Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Response to the Video Entitled, "Born to Hate Jews"

After noticing a rather inflammatory video in my facebook feed, I decided to construct a response.
Throughout his monologue, Kasim Hafeez makes many statements that are either naive, ignorant, or just plain inaccurate. It is also perplexing that such material would be so casually thrown around in the social media realm after the recent wave of attacks against American Muslims.
Hafeez mentions his seemingly utopian visit to Israel, where he “didn’t see apartheid.” This could be because he didn’t bother traveling to the West Bank, where he would have witnessed segregated roads, segregated buses, Arab-only military checkpoints, discriminatory distribution of water and other resources, forced evictions, and demolition of Palestinian homes. Here is a very brief introduction to Israeli apartheid:

Here is a more detailed explanation. Here is another.
After reviewing the reports provided above, it becomes clear that apartheid exists in the West Bank, but even within Israel itself, not all citizens are equal.
Contrary to Hafeez’s statement, Israel did create the refugee crisis, according to the first-hand account of a former Israeli prime minister:

There are myriad additional sources documenting the Nakba. Denying this tragic event is a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people who were either massacred or displaced indefinitely.  In short, this is a different perspective on the Israel/ Palestine conflict: 

Regarding the source of the original video
Just like “Trump University”, “Prager University” is not an actual university. It is a Zionist propaganda operation founded by Dennis Prager, a conservative pundit who has used an oversimplified worldview based on centuries-old Eurocentric and white supremacist notions to paint an entire group of people as savages. Even the Anti-Defamation League, which usually has a pro-Israel bias, has sharply condemned Prager for his outlandish bigotry.
Aside from the pro-Israel sentiments, another major theme of the video seems to be anti-Semitism, which has been a horrific scourge on human civilization for many centuries. One of the most prominent anti-Semites in history, Martin Luther, who greatly inspired the ideology of the Third Reich, advocated burning Jewish synagogues and schools, destroying Jewish homes, driving Jews out of their cities, and seemed to advocate murder when he said, “We are at fault in not slaying them.” He used words like “whore”, “devil”, and “swine” to describe members of the Jewish community in Germany circa 1546. Luther justified his views with the simple retort, “If they could kill us all, they would gladly do it.”
Dennis Prager made a strikingly similar statement when he said in 1985 that most Arabs would destroy Israel if given the opportunity (and has made many similar statements over the years).
Luther and Prager, separated by many centuries, employed hateful rhetoric to demonized an entire population of people. Although their respective targets were different, both were instances of religious extremists promoting tribalism and fear. It is also true that various Wahhabi clerics and fanatics of all stripes are guilty of the same. Anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bigotry are plagues in our society and around the world, and are cut from the same xenophobic cloth. When pressed to “choose sides”, it seems we can choose the side of human dignity by refusing to paint groups with a broad brush, and by choosing love and openness over hate and fear.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Journal Entry 7/25/15

My life is like a strange acid trip, filled with the prospects of romance and missed opportunities and dogs scratching themselves vigorously.  I am constantly reminded of poetry, nostalgic worlds of my past - mainly lovers and idealized adventures.  A freedom that always existed, yet may have been a bittersweet illusion.  The music that filled the air, and continues to.  The general euphoria and subsequent hangover of a life that is always within reach.  My journey is an endless bus ride, warped and beautiful faces existing simultaneously, a trip with stops but no destination.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Novel Excerpt #2 (from part III)

My dearest Alexander, my only grandchild who hasn't been corrupted by modern liberalism, or by elitist academic pursuit, or by political correctness, or by cultural relativism - my only remaining relative with a shred of hope and a chance for true success.  You are now becoming a man, shedding the chrysalis of childhood, of ignorance.  I hope this letter will inspire you to reconsider the world you find yourself in, and to make profitable decisions in the near future.  I intend to tell you the truth, as best I can, about what matters, and about the world as I have come to know it, and about the wisdom I have gained through my experiences.  You, Alexander, hold the key to your own salvation.  I aim to make this key more visible, more accessible.  Freedom and power are just at your eager finger tips, just within your reach.  I was once a boy, like you, as strange as that may seem, but I have very few remaining memories from that era.  In hindsight I have realized it was of little importance.  I was a young and naive idealist, yet I espoused fate rather than free will.  But the world is indifferent toward the destiny of mortals such as you and I.  It is through a divine source, which enshrines the judgement and guidance we so desperately crave, that we may harness our gift of free will, and utilize it to our ultimate advantage.  You see, my beloved Alexander, I have lived a long and purposeful life, but this saga could have been shrewdly derailed at any moment, especially during my late adolescent years, the crucial period you are now faced with. 

Novel Excerpt #1 (from part III)

While vacationing in Vienna, just prior to the First World War, I was in close contact with an up-and-coming spy by the name of Mr. Allen Dulles.  The young man had a promising future, and I intended to steer him in the right direction.  Presenting myself as a wise and admirable mentor, I took this feeble lad - this warm body with gestating potential - under my wing, later utilizing him as a loyal pawn at the Office of Strategic Services.  There was a certain unforgettable day, during the early stages of Project Paperclip, after I had arranged a meeting between a then middle-aged Dulles and former SS general Karl Wolff.  These stalwart gentlemen were in high spirits when they finally joined forces to discuss a cessation of hostilities in Italy.  Enthusiastically, I served the two of them countless portions of fine Scotch whiskey, allowing them to laugh heartily, kick up their feet, and bond like brothers in front of a fierce, glowing fireplace.  I recall retreating to the shadows for what seemed like hours, lurking there in a dark, forgotten corner of the room, observing the interaction from afar.  Suddenly, the men smiled maniacally and conducted a proud and brazen handshake, bellowing in agreement while maintaining a piercing eye contact.  A wave of euphoria swept over me - I made this happen! I thought.  And at that moment I realized the crisp American uniform adorning my naive protege became obsolete, losing all previously perceived significance.  I leaned in closer, towering over Dulles while gazing into those hypnotic flames, imagining myself perched on his shoulder, plunging my talons into him before devouring his flesh.  The power I wielded over him was like that of a predator over his prey.