Israel is Not Like “Them” – Imam Zaid Shakir – New Islamic Directions

Article originally posted here. Reposted, with thanks.
“And that’s the difference between us and our neighbors,” he continued. “They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don’t. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we’ll put them in prison.” Binyamin Netanyahu
Reacting to the arrest of the Israeli colonizers who murdered Palestinian teenager, Mohammad Abu Khdeir, Israel’s Prime Minister uttered the above words. Either Mr. Netanyahu is oblivious to the history of his country, or his mendacity is so effective he has brainwashed himself and actually believes his lies. The fact that he can even utter these words, as he issues orders to murder innocent Palestinian children, without turning himself in to the nearest Israeli prison, is itself beyond belief.
Israeli terrorists not only have gotten streets named after themselves, some of the most notorious of them have been elevated to the office of Prime Minister. David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and Ariel Sharon were all deeply involved in heinous acts of terrorism that make Hamas look like a bunch of bungling amateurs. Each would become Prime Minister of Israel. The list of assassinations and massacres committed by this cast of characters, from Lord Moyne to Count Bernadotte, from the King David Hotel to the sinking of the SS Patria, from Deir Yasin to Sabra and Shatila, and much in between, is long and gruesome.
Contrary to Mr. Netayahu’s claim, they have streets, squares and parks named after them. An Israeli tourism website,, describes Ben-Gurion Street in the following fashion, “Ben-Gurion St. is one of Tel Aviv’s nicest places to have a walk and a cup of coffee in the middle of the Street. There are a couple of places along the boulevard worth visiting.” So much for not being like “them.”
Perhaps Mr. Netanyahu has never heard of Ariel Sharon Park, to the east of Tel Aviv. It is home to the Hiriya Recycling Park, a symbol of Israel’s “green” future. As for Begin, he has an upgrade. Israel has not merely named a street after him, he has an entire highway, Highway 50, also known as Menachem Begin Expressway. To repeat Mr. Netanyahu’s words: “They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don’t. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we’ll put them in prison.”
As for Shamir, probably the most notorious of the bunch, he has yet to have a street named after him, however, the reason is not because Israel, unlike its neighbors, refuses to memorialize terrorists and murderers, but because two years have not elapsed since his demise. In the words of Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Haviva Avi-Gai, who chairs the names committee, “The personality [Shamir] is worthy of memorialization, but we do not talk about commemorating a person until two years pass from the time of his death.” Shamir died June 30, 2012. Perhaps he will get his street this summer.
Netanyahu’s arrogant mendacity is to be expected. What is surprising is the extent to which the American public is exposed to and consumes this tripe. In reality, Israel is just like its neighbors: She lies; she murders innocent civilians, she disregards international law and human rights with impunity and she treats Palestinians like dirt. Until this latest round of mechanized slaughter in Gaza, there would be little difference between the Israeli blockage of Gaza and the Syrian blockade of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern edge of Damascus.
There is one noticeable difference between Israel and her neighbors. Her murder and mayhem is financed in large part by American tax dollars and facilitated in large part by American-made weapons and American diplomatic protection. That being the case, every tax-paying American is an indirect accomplice to murder unless and until we raise our voices and votes to end the illegal and brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
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