Minister Louis Farrakhan addresses the Palestinian/Israeli conflict via
a press conference at Mosque Maryam, in Chicago, IL Tuesday, April 2,
let me thank all of the members of the media who are present, the
community leaders who are present, religious leaders who are present
and, of course, the believing community. After viewing the carnage of
the last few days going on in Israel and on the West Bank among the
Palestinians, I felt that it was my duty, indeed, a command from Allah
(God), to raise my voice to try to answer the question, what and who
will stop the carnage that is presently going on in the Middle East?
Of course, the
simple answer is justice. Though the word is easily said, it involves
the will, the mind, and spirit of well-meaning people whose desire is
peace, to sit down at a common table to work out a solution for peace
based on the principle of justice. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught
us that, “Justice is a principle of fair dealing.” He said that,
“Justice is the law that distinguishes right from wrong.” He also warned
that, “Justice is that weapon that Allah (God) will use in the Day of
Judgment, which we believe is now.”
that, “As a man soweth the same shall he also reap.” He also said, “If
you sow the wind you will reap the whirlwind, and, those who live by the
sword will ultimately perish by the sword.” The two sides, Palestinians
and Israelis, are at a point mentally and spiritually where they of
themselves cannot find a solution to this problem in their present state
of mind. Thus, without dispassionate and strong intervention by the
United States and the United Nations, the cycle of violence will
continue to escalate until the whole region has gone to a point of no
return. Thus, the War of Armageddon, which will involve all nations and
cause, as the Bible prophesies, “Blood to rise up to the horse’s
bridle,” will not be able to be avoided. The time for strong,
dispassionate intervention is now. If this moment is missed, the results
will be catastrophic.
One writer said
of America, “We can avoid reality but we cannot avoid the consequences
of avoiding reality.” So, I say again, this is the time for strong,
dispassionate intervention by the United States and the United Nations.
There are two
diverse and prevailing views held by the Israelis, the Palestinians, and
the Arab and Muslim world that appear to be irreconcilable. On the one
hand, we have the Jewish people having suffered for 2,000 years and
being persecuted in various countries of the world as they have been
scattered throughout our planet, their desire has always been a Jewish
homeland, which was promised to them by Allah (God). So, in the hearts
and minds of the Jewish people who have immigrated to the state of
Israel, there is a feeling of justification of their presence in Israel
by their belief that the state of Israel is promised to them by Allah
(God) and written of in the Torah and is the fulfillment of Allah’s
(God’s) promise to them. Therefore, by Divine right they feel justified
that their presence in the state of Israel is divinely ordained.
On the other
hand, the Palestinians view the Israeli presence as the result of the
organization of western powers in the United Nations heavily influenced
by the Jewish people and various governments that mandated the taking of
land from the Palestinians to form the state of Israel. This action,
taken by the United Nations in 1948, was never accepted by the Arab
states and many in the Muslim world. Therefore, the Arab states made war
against the Israeli state; and after each war more and more land was
taken from them. So, in their anger and their perception of stolen land
and the Arab world’s sharing this perception, the Palestinians, both
Arab and Christian Palestinians, have fought the presence of Israelis,
only to lose more and more land to a growing Israeli population. This
has caused the displacement of over five million Palestinians who now
are in the same state or condition that Jews have been in for 2,000
years—wandering the earth, living in strange lands, living in refugee
camps under conditions of overcrowding, squalor, disease, violence, and
the constant frustration of their natural desire to be free in a land of
their own. Therefore, the Palestinians and many in the Arab and the
Muslim world see no Zionist as innocent— no soldiers who occupy their
land, no settlers who carry machine guns, no Israelis who live on stolen
land as innocent. Therefore, they feel that their intafada, or uprising,
is a natural reaction to Zionist occupation, oppression, racism and
genocide conducted against the Palestinian people.
unfortunately, their belief that the state of Israel was created through
violence, exists and is maintained by violence, and, therefore, cannot
be stopped except by violence. These two views are the prevailing views.
There is another view among a small but growing number of members of the
Orthodox community that the state of Israel is not Biblically justified.
They believe that it is the Messiah and his appearance in the world and
their returning to obedience to the laws, statutes and commandments of
Allah (God) that would justify the Messiah’s leading them back to a land
of their own. These members of the Orthodox Jewish community feel that
the Zionists have usurped the promise and, therefore, have circumvented
the work that is written of the Messiah. And they believe that modern
Jewry has failed to fulfill that aspect of the condition of their
return, which is obedience to the laws, statutes and commandments of
God. These apparently irreconcilable views present us with a huge
theological problem that will take great theologians among the
Christians, the Jews and the Muslims who are capable of rising above
their emotions into the thinking of God to come up with that which can
reconcile these apparently irreconcilable views. This will take time,
but time now is of the essence.
As Muslims, we
believe that nothing happens except by the active or permissive Will of
Allah (God). Therefore, we have to ask the question: Why did Allah (God)
permit the state of Israel to come into existence? Was it to be a trial
for the Arabs and a trial for the Muslims? Was it permitted that Muslims
could learn from that state? What really was Allah’s (God’s) purpose?
Until we can rise above emotion into the thinking of God, we will never
be able to reconcile these apparently irreconcilable views.
For 54 years
the Arab and Muslim world has not accepted the existence of the state of
Israel. It appears, from the Gadhafi and Saudi Peace Plan, that there
now could be a recognition of the state of Israel’s right to exist and
the possibility of normalizing relations between the Arab states and
Israel should certain conditions be met. These peace proposals are at
least a basis for serious dialogue and negotiations. However, these
negotiations become very difficult if the cycle of violence is not
ended. So, what must be done?
all of her power and leverage, is not using her power responsibly to
reign in the military might of the Israeli defense force while
constantly reiterating what Chairman Yasser Arafat must do. This shows
that the American administration is not now a dispassionate broker for
peace. The American administration is leaning so heavily on the side of
Israel that this is now engendering more hatred among the Arabs and
Muslims for Israel and also for America because the Arabs and the
Muslims believe that America can and must do more. However, because of
Jewish influence on and in the present administration, the
administration does not appear willing to take the appropriate steps
that are necessary to bring about a ceasefire in order to begin serious
negotiations for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.
Ariel Sharon, President Bush and the American mass media have branded
Yasser Arafat as the principle source of this so-called terror. Doing
this minimizes him (Arafat) as a serious partner in the peace process.
To demand of Yasser Arafat what he cannot produce is unjust and
hypocritical. To join the (UN) Security Counsel in demanding that the
Israeli military forces leave the West Bank while at the same time
winking its eye at what the Israeli military is doing is showing the
world the incoherence and the hypocrisy of America’s Mid-East policy. If
Yasser Arafat is to be a partner in the peace process, look at what has
been done to him. Since President Bush has been in office he has never
met with Yasser Arafat. Since Ariel Sharon has become the Prime Minister
of Israel, he has never met with Yasser Arafat. The President has
invited Prime Minister Sharon to the White House and talks with him but
refuses to talk to Yasser Arafat. This is diminishing him in the eyes of
his own people, intensifying the anger and despair among the
Palestinians. Let’s look even more carefully.
wants to get Mr. Arafat to stop the so-called suicide bombings, America
must encourage Israel to give him something to use as leverage to reign
in the more extreme elements of his own people. You give him nothing but
demand of him everything. What can you give him? You could say to him,
Chairman Arafat, we will stop all building of settlements on the West
Bank. We will stop bulldozing Palestinian homes, assassinating
Palestinian leaders and confiscating Palestinian land. If you gave him
something, he could then appeal to the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah:
Will you give me a chance and stop the suicide bombings so that a
serious peace negotiation can begin? But instead of giving him anything,
it is demanded of him in a very arrogant way by the present
administration that he knows what he has to do. But for the last three
months, Arafat has been locked down in his own compound, unable to move.
What does that say to the Palestinian people? What does that say to the
leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah? It says that Yasser Arafat is completely
impotent and, therefore, he cannot be a spokesperson for their hurt when
he cannot even leave his compound without Israeli permission.
In the recent
Arab League Summit, which he should have been able to attend, he could
not attend without Israeli permission. You’ve humbled him. You’ve
reduced him. Not only in the eyes of the American people and other
administrations of governments, you have done the worst thing of all;
you have reduced him in the eyes of his own people.
that this continues, Chairman Arafat is seen as more and more impotent
by his own people thus enraging them and increasing the desire of the
more militant Palestinians to continue that which is called the suicide
young people that are strapping themselves with bombs to wreak havoc in
Israeli society, these young people whose lives are precious to them,
have nothing to fight with so they use their bodies strapped with bombs
as weapons against Israeli occupation. Anytime you see children doing
this, don’t call them insane. Anytime you see women now doing this,
young girls doing this, that should tell us that the level of despair
and hopelessness is so great among the Palestinian people that death is
preferable to continue life under these conditions. And then what is the
Israeli response to this? It is tanks. It is rockets. It is helicopter
gun ships. It is F16 and F15 jetfighters. And how can the Palestinians
respond to this? The Israelis talk about secure borders but the
Palestinians cannot secure their own borders. They are absolutely
helpless against the military might of the Israeli defense force.
throw stones at tanks, those that use AK47s are not even called
Palestinian defenders. They are called gunmen by the American media.
Those men and women and children that are strapping themselves with
bombs are called terrorists. Yet, the 70,000 people that live in
Ramallah, are they terrified to see tanks, to see helicopter gun ships,
to see F16s? Of course, they are. But this is called (Israeli)
self-defense while a whole people (Palestinians) are being terrorized.
And Mr. Sharon appears to be using the legitimate cry of the American
people and the Bush administration to uproot terror that caused the
destruction of the World Trade Center and the bombing of the Pentagon as
an umbrella to go in and kill indiscriminately men, women and children.
When I see the
bodies of Israelis carried to the cemetery and grieving mothers and
fathers, I’m touched by that, as the world is. But, I’m also touched by
the grieving Palestinian mothers and fathers who are burying their
children. To see Palestinian boys and men pulled out of their homes
blindfolded, their hands behind their backs strapped, it reminds us of
what was done by the Nazis in Poland. I would appeal to those of us who
suffer, we should never adopt the way of the oppressor. We must always
adopt a better way than to become what we have detested.
world to condemn the suicide bombings, which is the effect of something,
but not condemning the cause that produced this effect is adding more
injustice to an already intolerable situation. I would like to see these
young people live. I would like to see them stop strapping bombs to
their bodies. But how will that stop with what Ariel Sharon and the
Israeli military are doing? And how will it stop if the leverage that
America has, she is unwilling to use. This is why I’ve come before you
and the media, because I think you need another voice, a voice that is
not Palestinian, Jewish or Arab, a voice that is not tied to the
American political situation, a man who is spiritual and religious, to
maybe help to lift our sight above the carnage to a better reality.
Is it any
wonder that an Osama bin Laden is formed and fashioned? And is it any
wonder that people’s minds are so filled with hatred that they will kill
people who are innocent? This is the situation made in America and only
a dispassionate strong America can help to resolve. It is my hope and my
prayer that the American administration will act with wisdom and
strength. If not, what we see afar, we may well see at our own door. It
is my desire to go into the Arab and Muslim world. I have met the
leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah. I have met with Chairman Arafat. I have
met practically all of the leaders of the Muslim world; I believe I can
be of help.
It is my desire
to visit Israel and the Palestinians. I am not fearful of losing support
of the Arab and Muslim people by speaking to Prime Minister Sharon any
more than Moses lost the support of his people by speaking to Pharaoh. I
do not believe that we should not speak. I do not believe that we should
not act to try to stop the carnage. If we fail, at least we have tried.
I personally believe that these views can be reconciled, but it will
take spiritual people as well as highly learned political people to
implement a solution that can bring peace to this troubled area of the
world. That area of the world is the heart of our planet. It is that
area from which all of the Divine Guidance has come. If the heart is
troubled and not fixed, the whole body will show the effect of it.
Sharon, in my conclusion, has vowed to destroy or crush the Palestinian
militants. I humbly say to him and to President Bush, there was a
similar vow made by President Lyndon Baines Johnson and by some of the
United States senators, that they would bomb the Vietnamese back into
the stone age and this war led to the ultimate conclusion that Lyndon
Baines Johnson would not seek a second term, and, the Vietnamese became
the victors. Superior weapons can never destroy the thirst and the
hunger in a people to be free from tyranny and oppression. The desire
for freedom has always outweighed the power of military might. History
is full of examples of people in power failing to do what is just and
losing ultimately in the end.
warned of history that it not repeat itself today; God has never taken
the side of the oppressor against the oppressed. I plead for us to
consider the level of despair that exists in the Palestinian society and
put that in the equation of justice with a heavy emphasis. This is not
to diminish the suffering of the Israelis under these attacks. But, if
there is no heavy emphasis on the despair of the Palestinians, then the
equation for peace will never bring about the best results.
I thank you all
for listening to what I have to say. I pray that Allah (God) will cause
the words that I speak to find a resting place in the hearts of those
responsible. I pray that if it is the Will of Allah (God), that we can
do what we must do to stop the carnage and bring justice and, thus,
peace to that area of the world, which will mean peace for all of us.
Thank you for listening. I greet you in peace. As-Salaam Alaikum.
Members of the
media, I will take your questions now.
Jordan, WGN News: Minister Farrakhan, you alluded to the fact that you
would be willing to go. Is this a proposal that you are making? Is it
something that you will follow through with, to go to the Middle East
and try to seek some type of settlement?
I have already planned to go. Yes.
Defender: What do you
think about Sharon wanting Arafat to be exiled? Is that an answer? Will
that resolve everything?
The exiling of Chairman Arafat
is no answer. Leaving him in a compound with no water and electricity is
no answer. And pledging not to kill him is not an answer because he is
the symbol and the Palestinian people are the substance. So to pledge
not to kill him and at the same time kill men, women and children, is
not an answer. There is a better way, and I believe, with God’s help, we
can help to find it.
Baghdadi, Arab Journal:
I would like to ask you a question which has to do really with
the aspect of your speech, but later on allow me to ask you another
question related to the political part of your speech. Don’t you think
that the God who promised Palestine to the Jews, the God of Israel, is a
racist God, guilty of promising a land to people who do not belong
there? This God says that the two sons of Abraham, Isaac, who is the son
of a free woman, Sarah, has the right to Palestine, and his descendents;
yet, Ishmael, the son of Hagar, an Egyptian slave woman, has no right to
Palestine. And at the same time, the promise that God gave to the
Israelis, to the Jews, to Palestine, could you equate that to the fact
that Palestinians have been living there in Palestine for thousands of
years, long before Judaism, Christianity and Islam came to be. What is
more important, a promise by a God who is racist—not the God of the
universe, not the God of mankind—or a deed, a title that the
Palestinians have and carried for thousands of years.
Let me respectfully say that I don’t believe that God is racist or
unjust to promise land to a people with whom He has found favor. The
earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. If I would call God a
racist God for promising that to Jews, then I would not be able to
consider His promise to us (Blacks in America). We are in the same
position that the children of Israel were in 4,000 years ago. We, too,
have been persecuted for 400 years and we do not have a land that we can
call our own. You can say that America is ours, and in a sense it is.
But until we can enjoy the same freedom, the same justice, the same
equity that everyone else enjoys, we are only claiming something that we
yet do not have. So, the promise of God to the Children of Israel is the
same as the promise of Allah (God) to us—a land of our own. Yes, and
people may be living in it who have been living there for a long time.
But when God says that you are unworthy of that land and brings another
people in your place, God is not unjust nor is He racist. But if He does
that, we have to look at ourselves and ask what we’ve done to lose the
favor of God.
don’t believe that that land belongs to Palestinians or Jews. It belongs
to the righteous. If we act in accord with what Allah (God) demands of
that region of the world, we can stay there in peace. But since that
region means so much to Allah (God), then we ought to respect Him and
abide by His laws, statutes and commandments that that holy part of the
earth may be a home, not only to Jews, but to righteous Christians and
Muslims who have lived there for thousands and thousands of years. That
is theological, but we have to argue that point. And I believe that if
the presence of Israel there—which has not been accepted in 54 years,
and in all the attempts of the Palestinians and the Arabs to unseat the
Israelis—it only has led to them taking more and more land and more
Palestinians dispersed or sent into exile. Plus the fact that I heard on
television this weekend by a reporter, they were saying that Israel by
herself has enough power militarily to defeat the whole Arab world
because Israel already has what America is denying Saddam Hussein:
Israel has atomic weapons, chemical and biological weapons. When America
had that (atomic weapons) and Russia had that, there was a thing called
Detente. But for Israel to have it and no Arab state is allowed to have
it is a policy that renders the Arabs and the Muslims absolutely
defenseless in terms of the might of Israel backed by the United States
of America. That is an unjust equation.
I would hope
that all weapons of mass destruction be eliminated. But if Israel can
have them, some Arab state should have them as well. If you don’t want
any Arab state to have them, then ask Israel to disarm so that Detente
will be in that area. Then there is less intransigence on the part of
the Israelis to sit down, talk peace, and obey a UN resolution. Excuse
me for talking so long on that, but I have never believed that God was
unjust in what He Wills. It’s our lack of understanding, pitting our
inferior understanding to the long-range wisdom of an omnipotent God.
WBBM radio: Good
afternoon. I understand that the way Israel sees it is, if they trade
land for peace that would amount to appeasement in their eyes.
Appeasement never worked for the people who are now in Israel. What
guarantee would Israel have if it did trade the West Bank for peace that
Hamas would not figure that suicide bombers worked to this extent,
therefore, would try some more and get the whole thing. I believe that
is what Israel is worried about. What guarantee that that would be the
end of it and Israel would be safe?
When Yitzak Rabin came to the conclusion that UN Resolution 242, which
deals with trading land for peace, was the right thing to do, I believe
it was [Binyamin] Netanyahu who said he (Rabin) should be shot. And some
young Israeli took his life. They were on a road then that might have
led to peace. The guarantee that Israel seeks if they traded land for
peace is, according to what came out of the Arab League meeting in
Beirut, that even the most hardened against Israel—Iran, Iraq,
Libya—they said that if the Palestinians agreed, they would go along
with it. And if the whole Arab world went along with it, it would be
very difficult for Hamas in that climate to continue that because then
the whole Arab world would have to come against them. I don’t see
anybody more fierce against the state of Israel than Iran, Iraq, Libya
and possibly Syria. But, according to what I read, after the Arab League
summit they said that if the Palestinians accepted this they would go
along with it, unless I misunderstood. I believe, with the help of Allah
(God), when I travel, Allah willing, in that part of the world I will
talk with the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah. I want to hear from their
lips. I know something of their despair, but I don’t know it like they
know it. I think we have to give them something in order to stop what is
being done. And may God bless those in power to retreat from the madness
that they are on. This course that Mr. Sharon is on that is backed by
our government is sheer madness. It can be stopped, but there has to be
a reversal of this course. If not, all of us are going to suffer one way
WLS radio: I was just wondering when you were planning to make this trip
to the Middle East and what other details can you tell us about your
in May, inshallah (God willing), and before I go, I will tell the
American people and the American administration what my intentions are.
And with the help of God, I will not go by myself. I hope to take with
me Christians, Jews, Hebrew Israelites, Muslims, Palestinians, so
that I can be guided and counseled by these that I will take; but also
so that I will not be alone, that I will have witnesses that I am not a
terrorist, nor am I going there to incite people against my own
country. I sincerely want to see peace. Jesus said it better than
anyone can say it: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called
the children of God.” That’s the light that I would like to be seen in,
And may I
humbly suggest to you that you pull down my letter that I wrote to
President Bush. In it, I told them all the things that he’s confronted
with right now that will only get worse, and offered myself to this
government and to the American people as a helper. I would like to
remind you that sometimes those that you least expect the guidance of
God to come from, God will raise them in hours like this.
I told Mr. Bush
that I wrote him from my prison, not with bars, but a prison imposed on
me by my passion for truth and justice, and by how I have been
characterized in the media as an anti-Semite, a hater, anti-White,
anti-American. That is a prison, but I believe I see the keys and I’m
on my way out of that prison, like Joseph, and maybe I can help this
Pharaoh to ease his troubled mind over his troubling dreams.
Downing, Newsweek: I was wondering when you do make the trip in
May, will you also be meeting with Yasser Arafat? And what was the
process that kind of guided you to the point of wanting to go?
If it is the will of Allah
(God), I would not just go there not to meet with Chairman Arafat. I
would like to meet with him depending upon the conditions. I would like
to meet with Ariel Sharon, depending upon the conditions. But I will
also meet with all of those in the Muslim world that our President
describes as part of the “axis of evil.”
I do not want
to see one more American life lost foolishly. This does not have to
happen, but it is misguided policy that will cause more and more
American deaths and the deaths of innocent people in other parts of the
world. I just believe that this is the time that God should speak
through one of His servants who is from among the dispossessed, the
ex-slaves, the rejected, and the despised. I have something to offer
you. I do not offer it in arrogance because I know too much about how
little I am and how great God is for me to be arrogant. But what I
offer, I offer it out of my love for God and my love for truth and the
pain that I feel over the suffering of my own people and the suffering
of those who suffer throughout the world. That is the process that has
When I saw
Pakistanis lined up on the border in Kashmir and India, and Indian
soldiers lined up there—and these are two nuclear powers—I desired to
go. Mahatma Ghandi was a man who was a Hindu, I believe, but he was so
lofty above the things that have produced hatred between Muslims and
Hindus that he caused them to rise above their hatred of each other to
become an independent India. And then that hatred surfaced and Pakistan
was born and East Pakistan was born. So it’s going to take someone or
ones who can lift our sights above our pain to be able to see where a
solution lies that can bring peace. And that, I believe, is what God
has allowed me to live in this hour to do.
Abdeljalil: My name is Manal. You talked a lot about truth and
justice and you also talked about the media being biased. What is your
advice for the media, since they’re present right here? The other thing
that I also mentioned, I would like to humbly ask you how do you see the
role of the Nation of Islam in trying to promote the cause of the
Palestinians, since you believe that we should speak out about injustice
and, you know, basically, conscious Americans be aware of what’s going
on to the Palestinians?
Thank you. This media that
stands and sits in front of me do not have the power to even say what I
said. They have bosses. What I said will be filtered through those
eyes. You may say, well, why did you do it? I did it so that a record
is made. Whether they can put my words out or not, I have no control
over that, but everybody knows what I said. So when the [Bush]
administration tries to paint me as anti-American, that I don’t love the
country of my birth, that I have sided with terrorists, there’s enough
footage here; and some of you will be bold and strong enough to stand up
to your editors and say that [Farrakhan] spoke something that needs to
be said. Let’s let the American people judge. That is what I would say
to the media.
But thank God
that there’s Arab satellite television. Thank God that there are other
media that are not necessarily as opinionated, if you will, or
controlled, if you will, that the message may get out. And lastly, the
role of the Nation of Islam. Since 9/11 (Sept. 11), Arabs and Muslims
have suffered and are suffering now in the United States. There’s great
pain in the Arab and Muslim community because now they know what we’ve
been knowing—that racial profiling exists. Now they understand it in a
terrible way. Their homes are being broken into in the middle of the
night. They are having their bank accounts closed so that they cannot
do effective peace work. They have been detained even without counsel,
or without justification. Many Arabs and Muslims now are even afraid to
speak because they love America. They want to stay in America and
they’re afraid that if they speak out their green cards may be taken
away. They may be forced to be deported. But I don’t have a green
card. I’m born in America. The Nation of Islam doesn’t have that fear.
So those who have rejected us as non-Muslims, look at us again. We are
Muslims and we love you. It is our duty to defend the cause of justice
where you are concerned. So, we will rise to that occasion. And
whatever the consequences are, we are willing to pay that price.
Hill, Fox News: Good
afternoon, Minister. I just wanted to follow up quickly on your letter
to President Bush and his administration. Have you received any kind of
response? And if before the media puts it out there today, have you had
any kind of response on your plans to travel to the Middle East?
Thank you. On the second part of your question, this is the first time
I’m making it known. The first part of your question, the answer is no,
I have not received any response. But if you would like to pull that
letter down to read it for yourself, you can pull it down on
www.finalcall.com. It’s also on the Web site of
www.polyconomics.com. It would be, I think, good reading.
CLTV News: I was wondering, it has been suggested recently that these
two leaders, Mr. Sharon and Mr. Arafat, have lived so much of their
lives filled with this conflict that perhaps they should just step down
and let somebody new on both sides come in with a new vision, with a new
view of that. I was wondering what your thoughts are on that?
I don’t think that they can step down. I do feel that they may have
points of view that need to be heard and figured into the equation.
Maybe the Israelis already have somebody in mind, the way they’re
treating Chairman Arafat. I don’t think that America should try to
choose the leadership of people. Let them do that. Chairman Arafat, I
think, was elected by the people of the West Bank to represent them.
Why should he step down? He’s only ineffective because he has been made
ineffective by those who may not want the peace process to succeed. I
hope that he, to use a spiritual term, can be resurrected from where he
has been placed. But I want you to remember, please, that he is the
symbol. The Palestinian people are the substance. To say you won’t
harm him while you harm his people is only increasing more and more
hatred. Some third-party needs to step in now to help both of them. I
will now close this with a question from Bro. Ali Baghdadi.
Baghdadi, Arab Journal: As you know, there is a proposal for a
solution by the leader of Libya, Muammar Gadhafi, a proposal that he
made to the Arab League two years ago in Amman. Gadhafi, who is
described as a mad man because he has helped every African country that
was fighting racism and fighting for independence and liberation, he
says that a solution is possible for Jews and Arabs to live peacefully
together the way they have lived for thousands of years. The Jews
enjoyed equality and freedom among Muslims and they have never been
discriminated against, and that can happen again, he says. The solution
is for Israel to abide to UN resolutions, to all UN resolutions. They
have to abide to 194, which orders Israel to have the Palestinian people
to return to their homes. There are other resolutions, as you know, 338
and 242 that demand the withdrawal of Israeli forces and occupation from
all Arab lands.
a state could be established made of Arabs and Jews, where Muslims,
Christians and Jews could live equally together in one state, as one
nation, with one capitol, Jerusalem. What do you think of the
solution? This seems to me that this kind of state will be accepted by
every country in the Arab world, and I think probably there will never
be war again.
At the present time, Bro. Ali,
the rivers of blood that have been shared between them and the level of
hatred that exists between them, will forbid their being in the same
state, under the same flag. I’m not saying that this cannot happen in
the future, but I think the Israelis want their own state; and I think
the majority of the Palestinians want their own sovereign state.
If that is the
core of the Gadhafi peace proposal, it may not find resonance among the
Arabs and the Palestinians and the Jews, who are in the state of mind
that they’re in right now, anymore than you could make a state out of
Germans and Jews after the Holocaust. The hatred, the pain was so great
that to ask the Jews and the Germans to live together in Germany would
not have been acceptable to either party. But, Bro. Ali, I believe
that, ultimately, it is the will of God that those of us who exist on
this earth will one day live in peace and harmony.
But that begs
for a process to begin, cleansing us and purifying us of the things that
have caused us to hate each other and to be destructive of each other.
So, Allah (God) says in the Qur’an, “... that he will purify his
community.” And the Bible and the Torah says the same, that he will be
like a refiner’s fire and like Fuller’s soap, because he will have to
wash humanity of the things that cause us to hate each other.
He would have
to purify us from these things and the fire of a refiner is to break us
down in the form that we have been formed and give us a new form in
which to house the spirit of God. That is why Jesus said you can’t pour
new wine in old wine skins. And that is why Jesus, again, said, after
he was baptized with water, that one was coming after John that would
baptize with fire. And this fire means that as fire destroys the form
of whatever it touches—the Bible says we are born in sin and shaped in
iniquity—that form has to be broken down, and a new form given to the
human being into which he can pour his spirit without number. And that
is in the future, but it is a process that has already begun.
May God bless
all of you. And those of my guests and friends, I did not ask you to
stand with me because I did not tell you, didn’t have time to tell you,
what I was going to say. I thought it would be unfair to ask you to
stand with me if you didn’t know and were not possibly in agreement with
what I would say. So if you are in agreement with what I have said as a
starting point, then you can feel free to stand with me.
As I close, I
ask Allah’s forgiveness, because I did not open with, “Bismillah al-Rahman,
al-Rahim.” In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Although, I was definitely in that Name, but it is always good to say it
because something as important as this, I really needed the help of God
just to get through this, and I thank you all for sharing this with me.