IT’S ONE THING TO HATE, ANOTHER TO DO SO IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE HATED

Posted by & filed under Abraham Hassan, Can different religions get along, Haroon Moghul, is Islam a religion of peace, Middle East, Palestinians, republican debates, Romney Gingrich.

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A Palestinian American, Abraham Hassan, got to ask a question in the debate the other night. He wanted to know what the candidates would do to help bring peace to the Middle East. It created an awkward moment. “It’s one thing to hate”, notes Haroon Moghul in an article in yesterday’s Religion Dispatches, “and another thing to do so in such close proximity to the hated.” The awkwardness was compounded because the man identified himself as a Republican. Hassan asked:


“How would a Republican administration help bring peace to Palestine and Israel when most candidates barely recognize the existence of Palestine or its people? As a Palestinian-American Republican, I’m here to tell you we do exist.”

Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich got a chance to answer. But as Hassan put it, “neither candidate sufficiently answered my question.” Both shifted the question to their usual rhetoric. This is why the reporter, Moghul, sought out Hassan later for an interview.

You can read the entire article here.

As a Jewish American, a friend of Israel, and a supporter of a peace that includes security and opportunity for all parties, I can’t help but have some sympathy for the responses of the two candidates. But generalizations, pandering to the audience, oversimplifications and exaggerations, will not accomplish anything. Neither will a lack of respect or a host of false assumptions. (Moghul’s article clears up several. For example, “Most Muslims aren’t Arabs,” and “The percentage of Christians among the Palestinian population is about the same as the percentage of African Americans in the U.S.A.”)

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