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Palestine: The Buck Stops Here

January 4, 2007

Very few non-arabs have been more vocal and more supportive of the Palestinian cause than I. From the time that I learned of the injustices committed against them by Israel, America, and by other arab countries, I have stood by them and defended their rights unflinchingly. But now, the situation has changed. The enemy is no longer Israel. The enemy is no longer America. The enemy is not even other arab states. In the words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

When the violence is no longer us against them; when the violence is us against us, I can no longer defend the rights of those who wish to oppress themselves. I have seen this in my own (African American) community and other places around the world (India vs. Pakistan vs. Bangladesh for example). It is always ugly. It is always self-defeating, and it will always end in loss for both sides.

It is not a civil war, for there is nothing civil about it. It is pure chaos. I will not blame Hamas or blame Fatah. The blame lies on the Palestinian people as a whole and on the Muslim Ummah. We all hold responsibility for this. If there is any shred of dignity left in our spirit, we will stop fighting one another, stop blaming the “enemy” for our losses, and start helping ourselves.

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