we are in this together

  1. 413 Posts.
    We Are In This Together
    by Jack Engelhard
    Jan 04, '05

    We watch the goings-on in that other part of the world, a flood that has taken so many lives, and can't help but be touched, often to tears. We remember Beethoven's adaptation of Schiller's "Ode To Joy", that all people are sisters and brothers. Whether we like it or not, we are in this together.

    We had better realize that before it's too late. Some theologians have already proclaimed that God's wrath is upon the world for all the hatred that persists.

    Which brings us to Israel, roundabout.

    Like everyone else, I'm glued to the news, and notice that there are three nations that keep getting most of the attention - Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand - obviously because these have been hit the hardest. About Sri Lanka, I hear, as an afterthought, that the "Tamil rebels" are preventing supplies from getting through.

    Really, there are wars going on in other parts of the world besides Israel? You wouldn't know this from reading the papers.

    It takes a tsunami to open our eyes and reveal a world that exists only along the back pages. Yes, other nations are in turmoil as well, and in most cases it's even worse than it is between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs. But hardly any of that makes headlines. Israel owns (and I don't mean that in a good way) the front pages of the world's news media. This is an obsession and it is sick.

    Tony Blair has pretty much staked his reputation and his career upon the notion that every problem everywhere begins and ends with Israel. In this, he speaks against Israel's five and a half million Jews and in favor of the world's one and a half billion Muslims as if one Israel is somehow responsible for oppressing the 57 nations of Islam.

    Back to Sri Lanka, and this took research because, as I said, no headlines for Sri Lanka until the flood. Turns out that while all this has been going on between the Israelis and the Arabs, back there, in Sri Lanka, a conflict has been going on for two decades between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamils.

    Does anybody know that behind the scenes, in international circles, Sri Lanka is known as "The Island of Death"? That's before the tsunami. The latest death count in this war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils stands at 60,000, and counting.

    Did you read about this in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle? Haaretz? Did it come through the Associated Press? Beginning with CNN and National Public Radio, did any of the networks flash a news alert about such atrocities? Of course not. All eyes are on Israel. Why? Don't ask.

    Reporters love Israel. There's more of them in Israel than in countries 10 times the size and 50 times the population of Israel. As the world turns in blood, foreign correspondents stay comfy in Jerusalem's American Colony Hotel and take stories verbatim from Palestinian Arab "sources" who always have a good story to tell. If it'll give Israel a black eye it gets written and sent off pronto, and next morning, there it is, front page.

    Indonesia, which has taken the brunt of the tsunami, has likewise been at war while the world has been busy with Israel. In jihad wars between Muslims and Christians, thousands have died, entire villages have been destroyed, and more than 100,000 refugees have been displaced by violence. These Javanese transmigrants (according to Christopher R. Duncan, University of London) have been deported "never to return home." Again, this is Indonesia, not Israel. Hence, the news blackout.

    Turning to Thailand, another place so stricken by the flood, did we know that its prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, suppressed the media, sacked 23 journalists during the election that brought him to power, and that under the cover of a war on drugs, Thai police have been on a shoot-to-kill rampage that has left thousands dead? Thailand, not Israel.

    Meanwhile, we keep hearing that this tsunami is "of Biblical proportions." Well, no. Biblical proportions is when the entire earth gets deluged.

    As we pray for the victims, perhaps it's time for the world to rethink its animosity toward the Jews, before God gets really mad.
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