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Feb-27-2010 21:16printcomments

Palestinian Cafe Owner Faces Closure and Death Threats for 'No Uniform' Policy

Your help is needed to save this cafe, right now, please read the update...

The restaurant Azad's on Hillel Street in Haifa.
The restaurant Azad's on Hillel Street in Haifa.

(HAIFA / SALEM) - UPDATE: This particular cafe owner wanted an atmosphere of peace in his cafe. Now the Mayor of Haifa has issued an order to close this popular restaurant. A young 20-year-old soldier went in and was told that if he changed out of military garb he could come back. Instead of honoring the dress code, he started an international incident. Literally. NOW, the municipality is trying to shut the cafe down TODAY while the cafe owner IS GETTING DEATH THREATS and THREATS THAT THE ISRAELIS WILL KILL HIS FAMILY AND BULLDOZE HIS FAMILY'S HOUSE JUST TO MAKE HIM CRY SO THAT HE WILL APOLOGIZE TO THE ISRAELIS. This is very serious, your help is needed; please join the facebook group now. It will help. 5,000 members are needed TODAY. PLEASE PASS IT ON.

facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=mf&gid=342217526726"?facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=mf&gid=342217526726

In spite of all the hardship, Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied territories find ways to survive. Sometimes, amidst the political and ethnic tension and fear, they even find ways to live well. This may be a fair description for a restaurant/cafe in Haifa called 'Azad'.

Haifa is the only city in North Israel known for having a peaceful co-existance between Arabs and Jews. They seem to mix together fine and live more or less, side by side. Haifa is also the home to the Bahai World Center and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has a history dating back to the biblical times.

In Arabic, Azad means 'The Free Person' or simply, 'freedom'. "This is a very peaceful place which allows people of all races or religions to enter. There have not been any problems," a source there tells Salem-News.

In fact, Azad's is so resolved to having a peaceful atmosphere, that the place has a policy banning people in military uniforms. This is an effort to keep things in perspective, and also because in Israel, soldiers in uniform are armed with assault weapons. The policy applies to all military and security uniforms, not just Israel's. Even local police have been turned away, but they're all welcome to return in civilian attire.

"This is not a city where you see a lot of people in uniform," Salem-News.com Photographer/Reporter Dexter Phoenix said. He's spent quite a bit of time in Haifa, and he was there in 2006 during the fighting with Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

"You don't see too many IDF or police in Haifa, it is a pretty calm place, a port city."

But Azad's owner is watching Israel's version of freedom strike the wall.

An impatient 20-year-old soldier is bringing major heat down on Azad's because they wouldn't serve him in uniform. It is their existing policy, and even in Israel businesses can establish and maintain their own policies.

As a U.S. Marine, I was never allowed to wear my combat uniform in a public business; to me this is not a strange idea.

This very cool restaurant/cafe with an air of peace, is facing closure, violence, even death threats now, because one seemingly spoiled young Israeli soldier with family connections to government, couldn't enter and force a violation of Azad's no uniform policy which applies to all uniforms, not just those worn by Israeli soldiers.

The soldier was quoted saying, "I was shocked. At first, I thought I didn’t hear her well, or did not understand, but then she repeated herself with the same sentence – 'I’m sorry, but we do not let people in with military uniforms'".

The soldier became irate and called his father who in turn called the police and ordered a police car to the scene.

When the Haifa Police came, they talked to the waitress who again, explained the stated policy, "We do not allow security forces in uniform in the restaurant".

The officer told the soldier that the café was not violating any law and there was nothing he could do. He was not attacked physically, and therefore could not file a complaint.

He went on to say that "If that is their policy, then that is their policy. It is their place and they set the rules regarding dress code policy."

You can do the same thing in the United States. There are gray areas, and a history of racist businesses in the U.S. refusing to serve black people well into the 1960's, possibly still in some places today. But it is still very common to see restaurant policies including coat and tie, this sort of thing. Places are essentially allowed to establish the atmosphere they are seeking.

But this Israeli Defense Force soldier was heard stating, "I volunteer with the military and cannot absorb what happened here. It makes no sense in the State of Israel that such a thing can happen."

That is not much of a claim in a country that has a forced draft and mandatory military service for every adult, male or female.

Israeli press uses this image of young girls with their
guns to portray serving armed military in restaurants as
something out of the American TV show 'Happy Days'.

There are plenty of places all over Israel that encourage the IDF soldiers to come inside. After all, it is a purely militaristic state where all of life revolves around this war-based lifestyle. But some places want to perhaps let people escape the idea that they are in a place where guns rule the day in the name of God.

The Azad Restaurant's owner said the "Problem that is occurring in this case was because of the uniform, (they) are incompatible with local values and can cause inconvenience to customers. We made it clear to the soldier and we repeatedly declared that we have no personal problem with him and he is invited to stay with us without uniform".

Haifa's Police Commander, Ahuva Tomer, confirmed the incident, and that there is no law which can be enforced. Police sources also talked about a policeman in uniform having the same issue at Azad's a few months ago, only he didn't try to turn a nation against the place.

Our source in Israel said, "The soldier made a very big deal about it and called the press, and now it is all over the media with a faction of the Israeli public wanting to have the restaurant closed down. Someone even went so far as to start an online petition to close the place down." It is claimed that if they can get enough signatures, the Israeli government is on the record as saying it will shut it down.

It gets worse... The Israeli soldier, along with others, is trying to get the IDF itself involved. People are commenting on the news sites that the "owner of the restaurant should be killed and the restaurant burned down." They are also calling for live demonstrations against the restaurant.

The good news is that there are many Israelis who believe it is a good thing that the owner did not allow the uniformed soldiers inside. There is a growing consensus that Israel is too militaristic and that more places should take the stance that guns should not be allowed everywhere.

Some even commented that it is very arrogant of the Israelis to be upset about this, when in actual fact the Palestinians live with this sort of thing every single day at the whim of Israelis themselves.

It is such a tragedy, and it makes the idea of peace seem so far away. This is not a problem the Palestinians are creating, but it is being labeled that by the Zionists who run media groups all over Israel, the U.S. and the U.K.

This is the philosophy that Jewish people are given Israel by God as "The Promised Land". People have died by the hundreds of thousands over it. It leads to what is undeniably the greatest entitlement issue that any nation faces. The United States taxpayers are the ones who pay the bills for it. The Arabs pay in terms of blood, flesh, segregation, theft and humiliation.

All the while the Israeli and American press either directly insinuate or suggest that the Arab people are terrorists, when nothing could be farther from the truth.

It has been proven time and time again, through peaceful protests in places like Billn' where every week, right on schedule, Palestinians carrying nothing more than flags and signs, are routinely attacked by the Israeli Defense Forces.

And all the while, this ridiculous story is taking place in one of the most precious and historic places on the earth.

"Ever since the Bronze Age, Haifa has been conquered and ruled by the Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, Egyptians and the British. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the City has been governed by the Municipality of Haifa," our contact there explained.

Maybe if there is any truth to Israel truly seeking peace, somebody in their government will put their foot down over the objections of this 'indignant' soldier. Maybe they will do the right thing and track down the cowards writing death threats on the Internet. Maybe the plight of Azad's will stay on the media radar and lead to pressure on Israel to stop allowing individuals with attitudes to derail peace where it does exist.


Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Al Franken and Tim King in Afghanistan

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.

He holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.

Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu, India.

The notorious list comprising Tim's ancestors includes Pedro de Alvarado, the lieutenant of Hernando Cortez of Spain; King Phillip IV, Eleanor of Aquitaine and William the Conqueror. Perhaps most interestingly, King John; the dark force in the story Robin Hood, and also the last Spanish governor of California, a real person fictionalized as the arch rival of the character in Zorro, are in reality both Tim's multiple-great grandfathers.

Tim at his family ranch in Chino, California.

Others include a Confederate officer in the U.S. Civil War and a decorated 'hero' of the Mexican-American War and the so-called 'Indian Wars'. In fact on the east coast, Tim's lineage with the Slaughter and King families, pre-dates the Mayflower and several members of his family were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. He says his family's past; some of which is very dark; some quite chivalrous, presents a certain responsibility, and that in part drives his desire to see that people in today's world are not exploited or allowed to suffer in silence as victims of Human Rights violations, as people of previous times were.

In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide. You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

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Dror, Israel March 5, 2010 7:54 am (Pacific time)

Israel has a law against discrimination. That means, that everyone who wishes to enter a business with proper clothing, must not be refused. IDF uniforms, a decent shirt and trousers, as well as kafiya and galabiya are all considered proper clothing. The restaurant broke the anti-discrimination law, hence it might be closed down. BTW, this is a civil offense, so the police (let alone the army) cannot handle it. The Haifa Municipality could use the incident as an excuse to revoke the business license, but the restaurant owner can appeal against such decision. I used to be a student in Tel Aviv University, and studied with Muslim Arab women who dressed in traditional clothing, including hijab, and no one ever thought of telling them to dress otherwise. In France and Turkey such a dress code might not have been allowed. So, before you accuse the entire Israeli society, get you facts right, and please open a dictionary - "azad" means "freedom" in Persian, not in Arabic.


no place for muslims HERE March 5, 2010 7:23 am (Pacific time)

hello Y'all... Im a proud Jewish who lives in tel-aviv, Israel, and i am happy to say that muslims have no business what so ever in Israel. an by Isarel - i mean: all of Israel - including the west bank (yehuda and shomron). We all know that the "palestinians" are nothing but Fiction made by the arab states. their IS a JEWISH republic named: ISRAEL!!!! the only JEWISH state in the world. not like the many arab republics (jordan, Egypt, iran and others) - all of those so called "palestinans" are nothing but settlers who came to our land less than 150 years ago, and they are defenetly dont have the right to have their own stat and nationality - this is absurd in every way. muslims get out of my country - go to your origin arab country and dont come back!!! EVER!!!!!!!! I hate you so much...


STOP THE INSANITY March 4, 2010 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

one must understand that the clientele of the cafe is ARAB not Jewish. this is simply discrimination against Arab-Israeli's of which they endure everyday under the occupation of their country by Israel. The Arab Israeli's that live in Haifa undergo the same humiliation in Haifa that they do in the West Bank.


James Meeker March 4, 2010 11:49 am (Pacific time)

This happened in Haifa, not in the West Bank. The jihadi is a voting Israeli citizen,m and the soldier protects him as much as anyone else.  These Arabs- Israeli citizens, keep showing Israel that they are a cancer in Israel's midst. The good news is this: Support for Israel in U.S. at 63%, Near Record High http://www.gallup.com/poll/126155/Support-Israel-Near-Record-High.aspx  We understand. We sympathize with Israel, and we support them. And the more contact that we have with jihadis, the more that will increase.

Editor: You are a bigot and a racist.  We don't say 'these Jews' all the time, yet you refer to Arab people like some ass in Alabana in Alabama referring to an "uppity negroe".   Well, we defeated that thug mentality, for the most part, and now it is time to change your bigoted racist policies of ugly thuglike rule. The murderous policies of Israel have never been less popular or more on the radar.  I can hear the clock ticking.  You brand a peaceful restaurant owner a 'jihadi'.  If that is true then you are a Nazi.     


Hagai March 4, 2010 6:38 am (Pacific time)

This place will go down - for sure.
It is located within a mostly Jewish neighborhood and serves mostly Israelis. The restaurant behavior is pure political provocation.
There will be a boycott - such a humiliating act upon a person who simply doing his duty serving his country will not be forgiven by its (ex) customers.

Can you imaging an American restaurant that will exclude customers who have an USA flag on their dresses?

Editor: You suggest an armed occupation is the same as wearing a flag on a dress?  Look, it is already clear to us in the U.S. that you pretty much take anything you want from these people, so why would people be surprised that you would take this position.  A brutal occupying force has a lot of attitude, like you, and they think they can get away with murder, which they do in a daily basis.  So, no real people in the world are surprised that you all see it this way.  And as far as a boycott goes, there is a huge boycott underway, against Israel.  It is called the BDS Movement.  Why don't you educate yourself: CONTRA AVNERY: A Case for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) - By Alan Sabrosky Salem-News.com   


stop the insanity March 2, 2010 3:13 pm (Pacific time)

To Salim....wow...do you live in Israel? because your statements about Arab Israeli's being 'free to move to those peaceful Arab neighbors and enjoy the freedoms they cannot enjoy in Israel'...sounds like an oxymoron to me. so, you are saying that they really DON'T have freedom in Israel, and ONLY arab Israeli's are free to go to the 'friendly' arab countries...yup..that's right...cuz there is NO FREEDOM in Israel if you are Arab and there is no freedom in Palestine if you are Palestinian...all because of Israel. You, as an Arab, (maybe) should be ashamed of yourself, but then again, you are prob'ly on the payroll of the Mossad to be speaking such rubbish. why don't you spend your next vacation on the seaside in Gaza, or better yet, open an Arab restaurant in Haifa. See how long it takes for you to realize how 'free' you really are, and how 'protected' you are by the IDF. Now, to educate you a little bit. 1. Arabs in Israel are not allowed by law to renovate their houses - especially in Haifa - so that it gets to a point where it is not 'safe' anymore and has to be condemned. Then, the government kicks out the Arab residents, renovates it and sells it to a jewish organization. that is freedom to you? 2. Arab Israeli's are no less suffering than Palestinians in the West Bank. It is a double edged sword for them as they are not allowed to go to the West Bank and see their loved ones. They are also not allowed to travel to any Arab countries because of the simple fact that they hold a forced Israeli citizenship. Add to it the fact that they have always been made to feel as second class citizens who are monitored constantly and can never apply for jobs in any Israeli company due to the fact that the majority of these companies have 'policies' never to hire anyone who has not served in the IDF. Is that freedom to you? 3. Just for the record, Jews in Iran, Syria and Iraq enjoy more freedom , security and religious freedom than their muslim counterparts living in those countries. As for within Israel, there is no such thing called 'religious freedom' for Christians or Muslims. 4, Who gave YOU the right to recognize the HOLY LAND of Palestine as a JEWISH state? How Moronic of anyone to think that a country can be ruled by a religious faction, yet be called democratic. Israel should be a state for ALL of its citizens not just the Jews. And furthermore where do you get the idea that the US is a 'christian' majority country? that is bull. are you suggesting that the US should forfeit its democracy for Christianity? and for the record, the Palestinian constitution is SECULAR and therefore, much more democratic than Israel. I feel sorry for you that you were born with and Arab name, perhaps you would have felt more comfortable in an IDF uniform sitting at Azad trying to further suppress and harm the unlucky arabs who were born there. Or maybe you should change your name to Lieberman


Natalie March 1, 2010 8:23 pm (Pacific time)

Sounds like my comment wasn't disapproved after all, so I'll repost. I don't see this policy as a big problem. If I'm not welcome for any reason at any business I'm not coming back with my money again to that business. As simple as that. That owner has the right to choose his customers, as well as his customers have the choice of going to another, more welcoming restaurant. As for the Khazars and Jesus, there's really a legend about that, but it's not taken seriously by historians. It exists because some Jewish Historians tried to show that there was no base for antisemitism in Eastern Europe. There's also another theory that Khazars accepted Judaism at some point just playing smart, since accepting Islam would mean to pay their dues to Arabs, and Christianity-changing all the architecture and converting everyone. Judaism did not demand that. Re history courses in school and colleges, it would be natural to expect from Americans to study Indian tribes history first before Eastern European tribes. Just my opinion.


Salim Abdul Fataz March 1, 2010 3:43 pm (Pacific time)

"IDF soldiers brutalizing Palestinians"??? Do you know of any Arab in Haifa being brutalized? I would like to see Jews in Arab and Muslim countries enjoy those freedoms enjoyed by Israeli Arabs. Any Jew operating a restaurant in Saudi Arabia, for instance? “life isn't really supposed to be about conquering and killing”??? What conquering and killing and by whom? I see plenty of that taking place as we speak in Arab and Muslim countries all over, including Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan to name a few. Israeli has a size comparable to a grain of sand in the desert compared with its hostile neighbors. But these neighbors cannot stand its existence and do not want to live with it peacefully. All Israeli Arabs who choose to do so, are free to move to those peaceful Arab neighbors and enjoy those wonderful freedoms they cannot enjoy in Israel. I for one, prefer to live in Israel and accept it as a Jewish- majority state, just like Jews and others living in the U.S. accept the U.S. as a Christian majority country.


Salim Abdul Fataz March 1, 2010 2:37 pm (Pacific time)

I wonder why is it that every single comment is a positive one.
Also, many of them repeat the "..Spoiled brat" phrase mentioned in the article.
Perhaps you filter your comments to allow only, or mostly, those which are favorable.
The owner of that restaurant should be proud to allow soldiers who protect Arabs, as well as Jews. He should be full of gratitude for their risking their lives while he makes money in his restaurant enjoying complete freedom he could not possibly enjoy in any Arab, or Muslim country, in many of which he could be EXECUTED for such action of not serving a soldier in uniform.

Editor: Well I have heard it all now, IDF soldiers 'protecting' Palestinians.  That is not the story I tend to hear, we catch far more about IDF soldiers brutalizing Palestinians than protecting them.  You know, life isn't really supposed to be about conquering and killing, the Israeli's need to learn this.  For the record, at least at this point, all comments on this story have been approved. 

 


William Chandler March 1, 2010 5:10 am (Pacific time)

"Palestine is not the original home of the Jews. It was acquired by them after a ruthless conquest, and they have never occupied the whole of it, which they now openly demand. They have no more valid claim to Palestine than the descendants of the ancient Romans have to this country. The Romans occupied Britain as long as the Israelites occupied Palestine, and they left behind them in this country far more valuable and useful work. "If we are going to admit claims based on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down..." —Lord Sydenham, Hansard, House of Lords, 21 June, 1922. * "If it is proper to 'reconstitute' a Jewish State which has not existed for two thousand years, why not go back another thousand years and reconstitute the Canaanite state? The Canaanites, unlike the Jews, are still there." —H.G. Wells, quoted by Frank C. Sakran in Palestine Dilemma, p. 204. * "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English, or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct." —Mahatma Gandhi, Tendulkar, Mahatma, Vol. IV, 1938, p. 312.


John Crumley February 28, 2010 6:53 pm (Pacific time)

Well written and timely article which sheds light on a situation which is all too often viewed through the lens of our media and government, but is really quite different from what they would have us all believe. Bravo!


Moshe February 28, 2010 3:11 pm (Pacific time)

The problem is the Talmudic indoctrination of all young Jews tells them that they are superior and all non-jews will end up as slaves to Jews. With that philosophy, this and many other anecdotes become much clearer.


Doug February 28, 2010 11:04 am (Pacific time)

If 90%+ of Israeli adults are members of the IDF, or in the active reserve, then any attack against Israel is against a valid military target as soldiers are always considered valid targets. The illusion of attacks against "innocent civilians" falls apart when there is a soldier everywhere one looks, whether in uniform or not. A fact not stated here is that the IDF uses the bus system as a means of transporting their soldiers (in uniform) to various duty posts. Therefore, any attack against a bus is a valid attack against the military transport system. This is the danger of a militarized society. Your enemies end up with an infinite number of soft, valid, military targets.


Mary Hughes-Thompson February 28, 2010 10:26 am (Pacific time)

This young soldier is a brat who has probably been raised with a sense of entitlement and a belief that as a chosen one he can make up the rules to suit himself. I always hate being in Israeli restaurants and buses where armed soldiers often outnumber other diners and passengers. I hope the IDF tells this guy to chill and stop making trouble.


STOP THE INSANITY February 28, 2010 10:13 am (Pacific time)

This is a great story! Maybe there IS a silver lining at the end of it...maybe, just maybe, Israel will realize how imbecilic albeit arrogant they really are and WAKE UP. There cannot be 'peaceful coexistence' when Israel is constantly trying to prove their superiority through violence. It's an oxymoron. The only way there will ever be peace over there is if the Israeli's stop the occupation of Palestine and quit brainwashing the children by coercing them into military service and arrogance. I think it's about time that that upstart, spoiled brat of a soldier was humiliated and better yet, that his 'daddy' couldn't get him out of that one. It is, and always has been the Israeli's who have been fomenting terrorism and war and because of their complete lack of responsibility, they blame their neighbors - the Palestinians. I wonder how 'brave' they would be if another country came and occupied THEM, took their homes, made them live without water, shelter, killed their children, locked them in a big outdoor prison and made them live in tents...perhaps they wouldn't be 'brave' then.


Mihail February 28, 2010 9:58 am (Pacific time)

JESUS WAS NOT A Jew Benjamin H. Freedman, Jewish Historian - Researcher - Scholar. From "Common Sense", p. 2-1-53 and 5-1-59 "Christians have been duped by the unholiest hoax in all history, by so-called Jews. This is considered their most effective weapon." "This 'big lie' technique is brainwashing United States Christians into believing that Jesus Christ was "King of the Jews", in the sense that so-called 'Jews' today call themselves 'Jews'. This reference was first made in English translations of the Old and New Testaments, centuries before the so-called Jews highjacked the word 'Jew' in the 18th century A.D. to palm themselves off on the Christian world as having a kinship with Jesus Christ. This alleged kinship comes from the myth of their common ancestry with the so-called 'Jews' of the Holy Land in the Old Testament history, a fiction based on fable." "American Christians little suspect they are being brainwashed twenty-four hours of every day over television and radio, by newspapers and magazines, by motion pictures and plays, by books, by political leaders in office and seeking office, by religious leaders in their pulpits and outside their churches, by leaders in the field of education inside and outside their curricular activities, and by all leaders in business, professions and finance, whose economic security demands that they curry the favor of so-called "Jews" of historic Khazar ancestry. Unsuspecting Christians are subjected to this barrage from sources they have little reason to suspect. Incontestable facts supply the unchallengeable proof of the historic accuracy that so-called "Jews" throughout the world today of eastern European origin are unquestionably the historic descendants of the Khazars, a pagan Turko-Finn ancient Mongoloid nation deep in the heart of Asia, according to history, who battled their way in bloody wars about the 1st century B.C. into eastern Europe where they set up their Khazar kingdom. For some mysterious reason the history of the Khazar kingdom is conspicuous by its absence from history courses in the schools and colleges.


Daniel Johnson February 28, 2010 6:18 am (Pacific time)

You write that this story is taking place in "one of the most precious and historic places on the earth."

That's the problem. it's only "precious and historic" in terms of those who adhere to those idiosyncratic religions. In that context Christianity and Judaism are being forced on everyone--believers and nonbelievers alike.


Jeff Kaye~ February 28, 2010 5:47 am (Pacific time)

Forever the optimist, except during periods of snide cynicism and skeptical pessimism, I say look at the potential bright side of this story: This presuming, privileged spoiled brat's pathetic whining may serve to highlight Israel's overall failure to peacefully coexist with even their own residents. Their provocation, persecution, land-grabbing and war crimes perpetrated on their neighbors (and most grievously on captive Gazans) can thus be highlighted in world news. Perhaps we should thank this angry young man for his arrogant outburst... It may turn out to have a positive spin; with the ultimate outcome (ideally, but realistically?) being our own country's leadership distancing themselves from this maniacal "Nazionism" before it's too late.


gp February 28, 2010 5:22 am (Pacific time)

" There is a growing consensus that Israel is too militaristic and that more places should take the stance that guns should not be allowed everywhere. Some even commented that it is very arrogant of the Israelis to be upset about this, when in actual fact the Palestinians live with this sort of thing every single day at the whim of Israelis themselves." Thanks for this article. The peacemakers like Rachel Cory, and the continuous non stop peaceful protests all over Palestine including within mosques are met with violence. The fact that they continue to protest peacefully is proof of their courage and commitment to nonviolence.

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