Friday, August 05, 2005


Juan Cole is Professor of History at University of Michigan. He is an expert in the Middle East. His blog "Informed Comment" is a source of even handed Mid East analysis.

His blog is listed under LINKS to the right.

This article below is reprinted from Juan Cole and and it provides an interesting angle toward the truthful answer of "Why do they Hate Us?"

Sharon: "Bloodthirsty Jewish Terrorist"

A soldier in the Israeli military who deserted over the Gaza withdrawal went up to a Palestinian-Israeli village in Galilee and shot up a bus full of innocent civilians. He killed four and wounded at least 12.The form of this attack was very similar to similar shootings undertaken by terrorists in Iraq who are deliberately attempting to provoke communal warfare in order to attain their ends. The similarity was not lost on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who said, ' "This was a reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist who sought to attack innocent Israeli citizens . . . This terrorist event was a deliberate attempt to harm the fabric of relations among all Israeli citizens."Note also that this act of terrorism was impelled by the Israeli government merely moving a few thousand citizens out of non-Isreali territory back into Israel proper. Imagine if a foreign power forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Israelis into refugee camps. Wouldn't that provoke significant terrorism on the part of the displaced? (Voila, you have the Palestinian radical groups).Rightwing proto-bigots have been writing me the past few days insisting that al-Qaeda terrorism is rooted in Islam as a religion, which is ridiculous. Neither was this man's action rooted in Judaism as a religion. All religions can be a platform for fanaticism, but then so too can secular ideologies like nationalism and Communism. Human beings are human beings, and don't differ that much from culture to culture. Everyone wants similar things, but they define intangibles like honor differently, and prescribe different paths to attaining them.About a fifth of Israeli citizens is Arabs, and about 70 percent of those are Muslims, with the rest being Druze and Christians. Because Palestinian-Israelis have bigger families than do Jews, it is projected that they will be 30 percent of the Israeli population in a couple of decades.

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