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Jews

It is important to discuss the different flavours of Jews separately- they are a diverse people with a corresponding set of views.

I suppose that the best analysis is to look at Jews as being those of the Jewish religion, and to consider the Israelis as those Jews who choose to live in Israel.

I must compliment the Jews on their extraordinary ability to motivate world opinion and make a fuss about the issues they care about.

One that really stands out for me is the contrast between the response to the Swastika (Hitler’s symbol) where there is a real outcry due to the murder of 6 million Jews in the German areas. In contrast, Stalin is said to have killed 20 million people but no-one tries to fight the display of the hammer-and-sickle. The Chinese government is also said to have killed 30 million of their own people, but again, no-one makes much of a fuss about it.

Muslims

Islam is not just a religion- it incorporates the whole structure of society, such as the requirement for the religious and political hierarchies to be unified and the basic legal framework of the society.

I must admit to struggling with the devastation that can be caused by a few suicide bombers.

The philosophy in some militant flavours of Islam that dying for the faith will get you straight into heaven means that young men can be encouraged to be suicide bombers. Suicide bombers are not compatible with Western Society because one bomber can kill 20 people and destroy infrastructure very easily.

It looks to some Westerners that some (extremist) Muslims want to create a war with the West. I hope it won’t succeed as the West is so very vulnerable to terrorism due to industrial specialisation that we can be easily crippled. It might be that some countries in the West decide that a policy of ethnic cleansing (at least sending Muslims back to Muslim countries) is preferable to yet more suicide attacks, though things would need to get quite bad for this to happen.

Religions

I think that there are two aspects to religion- there is a seeking after God, an inner spiritual journey, and then there is the more sinister use of religion as a cover for evil. Hitler, for example, claimed that he invaded Russia to save the Russians from Communism... but not everyone is convinced that this was God’s desire!!

Terrorism

What is terrorism?

There are several definitions (but see www.terrorism.com for more discussion):

  • It’s where the enemy uses underhand tricks to hurt and kill your people, or
  • It’s the only way to fight when the enemy has all the soldiers and weapons and you are still being oppressed.

If you look at the situation in Palestine and Israel, the Palestinians feel oppressed by the Israelis (e.g. limits on their right to dig wells or to be a nation). The Palestinians could easily be destroyed by the Israelis and any army they fielded would soon be destroyed, so their only way to protest is to use suicide bombers and rockets.

Is terrorism right? That unfortunately depends on your perspective. If you have 50% unemployment, limited food, limited water, your land is being stolen and you aren’t free to move in your own country then you just might get cross enough to commit a terrorist act.

My understanding of the situation in Northern Ireland is that most people want peace but that it only takes a small number of people to ensure that the violence doesn’t stop. I suspect that this principle applies to most situations where there is terrorism.

To quote Clare Short “Without Justice, there will be No Peace”.

What are YOU going to do to work for justice?