A Letter to Gaza

I recently received an email accusing me of hating Arabs and my father. This email is typical of Arab media accusations of my views regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since most Arabs have no chance to read my book, Now They Call Me Infidel, Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror, which explains in detail my position, I will answer the email in this article. First, below is the translation of the Arabic language email which I received without a signature:

Salam to you,

With all of our pride in your father we pray that Allah will bless him with entering paradise, which is the wish of every person after this short prideful meaningless life. I want to ask you, has your father become your enemy after his death? We in the city of Gaza take pride in your father and I live on a street by the name of Shahid Moustafa Hafez which also has a school by the name of Shahid Moustafa Hafez. We never forgot his sacrifice, so how could you become an enemy to the tortured Palestinian people who are still suffering at the hands of Arab Zionists? I ask Allah to give you health and strength.

Awaiting your response and thank you in advance.

Here is my response:

Dear Gaza resident,

Your email touched me as sincere even though your accusations are wrong. I am not the enemy of Arabs and I assure you that I love my original culture and people. What makes me different is that I do not only love Arabs, but I also love the Jewish people. I am speaking my conscience.  I respect their right to live in peace in their tiny homeland, Israel. I understand how that could be puzzling and unbelievable to many Arabs, to love both Jews and Arabs.

We Arabs have suffered from an unnatural and consistent indoctrination into Islamic supremacy and Jew hatred for over 1400 years. Thus it has become unfathomable to the Arab mind to comprehend loving both Arabs and Jews and wishing both well. Our culture has deprived us for many centuries from loving all of humanity as equals, through intense religious indoctrination resulting in self-imposed isolation and non-integration with other cultures. This isolation and jihad against non-Muslims has become increasingly difficult to maintain. Muslims everywhere are trying desperately to save face, reform Islam’s image and deny the undeniable. But they also want to have their cake and eat it too. While they are telling the world Islam is a religion of peace, they still want to continue with the jihad against non-Muslim countries. While one leader says, let’s kill all the Jews and take over Rome, another says to Western media that Islam is a religion of peace and we are deeply offended by the anti-Islam rhetoric. To play this sick game, Muslim culture must live a dysfunctional double life where everyone is deceived, including Muslims.

Thus to do the kind of jihad that Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Assad, Nasser, Saudi jihadists etc, do and which is dictated by Sharia, Muslims find it hard to be honest. Thus, Muslims must claim victimhood in order to justify jihad. The entire Muslim world is using your people, the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, to justify their jihad against not only Israel, but also all non-Muslim countries. That includes Iran, which supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

Your people in Gaza should have realized this game a long time ago, but you refuse to see and be open about who is your true oppressor. Arab and Muslim media is using and abusing your people in order to justify their Islamic jihad around the world. That is why they never want to resolve your problem and want you to suffer and live in constant terror against Israel.

Under Islamic law, non-Muslim countries are never equal to Muslim countries and actually their sovereignty as a non-Muslim nation must always be challenged by Islamic jihad. Islamic law codified jihad as a permanent war with non-Muslims to establish the religion. Muslims thus have to use Taquiyya, lies, to legitimize their aggression on Israel and the West. That is why Muslim countries can never abandon the constant hate propaganda, lies and misinformation about Israel and the West. If that ends, their jihad ends. The UN must be constantly bombarded by complaints from Arab countries against Israel. The Arab street must be constantly bombarded with ridiculous accusations and Zionist conspiracies. Lately on Syrian TV a Syrian intellectual accused Israel of stealing human organs in Haiti while they were helping them after the earthquake. This is not something new; it started in the 7th century, when the prophet Mohammed accused the Jews of treason to justify killing and expelling them and taking over their wealth. To explain this away, he stated that Jews are worthy of this treatment since they are the descendants of apes pigs and enemies of Allah. Muslims still use the same dynamic and the world still falls for it every time.

The Arab mind was trained to never venture outside of the box of Islamic superiority, and that prevented us from treating the rest of humanity as equals. It is alien to Muslim preachers today to preach love to all of humanity and wishing non-Muslims the same human rights as Muslims. I have never heard that from a Muslim preacher. Only after 9/11 and in the West today, do we see some Muslim preachers trying to preach some Western values and engage in interfaith dialogue, in order to rehabilitate the image of Islam in the West and attract more converts.

I often get mail from secular Muslims who ask me: I can understand that you chose to leave Islam, but how can you support the Jews? I get mail like this because, in the Muslim mindset, loving, accepting and feeling good about Jews or Christians and thinking of them as equals, is unthinkable and an act of treason to Islam itself and even worse. It is as though the whole religion of Islam is dedicated to hating and killing Jews.

After centuries of this kind of education, the Muslim world produced a dysfunctional society, unable to relate to the rest of the world. While wanting to convince the world they are a religion of peace, do not be afraid of Islam, they are still hell-bent on conquering the world for Islam. That is Islam’s dilemma today.

What I, and a few others, are trying to do is to bring the truth to both Muslims and non-Muslims to finally face this sick game. We want to encourage Arabs to look at Jews and others as human beings and not as enemies to conquer. What kind of God will tell his followers to kill more than half of humanity if they don’t submit to Islam? The Muslim world today is a disaster waiting to happen. Ahmadinejad, who is not an Arab, wants to continue the Islamic jihad against Jews by destroying Israel. I have news to especially the Left in Europe and America: Islamic jihad will not end with Israel; you will be next.

To my email writer: in your letter to me, I have noticed that your outlook on life is pessimistic describing it as short and meaningless pride. Your views are prevalent in Muslim culture and I have heard it thousands of times when I lived in the Middle East. I remember even when we laughed and giggled as young girls, we were immediately silenced as being improper and that Allah somehow does not like us to laughing for no reason or in public. Even a heartfelt laugh to a Muslim was not going to get you friends, but critics. Your message to me and to Muslims is that life on earth will not get us happiness and the only escape from such misery is the everlasting happiness in the pleasures of Allah’s paradise after dying in jihad. But why take the Jews with us? They want to live and enjoy life and to make the earth, right here, a better place.

Our rejection of life is not a coincidence: since jihad does not value life, then it must value death. The first casualty of the jihad principle is peace and that is why I never learned peace as a value in Gaza. I have never heard a peaceful song in Arabic. To think of peace with the Jews is equal to treason to Islam. Rejection of peace has detrimental consequences to the healthy functioning of the Arab personality, family, society and the whole region. It is not a coincidence that Saudis reject under the law any celebration of Valentine’s Day, reject celebrating love between a man and a woman, teaching peace and compassion to their children towards the others. Just look at our Islamic law books and see the most cruel and unusual punishments ever created in any culture on earth. Only a culture that demands war and terror can promote such cruelty.

As to your question about hating my father, again I want to assure you that I adore and respect my father more than all of the people of Gaza. Actually I love him and wish him heaven not because he killed Jews, but because he was a good human being who was respected by many including the Israeli soldiers who killed him. He was known even to Israel as a cut above his peers and had integrity and honor.  My father was the victim of the blood-thirsty culture of death all around him. He is one of the many thousands and even millions of victims of the jihad ideology, practiced over the last 1400 years.

Dear Gaza resident, yes, I cannot blame the Jewish people, or the government of Israel, for what you call the ‘misery’ of the Palestinians. I can only blame Arab and Islamic culture which used and abused you and which you allowed. I believe that this is an Arab self-inflicted crisis that has nothing to do with Israel.

Arab education has never told us the truth about the Israeli people and the story from their side and what Jerusalem means to them. We were told that Jerusalem was a Muslim city simply because Mohammed dreamt one night that he went to the farthest mosque but he never mentioned Jerusalem. The Koran never mentioned Jerusalem, which is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible as the heart and soul of the Jewish people. We as Muslims never respected other religions holy cites and always claimed them to Islam; even Spain and India are being claimed as Muslim land. It was the tradition of Muslim conquerors to convert churches and temples to mosques and that is exactly what happened to the Jewish Temple Mount when 100 years after the prophet Mohammed died, Muslim conquerors built the mosque right on top of it. Just imagine if Jews or Christians had built a temple on top of the Kaaba in Mecca. This is how Islam has treated the Jews. It is time for Muslims to seek redemption and forgiveness and to extend the hand of reconciliation and peace to the Jewish people.

Nonie Darwish

Author: Cruel and Usual Punishment; the terrifying global implications of Islamic law.

  • davarino

    I keep trying to explain this to my son who is brain washed by the media to beleive Isreal is the aggressor at fault. Thank you Nonie for working so hard to tell the truth. Thank you for the sacrifice and risk you take when ever you speak.

    It is a dangerous game Obama is playing with Isreal. If he does not help Isreal and allows Iran to continue, then Isreal is left with only one choice. Isreal will have to do what is necessary for their survival.

    • http://www.zionism-israel.com/ Thomas

      Davarino, it must be difficult to have someone in the family deluded by antisemitic libels and mendacious propaganda. I find it difficult when I discover that delusion among friends or even just fellow citizens. Wish you well.

  • seels4truth

    Kudos Nonie! When will others see the light? BTW — loved your book! It appears that your dad was an honest soldier that would have been in that black limo that Sadat used to drive him to the Knesset. I was on that road (where Shaare Tzedek hospital is now situated) used by Sadat's motorcade to get to the Knesset and I saw his face as he sat directly behind the driver. In that brief moment I saw a look that is difficult to describe. Here was a man on his way to speak in front of a group of people he spent his entire life trying to kill. He came to make a peace knowing full well that he would probably end up dead. He was killed but there is a peace. Not a peace like with the US and Canada but a peace nonetheless. I am certain that your father is proud of you and your commitment to peace.

  • tanstaafl jw

    Ms. Darwish – you are truly speaking truth to power.

    Best wishes.

  • billybob

    Superb letter to your Gaza inquisitor Ms. Darwish.
    Thank you for sharing it w/ us.

  • USMCSniper

    These are hollow words, Our latest actions from the Buraq Hussein Obama administration is a shameful betrayal of Israel, an open attempt to sacrifice the Jews to appease the religious hatred of the Palestinians and majority of Muslims in the Middle East. And worse, our continuous refusal to recognize Islamic fundamentalism as the enemy is preventing us from waging a wider war against all Islamic terrorist states.

    • Laurie

      Thanks for all your good work I certainly appreciate all that the US armed forces are doing to stem the tide of militant Islam around the globe.It is a pity that America could only come up with Obama as president.His appeasement of Muslims will get him nowhere.
      Unfortunately their hatred can only be dealt with by force they simply do not understand any other language due to their maniacal groundless hatred towards Israel and Jews and then America and her values.

  • Bert

    additional consideration for Gaza residence
    forget about hating the jews,
    forget about hating the christians,
    forget about hating all the hindus, zoroasterians, and… in name of kafirs
    the end result of this haterd reaches up to the muslim homes, and shown as…
    …honor killing…stoning…suppressing and subduing our own family members,
    think about it, use your brain
    can't you see a relation between all these different color hatreds???

  • Ted Hirsh

    Again Nonie, BRAVOO!

  • Dr Wacyf Ghali

    Dear Nonie – I admire you for your honesty, courage, and boldness in telling the truth of how it is as well as the hatreds we grew up with. I also grew up in an Egypt in which we were brainwashed to hate the Jews – even though in my case I am a Copt (meaning a Christian). Looking back it was almost like growing in a Nazi Germany where they taught school children to hate. Praise the good Lord that I have changed and love the Jews as my own. My wife Nadia and I love you for what you are doing. From Wacyf Ghali.

    • petrovern

      G-d bless you. And I pray that no more innocent muslim blood be spilled in the world at the hand of jihad extremists, nor jewish, nor christian, nor hindu, nor bhuddist blood..etc. As an Orthodox Observant Jew I say enough is enough. Salam, Shalom and Peace for all of us…

  • 9-11 Infidel

    Nonie Darwish is a such a sweet lady. She has the heart of a lion and is gentle as a lamb. She is so articulate and astute. We love you Nonie and wish you all the best.

  • Debanjan

    Nonie recently I read about a doctor in the Gaza whose innocent daughters were killed by Israeli troops during the Operation Cast Lead.

    Now this doctor throughout his life treated the Jews with care and love and what he got as a result ?

    Dead innocent children.

    And what words you have for him Nonie ?

    This man who from Gaza asked you to give him some comfort from his pain and what did you do as a result ?

    You just serve him your vitriolic hatred.

    I want to know who will you choose between A Rabbi Meir Kahane or someone like the Gazan doctor I have mentioned above .

    • Raymond in DC

      You write as if you believe Israel *deliberately* targeted the doctor's children. They did not. They were in a war zone, and in a war sometimes bad things happen to innocent people. For you, apparently, Israel – and only Israel – is expected to conduct a perfect, error free war. And if they fail that standard, it proves they are eeeeeeeeevil. To jump from this presumption to slam Nonie's heartfelt message as "hatred" toward the good doctor proves that it is you who are filled with that "vitriolic hatred".

    • 9-11 Infidel

      Wow. What an inane jerk you are. I guess by your non-standards of coduct in war, it is OK for Hamas and Hizbollah to deliberately target Israeli civilians huh? And yet even in the latest conflict Israel evacutated both Muslim and Jewish casualties and treated them both equally in hospital. Not so with the Muslims. They don't treat Israeli wounded, the kill them, torture them or hold them for ransom. In war civilian casualties will happen, no matter how careful the targeting by Israeli or US targeteers. A better solution would be for the Muslim Nazis to stop the jihad against Israel and become a civilized nation.

    • Ahmed

      I am a Muslim and people like you and with these type of replies are trying to hijack islam , it is the same culture of leading sheep to the slaughter

      • xman

        This is no hijacking of Islam. This is the Islam we have known for 1,400 years – the Islam that carries out genocide against unbelievers, and the only reason why Westerners largely escaped what Hindus suffered was because we drove the Jihad out of France, Spain and back from the walls of Vienna by sword, bow, musket and cannon, and thrashed the Jihadis at battles like Tours, Covadonga, Vienna and Zenta.

    • Dave

      You should blame those who kept firing rockets into Israel. Israel has a right of self defense from terrorists. If rockets are fired from an area, the Israelis should destroy that area. Attacks started decreasing when Iraqis stopped supporting people who placed bombs in their areas.
      The ols saying applies; If the Arabs lay down their weapons there will be peace, if the Jews lay down their weapons, there will be no Israel.

    • Democracy First

      Chances are this is a lie. But even if true, it's like asking the British how they feel about killing some doctor's children during WW2. The aggressors, i.e., the Nazis and Palestinians, bear responsibility for the deaths of their innocents when those upon whom they aggress defend themselves, i.e., British in WW2 and Israelis now.



    • 9-11 Infidel

      Shalom aleikhem. Shavuah Tov. NONIEISTHEBEST !!!

  • Ali

    The tiny island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the MALDIVES has been 100% muslims, peace loving moderate muslims. That country in fact voted in favor or Israel joining the UN. There used to be diplomatic ties between these two nations. Not any more! A new breed of hard core Wahhabi educated people from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have poisoned the mind of these peaceful people. Now most of them hate Jews and look forward to the day when Israel is nuked by Iran. This is how evil true Islam can be.

  • Camine

    Very well said, Ms. Darwish!

  • ana damori

    I am an israeli woman. I find this article very positively unusual. It is amazing that Islamic men cannot find this kind of courage to express views of that kind. I would truly like to learn more about your father. I wish u all the best. May we all witness a fundamental change in the Islamic world, a change that will enable peace and prosperity to all human kind.

  • joe

    On the 2nd paragraph ” We arabs suffered ————- Jew hatred for 1400 years.

    It will probably take another 1400 years to eradicate muslim teachings of hate, lies, deceit and yes slaughter…. How can an Obama be converted after 20 odd years of islamic ” culture “. Quite a ” piece of writing ” from a muslim woman. I guess that islamic men are incapable or unwilling to opn their heart s and minds.

    • suztours

      Joe – if the PA and the countries surrounding Israel do not stop teaching their children to hate through their school textbooks, in the mosques, by their parents and on the children's TV shows, the hatred will NEVER stop but be perpetuated throughout generations to come. THIS is their goal, and until and unless it stops, it will only continue and worsen, especially with American taxpayer money, approved by Obama, which pours into the PA regularly via US-AID and other such programs to print their textbooks and pay for their children's TV programs.

  • Democracy First

    Nonie's book is wonderful. Her discussions about her dad are touching and poignant. It's a shame that whoever wrote her this email will never read it.

  • Columbia Law School

    Ok – so I read this entire piece and probably have a million critiques of it, but here it is in short:

    First and foremost, I agree with the general sentiment that the author is trying to convey – i.e. that religion, and in this instance Islam, has often been used historically to elevate the self over the "other", in this case the Jewish people, usually to the detriment of peace and coexistence. The problem I have with her analysis is that it is devoid of meaningful context. That is to say, you can find examples of this "superiority complex" in every religion and ethnic group on earth at all times in history – this is by no means an Islamic phenomenon.

    The historical record – and religious texts – are indeed full of this kind of "I am better than thou" treatment of minorities and neighboring cultures. One only has to look to the Spanish inquisition, Nazi Germany, European colonization of the Americas, the enslavement of Africans by Westerns and fellow West Africans, etc to come to grips with the fact that this is a human, and not simply a Muslim, condition. That Muslims – and in particular Palestinians – today are at the vanguard of extremist rhetoric and violent behavior is more a consequence of their geopolitically-induced shame and utter lack of hope for a better future than anything else. Christian Palestinians as well as Muslim Palestinians have participated in some of the brutal violence that has enveloped the territories: nationalism remains very much ascendant here, despite the outward guise of religiosity.

    What saddens me about this piece is that I really do side with the author in terms of what she is trying to convey about how the Arab world in general – or at least the one that we often see portrayed in the media – ought to reform with regards to the treatment of others w opposing viewpoints. There is today a dearth of respect for life and individual freedoms in the Arab world, but it would seem that this has much more to do with the vagaries of oil politics and associated authoritarian rule than with a particular cultural or religious bent: the Arab-Islamic world was once awash in civilized debate and progress while Europe languished in chaos and autocracy. That being said, the misinformed and rather sweeping language that this author uses to condemn the whole for the action of a fringe but very vocal minority in the Arab world – if perhaps not in Gaza, a modern ghetto if there ever was one – only serves to delegitimize her otherwise peaceful and progressive message: that human beings ought to try and walk one day in the shoes of their "enemies" in order to truly live a life of meaning and purpose.

  • hebrewprophet

    The Hamas hierarchy waxes exceedingly wealthier by the month with it,s extensive tunnel rental system in Hamastan ,built and maintained with the sweat and blood of illiterate Muslim peasants who have no alternative means of employment thanks to Haniyeh,Mashal
    and other Hamas elite, so whatever goods are smuggled in though Egypt are put on the black market at seriously inflated Hamas prices which the locals have no option but to pay even after their $ 100 a day tunnel digging exertions ,nice racket for Hamas isnt,it?

  • hebrew prophet

    The main problem with Islam is all those sheep and only a few sheepdogs to keep them in line,how revealing when the Muslim butcher of Sudan Omar al Bashir and his maniacal Muslim Janjaweed militia can get away with the wholesale rape ,slaughter of infidels in Darfur yet the ICC or the UN cannot bring these Muslim perverts to justice in the Hague on charges of crimes against humanity,whilst the Muslim propaganda machine tries it,s utmost to cover up these crimes by lambasting Israel and the Jewish world ,the daily killing of Sunni and Shiite continues unabated in Muslim lands,how morally reprehensible and hypocritical of this religion of lies and violence?

  • laurie

    Dear Ms Darwish

    We need another 100 million like you and guess what – a thriving Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and peace to all in the ME.
    I can guarantee that such a Palestinian state would have the moral and financial support not only of Israel but from Jews across the globe.All we want is a tiny piece of land for the Jewish people, free from hatred, war, religious and racial bias in order to improve our lives, the lives of our children and neighbours.

    May the Almighty bless you for your courage and wisdom, always

  • laurie

    The definition of madness is that you keep on repeating the same action yet expect a different outcome.Breathing fire and hatred to wards Israel for the past 60 years has failed the Arabs as a strategy so perhaps it is time to try the opposite approach, that is if the Arab states truly want to pursue peace in the region. All that needs to be done is remove the threat of wiping Israel off the map, accepting that Israel has a right to exist, support peace and dialogue with her and then watch how quickly peace and prosperity to all in the region is achieved, including a viable Palestinian State.No longer is there a threat to the state, no longer do we need to worry about security or war -what else to worry about other than improving the lives of everyone in the region.

    Sadly the above will only be achieved when Arabs start loving their children more than they hate Jews.

    It was terribly sad when the late Golda Meir said that she could perhaps forgive the Arabs for killing Jewish children but she could never forgive them for making Israel kill Arab or Palestinian children.

    Lastly it has to be said that Jewish people do not wish to kill, we do not wish to hate, it has never been part of our culture-save for a few right wing fanatics- and to demonstrate this all one has to do is to examine the content of our education classes at schools as compared to the vitriolic indoctrinated hatred against Israel and Jews taught at schools
    in Arab or Muslim neighbouring territories.

    I as a Jew and a human being hate war and killing more than anything else on earth and certainly do not wish for my children to be involved in any such activity if I have any choice and yes I do believe the Palestinians should have a homeland but as long as I do not have a safe place for my children and family, sadly the Palestinians will not have one- not through choice but forced circumstances.

  • rachel cohen

    thank you nonoie…you give us hope.–rachel

  • Charles

    I have no doubt that a lot of what Nonoie has written is factual. I see a great deal of similarity between extreme Islam and extreme Christianity. The Inquisition and the genocide in South America and elsewhere were not acts of love.
    I recall being taught that Jews were eviil-they crucified Jesus. I was also taught how lucky I was to be born a Catholic and that the best thing I could do was to become a martry to my faith. I was also taught to reject the joys of this life and look to rewards in heaven.
    Is the Jewish religion any different? The old testament is full of fire, brimstone, revenge, punishment. As I understand it all religions of Abraham are waiting for the second/or first coming.
    There is no doubt there are extreme Jews and the Chrstian right who use religion as a weapon for power just as there are extreme Islamists.
    I think Christian religion has evolved to a state where most of us are prepared to accept that our religious leaders have lied and abused us. Hopefully Islam will evolve too and the honesty and bravery of people like Nonoie will help to speed up that reform.

    • LetItBe

      I have to say this…yes, there has been a lot of lying and killing in the name of God. But your sentiments, and those of others similar to you, are a bit one-sided and offensive. Call it the True Scotsman Fallacy (look it up on Wikipedia), but any "true" Christian would end a conflict with peace if at all possible. This is what the New Testament – what Jesus – teaches, in a nutshell. Golden Rule, To Forgive Divine, Love Thy Neighbor, and all that.

      Any moron can pervert the meaning of a holy book or symbol. The Pentagram was a protective symbol before it was turned upside down and made Satan's symbol. And the Swastika was a peaceful symbol of, I think Buddhism? Before Hitler twisted its meaning, of course. But it takes true heart and mind to keep to a peaceful religion as it is meant to be.

      Unfortunately, we can see the results of a war religion as it is meant to be. This worries and saddens me. As far as I am concerned, if evolution is true, how would we have gotten out of caves without belief in something greater than ourselves? But if this way out is to bloodshed, bad things happen.

      Rambling now, so I'll shut up…

  • Itamar

    Sharing your idias…I never learned to hate Arabs …we all flowers in the garden of god.
    Wish for the day the arabs will not learm and will not hate me.
    Worship you Nonoie for your coarage and be blessed.

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  • http://www.mercurytaxisoftware.co.uk Taxi Software

    Very well said Ms. Darwish, thanks for sharing your thoughts and beliefs. I love reading article like yours, it's very inspiring and informative.

  • avieder

    Nonie shalom.
    You are like Rivka, Rachel, Leah and Ruth who came from "negative" families yet are the maternal foundations of our nation because they saw and recognised the TRUTH.
    From what I have learned I think you are wrong about the history of the conflict between Islam and Judaism.
    Our two religions are parallel, not intercepting.
    In fact the basics are similar: Diatry laws, sanctity of women and mariage, sanctity of time and, of course, our direct belief in The L-d and His laws as given by our Prophets.
    In the English translation of the Kor'An I believe that even your prophet said that if you want to understand the Koran, ask the Jews….
    The Jews that lived in Arab lands throughout our Diaspora were treated much better than in Christian lands.
    True that all foriegners in Arab countries are Dihmies not just the Jews. Which is even justified as saying: "If you want to live in our country accept the fact that you are not equal just because of the fact that it is our country"

  • avieder

    contnued 1:
    As to the current conflict in Eretz Yisrael it is all the making of the British Mandate.
    When the Zionists began to immigrate to Palestine from Europe in the last quarter of the 19th Century they were met well by the few Arabs who lived here (about 300,000). True there were robbers and "terrorists" but they attaced everybody who seemed defensless. The Jewish and Arab populations unter the Otoman Empire coexisted in relative peace.
    Only after the Brits came did violence erupt between Arabs and Jews (Hebron 1929!)

    The Brits acted here like in their other colonies (of that time) which was "divide and rule". It was much more preferable to them that Jews and Arabs fight each other rather than join forces to expell the "new crusaders" from The Holy Land.

  • avieder

    Even now the same Crusaders are feeding and financing the Terrorists that, as you so rightly pointed out, are terrorising their own people more than us.

    The fact that the British Mandate allowed some 1.5 Million Arabs to immigrate to palestine and only half a million Jews (despite the Balfour Declaration) is the root cause of the so called "Palestinian refugee problem". The Arabs that fled/ were encouraged to leave / were expelled from Palestine in 1948 were put in Crusaders' financed UN camps. like the Dogs in Animal Farm, to become suicide fighters against the Jews.

  • jeff ridells

    Well said Nonie! I love reading your articles!

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    Nonie's book is deeply moving. Her chats with her father are very moving and insightful…it's just a pity that whoever wrote her this will (probably) never read it….

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  • mragank

    Pretty interesting stuff to read. Nonie keep up the good work. I am a hindu from India. We speak more than 50 langusges and are from differn racial stocks– aryans, dravidians, mongoloids etc. We are taught peace and respect for humanity and diversity. It is no surprise than that we are the biggest democracy in the world despite of widespread poverty and one of the few countries in the world who have not attacked any country in more than 6000 years of its existance. Infact we achieved what europe is trying to achieve through european union thousands of years ago. Islam arrived in India in 10000 AD. More than 80 million Hindus were butcherd and unaccountable women raped. There wer forced conversions for centuries, which still continues in small muslim dominated pockets of India. We paid a price for our freedom from the british, wherein muslims demanded separate country for themselves as they believed that they cannot live with hindus (I don't know the logic. It should have been us saying it. But we wanted a single united India). They got Pakistan (Bangladesh was a part of it till 1971).

  • mragank

    Then they demanded Kashmir and occupied it partially. From 1990, after the withdrawl of the Russians from Afghanistan, the terrorists used the leftover weapons to kill hindus (kashmiri pandits) in Kashmir. They killed more than 20000 and forced all others to leave. Now they call for pelbisite to decide the fate of Kashmir and the UN and many countries and human rights organizations suppport it. More than 70 hindus were killed in Godhra (Gujrat– a state in India), burned alive in a train by a crowd of around 500 muslims, indoctrined by redical mullahs. There were post-godhra riots and around equal number of casualities were inflicted on each side. But the media, human rights organizations and even US showcases it as a genocide of minorities (muslims). Do only islamic terrorists and muslims enjoy human rights and not people like us.

  • mragank

    Even politicians favour radical muslims as they vote as a block (as told by their leader) and hence make a potential vote bank for any leader to stay in power, making a mockry of individual right to judge and vote as enshrined by democracy. Many of my muslin friends while being critical of post-godhra riots are not ready to condem and ponder over the causes of the fact that what lead to the burning of the train in godhra at the first place. A wrong question in the university paper regarding Prophet Md. led 2 muslim youths to chop off the palm of their christian teacher in Kerala (a state in India). Many Indians in general and Jews in particular were targeted during the mumbai attacks. Our social fabric is being torn apart by fundamentalist islam. Masses of youth are being waylead by the radical islamist preachers who come to India from various countries such as saudi arabia etc. These radicals are not only forcing the young muslims trade the path to hell by making them prisoners of their own mind but are also radicalizing other religions.

  • mragank

    We do not want to trade the path of destruction as many muslims are willing to, even with pride, disillusioned by a non-existent heaven (jannat), while they make a hell out of this beautiful earth. I understand that we all are one humanity. We Hindus even believe that animals and even trees are living beings and should not be hurt. I am a vegetarian, just like many Hindus. But their is a limit to our patience and its on the brink. We need people like you to save not only muslims but also followers of other religions to save themselves from self destruction.

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  • Kelly-Laila Al-Saleh

    Hi, Salaam Noni,
    I've not read your book so can't presume to comment on it. This is the first time I've come here so my comment is based on this post only.
    I tend to agree with Charles. Aren't all the 3 religions full of things that are questionable or offensive? I was brought up as a Muslim (my dad is Palestinian and my mum is Northern Irish) and I did try to rebel and convert to Christianity in my teens because I was attracted to Jesus's message of peace, forgiveness and compassion. I didn't pursue it because it felt wrong to eat pork and I couldn't believe in the trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) since it seems to contradict the centre of our faith in one true God (He does not beget, nor was He begotten, Koran). My approach to my religion (Islam) is moderate and reasoned. The holy books were revealed verbally and only written down many years after the Prophet's death. I leave room for reasonable doubt on that one. Also, it's a matter of interpretation. I don't take it all literally. I follow the eternal truths that you can find in all religions and cultures and reject the things that have no place in our society today as belonging to history (and should stay there). There are extremists in all religions and they do ALL tend to be bigoted, sexist, homophobic and racist. The Jewish extremists call for an Arab genocide (Kill all Arabs, their favourite chants).

    Also, in Islam, Jews (and Christians) are fellow believers (the people of the book). That is the eternal truth not the wars that were fought back then. As regards Arabs, we are related to the Jews according to both our books and history. We have more in common than either would care to admit. I live in East London with a sizable Jewish community and get along fine with them. I buy both halal and kosher food. Hebrew and Arabic are very similar languages.

    I grew up in Kuwait and the Gulf and although we were among Arabs, we knew we were not the same, we have our own culture and food. My dad comes from Tulkarim, Nablus so our origins are peasant farmer not bedouin. Palestinians are now the 'Jews of the Middle East'. We have our own close-nit community, longing to return to our land and are amongst the most educated Arabs in the Middle East but without an official national identity we are vulnerable. I also feel the loss of Jewish communities in Arab countries is wrong. Those communities contributed to their host countries and variety and culture is a good thing.

    Like you, I hope peace and understanding reigns over these lands but I don't believe we have to give up our right to exist, erase our history and culture. We are not just Arabs, we're Palestinians and just like the Jews we intend to stay and exist. I agree with your friendship with the Jews but I can't and won't embrace Zionism since it is a racist, exclusive, colonial and extremist policy. While it was hard for both of us to see our country split into 2, I know that's the only option now.

    We have to live in peace (and retain our national identity) or the outcome will be genocide of either side or, most likely, both.

    Also, you talk against Islam, Palestinian society is much more varied than that! We have Christians (of all factions) and Jews (the Samaritans). I read something recently about genome tests Israeli scientists carried out in the West Bank. They found that many Palestinians (especially in the north) carried the Cohen gene. That really would be God's great joke at human stupidity!

    When I first visited my family in the West Bank (Beit Hanina), I was surprised how many Palestinians and Israelis were friends. My cousin had a perfume shop in West Jerusalem and all his customers and best friends were Israeli. His sister hung out with Christian families. My grandmother used to throw her hands in the air and clap as she said 'I have a Jewish grandson and Christian grand-daughter! What more do I want?'

    There's plenty more I could say but I'd better go and get on with my own life now. I've got a job interview and my 2 cats Tippi and Esther need feeding.

    Ciao for now

  • Eli

    Nonie is an angry woman and needs to blame someone for her father's death. She was not brought up in a religious house hold because we all knew her dad, who was a nationalist .She then fell in love with a Coptic Christian man and converted, then decided to make millions out of her ignorance's life style, he was a nationalist.

    She is a hypocrite to speak about Islam teaching Hate, because her new faith teaches how to smash babies heads against rocks, rip pregnant women open , and teaches the art of Genocide as Moses orders the total massacre of every living thing that breaths.Also racial superiority.

    She like the other liar Shobat is out to make millions out of brain dead people who feed on hate.Who needs Nonie when we have Mike Peled and many educated Israelis from loving families who served in the IDF and Mossad ? They refute her silly claims.

  • Elana

    I found your page by "accident" and after reading your letter to Gaza was touched and moved by your words and the comments following. I am an Israeli living close to the Lebanese border with Hezbollah as our neighbor and now with Syria burning, Egypt in a spiral and the Arab world out of control, it is hard to believe that humans are willing to make peace. Your words are a breath of hope and I thank you. May HaShem, Allah, Jesus forgive us for our hate and sins one brother against his brother. Shalom, Salaam, Peace