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Why do we become our enemies?

Dear Editor:

The Jews have given us a great picture of mankind. From days of bondage in Egypt to fighting on the West Bank.

Since Moses demanded freedom from bondage and gave the Jews a consciousness, an unbroken account of human progress has been reconciled according to the Bible. Without this benchmark, there would be no measure of our purpose here on earth. Thank God for Moses. Thank the Jews for keeping the faith.

Bondage or slavery is an interesting concept. The master really believes he or she or they are doing someone a favor by their services. In other words, to rationalize their lifestyle, the master believes they are put upon. To see anyone leave their stead is not an affront, it’s a lost soul to defend – for their own good. How noble, yet in the scheme of things, this event is difficult to document in the 4,000-year history of Egypt.

This is a human characteristic. Yet to compensate for this failing, Jews have never let themselves forget Egypt. This has given the Jews unity in spirit, and also in body. This has preserved their culture, despite the diversity of places they have come from.

In 1948, a reprieve. A land `to die for’ was established in the Holy Land. Thank God. But it was done at the expense of displacing peoples there. Who cares, this was sanctioned by the victorious power of World War, Part 2, and sponsored by the United Nations. In this mandate, several things happened that worked beyond just a Jewish homeland. This was a way for the longtime dream of Christians to travel freely in the steps of Christ. Read Mark Twain’s account of travels there in the 1800s for comparison. In essence, it recaptured the Holy Land – a dream of western civilization since before the Crusades. How wonderful! The West had sent everyone from Richard the Lionhearted to The Children’s Crusade to capture the Holy Land. After more than a thousand years and the discovery of America in the detour around the Middle East, finally, this land is ours! Love it.

What are you going to do with 8 million people complaining about air conditioning in the middle of a war? Wars are hard on everyone. No more so than for those who are prisoners and/or those who do not share in the state’s interest. Look at the atrociousness of Andersonville during the American Civil War. It’s true in any war. Not to be taken personally; the wretched conditions of war are a fact of life – or death. No one would deny the Holocaust; one could question the intent …Win the war and exterminate the Jews? How ambitious! Daresay, anyone inconvenient or a liability, hit the gas chambers and the ovens. For the unspoken masses, a sad ending.

How short is our memory, or how faulty our thinking, if we remember Moses and Hitler and do not make the connection for oppressed peoples in Palestine? Everything is right there: the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, the Holocaust. Why do we become our enemies? If we do, can we now see a reason to forgive them – just a glimmer?

It is not easy to maintain a state. Look at the lousy job Palestine has done. This is true in all Arab states. Stooping to the level of the enemy is a lose/lose proposition. Asking Arafat to stop the suicide bombers is like asking President Bush to stop the force of gravity. What could be asked of all Arabs is to implement free societies and democracy. Ask Israel to grant/demand the same to Palestine.

So in deference to all the Jewish people I know or have worked for I say: Sharon, You Schlemiel! Back up, and go forward … you.

For all their exaggerated claims on their identity, it is now time for the Jews to lead the human race once again, not in writing and thought, but in demands and deeds of democracy. Put a human face on the dream.

Fred Stewart

Glenwood Springs


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