According to Webster’s Dictionary:
Main Entry: SemÂ·ite
Pronunciation: ‘se-“mIt, especially British ‘sE-“mIt
Etymology: French sÃ©mite, from Semitic Shem, from Late Latin, from Greek SEm, from Hebrew ShEm
1 a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs b : a descendant of these peoples
2 : a member of a modern people speaking a Semitic language
Based on my father originally being from Jordan, I am a semite and not anti-semitic. I have now and in the past have had friends who are Jewish. I am not prejudiced against anyone. However, having said that it doesn’t mean that I can’t be opposed to the policies of various governments (including the United States, Great Britain, Israel, Syria and Iran as well as many others) regarding the situation in the Middle East. All of these governments have behaved in a consistently stupid way for the last six decades. One look at the misery and suffering of the people on all sides in the Middle East should be all the evidence that someone needs that politics and religion should not ever be mixed. I have not written much recently about the current war in Lebanon because every time I think about it, I find myself getting sad and angry and feeling helpless.
I am still trying to organize my thoughts and figure out how to articulate my feelings. I will be writing more on this in the coming days. But for now I am afraid that the Bush administration will be providing no positive leadership on this conflict. In fact they are providing negative reinforcement by encouraging the Israelis to continue. Bush and his Christian extremist supporters believe that this is all part of the “inevitable” end-times and they want this to happen. Until someone moves into the White House who actually believes in the Constitution this will not change. Unfortunately the Syrians and Hezbollah and Hamas are not doing anything to help the situation either. As long as there have been governments that see themselves as defenders of a faith, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other, they have also been oppressors of the “other”. Governments MUST be secular, in order to for people to be treated fairly, freely and with justice.