Micah Halpern’s Thought on the Middle East
~~~Thursday March 21, 2013~~~
I've Been Thinking:
Barack Obama has been very successful during the first leg of his Middle East trip.
He has been charming and convincing. He is extremely gifted and knows how to show empathy, making people feel that he really cares about them.
In a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Obama quoted Yoni Netanyahu - the brother of the prime minister who died in Operation Entebbe saving Israelis and other Jews hijacked and held under the reign of Idi Amin in Uganda.
The president said: "On Friday I will visit Mount Herzl, among the fallen buried there is Yoni Netanyahu." He continued by quoting Yoni, "Don't forget that strength, justice and staunch resolution are on our side."
Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, is a hero for Israelis. So, too, is Yoni Netanyahu. Yoni was a modern day David, a role model for his brother and for almost every Zionist living anywhere in the world.
Herzl is buried twenty yards away from Yoni. I wonder if Obama will wander over and pay tribute at that grave as well. I wonder if anyone has told Barack Obama about Herzl. I hope so.
Again, a mass riot against Christians in Egypt.
Hundreds of Muslims in the south of Egypt ran and rioted yesterday. They destroyed Christian shops. They tried to destroy both large churches in town of Ban Suef.
It all started because of rumors that a Muslim girl was kidnapped by Christians who then converted her. But there is no evidence - and the young woman has not been found. The young woman in question was last seen leaving her home with a passport, gold and a Muslim male friend. She is college age and probably left the country.
The local prosecutor clearly suggests that there is no link to this or any other Christian kidnappings of Muslims. But truth and facts are less powerful than rumor and traditional hatred.
Two sets of rumors stoke the fire that sets off these riots:
# 1: the fear that young girls are being forcibly converted by Christians
# 2: the building of new churches and the renovation and add-ons to older churches
Egyptian Muslims have no incentive to stop killing Egyptian Christians. Expect more rioting, more violence, more anarchy.
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