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The Wall Street Journal recently published an article, Jewish Donors Warn Obama on Israel, by Laura Meckler.  An interesting article on a burning issue sparked more than 1,100 comments.

Here is the exchange I had with one of the readers. The spelling, grammar, and wording is the same as it appeared on the Wall Street Journal website:

Danuta:

Please, consider reading a book that will help you to understand the other. http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Other-Danuta-Hinc/dp/1617390194/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306113945&sr=8-1
I would love to hear your opinion on the matter.

Bryan:

“understand the other” Please Danuta, are you pushing a book on how to understand and express sympathy with terrorist? Stay in your glass house at the university, I have more important books to read. “Native Americans” The Jews didn’t kick anyone out. There are many Arabs living in Israel that enjoy far more freedoms and economic opportunities than all of the Copts in Egypt and or most Muslims. Also could you explain to me where we kick the native Americans too? I know native Americans who are living very comfortable in the United States! Hmmm!

Danuta:

I am sure you only pretend that there is no difference between “understanding” and “sympathy.” You seem too bright for a comment like this. Jews were kicked out of Europe in ’48. Shame on Europe! Palestinians were kicked out of Palestine. Shame on all of those who were involved in this! And the history goes on … I am sure you know it. I am pushing my book to start a different dialog. I am very aware of the fact I am beating my head against a brick wall. Someone has to start. Maybe I live in a glass house … but I have seen it before — things can be changed. BTW — I am from Gdansk, from the Solidarity movement. I assume you know what it means. I hope Obama is serious about his position, and yes, I know, on the rational level, that he has no chance of succeeding. BTW — have you seen Syriana? It provides a very simple a true explanation.

Bryan:

Danuta, you forgot about the millions of Germans relocated out of Eastern Europe after WWI and WWII. You forgot to mention the Serbs being systematically removed from Kosovo, you forgot to mention the Coypt being persecuted right now in Egypt and most importantly Danuta, you fail to mention all Jews REMOVED from Muslim countries. You proclaim to wanting a “different dialog” Can’t we just all get along mantra! But you can’t recognize that Muslims teach their kids to hate, they go to school learning to hate not only Jews but all non-Muslims. Until you move to Egypt or other Muslim country and protest discriminatory policies towards minorities I will only consider you and others who romanticize about Arabs living in the West Bank as useful idiot “academic” who want to push a book. Furthermore, to suggest that solidarity work in Poland, therefore it will work in the Middle East is foolish.

Danuta:

YES, YES, YES!!! You are 100% right! This is precisely the reason why we need a “different dialog.” I am proposing a shift in the paradigm of our human engagement. When you look at our history (by “our” I mean the world), what do you see? I see the same “lesson” over and over and over again. What is the fundamental difference between the way we fight/kill each other today from the way we did it 500 years ago? Only one — today we are more sophisticated … but the end result is still the same — the stronger wins.

Yes, I have learned about SOME Muslims teaching their kids to hate. I have spent years doing research for my “To Kill the Other.” I have interviewed people from Israel, from Palestine, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. There are good people everywhere and I know that you know it, too. When you use the term “Muslims” you are also talking about my friends who are against the very practices you are describing. When you say, “Jews” you are also talking about the people who are against the occupation of Palestine. The terms are too broad and that’s why they mean nothing. The only way to really understand “the other” is to go much deeper. I am sorry I can’t go into details here — not enough space.

No, you don’t have to move anywhere to learn and to TRY to understand. It doesn’t take too much imagination. The question remains: HOW can this be changed?

I never suggested that: “Furthermore, to suggest that solidarity work in Poland, therefore it will work in the Middle East is foolish.” What I did suggest is that something that seems impossible for many years can eventually become a new reality.

In my opinion:
1) Jews in Israel have the fullest right to be where they are. They have the right to live in peace. They should not live in fear of, for example, suicide bombers.
2) Palestinians have the fullest right to live in Palestine. They have the right to live in peace in their own country (no occupation).
3) We have seen many failures of bringing peace to this region. Which means we need a new approach/different dialog.
4) Carrots work better than sticks.
5) What do you propose? What do you propose that will bring PEACE, not just VICTORY. See the difference?

I am going to “push” my blog on you, too 😉
http://danutahinc.com
I hope you will consider allowing me to “push” you.

Bryan:

In my opinion:
1) Right now, Jews live in fear, because Muslims don’t recognize their existence. Matter of Fact, the Arabs and Persian leadership, Hamas, PLO, and Hezbollah want to wipe Israel of the map. At least you should recognize this fact.!

2) WRONG, there is no such thing as a Palestinian or Palestine Country. Never existed, the word was created by the Romans. They are Arabs or “mixture” living in the West Bank.

3) Hey we agree. Yes there have been many failures and the biggest one is the mantra of land for peace. It’s a failed policy.

4) WRONG, Sticks work. WWI, and WWII are perfect examples where sticks brought peace. I’m sure you would agree!

5) You cannot have peace without victory, WWI and WWII are prime examples. Furthermore peace brings war (Chamberlain). My proposal would remove Muslims from the West Bank and Gaza because both the PLO and Hamas are nothing but thugs and murderers not only to Jews but to fellow Muslims and are incapable of governance. Besides, Israel is a Democracy where Muslims have more rights than non-Muslims living in Arab and Egyptian lands. I purpose to you to move or write a book about how the Egyptian Government and people are systematically killing Copts and forcing Islam on them. And when you done with Egypt move to Iran or Turkey and protest their repressive policies toward the Kurds! Why do you romanticize about Arabs? Would you romanticize about the Nazi’s? No different in ideology, they both want a final solution to the Jewish issue.

Danuta:

My response:

1)   You cannot say “Muslims don’t recognize their existence,” but you certainly can say that about Hamas or Hezbollah.  As I said before, we need to be careful using terms like: Muslims, Arabs, Jews, … they are too broad and say nothing about the conflict.  My question here is:  Why do you think Hamas received the majority vote?  What does it tell us about the people that give them the majority vote?  It tells me that the people are desperate for something … perhaps change?

What do we have today?  We have people, no matter if we call them Palestinians or as you said, Arabs or a “mixture”, who have lived on this land for generations.  Do you really think it is reasonable to say that they don’t have the right to live there?  Here is some very basic but comprehensive info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine or: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Palestinian_exodus

2)   Yes, this is definitely not a land of peace.  The question remains:  Can it become a land of peace and what would have to be done for it to happen?

3)   Yes, WWI and WWII ended thanks to sticks, with the biggest ones called Hiroshima and Nagasaki (not the best example to defend the “stick theory”, would you agree?).  Although, I remember learning that Japan have capitulated before we used the atomic bomb … we just wanted to try it out.  Is it possible that we were that bad?

4)   What you propose is force and force will never work.  Your plan of removing the people of Gaza and West Bank would work only if they, the people, would agree to it.  The question we must ask is:  What can we do to make sure that the people of the region DO NOT want to support Hamas and Hezbollah?  This is what I mean when I say “carrots.”  Do you know what worked after the WWII.  The name of the carrot was: Marshal Plan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_plan

I do not romanticize about Arabs. But you are right: I do romanticize. I romanticize about the human race.  But you see, I am not naïve, although I come across like this because my message is extreme in a sense.   I am actually very practical.  I propose solutions that would be appealing enough to people (of any region of the world) to abandon violence, to abandon supporting organizations that propose violence.  I support good education.  I support learning about each other (do we really have a different choice in this globalized world?).  I know you will tell me that this is impossible.  And looking at our human history, you will find immense amount of supporting evidence to this claim.  This is why, precisely why, I find the need for a different dialog, different paradigm of our human engagement.  I would like to believe that this might become possible one day.

I am not trying to support Arabs.  I am not trying to support anyone.  I am not taking sides.  I am pointing to obvious similarities that truly connect us all as humans.  The question remains:  Can we change the course of our history of the vicious cycle of war after war?

You are proposing extreme solution of removing people from a region.  What would your solution bring?  I am sure you know that these removed people (if they are not happy about being removed) will do anything they can to protest their removal.  What would we end up with?  We will end up with what we actually already have in this region – a conflict.

Does my way of thinking make any sense to you?

to be continued?

 

 

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