When was the last time leading Arabs or Muslims came to the defense of Jews? I say that because a phenomenal thing happened in America last week. American Jews were divided, but still led the national debate on whether or not a mosque should be allowed within blocks of “Ground Zero,” the spot where the Twin Towers collapsed under a terrorist assault on September 11, 2001.[...]
The ADL noted the intense emotions aroused and said that Muslims seeking to build the mosque should recognize the feelings of those who lost family, relatives and friends in the al-Qaida terrorist attack.
Yet the ADL was just one of the American Jewish voices addressing the controversy; the leading Jewish defenders were not only passionate in their defense but stubborn about the principle involved.
Among those voices was one of the country’s leading Jewish politicians, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose eyes welled up with emotion while he declared that Muslims have every right to build a mosque, just as Christians and Jews could build a church or synagogue nearby.
Bloomberg was consistent in May when he declared: “I think it’s fair to say if somebody was going to try to build a church or synagogue on that piece of property, nobody would be yelling and screaming.
The fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too.”[...]
Bloomberg remained principled on August 3, when he insisted: “Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors mourned with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values – and play into our enemies’ hands – if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave in to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists – and we should not stand for that.”[...]
I hope to one day hear Arab and Muslim voices speak in defense of the Jewish people as powerfully as the Jewish community has spoken in defense of Muslims.
Friday, August 27, 2010
A good read...
Ray Hanania wrote an interesting column in the Jerusalem Post.