I love my original culture and people. What makes me different is that I do not only love Arabs, but I also love the Jewish people. I respect their right to live in peace in their tiny homeland, Israel.
We Arabs have suffered from an unnatural and consistent indoctrination into Islamic supremacy and Jew hatred for over 1400 years. Thus it has become unfathomable to the Arab mind to comprehend loving both Arabs and Jews and wishing both well.
I never learned peace as a value in Gaza. I have never heard a peaceful song in Arabic. I cannot blame the Jewish people, or the government of Israel, for what you call the "misery" of the Palestinians. I can only blame Arab and Islamic culture. I believe that this is an Arab self-inflicted crisis that has nothing to do with Israel.
Arab education has never told us the truth. We were told that Jerusalem was a Muslim city simply because Mohammed dreamt one night that he went to the farthest mosque, but he never mentioned Jerusalem. The Koran never mentioned Jerusalem, which is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible as the heart and soul of the Jewish people.
It was the tradition of Muslim conquerors to convert churches and temples to mosques and that is exactly what happened to the Jewish Temple Mount when 100 years after the prophet Mohammed died, Muslim conquerors built the mosque right on top of it. Just imagine if Jews or Christians had built a temple on top of the Kaaba in Mecca.
It is time for Muslims to extend the hand of reconciliation and peace to the Jewish people.
The writer is an Egyptian-American human rights activist. Her father, Col. Mustafa Hafez, was commander of Egyptian Army Intelligence in Gaza and founded the fedayeen, which raided southern Israel between 1951 and 1956, killing 400 Israelis.
(Front Page Magazine)