Thursday, August 23, 2012

No Jewish People Without Israel

Why the future of American Judaism as we know it depends on the survival of the Jewish state? This article is a must read for all those who want to understand Jews and Israel, it is one of the most comprehensive articles I have read and gives an insight into understanding Jews. The story is not only of Jewish people, but most other minorities can relate with this experience:   

I have written my own piece at Huffington post - Who am I to worry about Israelis and Palestinians? What inspires me to be involved in the Israel Palestine conflict? The following is the story of my struggle to see a cohesive world, the story will take you through different emotions but at the end, I hope you feel a sense of completeness of the story. Due to its length, it is a three part article.

Here are some of the most powerful excerpts from the article below.

The following Paragraph is precisely my understanding and reasons for the support of Israel, mind you not at the cost of Justice to Palestinians but with fairness to all the ones in the conflict.  I am baffled with the similarity of my articulation for the last several years and the following piece that has just appeared on August 20. 2012.

“That newfound confidence has historical antecedents, of course: American Jews’ confidence resembles that of the Jews of Cordoba—who were forcibly converted, burned alive at the stake, and summarily expelled in the Spanish Inquisition. The Jews of Berlin in 1930 also believed they had found the ultimate enlightened home, that the dark days of Europe would never return. And in the space of but a few years, German Jewry was erased.

 “In ways we do not sufficiently recognize, Israel has changed the existential condition of Jews everywhere, even in America. Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear.

A home is where on drops all the guards and feels a sense of comfort and security. I have expressed the same sentiments in many of my writings including the one at this blog.

“Israel, like it or not, is not just a homeland to Israelis. It is also a “state unto the Diaspora”; the state that, even from afar, secures the life and instills the passions of Jews all over the world.

Indeed, that is the case with most immigrants, they feel home where they were born and their ancestors came from. Most of the first generation Indians call India their home, like wise it is the same with British, Irish, Italian, German, Japanese, Pakistanis, Arabs, Mexicans, Chinese, Iraqis and others. For the first Generation of Jewish people after Israel was created, even though they were born here, Israel is home to them. It is the second generation and the ones after that whose sense of home is in America, the second generation continues to struggle but for the third generation and up - it is America first, America is home. There will be nothing else in their psyche, other than what would be injected into them. 

“But then, as this thinking goes, if Israel refuses to budge, it is Israel that is responsible for the impasse. Faced with a choice between loyalty to their humanitarian values or to their parents’ Zionism, they have chosen the former.

I love the above it, "Loyalty to their humanitarian values" - is a profound statement applicable to 2nd generation of Muslims, Jews, Immigrant Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Buddhists  and other immigrants. This is inherent in all humanity no matter where we live. I consider that an American Value. Unlike all other nations, Americans values are egalitarian, humanitarian and about treating others fairly and equitably. Its part of American psyche and I am blessed to have that sense flow through veins.

“Sensitive to the underdog everywhere, and with a deep-seated belief in fairness, they insisted and continue to insist upon balancing the scales. The Palestinians, they decided, needed a state.

This is the core value of all religions, but a very passionate value of America. It is the case with all Americans who are born here. Indeed the follow paragraphs also represent Muslims, and other immigrants in America.

“But amazingly, 50 percent of those 35 years old and younger said that Israel’s destruction would not be a personal tragedy.

“Ours is the first generation in which the centrality of Zion in Jewish dreams is beginning to fade. It is fading rapidly, and we know why. Part of it has to do with the fact that Israel’s supporters have framed the conversation about the Jewish State in terms of the conflict with the Palestinians. Even among knowledgeable and committed Jews, an oral Rorschach test in response to the word “Israel” evokes responses such as “checkpoints,” “occupation,” or “settlements”—as though the conflict were all that Israel is about.

I hope a day will come in the world, where everyone feels home wherever they are. It is a two sided effort.  I am passionate about justice and freedom and Israel Palestine is an issue that I hope to contribute to bring security to Jews and justice to Palestinians.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day - This article is at - as well as the source below: 

No Jewish People Without Israel

Why the future of American Judaism as we know it depends on the survival of the Jewish state By Daniel Gordis|August 20, 2012 7:00 AM|

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.