Middle East.
-Every major World religion has a center of gravity. Islam has Mecca, and Judaism certainly deserves its presence in Israel and Jerusalem.
-Diversity is a virtue not only in the USA, but would be beneficial around the world. We support a diverse Middle East with protection for human rights, respect and equality under the law to all minorities, including Jews and Christians.
-Palestinians have several options but are deprived from exercising them because of their leadership, the Arab League and surrounding Arab and Moslem countries who have other goals besides seeing Palestinians live in harmony with Israel.
-If Palestinians want democracy they can start practicing it now.
-It will benefit Arabs to end the boycott of Israel.
-We can resolve our conflicts using non-violent means. Sending our young people on suicide/homicide missions as a form of Jihad is a distortion of Islam. We can do better.
-We are appalled by the horrific act of terror against the USA on 9/11/2001.
-It will be better for Arabs when the Arab media ends the incitement and misinformation that result in Arab street rage and violence. We support the Arab media providing coverage of ways that people of all religions are and can live together in harmony.
-We are eager to see major reformation in how Islam is taught and channeled to bring out the best in Moslems and contribute to the uplifting of the human spirit and advancement of civilization.
-We believe in freedom to choose or change one’s Religion.
-We cherish and acknowledge the beauty and contributions of the Middle East culture, but recognize that the Arab/Moslem world is in desperate need of constructive self-criticism and reform.
-We seek dialogue with Israel. We invite you to join us on a path of love.

We are NOT:

Anti-Islam, Anti-Arab, confrontational or hateful.

We remember with deep sadness and respect the brave Arabs, known and unknown, who were killed or severely punished for promoting peace with Israel; a special thanks to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt who was killed at the hands of Militant and Radical Islamists after he signed the peace treaty with Israel.

We salute and commend Arab and Moslem writers, scholars and speakers, who found the strength, commitment and honesty in their hearts to speak out in support of Israel. We thank you for being the pioneers that you are and for holding such sophisticated and advanced views in the realm of Arab and Moslem thinking. You are inspiring us all.


Update: For a blog related to this issues, visit the fascinating Muslims Against Sharia. I have also posted part of an interview with them.

1 comment:

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