Jewish Fundraiser to Support Syrian Children with Cancer - Syria Comment

Jewish Fundraiser to Support Syrian Children with Cancer

By Ford Prefect,

BASMA (Battling to Smile Again) is a Syrian, non-governmental and non-profit organization staffed by thousands of volunteers dedicated to helping young Syrian children fight cancer.

Syrians in North America will come together for an annual event on the 19th of April to raise money for BASMA.  The outpouring of support from Syrians and Lebanese from both the US and Canada has already exceeded all expectations and demonstrates our ability to unite for a worthy cause.

 But, while it is expected of Muslim and Christian Syrians to come together to raise money for the homeland, it will come as a surprise that the Syrian Sephardic Jewish community of Brooklyn has organized a parallel event, taking place today, the 6th of April.

basma2.jpg

There is a strong and proud Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York composed of Sephardic Jews – Jews of Arabic and Persian background with many of Syrian origin.  The Syrian Sephardic Jews are proud of their Syrian heritage and if one is to visit them in their homes, it will be impossible not to notice the overwhelming Syrian artifacts and memorabilia they enjoy and collect.

So while the Sephardic National Alliance wanted to attend the Syrian fundraiser on the 19th of April in order to help children, that date posed a problem for them. It is Passover Weekend. So the Sephardic National Alliance organized their own fund raising event in support of Syrian children with cancer. 

As I am typing these words on April 6th, the Sephardic National Alliance is gathering in Brooklyn. Imad Moutapha, the Syrian Ambassador to the US, is attending. I was given a flier advertising the event by one of my dear Jewish friends in Washington, DC. 

We Syrians, whether living abroad or in Syria, rarely hear positive stories such as this.  Most often we are compelled to find nourishment in the unsettling news of violence and animosity between Israelis and Arabs.

But, as this event demonstrates, Jews are peace loving and heritage-proud just as other Syrians. This event should help us to dispel the unfortunate stereotypes of Jews that are widespread among Syrians. It also reminds us how unfortunate Syria is that its Jewish community has departed in such unhappy and often painful circumstances.

So bravo and shalom Sephardic National Alliance; you have set a great example for us to follow.

Comments (65)


offended said:

Great post FP. Such a great post!

You certainly made my day with this news!

April 6th, 2008, 4:37 pm

 

Qifa Nabki said:

Great story. Thanks FP for reporting on it.

Do you know if BASMA has any links with St. Jude’s Research Hospital? (Founded by Danny Thomas, of Lebanese descent, who may also have been Jewish… I’m not sure).

April 6th, 2008, 4:56 pm

 

Naji said:

QN,
No, not St. Jude’s (Syrian-Lebanese Society), but the Syrian First Lady… That does not necessarily imply any ulterior motives… Just because they are Sephardic does not mean they are not human or Syrian…!! Very good stuff, but it should not be such a big deal…!

April 6th, 2008, 5:20 pm

 

Naji said:

“This event should help us to dispel the unfortunate stereotypes of Jews that are widespread among Syrians. ”

I don’t know where the hell FP got this…!!?? WHAT unfortunate sterotypes is he talking about…!?? I do not know any Syrian who thinks Jews eat children…!! I think that FP is now spreading VERY unfortunate stereotypes about Syrians… I am very disappointed…!!

April 6th, 2008, 5:27 pm

 

Naji said:

“Most often we are compelled to find nourishment in the unsettling news of violence and animosity between Israelis and Arabs.”

WHAT…!!????? Nourishment…!!!?? I can’t imagine who FP has been hanging around with, but it is a very unhealthy company he is keeping… perhaps Saudis…!!???

Outrageous. 🙁

April 6th, 2008, 5:32 pm

 

Alex said:

Naji

I agree .. I was on the phone now with FP and I told him the same thing!

And … He agrees to!

He said he wrote it very quickly when he woke up this morning.

Baseeta.

This event is organized by Jack Avital. He has been lobbying for peace with Syria for years.

April 6th, 2008, 5:37 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

“This event should help us to dispel the unfortunate stereotypes of Jews that are widespread among Syrians. ”

The fact that the Tlass book that argues that the blood libel is correct is a best seller in Syria supports FP’s conclusion. Note, that this is a book published by a highly respected Syrian and that the book sold very well in Syria. What other conclusion can you reach?

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=ia&ID=IA9902&Page=archives

“Due to the large demand, the Tlass publication decided to publish its eighth reprint of the book in Arabic, and to publish it in other languages as well, such as English, French, and Italian.”

Let’s face the facts and try to make things better. The sky is not green.

http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=sd&ID=SP43202

April 6th, 2008, 5:45 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

I like it how you found it useful to suddenly classify Mr. Tlass as “a highly respected Syrian”

His book sells not because of his views, but because of the stories he tells in that book … there is a lot of gossip … for example the story about the Vietnamese girl he flirted with.

Actually I found what I was looking for … later today i will post it maybe it will spare us reading your Tlass book reference for the 100th time.

April 6th, 2008, 6:00 pm

 

Naji said:

Well,… this nonsense has satisfied at least one customer… everybody’s favorite AIG…!! Good work FP… 🙁

April 6th, 2008, 6:01 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

As Alex said, I tried not sound condescending, but the event, though not a big deal in Naji’s opinion, is certainly worth the extra attention.

We can certainly hide our heads in the sand and pretend that we all love each others; and that it is just the governments that are the source of all conflicts.

But that is not reality. Many Syrians and many Israelis have been indoctrinated to feel and practice hate. If we deny that such hate exist, amongst people, we will not be able to dispel it anytime soon.

One does not need to “associate” with a certain crowd to feel the stereotypical and hateful images portrayed on either side. They are there and they do exist.

QN, cheers! Yes, BASMA does send needy children with cancer to St. Jude in Lebanon. They use the money to offer hope and treatments to many unfortunate young ones wherever the treatments exist.

April 6th, 2008, 6:30 pm

 

Ford Prefect said:

AIG,
I challenge you to publish a real, positive story about the Arab Israeli conflict. While it could very hard for you to do so, you can certainly give it a try. You might be surprised how good you will feel afterward.

April 6th, 2008, 6:33 pm

 

Shai said:

FP,

Wow, what a story. Thank you for sharing it with us. Though most of my family are Ashkenazi Jews, I actually have a distant member living in NY, whose parents were originally from Aleppo. Sephardic Jews, incidentally, tend to be extremely proud of their heritage. They are probably very eager to visit Syria once again one day (Alex – remember your CBM?) We need more of these joint-projects, to show everyone that behind our 60-year history of violence are also people who care for other human beings, and wish for peace as much as anyone else does.

April 6th, 2008, 6:39 pm

 

Naji said:

St. Jude’s is in Memphis, Tennessee.
Oh dear…!!

April 6th, 2008, 6:41 pm

 

Naji said:

Shai,
They do visit Syria…!

April 6th, 2008, 6:43 pm

 

Qifa Nabki said:

I actually agree with FP, on this: “We can certainly hide our heads in the sand and pretend that we all love each others; and that it is just the governments that are the source of all conflicts. But that is not reality…”

Naji, I once had a conversation with a Lebanese guy who fed me precisely the myth you are describing.

Not everyone is a well-traveled, well-spoken, highly quotable cosmopolitan like you.

😉

April 6th, 2008, 6:44 pm

 

Naji said:

Thanks QN, but things are REALLY not as AIG would like them to be. Remember one of my “famous quotes” about the two saving graces of the Syrian regime, one of which is an inclusivist national self-image that we pride ourselves on as distinguishing us from our neighbours…!? You can’t take THAT away too…!!

April 6th, 2008, 6:53 pm

 

Shai said:

Naji,

I believe that many of the Sephardic Jews in Brooklyn first lived in Israel (after leaving Syria), then emigrated to the U.S. Are they also allowed back in Syria (i.e. the ones holding Israeli citizenship)?

I imagine Ambassador Moustapha would not have gone to this event, had he (and Syria) not viewed it as an important act on behalf of Jews towards their fellow Syrian citizens in need.

April 6th, 2008, 6:56 pm

 

offended said:

I did a quick tour of syrian news websites but found nothing about this story.

Maybe it’s still a bit early; meaning this story has to show up on some american website or a newspaper and then the syrians will quote it 😛

April 6th, 2008, 7:10 pm

 

Naji said:

Shai,
Ambassador Moustapha is an ambassador and does a fairly good job of promoting good will between Syria and any potential allies she might have in the US. I believe he is the one who organized a trip for the Brooklyn community to Syria a couple of years back… I am sure Alex knows more about this than I do.

…and, of course “it as an important act on behalf of Jews towards their fellow Syrian citizens in need.”, but all the rest is extra nonsense, I humbly add…!

April 6th, 2008, 7:13 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Naji,
Why would I like things to be as they are? Why would I be happy about the Tlass best seller?

The fact is that there were 30,000 Jews in Syria in 47. Now there are less than 100. In a welcoming society the number of Jews goes up not down.

FP,
The Israeli Arabs are a fantastic and hopeful story that Jews and Arabs can live together. I feel much better already.

I was only defending your position…

April 6th, 2008, 8:11 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Let’s not forget the hundreds in Gaza who are not allowed lifesaving medical care in Israel. Or the pregnant women waiting on the roadblocks in West Bank.

So we have one good thing against numerous bad things. Of course this fund-raiser is positive and recommendable effort, but still while it is performed children in Gaza are dying in cancer and Israel doesn’t allow for them medical treatment. Not in Israel, Egypt or Gaza. The best way towards peace and reconciliation would be that we would hear good news from Israel, but sadly there seems to be none. Demolishing theatrically ten road blocks (and most certainly building 20 new ones in secret) and on the same time let settlers man old outposts and establish new ones are not good new.

Many of the most hard critics of Israel’s actions are Jews. Like Richard Silverstein who wrote an interesting story
Israel’s Tehran connection
Israel, while supposedly observing an ironclad boycott of all things Iranian, is happily buying Iranian oil.

Well, well Israelis are refining Iranian oil for PA. There is needed some explaining to done with the US and European cousins. Seems that Iran is not only controlling Hamas, Hitzbollah and Syria, it is controlling also Israel.

April 6th, 2008, 8:23 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
I really can’t understand Silverstein’s point. The US buys oil from Venezuela, so what? The oil market is a global one and when you buy oil, you are purchasing from all the oil producers. It really does not matter where that oil came from. Once it is in a tanker, it could have come from anywhere. And furthermore, there is no boycott on Iranian oil and Israel or the US never asked for one.

April 6th, 2008, 8:40 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

AIG Silverstein’s point was that US and Israel (+ Israeli pressure groups) on the highest level condemned Switzerland for making a 25 year gas deal with Iran.

You understand? Israel sees it as hostile act against Israel when Swiss buy Iranian oil and gas. But when Israel buys Iranian oil it is OK by AIG and other IGs. That is hypocritical if something is for you (=AIG).

Maybe AIG you should finally start reading those articles referred before grabbing to the pen. It all is mentioned in the first paragraphs.

All oilfields have different “features” and the oil refineries have to know exactly what kind of raw oil they buy. The oil refineries are specialized in certain raw oil sorts mixes and it is hugely expensive and time-consuming to change the producing processes. So the Israeli oil companies know exactly what kind of oil they buy and from where it originates.

April 6th, 2008, 9:08 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
There is a huge difference between Switzerland helping Iran develop its gas fields and Israel buying a commodity from Iran that it could get anywhere. There is no hypocrisy in Israel and the US when they criticize the Swiss deal. The Swiss get their gas from Russia I think like most Europeans.

April 6th, 2008, 10:17 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Seems AIG that you do not know anything of international energy markets, which is no surprise. You are only repeating the normal Israeli “politbyro” excuses, when you are again “found” your pants down. Like this when the oil is in the tanker it can came from anywhere. Crude oil AIG is not oranges or tomatoes. 🙂

Tell me what is the difference in buying oil or gas? Both generate income for the “bad” Iranians. Israeli oil trades make it possible for Iranians to develop their oil fields. 🙂

European countries get their gas from Norway, Arab African states, Russia etc. Finland buys its gas from Russia.

Certainly there is hypocrisy if Israel (and USA) pressure others especially European countries not make deals with Iran (and other Muslim countries) and on the same time the loudest bull in the heard is making trade. It certainly doesn’t rise Israel’s international reputation, which already is dangerously low. Especially dangerous it is to make the powerful industry men angry. The European tycoons are mad when China and Russia are making lucrative deals and they have only to watch Israeli basket ball teams in television instead of selling nuclear power stations, oil refineries etc.

April 6th, 2008, 11:31 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,

Most people in the world understand the differences you choose to ignore.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080331/ap_on_re_eu/switzerland_us_iran

Once the Swiss provide the contract, we will see if it is a benign gas purchasing deal or if it is more than that. And if people really think like you in Europe, there will be an outcry against what the US is doing. Let’s wait and see.

April 6th, 2008, 11:49 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

AIG why on earth should Swiss show USA the contract. Did you notice on what the demand is based (most probably not). Well the demand is based: to see whether it violates an American sanctions law against Tehran.

Maybe you AIG understand that American laws are for Americans and Swiss laws for Swiss. So far American laws are not international laws even some in USA believe them to be. The Swiss said in the article: the contract is in line with Switzerland’s rights as an independent country with its own strategic interests to defend.

By the way is USA demanding to see Israel’s oil trade and peanut trade contracts?

The world really doesn’t understand your points AIG. Actually the more you try to explain the less it understands. 🙂

April 7th, 2008, 12:04 am

 

Nur al-Cubicle said:

Let’s not forget the hundreds in Gaza who are not allowed lifesaving medical care in Israel.

You are so right, Simo!

April 7th, 2008, 12:16 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
Let me explain this to you slowly, since it is only you that doesn’t understand. If the Swiss violate American sanctions law, then Swiss banks will not be allowed to work in or with the US. If the Swiss don’t like it, they should stop banking with or in the US. And most Swiss bankers understand this very well. Let’s wait and see what the Swiss decision is, shall we? How much do you want to bet that they will show the Americans the contract?

April 7th, 2008, 12:18 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nur,
What is the problem? Talk to Simo and have the Finns and the Arabs organize a well equipped hospital ship to go to Gaza. Israel won’t stop you. Instead of complaining, do something productive.

April 7th, 2008, 12:21 am

 

Enlightened said:

AIG:

Your actions sometimes never cease to amaze me! Heres a challenge for you. I propose that I will donate $200 American dollars to these people who are doing some good work and trying to breach the gap between US enemies. Remember these are children and they deserve a future.

HP I can send you a money order to pass on, I will get your details to pass on this to these people as verification, Alex can you send me HP’s email and I will talk to him and get this organized.

Care to match it AIG?

I will also match it with a donation to Jewish childrens cause that is attempting to do the same.

Ok AIG the ball is in your court, lets see! Will you donate the same?

April 7th, 2008, 3:16 am

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Enlightened,
Charity begins at home as the sages taught us. I have more pressing and closer to home charity projects that I support. But please, support the causes that are close to your heart.

April 7th, 2008, 3:27 am

 

Razan said:

I don’t appreciate the omission of the word “syrian” and reduction of Syrian Jews to “Jewish” only in the title, but that’s typical of the western media, and of this so called blog too.
oh and the terms “Sephardic” and “mizrahi” are put by the “ashkenazi” hegemony in israel (which is Zionist) to create this very division –which you are doing here- within both arabs and israeli society.
By the way, the common politicized word used by the Ashkenazi on Syrian Jews and arab jews in general would be “mizrahi” since mizrahi is a reference to Arab Jews where Sephardic is a reference to eastern Jews in general. Another reason why the author is a nut case.
Really, another refreshing article coming from another journalist who know nothing about Arab Jews except their very exotica, and this very exotica stems from his very orientalism which is mainly ignorance. and we Arabs are only reinforcing the western exotic outlook to people who are one of us.
I salute every single commentator who loved this article.

April 7th, 2008, 8:02 am

 

Mazen said:

Nice story, FP. Actually, many Syrians I know make the distinction quite well between Jews are the Zionist movement. Zionism has hijacked Judaism, just as Bin Laden has tried to hijack Islam. I have met a number of Syrian Jews in Deal, NJ, where they have a prominent neighborhood, and actually, a Syrian Rabbi owner of a butcher shop asked me for Saba7 Fakhri recordings.

Zionism is the disease, not Judaism.

April 7th, 2008, 1:50 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Zionism is the disease, not Judaism.

Abu Mazen,

That’s your opinion. Zionism according to my dictionary is:

Zionism n: an international movement orig. for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel.

It didn’t say anything about a disease.

One thing you may have learned from the various peoples across the Earth (including the Palestinians) is that it is very difficult to prohibit the freedom of national identity.

April 7th, 2008, 4:27 pm

 

Zenobia said:

Razan,
thanks for the clarifications, as i was confused somewhat by the definitions of ‘mizrahi’ verses just ‘sephardic’. and the rest was helpful.

as for the issue of syrian prejudice against jews, i have encountered both Syrians who make a big distinction about being critical of Israelis/Israel but not against the jewish religion or jewish people. But i also encounter Syrians who provided classic examples of prejudice and voiced the usual nasty stereotypes about Jews.
so, like anywhere else, there are the thoughtful and enlightened who have a least some bounds around their criticisms, and there are those who are just bigoted. Usually, these Syrians have never met any jewish people.
so, i think FP is correct in his description.

April 7th, 2008, 5:20 pm

 

Naji said:

AP,
I am curious as to why you, and many, feel that an Israeli national identity is impossible without Zionism…??! What is so indispensible…?! Surely a people clever, resourceful, and creative enough to invent a nation, a language, a culture, and a history during the most adverse of times, can now better that and invent a new national identity, in common with their kin, that overcomes the mistakes of the past and truly achieves the original Zionist dream of being a “light unto the nations” rather the current blight Israel is unto the nations and unto the souls of its inhabitants…??!!

As he was leaving, at the end of his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in the summer of 1992, the late Edward Said poignantly observed that ” A harsh, driven quality rules life, by necessity for Palestinians, by some other logic, which I can barely understand, for Israelis. After so many years of thinking about it, I now feel that the two peoples are locked together without much real sympathy, but locked together they are…” After so many years, I see the two peoples now even more locked together, … in a death-hug that neither knows how to escape…! Time to think creatively before both finally achieve their current common dream of annihilating the other…!!

Sincerely…

April 7th, 2008, 5:41 pm

 

Alex said:

For those of you who do not know her, Razan is a wonderful girl and a very smart one too.

She is finishing her master’s degree, studying the history of Arab Jews. And she is an active supporter of Palestinian rights and the dignity and rights of Arab Jews.

Take a look at the online samples of some of her photo exhibitions.

Each photo tells a story of suffering

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arabspring/

April 7th, 2008, 5:54 pm

 

Zenobia said:

she has really nice photography.

April 7th, 2008, 6:20 pm

 

Alex said:

Well Zenobia, if you listened to me and got the Camera I suggested you get, you would have had more nice photographs too!

I liked the few you sent me.

April 7th, 2008, 6:25 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Naji asks:

I am curious as to why you, and many, feel that an Israeli national identity is impossible without Zionism…??!

I’m not sure I understand your question. Israeli national identity IS Zionism. Perhaps you mean “Jewish” national identity. In this case, all I can say is that the Jews were a nation without a homeland for many centuries.

It took years of racism and intolerance until the Jews were able to come together and act on our desire to re-establish our homeland. This includes Jews from Arab countries, who, I believe, still make up the majority of Jewish Israelis.

Also, Jews ask similar questions about Palestinians. How is Palestinian identity different than Arab national identity? If Jordan, Egypt, and Syria owned the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan like they did before 1967 and they made peace with Israel, where would Palestine be today?

The point is, only the people can determine who they are and what nation they belong to.

What is so indispensible…?! Surely a people clever, resourceful, and creative enough to invent a nation, a language, a culture, and a history during the most adverse of times, can now better that and invent a new national identity, in common with their kin, that overcomes the mistakes of the past and truly achieves the original Zionist dream of being a “light unto the nations” rather the current blight Israel is unto the nations and unto the souls of its inhabitants…??!!

I find this comment ignorant and rude. Most Jews (and many Christians) consider Israel and “light unto the nations” now, this minute. For all the reasons you’ve mentioned above, including the vibrant economy, numerous inventions and innovations in so many fields of science, medicine, agriculture, etc despite the continual state of war Israel has had to endure:)

As he was leaving, at the end of his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in the summer of 1992, the late Edward Said poignantly observed that ” A harsh, driven quality rules life, by necessity for Palestinians, by some other logic, which I can barely understand, for Israelis. After so many years of thinking about it, I now feel that the two peoples are locked together without much real sympathy, but locked together they are…” After so many years, I see the two peoples now even more locked together, … in a death-hug that neither knows how to escape…! Time to think creatively before both finally achieve their current common dream of annihilating the other…!!

I’m sorry Ed Said didn’t have enough time to “think creatively”. I only remember him by his “creative” stone throwing display on the Lebanese border (which is why I’m always so skeptical of “academia”).

AP

April 7th, 2008, 6:27 pm

 

Naji said:

I regret having addressed my sincere question to AP…!! I forgot that he happens to be the more ignorant and closed minded side of our one-trick pony of an AIG, if such a thing was possible…and it, apparently, is…!!!

I would have liked the more thoughtful Shai and Joe to respond, but they seem to have perhaps wisely abandoned this blog… for the presence of such morons, I am sure…!! I will probably soon follow suit…

April 7th, 2008, 6:45 pm

 

Alex said:

Naji … please avoid calling Akbar or anyone a “moron”

Here are two other places wher you can use that word:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3369003,00.html

http://www.presidentmoron.com/

April 7th, 2008, 7:09 pm

 

Naji said:

Sorry Alex, I did loose my cool when I got to the end and found that this akbar something had nothing better to say than making fun of one of the noblest souls to have lived in our wretched times…, but then again, I guess it does prove something… Arafat did not think much of Edward Said either…!

Thanks for the links, though… I guess the word is acceptable to use for people who are univerally regarded as such… Hopefully it won’t be long before I am allowed to call AP and AIG so, but for now, I am afraid, they will find people who agree with them…!!

April 7th, 2008, 7:28 pm

 

Shai said:

Naji,

No, I haven’t abandoned SC yet… there are too many good people here, with very good and important intentions, like yourself.

As for Zionism, I can tell you that if you take 2 Israelis and ask them to define “Zionism”, you’re likely to get 3 answers. The term, the concept, the way, is up to so many individual interpretations, that could vary from “creating a modern Jewish homeland” to “re-creating the Biblical ‘Greater Israel’, at any cost”. To me, Zionism (or to be a Zionist) is about the goal of achieving a safe place for Jews around the world. Such a place is Israel, since 1948. In a way, from the moment we’ve achieved certain “defensive capabilities”, making it very difficult if outright impossible to send us all back into the Diaspora, the original goals of Zionism are over. Now, the remaining goals are to continue to exist, as a modern Jewish nation. Does that mean we need more land? No. Does that mean we need to always remain a majority in Israel? Not when we feel safe in this region, which may take a while. But in the end, I believe it is inevitable that demographics will become whatever they do, without Jewish or non-Jewish influence. Theoretically, I don’t see why you can’t still call an Israel with 53% non-Jews, the “Jewish state”, and by that mean a home for any Jew around the world.

The biggest problem with Zionism is the way it has been perceived for over a century, by all those who were to pay the price for the way its supporters achieved their goals. But Israel itself caused terrible injustices upon Arabs, not only the movement or the principles that created it. So we’ll have to learn to accept that Israelis often view Zionism very differently from the way Arabs do, and it will likely remain a controversial concept for many years to come. Most Israelis, however, do not identify themselves first as “Zionists” and then as “Israelis” or “Jews”, but rather the other way around. Nowhere do you see Israelis referring to their nation as the “Zionist state”, like some of our enemies often do. When peace will come, I imagine Israelis will begin to understand why Arabs view Zionism as the root of all evil in this region. Hopefully, by that time, Arabs will also be able to understand how someone like myself can still call himself a “Zionist” while unequivocally condemning crimes committed by other Zionists.

April 7th, 2008, 7:49 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Zenobia,
I fear Razan does not know what she is talking about. Sepharadic Jews (literally Spanish Jews) are Jews that came from the Spanish expulsion of Jews in 1492. Thus in Amsterdam and many other places in Europe there are both Sepharadic Jews and Ashkenazi Jews (which are form the Roman exile). The word “mizrahi” is practically a synonym for Sepheradic except with few Jerusalem families that originated directly from the Spain exile and lived in Jerusalem for hundreds of years and wanted to differentiate themselves from the “late comers” of 1950 and for the Iraqi Jews that are eastern and not Sepharadic. But to most Israelis, “mizrahi” means the Sepharadic Jews because the Jews of North Africa are both and that is what the terms really refer to.

As for their “Zionism” the Jews from Arab countries are much more right wing and religious than Ashkenazi Jews. They provide the bulk of the support to the Likud. So they are just as Zionist if not more as any other group in Israel. What is nice is that in 2-3 generations all this differences will be moot because of the large intermarrige rate in Israeli society.

April 7th, 2008, 7:50 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Naji,
Talking of one trick ponies, it seems to me you are the ultimate one. All you can do is attack Israel without providing any constructive solutions and you are never able to defend your position when challenged expect by posting irrelevant junk that you find on the internet.

Also, you have zero understanding of what freedom of speech is and resort to ad-homiem attacks once someone disagrees with you. You are a proto-Baathist. Keep working at it.

April 7th, 2008, 7:59 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG, Naji,

Yalla the two of you, make Peace, not Love… 🙂

April 7th, 2008, 8:04 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
I will leave it to you. Maybe you can understand what his contradictory nonsense means: Nationalism is good for Syria but bad for Israel. Syria is more democratic than Israel. Syria loves its Jews even though in 47 there were 30,000 and now there are less than 100. All the sects in Syria get along great but democracy is dangerous because it will lead to an Iraq like civil war. Syria is like China. And many more gems.

April 7th, 2008, 8:10 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

I imagine that for every misinterpretation they have about us, we have about them. Sixty years worth of animosity has its toll. But I think the focus should be on those things we do agree on, and do see the same way. And start building from there.

April 7th, 2008, 8:19 pm

 

SimoHurtta said:

Nur,
What is the problem? Talk to Simo and have the Finns and the Arabs organize a well equipped hospital ship to go to Gaza. Israel won’t stop you. Instead of complaining, do something productive

AIG we in EU already pay most costs of Palestinians which under international law should be paid solely by Israel. We finance the hospitals, schools administration etc. You only bomb what we have build and take a lucrative share of the aid money by forcing the materials be bought from your excellent religious “democracy”.

Why should we finance a ship, that “ship” is your responsibility. And more importantly if there would a ship, Israel would not allow it into the harbour. Using those amusing normal excuses.

I have several times “spoken” with you and other IGs about the ûbermensch attitude you Israelis seem to suffering from. Like that rabbi some days ago said one Jew is worth over 1000 non-Jews. You really have the same attitude. Not shred of respect towards human life and suffering, if the life is not a “secular, atheist’s” Jewish life. Well AIG the history is a bitch, some day your “nation” might be again in the same position as the Palestinians now. As they have been so many times during ages. Some people and “nations” obviously do not learn that “what you give you get”.

April 7th, 2008, 8:28 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
There is a difference between between lack of knowledge and spewing outright contradictory statements.

April 7th, 2008, 8:32 pm

 

Shai said:

AIG,

You know my feelings about that. I’ve said plenty in recent weeks… unfortunately.

April 7th, 2008, 8:36 pm

 

AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Sim,
Why won’t Israel let the ship harbor? Of course it will. And of course your argument makes no sense. If as you say we Israelis do not care about human life, then it is imperative that you fund and send the ship since otherwise we won’t do it.

And Sim, since the Hamas came to power the Europeans have stopped spending money in Gaza. So you don’t need to worry about it being wasted.

History is a bitch. And very rarely is justice done. For example, what was the european payment for their colonialism? But at least with the creation of Israel an historical injustice was accounted for.

April 7th, 2008, 8:42 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex,

Was there a trip of the Brooklyn community to Syria a few years ago? I think it’s tremendous that Imad Moustapha has gone to see them for this event. I haven’t seen this reported in Israeli media yet… but it should make our headlines.

April 7th, 2008, 8:50 pm

 

Alex said:

Shai

Imad probably went through more Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs than you did.

Syrian Jews always invite him to their events.

Ask your friends in Haaretz to report the charity event at Jack Avital’s

April 7th, 2008, 9:36 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex,

Yes, you’re most probably right! 🙂 And, good idea about Ha’aretz, though they may yet beat me to it.

April 7th, 2008, 9:43 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Alex,

Actually the moron stuff rolls off my shoulder…this is just the internet super highway and nothing more.

However, what caught my eye was Naji’s unprovoked comment:

…the current blight Israel is unto the nations…

I felt this sort of mindless rejectionism needed to be countered. All this rejectionist and intolerant banter such as “blight” and “disease” (Ahmadinejad) is what brings violence to the Middle East and prevents peaceful solutions.

IMHO, this is what you really should be correcting.

I don’t recall anyone here calling any Arab or Muslim nation here a “blight” or a “disease”.

April 8th, 2008, 1:38 am

 

Alex said:

Akbar,

I agree with you that Naji’s words can easily give the wrong impression. But he obviously is not calling for violence against the people living in Israel. He is definitely not a fan of Zionism … and many others here hate Baathism.

Both sides can express their wishes to see one of these two political systems (ideologies) go to hell … as long as their words are chosen carefully in order not to imply hate towards people.

April 8th, 2008, 5:12 am

 

Mazen said:

When a people insist on ripping another people from their land, from their history and from their lives, it is way beyond the innocent sounding notion of nationalism. Zionism is a colonial racist movement that is a shame to humanity just as many supremacist human experiments have been in the past. The one and only right Zionism has is that of might.

Zionists do not HAVE to inflict this level of violence, killing, and hatred upon their Arab neighbors. They just choose to.

April 8th, 2008, 5:13 am

 

Shai said:

Mazen,

I wish we were beyond much of the pain and suffering the Palestinians are continuing to endure, so that I could begin to show you another side of Zionism. I understand, however, why you only see the side that you do. Please know, however, that most Israelis who are vehemently against our occupation and the crimes we’ve committed (and are committing) against the Palestinian people, and have been preaching against it for decades, still see themselves as Zionists. A very tiny minority of those, so-called “renounced” their Zionism, or call for its end. There are many, myself included, who see a different face of Zionism.

April 8th, 2008, 7:01 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Zionists do not HAVE to inflict this level of violence, killing, and hatred upon their Arab neighbors. They just choose to.

Mazen,

I agree, Israel does not “HAVE to” defend herself, but if you don’t want to consider why Israel defends herself, rather than ignoring the constant acts of war against her, then that is your choice.

For example, the “occupation” is and always was an excuse for Arab terrorism. Before Israel was in possession of the West Bank, Gaza or the Golan, Arab countries such as Eygpt and Syria were planning to eradicate Israel just like Iran is today. This is a fact.

Today it is Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.

I would suggest you accept the notion that Israel has the right to defend herself from terrorist attacks and threats to her security as if Israel were any other country in the world.

April 8th, 2008, 11:07 am

 

Mazen said:

Shai,
Reading what you and a few other Israelis write, in line of acknowledging the mistakes and the crimes that your state has committed, lights a candle of hope for a true peace some day. Thank you.

Akbar,
Please don’t give me this “defending herself” treatment. I am not a gullible westerner who only hears about the conflict from minute-a-day biased news coverage. Israel has and still conducts state sponsored terrorism, only you don’t call it so, it’s “defense”.

Very very few Arabs are calling for the destruction of Israel in the sense of nuking it and eradicating all its people. Please stop using this cheap trick of comparing our rejection of Israel to the 19th and early 20th century European antisemitism.

What we cannot accept is your ideology of racism and apartheid that allows any Ukrainian to “return” to Palestine at will, while at the same time it bombs and kills Palestinians who have been living there for thousands of years. And anyone who fleds the hell you are putting them through, then forever they lose their right of return. It is this mentality that we would like to see gone.

When you are cured from this … way of thinking and looking at the so called Goyem, then you will find that Arabs can be good friends and good neighbors. If you continue to try to force your arrogance and racism down our thoughts, you are only going to make matters worse.

April 8th, 2008, 2:19 pm

 

Alex said:

And this story is reported in Arabic by Syrian site All4Syria

http://www.all4syria.org/Details.aspx?ArticleId=9155

April 8th, 2008, 2:41 pm

 

al-shagoury said:

jews or whatever u r , syria will stay our homeland , with lot of nostalgia , thx

January 17th, 2012, 5:17 pm

 

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