“Israel exists and will continue to exist only until Islam obliterates it. The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, killing the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” (The Hamas Charter)
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks — launched amidst a 10-month halt on construction of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank — came to a screeching halt on September 26 as the moratorium expired. Palestinian leaders say that peace talks cannot continue unless Israel extends its settlement freeze, or drafts a new one altogether. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not inclined to do so — not without major enticements from the Obama Administration. And why should he be? What happened the last time Israel agreed to give up its settlements for the promise of peace in negotiations orchestrated by an American President?
By DAVID B. MICHELSON
In the ongoing debate over national healthcare, it is of utmost importance that we reject the speechcraft of politicians and focus instead on the merits of the programs they would impose upon us. The argument put forth by the White House is that America’s current healthcare system is broken. Any opposition to the president’s healthcare agenda may therefore be dismissed as irrational support for the status quo. I reject the premise of this argument for reasons I hope to make plain.
Recently, a strange man appeared on campus with an even stranger message of fire and brimstone. He stood outside the Student Center and told us we would all go to hell for our indecent lifestyles unless we repented and found God. I was proud to take part in the protest against this crazed zealot, for reasons that bear repeating because they are so vitally important. First and foremost, I am proud to stand in solidarity against homophobic bigotry. But there is another reason I am compelled to speak out: because I want it to be known that the voice of the crazed zealot is not the representative voice of the American Right. I am a staunch Republican who voted for John McCain. I supported Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, and the War in Iraq. But I can’t support bigotry, and I am sickened when men like the crazed preacher spout it in such a way as to make it seem representative of my party.
I see the Tea Parties on the news, with protesters showing up by the tens of thousands to cite legitimate grievances against their government. I hear the pundits denounce them as racists; they say we are rioting because we cannot accept the authority of a black president. I hear this and I grow angry. When Bush was president, was I not told that dissent was the highest form of patriotism? Why am I now a racist for disagreeing with my government?
I ask myself, how do people get these perceptions that the rank-and-file of the Republican Party is racist, sexist, and anti-gay? Then I see the crazed preacher spew his hate, and I see how easily misperceptions get started. So I wish to make it known: this madman does not represent us. The average Republican is not a bigot. The average Republican is repulsed by the vitriol put forth by fundamentalist homophobes, and will stand against it when confronted. We are not racists. We are not homophobes. We are not bigots.
Michelson, known by many as “Border Patrol,” participated in the rally