I don’t know why Pammy Geller, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz and Joyce Chernick didn’t dig up the Avraham family earlier. It would be yet more anti-Muslim racist propaganda in their Jewish jihad against the Park51 Islamic center in downtown Manhattan. Ynetnews reports that the Israeli family of Alona Avraham, who died on one of the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers, decries the Islamic project:
“We intend to address the US government together about this. My position is clear – there shouldn’t be any mosque there. It cannot happen. I don’t understand this government, they invest millions into catching (Osama) Bin Laden but on the other hand they allow this mosque. It’s like bringing a pig into a holy place.”
She firmly rejects reports that the Islamic community center is intended to bring religions closer. “All that’s just nonsense,” she says.
It’s easy to see the racism, ignorance and fear in such a statement. But I also have to acknowledge the real pain of this family who lost a loved one in what they have come to see as a holy war between Jew and Muslim. Not a small amount of this racism derives from Israeli Jewish attitudes toward Palestinians and Arabs in general. In their minds, there can never be peace. Arabs are eternal sworn enemies of Israel and the Jewish people, etc., etc. 9/11 only confirmed such preexisting attitudes.
Despite this, we must differentiate between very real suffering and the hateful attitudes that suffering has produced. We affirm the pain, but reject the hate. We must see that this hate is a huge obstacle in finding a resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict. I don’t know whether most Israelis are capable of seeing this and rejecting the odious statements by this family. Perhaps some day they will if we put a mirror up to their hate and force them to look at it.