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Home arrow Blog arrow April 2008 arrow April 3, 2008

April 3, 2008
WAWA Blog April 3, 2008: Thank You Walid Shoebat and the conservative Jerusalem Post which has corroborated what I reported: update 8:40 AM EST  
On March 30, 2008,
THE JERUSALEM POST reported:

The Palestinian 'terrorist' turned Zionist
by jorg luyken

 

......However, Shoebat's claim to have bombed Bank Leumi in Bethlehem is rejected by members of his family who still live in the area, and Bank Leumi says it has no record of such an attack ever taking place.   His relatives, members of the Shoebat family, are mystified by the notion of "Walid Shoebat" being an assumed name. And the Walid Shoebat Foundation's working process is less than transparent, with Shoebat's claim that it is registered as a charity in the state of Pennsylvania being denied by the Pennsylvania State Attorney's Office.   Shoebat's claim to have been a terrorist rests on his account of the purported bombing of Bank Leumi. But after checking its files, the bank said it had no record of an attack on its Bethlehem branch anywhere in the relevant 1977-79 period.......If the Bank Leumi bombing claim is unfounded, it is unclear why Shoebat would have wanted to manufacture a terrorist past. True or not, however, it has plainly brought him some prominence and provided him with a means to speak in favor of Israel and be paid for doing so.-end-


On February 3, 2008, I published:
USA Air Force Academy Feb. 6, 2008: Failure of Intelligence to Support the Troops:

UPDATE:  This story continues on April 9, 2008 at the Air Force Academy:
Reza Aslan, Joseph Wilson and
Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation http://militaryreligiousfreedom.org/, will be supporting the troops with intelligence.



On Feb. 1, 2008, I wrote:

The infamous darling of fear filled fundamentalist Christians and Jews of the cult spewed by the likes of John Hagee and the idiot wind blown on FOX's Hannity & Colmes, Bill O'Reilly and Neil Cavuto show, will be show boating at the annual political forum at the US Air Force Academy on Feb. 6, 2008.

Walid Shoebat, author of Why We Want to Kill You has built a lucrative speaking career by manipulating the fears and whipping up hatred between Jews and Muslims and he claims to be a former Islamic terrorist who has converted to Christianity.

On Tovia Singer’s radio broadcast, Shoebat claimed, "Most Jews believe in a two-state solution. I do not believe in this. A Palestinian state will concoct its own rules and laws to continue the killing of Jews.” He suggested instead that Israel, “Wake up and smell the Hummus. We must return to the status quo – the occupation…I think Israel should stand strong and fight – dismantle Hamas and take away all the weapons, the way it used to be. The introduction of weapons into Palestinian society by Israel [under the Oslo accords, Israel gave assault rifles to Arafat’s ‘police force’ –ed.] was a disaster and they must be confiscated.” http://as-clips.blogspot.com/2007/09/shoebat-from-plo-terrorist-to-lover-of.html

Shoebat also feels very strongly that the ongoing war against Israel has nothing to do with an Arab desire for a Palestinian state, “Never in history was there a Palestinian state,” said Shoebat, “we never wanted a Palestinian state – even today the Palestinians do not want a Palestinian state…”

“Then what do they want?” asked Tovia Singer.

“They want the destruction of the Jews, period,” Shoebat said. “It’s a religious holy war. [IBID]

Keith Davies, the director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation announced that not just Walid, but two other 'former terrorists' s will be filling the heads of our troops with fear of the other and he is, "delighted that the United States Air Force has recognized the brave stand that these men take in educating the American people on the real causes of terrorism. The fact that the Academy has invited our speakers is an important step as to understanding the issue of terrorism and the issues surrounding the problems of the Middle East.”

Next Wednesday's failure of Intelligence to protect our troops is a failure to investigate the history of Walid Shoebat.

This civilian journalist spoke with one of Walid's many Palestinian American relatives, Kamal Younis. Kamal had checked his facts with other relatives and everyone of them agreed that, "Walid's entire biography is a manufactured fabrication. His handlers have taken one point and have twisted it and built up a fictional story."

That fictional story can be read @ http://www.shoebat.com/bio.php

Kamal clued me in, "His bio claims that his grandfather was the Muslim Mukhtar (chieftain) of Beit Sahour-Bethlehem. It neglects to mention that Beit Sahour is adjacent to Bethlehem, not a part of Bethlehem and also ignores the fact that in Beit Sahour at that time there were eight tribes; two Muslim and six Christian. Walid's grandfather was only the Mukhtar for one of the Muslim tribes. Walid's bio claims his grandfather was a friend of Haj-Ameen Al-Husseni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and notorious friend of Adolf Hitler. Walid's grandfather never even met him and was a peaceful man.

"I helped Walid's father Ahmad get a job and we both attended Humboldt State College in Arcata, California, from 1954-1960. Walid was born in September of 1960 in Beit Sahour after his American mother and father returned there from America. His older sister and brother were born in the USA, and the family lived in Jericho until 1968, then in Saudia Arabia for two years then returned to Beit Sahour.  

"In 1976, his sister Mona was coming home from school with her friends and were stopped and beaten up by Israeli soldiers, they nearly broke Mona's back. This made Walid very angry and shortly thereafter he attended his first demonstration against the occupation. In 1977 Walid was caught distributing Palestinian flags and was arrested and held for about two weeks in Mascubia Prison, until his mother went to the Embassy and got him released.

"The biggest act of 'terror' he ever committed was to glue Palestinian flags on street posts. But, when he was in jail he met someone who invited him to join a group against Israel. In 1977 Walid and his friends put packages behind a bank, but there were no explosives in it. That year he also met some Jehovah Witnesses and joined them for a while.

"Walid speaks about his grandfathers whom he never met, never knew and he labels them as terrorists! I knew them and they were peaceful men.

"Walid came to the U.S. in 1978 and met an Afghani friend and they went into business together, but it didn't work out, so he moved to Chicago in 1981 where many cousins live and asked for help. He went to Loop College [now Harold Washington College] and was appointed as a foreign student advisor; a position offered him so he could pay his tuition.


"The repo man took Walid's truck and after that he went back to California. He met a Palestinian girl there and they got married and had a son. But, he beat his wife and that marriage broke up.

"Walid's maternal grandparents were wealthy and when they died Walid was to share the inheritance with his sister and brother, but his siblings never received a dime from their grandparent's estate. And, while his own father was in a nursing home in California Walid took his mother and moved far away from him to another city.

"Walid claimed on CNN that he met Sheikh Jamal and was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and claimed he had been a member of a U.S. sleeper cell terrorist group. All his relatives doubt this greatly, but we do believe he is being paid big money to keep saying bad things about Muslims."

Walid's relatives aren’t the only one's doubting his integrity, Rev. Alex Awad, president of the Council of Evangelical Churches in Palestine, has denied large portions of Walid's spin also.

In a letter answering allegations made by Shoebat, Awad shows problems with his timeline and his poor knowledge of the Christian leaders in Palestine. “We urge God’s people everywhere not to jump on this sensational bandwagon,” said Awad. “Christians are called by God to prayerfully use the gift of discernment.”
clubs.calvin.edu/chimes/issue_pdfs/102/11/News-07-11-09.pdf

Walid's brand of Christianity has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus who promised it is the peacemakers who are the children of God and not those that bomb, torture, starve or occupy others.

Walid's brand of Christianity defies that "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment." 1 John 4:16, 18

Walid's brand of Christianity as professed by anti-Christ's [against the teachings of Christ] such as John Hagee and Tim La Haye's Left Behind nonsense is the epitome of the spirit of the anti-Christ: fear of the other that drives one to violence.

Walid's brand of Christianity thrives on fear and Jesus said: "FEAR NOT! You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."
 

Walid's brand of Christianity leaves behind all the non-negotiables for those who claim to be a Christian; which is you must forgive, bless and love your enemies.

The problem is not with Christianity but that too few have done it the way Jesus taught and modeled: to always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion and forgiveness, as Jesus did when nailed to a cross and he prayed:  "Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing."

St. Paul who never hesitated expressing his freedom of speech warned, "Do not judge the non-believer, it is none of your business. But, when it comes to the believer, provoke one another to good works."

God knows the motivations of Walid's heart, but as Rev. Awad warned, “Christians are called by God to prayerfully use the gift of discernment.”

Discernment and good intelligence is what our troops need, and that is not what they are receiving on February 6, 2008 at the USA Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the heart of the western Bible Belt.



On February 7, 2008, I wrote: I received my first threat of legal action in yesterday's morning email and I wonder, does this mean I have arrived?

It seems this little one kept Walid and his handler up late the night I published Failure of Intelligence to Support the Troops, for at 1 AM on Fat Tuesday morn, Keith Davies sent the following into cyber world:

Below is an article written by Mr Shoebat that refutes everything you say. We can produce numerous documents to prove every word of Mr. Shoebat's story.

To avoid a lawsuit you need to contact us by email within 24 hours, it is now 1 a.m. aprox EST, so you can issue a full apology and retraction. We will provide instructions once you contact us.  If you do not we will use the full weight of the law so that the integretity of  Mr. Shoebat's story is protected. The choice is yours.

 
I WAS A TERRORIST IN DEFENSE OF MY IDENTITY, STORY, AND CREDENTIALS, By Walid Shoebat

Before I reply to Walid's epistle, I begin with my email reply:

Hi Keith,

No apology and no retraction will come from me. The issue for me and the point of my article which Walid and you ignore is:

Walid's brand of Christianity has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus who promised it is the peacemakers who are the children of God and not those that bomb, torture, starve or occupy others.

Walid's brand of Christianity defies that "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment." 1 John 4:16, 18

Walid's brand of Christianity as professed by anti-Christ's [against the teachings of Christ] such as John Hagee and Tim La Haye's Left Behind nonsense is the epitome of the spirit of the anti-Christ: fear of the other that drives one to violence.

Walid's brand of Christianity thrives on fear and Jesus said: "FEAR NOT! You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Walid's brand of Christianity leaves behind all the non-negotiables for those who claim to be a Christian; which is you must forgive, bless and love your enemies.

The problem is not with Christianity but that too few have done it the way Jesus taught and modeled: to always work for PEACEFUL resolutions, even to the point of returning violence with compassion and forgiveness, as Jesus did when nailed to a cross and he prayed:  "Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing."

St. Paul who never hesitated expressing his freedom of speech warned, "Do not judge the non-believer, it is none of your business. But, when it comes to the believer, provoke one another to good works."

God knows the motivations of Walid's heart, but as Rev. Awad warned, "Christians are called by God to prayerfully use the gift of discernment."

Discernment and good intelligence is what our troops need, and that is not what they are receiving on February 6, 2008 at the USA Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the heart of the western Bible Belt.

"You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."-Tom Petty

Eileen Fleming,

Reporter and Editor WAWA:

http://www.wearewideawake.org/

Author "Keep Hope Alive" and "Memoirs of a Nice Irish American 'Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory" Producer "30 Minutes With Vanunu"

 
Since Walid's defense of himself is a litany of anal retentive straw men and red herrings, I offer only the choicest of excerpts and reply in BOLD:

I WAS A TERRORIST IN DEFENSE OF MY IDENTITY, STORY, AND CREDENTIALS, By Walid Shoebat

The wisest man in history once said “be good to those who despise you.” In this article I will follow this instruction and personally thank Eileen Fleming who wrote for the Arabisto.com published also on OpeEdNews.com 1 in a smear campaign against myself and the United States Air Force for inviting me to speak against terrorism.

Fleming blames the Air Force academy for not doing due-diligence about me since she just came up with damning evidence about my credibility as a terrorist. But before I present this case, two questions that beg answers:

1—How could the Air Force be responsible for not examining her ‘facts’ especially since she presented her article after this invitation was known publicly?

 

I repeat myself:

The infamous darling of fear filled fundamentalist Christians and Jews of the cult spewed by the likes of John Hagee and the idiot wind blown on FOX's Hannity & Colmes, Bill O'Reilly and Neil Cavuto show, will be show boating at the annual political forum at the US Air Force Academy on Feb. 6, 2008.

Walid Shoebat, author of Why We Want to Kill You has built a lucrative speaking career by manipulating the fears and whipping up hatred between Jews and Muslims and he claims to be a former Islamic terrorist who has converted to Christianity.

 

God knows the motivations of Walid's heart, but as Rev. Awad warned, "Christians are called by God to prayerfully use the gift of discernment."

Discernment and good intelligence is what our troops need, and that is not what they are receiving on February 6, 2008 at the USA Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the heart of the western Bible Belt.

Walid:

2—Why should anyone have a problem fighting Islamic terrorism? Unless of course, such people cloak this evil phenomenon as a proper revolution to thwart the ‘evil’ occupiers like the United States and Israel.

I never said I had a "a problem fighting Islamic terrorism."

I do have a problem with THE WAY it is fought and in fact, I say to you, why should anyone have a problem fighting Christo terrorism?

I say to you brother, that you have been mislead by a fundamentalist [that means someone who has quit THINKING!]  Cult spawned by the Armageddon groupies, who espouse a most vile theology of escapism and superiority; NOT at all what JC taught.

Walid, it is not your past or lack of one that is the issue; but your brand of Christianity that has my Irish up and flaming. The discrepancies in your personal history are irrelevant to me, for in Christ the past is forgotten as it is forgiven, and the life of Christ is all about what are you doing now.

Moved by pity for the dear readers, I jump ahead in WALID's diatribe:

 

“ In 1977 Walid was caught distributing Palestinian flags and was arrested and held for about two weeks in Mascubia [Russian Compound] Prison, until his mother went to the Embassy and got him released.”

This proves that I was in prison as I always claimed. All the rumors that my story cannot be collaborated do not hold any water. Did Fleming, the left wing anti-Christian reporter accept Zionist bribes to do this article and gain me what I have been looking for?

Fleming’s article is in fact my ace-in-the-hole. If I am not vindicated from my Zionist bribes accusation, does that mean that Fleming could and should be accused of accepting such bribes to do her story?

WAWA is a Pro-bono site, leans left politically, and I am the reporter, editor and publisher, a committed Christian of The Beatitudes and it is the Christian Card I am playing with you Walid, and have been with the world, ever since I put up this site three weeks after my first 16 days in Israel Palestine in July 2005.

I have consistently confronted the misuse of Christianity, Islam and Judaism by politicians and like Jesus, I call them all FOXES; meaning they only care about their own power.

I am all for equal human rights and international law and have always challenged any ideology that promotes any particular breed of superiority.


Walid continues:
8—“In 1977 Walid and his friends put packages behind a bank, but there were no explosives in it.”  Does it make any sense that my entire family since 1977 remembers such and uneventful event of us placing empty boxes on the roof of a bank?  Also, had there been no explosion, why then would the Israelis make arrests?

 I reply with what I learned in January 2006, while in Ramallah, from Ala Jaradat, spokesperson for ADAMEER [HTTP://WWW.ADDAMEER.ORG] which is Arabic for conscience:

"Since 1967, 650,000 to 700,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained. That totals 20% of the total population and 80% of all adult Palestinian males have been arrested.

“Most of these arrests occur after midnight when large numbers of IDF storm into neighborhoods or refugee camps, horrifying everyone and arresting anyone 14 years or older. Sometimes they storm into business offices and arrest the breadwinners of the families without any charges.

"These arrests and detentions are based on military orders; we live under a kind of Marshall Law which rules every aspect of Palestinian life: where we live, our license plates that restrict our movement and limited voting rights. Under these military orders the Israeli government is free to hold anyone eight days without accusations or charges. They can hold anyone up to 180 days for interrogation and up to 60 days without benefit of a lawyer.

”The Israeli government never agreed to the Second Geneva Convention, the Knesset never ratified it, and when it comes to the Occupied Territories they totally ignore it. Israel is the only State that approved torture of detainees. I know there are dictators who use torture, but Israel is the only State that supported torture until 1999. That is when International, Israeli and Palestinian pressure groups forced the issue and Barack was confronted about it when he visited the United States.

“The IDF will round up and arrest family members and use threats against their relatives to force confessions. The interrogations lead to Military Trials which is theoretically like court with three Judges presiding but only one is required to have an education and a law degree is not at all necessary. The Military Commander appoints the translators, issues all orders, assigns the judges, and has total control. One appeal is allowed, but if the judges are settlers the Palestinian is in deep shit!

“Administrative Detentions are issued by the Military Commander for a period of six months and the reason is always labeled ‘Security’ and the charges can be renewed indefinitely. One Palestinian spent eight years under Administrative detention and hundreds have endured four or more years. Today fifty are being held for the past four years. They may be released for a day or two and then they are rearrested because they are social or political activists but reasons are not given by the Israeli government.


“At any given moment 10% of those in prison are under Administrative Detention. There are currently 8,000 prisoners and 800 of them are under Administrative Detention. The government does not have to inform anyone about these arrests except the Red Cross and only if they are imprisoned over two weeks, but most arrests go unreported.

“Any Palestinian under the age of 16 is tried as an adult, but for an Israeli Jew it is 18 years of age. Under 12 years old the child can be arrested but not detained. Over 12 they can be arrested, detained, interrogated, prosecuted and sentenced for throwing stones.

“Most of the Israeli Jews that are imprisoned are in for violent crimes against society and they are mixed in with the Palestinian population. The guards encourage them to do what ever they want to do against the Palestinian population. This is an open invitation by the Israeli government to incite violence and terror in the prison system. We have sworn affidavits from Palestinians claiming it was the guards who encouraged the violence inflicted upon them.

“In August 2004 the Palestinians went on a hunger strike to raise awareness of this problem and the Minister of Health who is responsible for them stated publicly: ‘Our hospitals are off limits to them they can all starve themselves to death.’

“No human rights organizations are allowed access to the prisoners. Only lawyers and the Red Cross can visit them but have no access to the facilities where they are detained.

“The methods and photos from Abu Grahib and Guantanamo were no shock to any Palestinian who had been in prison between 1967 and the ‘80’s. All the methods used in Abu Grahib were normal procedures against Palestinians. In 1999 Internationals, Palestinians and Israelis for human rights threatened a boycott against Israel and that is what forced the Supreme Court to address the torture issue. They did not ban torture and the General Prosecutor can choose not to prosecute those who still use it."

 

Walid claims: "Everyone in my Muslim family supports the ideology of Islamic terrorism."

 

I reply that I have personally met at least nine members of his family, not one supports terrorism or lies. It is not up to me anyway to judge Islam that is a job for committed Muslims.

 
I am a Christian, and so, I am not to judge the nonbeliever, but provoke my sisters and brothers onto good works. It is the misuse of Christ and the terrorism committed in the name of God, that I confront.

 

Walid continues: Does Flemming care to challenge me? Would she take a challenge from a seasoned and experienced X-terrorist? Will she dare debate me? Dialogue? I seriously doubt it.

DOUBT NO MORE!


I would love to dialogue and debate with you Walid, and not just you, but Mr. Bill and Sean too!

Let's discuss the issue of the Christian EXODUS from the Holy land, which is in pieces; Bantustans!

The indigenous Christians of Israel Palestine have gone from 20% of the total to less than 1.3% of the total population of that land and it is NOT because of Islam!

The reasons are many, but all reflect the blow back from the 40 years of military occupation and an apartheid wall that snakes and rapes the view.

A wall that is not built on Israeli land, but on legally owned Palestinian property. A wall that denies them access to their land, resources, families, holy sites in the name of security for only Israel and to the tune of $1.5 MILLION USA TAX dollars per mile to build what the International Court of Justice in the Hague has deemed illegal and must come down.

 St. Paul said the only way to confront evil is with good. Jesus said FEAR NOT and the truth will set you free. I am free any time to talk with you Walid, about supporting our troops with the truth and  what Jesus really said.




On February 26, 2008 I wrote:

The Walid Shoebat Show and "America is Beautiful, but she has an ugly side"-Neil Young


[Melbourne, Fl. February 25, 2008] Nearly every one of the 2,000 seats at The King Center in Brevard County was filled with fannies attached to American fundamentalists [a fundamentalist is anyone who has quit thinking] who paid $18.00 for a seat and upwards of $1,000.OO to attend the pre-show meet and greet with the 'three stooges' of fundamentalism at the "WAKE UP AMERICA! Confessions of 3 X-Terrorists" show.

"Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani [who was a no show last night] are the three stooges of the Christian right. These self-described former Muslim terrorists are regularly trotted out at Christian colleges…to spew racist filth about Islam on behalf of groups such as Focus on the Family…Curly, Larry and Mo, who all say they are born-again Christians, engage in hate speech and assure us it comes from personal experience. They tell their audiences that the only way to deal with one-fifth of the world's population is by converting or eradicating all Muslims." http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/
20080211_the_war_against_tolerance/



This event was sponsored by Project: Restoration, an "educational performing arts ministry that emphasizes Hebraic teaching and support of Israel. [Whose] mission [and] ministry is to restore the biblical and historical truth of God's word regarding His commandments, His people, His land, and His coming kingdom [by working] together with Christian and Jewish communities to bless Israel and the Jewish people. [For they] believe that we are living in a time spoken of by prophets as the end of times when Israel will be a "cup of trembling in the hands of the nations" and that we must stand with Israel and the God of Israel [for the] Restoration of the Kingdom of Israel and the return of Israel's King, Yeshua ha Maschiach (Jesus the Messiah)."
http://www.project-restoration.org/mission.htm


Missing from their website and the rhetoric from the speakers on Monday night, were the teachings of Jesus who warned that, "What ever you do unto the least; you do it unto God…Stop judging…Stop condemning…Forgive and you will be forgiven…For the measure with which you measure [any other] will be measured back unto you."-[Luke 6:36-38] Also missing in action was Jesus' promise that, "the Peacemakers shall be called the children of God."-Matthew 5:9

While the teachings of Jesus were neglected, I was most encouraged when Walid kicked off his show claiming that the "stupid" New York Times and a "stupid" journalist who interviewed his relative Kamal Younis [this reporter!] were smearing his good reputation of being an ex-terrorist by exposing his fabricated biography.

From his pulpit, Walid insisted that his father is a fundamentalist and that Kamal Younis's brother Jawad lost his arm making a bomb and is an attorney who defends other terrorists.

On February 3, 2008, I published my interview with Kamal Younis: USA Air Force Academy Feb. 6, 2008: Failure of Intelligence to Support the Troops.

On February 5, 2008, I received an email threat of a lawsuit from Walid's handler unless I apologized and recanted what I reported. I emailed him back that I would do neither and took Walid up on his offer to engage in a dialogue. I have yet to receive either a reply or a legal notice, but I did publish that email threat and parts of Walid's epistle defending his terrorist past with my side of a dialogue on the 7th of February.



I have known Walid's relative, Kamal Younis as a friend since 2003. I met him through the non-profit Interfaith Olive Trees Foundation for Peace dedicated to raising awareness of and funds to purchase fruit bearing trees on both sides of The Wall in Israel Palestine who hope to replace the over one million trees destroyed by The Wall. The International Court of Justice in the Hague has deemed The Wall is illegal and it must fall. Reported in the august, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, "Financed with U.S. aid at a cost of $1.5 million per mile, the Israeli wall prevents residents from receiving health care and emergency medical services. In other areas, the barrier separates farmers from their olive groves which have been their families' sole livelihood for generations." [Page 43, Jan/Feb. 2007]

During my five trips to Israel Palestine, I went to Walid's birthplace; Beit Sahour, a suburb of Bethlehem. I was treated as beloved family by his peaceful relatives who fed me, gave me a bed and then accompanied me for two days through the Dheisheh refugee camp, which is 100% Muslim and a five minute taxi ride from the Church of The Nativity in The Little Town of Bethlehem: Occupied Territory. Over half of the 11,000 resident refugees of Dheisheh are children under 18 and they exist on less than one square kilometer of the 'Holy' Land. I interviewed old men, dozens of teenagers and mothers, but I did not meet any fundamentalist terrorists.

Eighteen year old Mohammad, a member of R.R.; Refugee Rappers told me, "When I was a child I had a dream that I would take my people; my country and fly away to another planet and another life. My homeland is Zakariyya and Telasafi [west of Hebron] and my grandfather told me that the issue is in my hand; it's my responsibility to get out of the desert. Balfour and King Hussein, they left my people in the desert and nobody can help us to get out, except ourselves."

Mohammad rapped, "Seems to people it's hard to be what you want to be. But if I want to speak about my life I have four words; Blood, Night, Land and Hope. This means Philistine [Palestine]. Our word to all people we are here to be or not to be; Philistine [Palestine]. Those four words also represent the colors of the Palestinian flag; red, black, green and white."

Shepherded by a relative of Walid's, I met fifteen year old Adam who volunteers his time at the IBDAA [Arabic for "to create something out of nothing"] Cultural Center http://www.ibdaa194.org a grassroots organization providing social, educational and cultural programs for children, youth and women in the 60 year old refugee camp.

Adam said, "In November 2005 I went to America with the IBDAA dance troop. We were there for forty days and performed from California to New Hampshire. Before I went I thought all Americans were terrorists; that they were all like their government. But then I talked with Americans who disagreed with their government and learned the people of America are very different from their government."


During my hours in the medical clinic at IBDAA I met Tiaya, a nurse from France who gives up all but four days of her summer vacation as a school nurse to serve at the camp because, "We must be in solidarity with them. I look for solutions; not rely on what I know. For what must be; requires thinking creatively."

Every mother who brought a child into the clinic the day this reporter was present, dressed in the typical dress of a Palestinian Muslim; scarf on the head and long coat like dress, except for the western looking and effervescent Wijdan, who spoke no English but told me through my interpreter, "I have American friends, my cousin is married to an American and when they come here, they stay in the camp...The situation is very bad with the American government and their complete support of Israel but not Palestine. The children in the camps suffer many psychological problems, there is no place to play, no parks, no green areas and they all want to play with guns. My first son was six during the first intifada and the Israeli soldiers would come into the camp and terrorize us. They would just come right into our home and during the second intifada my next baby grew up. Now my Natalie is almost one and a half and all I want is for her to grow up in peace and that we all could return to my home village of Zakariyaa. Zakariyaa is home, this is a refugee camp."

Every one of the women I spoke with was open and warm towards me and laughter filled the room when I asked what they thought of America and Americans. Everyone agreed most American people were better than the American government except for one dissenter who claimed, "Eighty percent of Americans don't know that Bush has no brains and no heart! Bush made a very big problem in the world in Iraq! We just want our freedom, I don't care about politics! The Zionists stole our land, our trees, our homes and I just want to return to my homeland in Zakariyaa."

Back to Walid:

Walid's oratory style is part pep talk and part exhortation with a Hitler-eske intensity and his show is slickly produced to incite the masses. Walid spewed that, "I love FOX News, but not Geraldo Rivera! His biggest mistake wasn't drawing the line in the sand in Iraq; it is his support of a Palestinian state."

The audience roared with laughter and exuberant applause as they also did as Walid preached, "Islam is a revolutionary faith out to destroy all governments…Muslim nations have a command from Allah to rule the world…Islam is a constitutional form of government…when you have a senator take the oath of office on the Koran he is pledging to uphold Sharia law and not the Constitution."

On Feb. 26, I phoned Walid's relative Kamal Youinis the good news that his name was mentioned from the King Center stage and filled him in that his brother Jawad is another supposed terrorist.

Kamal laughed, "Walid is a master of spin! He takes one iota of truth and creates a fiction! It is true my brother is an attorney. It is true that he lost his left hand and some fingers from his right; it was in 1954 and I think my brother was in the sixth grade. Jawad and a half dozen of his friends were out playing under the olive trees in Beit Sahour. They found a grenade left over from the '48 war, but they didn't know what it was. Jawad brought it home and got a hammer. He began banging on the grenade hoping to open it up but it exploded! The explosion killed one of the children and we almost lost Jawad too. Today my brother is a well respected attorney in Amman, Jordan. We all know that King Hussein does what ever the CIA wants, so it would be impossible for Jawad to defend terrorists.

"Walid's father is no fundamentalist. I have known his father since we were young men, we went to college together. Walid's father was not too bright and was always at the bottom of the class. In fact, both his parents have something wrong upstairs. Walid's father is a simpleton, he is a simple man but also an honest and peaceful man. He is religious in that he would pray five times a day, but not a fundamentalist at all. None of Walid's relatives are extremists, only Walid is. It's apparent Walid is involved in a smear campaign with fundamental Christian Zionists to convince Jews and Christians that Islam is out to get them."

Walid's show was nearly 100% successful in that mission. The after show crowd around the table of hundred dollar video sets was three people deep, but I made my way through and asked the merchant to let Walid know that the 'stupid' reporter had been in the audience and would still love to dialogue with him. I handed him my card with phone number and then connected with Billie Young, who stated, "The message was not at all inspiring to me, as a Christian it seemed the speakers were trying to hype the audience up, get them involved in a 'movement' that all Muslim people were out to get the U.S. and the two speakers were the good guys sent to save us. They mentioned our need to join forces to destroy the Muslim people. Personally I believe this is taking a persons life into your own hands, you being the judge and jury against an individual, check out John 8:7, and see if you can cast the first stone…A baby has no control over the family they are born into, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, whatever, so the child has a "mark" on it because it was born into a Muslim household. By this birth they are automatically labeled bad, terrorist, whatever. From the history of this country that I remember, everyone is born free, remember -- democracy -- the freedom to vote, the right to worship your God, earn a living, have a family, home, etc. If one would check out Matthew 22:39 your will find that Jesus said: Love your neighbor as yourself. Let us keep America free by not invading other countries, take care of our own, and when and if, someone invades us, then we have the right to protect ourselves and we did in previous wars. C.S. Lewis summed up what a Christian is suppose to be: "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because GOD has forgiven the inexcusable in us.'"

Also in attendance was Dana Humphrey, the Director of the Volusia Peace Center, "I came to hear what these men had to say, and I found their on-stage ranting to be extremely disturbing and very detrimental to the peace efforts between Christians, Jews and Muslims. I find it interesting that the group that sponsored this event is a Christian Zionist group who has a mission 'to bring the unity and joy that comes with mutual understanding and love between Jew and Gentile children of God.'

"What about Muslims? Are they not children of God as well? I personally believe in the Oneness of all mankind and the Oneness of God and I hope that we as Americans will build bridges between people not walls. Just before Christmas last year, I stood at the foot of the 30 foot Wall in the little town of Bethlehem and cried for the people of Palestine. Jesus taught us "The Way" and this is certainly not it!

"I'm not really sure how these men can say that they are truly Christians and speak with such violent hatred towards another group of people. They stereotyped and demonized all Muslims and were very clear, that according to them, there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim, even to the extent of saying that Muslim student organizations should not exist on college and university campuses in the US."

In a slight paraphrase of Mahatma Gandhi, this reporter wonders, what difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, the refugees and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism, Islam, Zionism, Fundamentalist Christianity or the holy name of liberty and democracy?

 

 

   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© 1968, 2001 Kent M. Keith

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The age of warrior kings and of warrior presidents has passed. The nuclear age calls for a different kind of leadership....a leadership of intellect, judgment, tolerance and rationality, a leadership committed to human values, to world peace, and to the improvement of the human condition. The attributes upon which we must draw are the human attributes of compassion and common sense, of intellect and creative imagination, and of empathy and understanding between cultures."  - William Fulbright



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