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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Detroit Muslims freak out over editorial

The Detroit News, last Sunday, printed an editorial that is a little simple-minded but largely accurate:

Nolan Finley

Palestinians failed democracy, not the other way around

Democracy didn't fail when the Palestinians used their first truly free vote to install terrorist leaders. The Palestinians failed. Again.

Those who see the Hamas victory as evidence that democracy is not the answer for all people in all places ignore the unique nature of the Palestinians. They lack a key ingredient for sustaining freedom - self-interest.

The Palestinians' lust for Jewish blood is stronger than their desire to lead peaceful, secure lives, to rule an independent state, to lift themselves out of their misery.

That, given the opportunity, they would give their votes to terrorists should not be a shock. This is the same people who deified Yasser Arafat, the father of modern-day terrorism.

Terror defines Palestinians

Under Arafat, terrorism became an inseparable part of the Palestinian identity. He perfected the use of terror as a means of gaining a political wedge, proving that those willing to shed blood without relenting, without remorse and without regard to external pressure will be rewarded with a seat at the table.

Their suicide bombers should have made the Palestinians international pariahs. Instead, apologists depicted the violence as the natural response of a persecuted people. The excuses invited more terror, from more sources and in more places.

Even the Bush administration pretended that the Palestinians were the victims of terrorists within their midst, but beyond their control. The Hamas victory makes it impossible to sustain that pretense.

The Palestinians knew what Hamas was when they gave it their votes. They chose terror over peace, just as they did five years ago when they answered Arafat's call to unleash a brutal wave of terror to cover his impotence at the bargaining table.

The defenders of terror are now spinning a new scenario, one that has Hamas morphing into a political organization and renouncing violence.

Hamas is unrepentant

But note that Hamas is not saying that. Its leaders remain committed to wiping the Jewish blot from the Middle East.

Even if Hamas mouthed the right words, who could believe that it has suddenly turned away from decades of violence?

Terrorism is the history of the Palestinian people, and it will be their future if they are allowed to again slip past the supposed zero-tolerance policy on terror.

Hamas is no different from al-Qaida. Both are terrorist groups, and both target innocent victims.

It was considered in the interest of world stability to smash the al-Qaida-backed Taliban government in Afghanistan. Why isn't it similarly desirable to smash the Hamas government in the Palestinian territories?

Hamas doesn't want to lead, it wants to kill, and has done so in more than 200 terrorist attacks against Israel during the past five years, including dozens of suicide bombings.

Pretending Hamas can be something other than it is will only lead to more killing.

The large Arab community in Detroit is up in arms. One article that got printed in the Detroit News espouses absolute, provable lies, defending the indefensible in praising Hamas:
Hamas is not part of an effort to take someone else's land away. Its struggle is defensive, not offensive.

Neither does Hamas want to create a state wherein one religion reigns supreme. In Israel, Jews have automatic citizenship and other rights not afforded to people of other faiths. The double standard applied to Hamas -- and Arabs and Muslims -- is fueling support for more extremist groups.
Looks like the author hasn't read the Hamas charter. But, hey, lying isn't a problem when you are defending the blameless Palestinian people. And the parts where they want to kill all Jews is just an inconvenient detail, not to be mentioned in a major American newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Arab American News is calling for the editorialist to be fired. Where they can't parse simple explicit language in the Hamas charter, they somehow see vicious racism in a pretty accurate article:
The venom that poured forth from Finley's pen was like the pre-Holocaust venom directed by Hitler against Jews.

We are shocked that an editor would write such a racist diatribe. We are more shocked that a publication like the Detroit News would print it.

While Finley's bias against Arabs is very well known, he has generally hidden it under the cover of his very pro-Israeli views.

This time there was no such veil. Finley openly, directly, shamelessly consigned an entire group of people to hell: "Terror defines Palestinians," he wrote, and "The Palestinians' lust for Jewish blood is stronger than their desire to lead peaceful, secure lives, to rule an independent state, to lift themselves out of their misery."

Unfortunately, the new publisher of the News, Dave Butler, upheld Finley's right to say what he did. In several email discussions with several community members, Butler insisted this was an issue of free speech and that a debate over the column would educate and inform.

How do you debate, Mr. Butler, whether Palestinians are human beings or not?

Neither Butler nor Finley would suggest such a debate about any other group of people.

Apparently the new ownership of the Detroit News doesn't know what responsible journalism is.

There are no words strong enough to adequately condemn these statements. Nolan Finley should be fired. Now.

Notice that not once were any of Finley's statements shown to be inaccurate, or his logic shown to be faulty.

An almost comical example of fake pathos comes via another article in Arab American News. The author describes the scene as he read the editorial to his proud Palestinian children (who were born in the United States):
I read them the piece to show them that even in America; hate is alive and well, as long as it is “couched” in a newspaper “Editorial” and excused as a mere expression of free speech. Of course, there are limits placed on free speech, but those limits do not apply as long as those on the receiving end are Palestinians.

After I read them Mr. Finley’s column, my youngest son, who is 13 years old, looked up at me with a painful expression on his face, and asked me “Why do they hate us”?

I pondered his question for awhile, trying to answer him, but I was at a loss for words. Why do they hate us was the same question that many Americans, elected officials, and pundits were asking after the horrible attacks of 9-11. One not very enlightened answer was that they hate us because of our “freedom.”

The answer that I finally gave my son was that we, the Palestinian people, are hated by our enemies because of our legitimate and moral struggle for freedom. They hate us because we are tenacious in our struggle for justice, a word that is bandied about, but few understand in relation to what the Palestinian people have had to and are continuing to endure. They hate us because when most people would have given up and disappeared silently into the night, we remain, standing erect, firm in our conviction that we deserve to live in freedom and dignity, and we will not be denied.

In a way, I guess I am thankful for Mr. Finley finally showing the world his fangs and for the Detroit News for helping expose his hatred to the world at large. His words have reenergized me and many others to work harder than ever to combat bigotry whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. I also want to thank him for helping me show and explain to my children that Mr. Finley lives on the fringes of American society, even though his bosses at the Detroit News are trying to make him and his hatred part of America’s mainstream.

Next time I am sitting with my children sipping a cup of Arabic coffee under one of my family’s ancient olive trees, overlooking the landscape of the village of my birth - ringed by Jewish-only colonies that were built on stolen lands - I will once again tell my children about Mr. Finley’s remarks.

Maybe when Mr. Finley finally retires from spewing forth his poisonous venom in the pages of the Detroit News, he will be allowed to immigrate to Israel and make his home alongside his fanatic brethren in the extremist, Jewish-only colonies that are built on stolen Palestinian lands. He would make a great spokesman for them; after all, he has been practicing for many years.
Here's a great spokesman against hate, don't you think?

So, in summation, the Arabs reacted to an editorial by attacking the author, by trying to get him fired, by calling him bigoted without a shred of evidence, and by defending terrorists. And not a single acknowledgement that, hey, maybe the policies of the people they are so strenuously defending, that their people voted for in great numbers, may have something to do with why people aren't exactly supporters of a Palestinian terror state.

The author with the 13-year old wrote in other articles that he cried when the mass-murdering uber-terrorist, Yasir Arafat, died. But somehow he cannot tell his son honestly that Americans don't support terrorists because people like him name streets and public squares after people who murder Jewish children, that his people celebrated the deaths of thousands of Americans, and that his people overwhelmingly supported Saddam Hussein and now support Iran's Ahmadinejad in his quest for a second Holocaust.

Nah, it's easier to pretend that he is interested in high-sounding concepts like freedom and justice (but apparently not freedom of speech for people who hate terror.) The truth sometimes hurts too much.