published Monday, June 4th, 2012

Confusion about 'enemies'

The terrorist group Hamas controls high schools in the Gaza Strip. So maybe it's not possible to muster a lot of surprise over the fact that some of those schools will offer a Hebrew language course this fall -- and have named the course "Know Your Enemy."

Cultural understanding -- much less peace -- between Israel and the Palestinians apparently will not be on the syllabus.

"We look at Israel as an enemy," the head of the Ministry of Education told The New York Times. "We teach our students the language of the enemy."

If there is enough interest among students, the course will be extended to all 180 high schools in Gaza.

No word on whether classes will be offered on "knowing" the real enemy of both Israelis and of Palestinians who would like to live in peace: Palestinian terrorists who routinely lob rockets at Israeli civilians.

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nucanuck said...

Judaism will continue to flourish long after the ill-concieved nation-state of Israel has ceased to exist.

All the talk about which was the bigger terrorists will be an historical footnote.

June 4, 2012 at 12:39 a.m.
conservative said...

The enemies of Israel seek to turn schools into forums of hate over there and the enemies of Israel seek to turn space provided by newspapers into forums of hate over here.

Israel will prevail for Israel is in GOD's plan.

June 4, 2012 at 7:31 a.m.
Easy123 said...

And what about the Palestinians that were there first? Do they not matter?

June 4, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.
librul said...

The State of Israel is a wart on the world and tribal religions are the greatest enemies to peace in the world. Unless humanity matures beyond tribal religions, it may never have the opportunity to mature al all.

June 4, 2012 at 8:24 a.m.
pudgyponderer said...

Conservative skeers me. Israel skeers me. Palestinians skeer me. What say we just leave them all alone and worry about things back at home.

June 4, 2012 at 12:44 p.m.
pudgyponderer said...

Of course, leaving that particular region of the world to its own devices would be perceived as a major move towards the palistinians. I guess that's the big Israeli hustle. Inaction would come off as serious action. Those settlements probably wouldn't last too much longer after that. And then Conservative would have his feelings hurt knowing that GOD was making the Israelis behave like adults.

June 4, 2012 at 1:17 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

America will never have a clear-eyed objective view of Israel and its relationship to Palestine as long as we allow Bible thumpers to dictate our foreign policy in that region, or any other region, for that matter. They have wielded entirely too much influence, in subtle and not so subtle ways, in our government's bestowing much more favoritism on Israel than it deserves, based on nothing more than poppy-cock Biblical "prophesy."

For an eye-opening account of the extent to which American evangelical christians are praying and assiduously doing all they can to help usher in the Second Coming, destined, in their minds, to originate in Israel (hence the importance, they believe, of America supporting and protecting it), watch the documentary "Waiting for Armageddon." It's downright creepy.

June 4, 2012 at 1:19 p.m.
Fendrel said...

What I found especially interesting from the original NY Times article was that "...illiteracy among its youth was less than 1 percent in 2010." I wish we could accomplish the same thing here!

That aside, the religious component in the Middle East just makes a bad situation worse. Any workable solution will involve compromise from both sides. How exactly do you compromise when your home was deeded to you by an omnipotent real-estate agent?

This is what has kept the home fires burning for thousands of years and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

Those who hold onto authoritarian, inflexible, monotheistic belief systems do not make good neighbors in an ever shrinking world where compromise is the very heart of peace.

June 4, 2012 at 4:51 p.m.
Rational1 said...

Language is the key to breaking down barriers. During my 42 years of military and foreign service to this nation, language training was essential. We did not distinguish between the language of perceived enemy or ally: it was Russian, Arabic, German, French, Chinese, etc. Whatever was required was the language of necessity. I can recall on many occassions when knowledge of a target language was very useful in bringing about a positive outcome in both a political and military situation.

Learning Hebrew just might serve to open new bridges to a peaceful solution between Israel and Hamas.

June 4, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
pudgyponderer said...

In my opinion, that part of the world isn't nearly as complicated as it makes itself out to be. All of the problems can be boiled down to a simple real estate dispute.

Sure, both sides have legitimate claims to "the throne" but all that is required to solve that problem is for the rest of the world to start drawing lines. And in reality, we did so at the end of WWII, or at least by 1969. The rest of the conflict has been caused by Israeli expansion.

Most of the world seems to agree that Palestine should be an independent state. If that's the case, I'm confused why we allow one party to this real estate dispute (Israel) determine the future of the situation. The solution seems clear. Draw enforceable lines. The two parties (Israel and Palestine) seem categorically incapable of resolving their differences.

No more settlements. Establish clear and definitive rules of citizenship for both sides. And treat subsequent interactions in the same manner as every other conflict in the world.

And no more Bible quotes when referencing geopolitical property disputes.

June 4, 2012 at 5:13 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Be skeered Rickaroo, be real skeered... the evangelical Christians are praying... what will they do next?

June 5, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
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