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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Political Apartheid

Some weeks ago I sent to a limited number of people a statement that was issued by a doctor. It is reproduced below. I received a response (copied below in red font) that questioned the veracity of the report based solely on the political bias of the protagonist.  What this reveals however is the way that truth has been debased. We have allowed it to be sacrificed to convenience, fear, ignorance and politics.  Political prejudice does not have to lead to McCarthyism but when truth hides behind the easy morality of fascism then one naturally follows on from the other. The series of events referred to below did occur. To read the views of its narrator does not legitimize its authors’ world view but equally it is hubris to dismiss a single narrative for the whole.

It is frightening. I have tried to consider alternative interpretations, to put my self in my opponents’ shoes. But ultimately, an inability to accept that a religious and therefore a cultural narrative informs and thus feeds human conflict is a peculiarity of the Left and its liberal allies. Islam claims to be a faith that is incapable of separation from the political state. It in fact informs all parts of society; left and right, religious and secular.

The debate in Israel extends across the political divide. To dismiss any one part of the national dialogue is to invite violence but it is also an act of intellectual arrogance and political apartheid.

“From: Dr. Arieh Eldad:

I was instrumental in establishing the Israeli National Skin Bank, which is the largest in the world. The National Skin Bank stores skin for every day needs as well as for war time or mass casualty situations. This skin bank is hosted at the Hadassah Ein Kerem University hospital in Jerusalem where I was the Chairman of plastic surgery. This is how I was asked to supply skin for an Arab woman from Gaza, who was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, after her family burned her.  Usually, such atrocities happen among Arab families when the women are suspected of having an affair. We supplied all the needed Homograft’s for her treatment. She was successfully treated by my friend and colleague, Prof. Lior Rosenberg and discharged to return to Gaza. She was invited for regular follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic in Beersheva. One day she was caught at a border crossing wearing a suicide belt. She meant to explode herself in the outpatient clinic of the hospital where they saved her life. It seems that her family promised her that if she did that, they would forgive her. This is only one example of the war between Jews and Muslims in the Land of Israel. It is not a territorial conflict. This is a civilization-al conflict, or rather a war between civilization & barbarism. I have never written before. I am asking you to please forward onwards, so that as many as possible can understand radical Islam and what awaits the world if it is not stopped.”

Dr Arieh Eldad

And the response of my acquaintance:

“Dr Eldad I can see from his CV is extremely right wing supporter of greater expansion in the Territories. I would be little concerned on the exact veracity therefore of the comments he makes ref the hospital in Beersheva.”

My response follows:

With respect my friend - what you are saying would be libellous if it was publicly expressed. You are of course correct that Dr Eldad is right wing but that neither makes him a fascist nor does it make him a liar. We know that this particular series of incidents did occur.  The only complaint I have observed in the global press referring to Dr Eldad's 'disclosure,' is that as a doctor he had no right to dismiss patient confidentiality as he did.

Some years ago a suicide/homicide bomber walked into a Pizza Hut in central Jerusalem - he saw young women with children, babies in prams and in high chairs and a heavily pregnant woman; and he smiled and then blew him-self up along with the diners. War is war.  The political Left always stated that there are no civilians in war. I suggest you think about that the next time you look around you at people you interact with on a daily basis.

And then perhaps you should spare a thought for the thousands of nuts and bolts flying at lethal speed in every direction along with bits of skin, bone and blood and the effect on human organs of percussive injuries inflicted on the victims by bombers at peace with their theology. There is a reason that we have rules of war even though some sections of society actively support the belief that rules need not be applied to Israelis (and that there are no Israeli, or Jewish civilians).  That is the reality of our conflict.

The ethics of Human conflict should not be defined by race, religion, ethnicity, colour or creed.  No points on a compass define political legitimacy or ethical prostitution.  Jewish ethics are clear that the ends never justify the means. Statehood makes it difficult to apply this in practice.  But it does not mean that we must either sacrifice ourselves for others or ignore the theological prejudice that makes us their victims. 

When a woman in Gaza boasts that she has many sons and would joyfully sacrifice all of them to the Islamic cause, maybe that is propaganda, but it is also truth.  It is a reality that we and not just Jews, but all non-Muslims have to confront.  I have read the Koran, and its 109 exhortations to warfare are not time specific.

As a people with a group identity we stopped carrying out human sacrifice 3,000 years ago. In terms of the ethical history of human civilization that represents an incredible insight. In my native Australia our Rabbi used to lecture at Catholic parochial schools.  The parochial school system was the main educational vehicle for people of Catholic faith in Australia.  The Rabbi always asked the same question and always received the same answer from those students.  He would ask, “Who thinks that Jews still carry out human sacrifice”? Most if not all the children would raise their hands.  The reason was simple. The Roman Catholic Church only taught the Hebrew Bible up to the first exile, to Babylon, in 700 BCE.  Now apply that lesson to Islam.  40% of the world's Muslims describe themselves as fundamentalists and Islamic faith is predicated on the belief that the Koran is the final perfected word of God and therefore timeless and unalterable. It is easy enough from there to externalize the ridicule that the Koran fosters and turn it into hatred.   Intellect and emotion often cohabit within the same corrupted space even though intellect is communal and emotion private.  When sanctioned by holy writ, murder, easily becomes a virtue.

That means that global domination develops into an ideal instead of a conspiracy and genocide an incidental path to perfecting the model.

Dr. Eldad is renowned worldwide for his treatment of burns.  He is also an expansionist.  He remains a minority shareholder in the Israeli national enterprise.  His political beliefs however do not invalidate his story.  

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