Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Anti-Zionism and a cup of sweet coffee

Anti-Zionism and a cup of sweet coffee
By: Ken LaRive
In my travels to Europe and the Middle East, including France, Spain, England, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, no religion or culture of people seem so hated as Israel’s Zionist Jews. I think of myself as a free entity while traveling. My thirst for knowledge, understanding, and yes, acceptance, has led me to go where few Christian Americans have.

Not really an opinion here, just something I found interesting and noteworthy.

I’ve been called names in my Navy uniform in Hong Kong, and “American Imperialist Pig.” still rings in my ears... I don’t think America is Imperialistic, unless you consider big international business.

It wasn’t until the town of Hofuf, in Saudi, right over the border of Qatar, where I felt the most dissension. On a nearly deserted street, in broad daylight, someone yelled from a cafe door across the street, “American Zionist!” I glanced through my Ray Bans, not turning my head, a travel survival trick I’ve learned, and saw a man in traditional white Arabian clothing leaning against the door.

On a spur-of-the-moment decision I turned and walked toward him, while looking into his face. I saw three things: a bit of uncertainty, a feign of humor, and the most evident, abject hate. It glared from his eyes and mouth like an evil ray. I know the latter well, being raised in the racially torn New Orleans’ sixties. So I felt no fear of this man.

I took my glasses off and gave him a wide smile, seeing more uncertainty. “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” I said.

I don’t have the space to tell you all that I learned in the 40 or so minutes we sat drinking super sweet coffee in sticky cups.

In essence, he believed that Israel was the catalyst for war in the Middle East, along with America’s need for oil. He told me of several movements not known by most Americans, and I copied these names in my pipe tally book.

The first one he mentioned was: The Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM): It is an organization that brings together primarily university-affiliated anti-Israel groups, and they are located all around the US.

Another was called: The Justice in Palestine Coalition. He mentioned San Francisco, and something called the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, where words like “Israeli Socialism” and “Anti-Zionism” kept repeating.

There is little more I can remember but that he was passionate to tears, thought himself righteous, and bought the coffee.

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