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The Middle East problem: A world away comes close to home

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This past Thursday Israel launched a ground offensive after days of enduring thousands of missiles being shot from Gaza into Israel by the terrorist group Hamas. Spurring the action was the discovery of thirteen Hamas militants exiting a tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel. Heavily armed, the militants planned on attacking and kidnapping or killing Jewish residents of a nearby kibbutz. The Israeli offensive, known as Operation Protective Edge, began after a series of events escalated the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel.

On June 12th, three Israeli seminary students were kidnapped: 16 year old Yaakov Naftali Fraenkel, who held dual US-Israeli citizenship; 16 year old Gilad Shaer; and 19 year old Eyal Yifrah. Their bodies were discovered on June 30th reportedly having been shot soon after they were kidnapped.

Two days after their bodies were discovered 16 year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and murdered by Israeli nationals in an apparent revenge attack. Protests during his funeral resulted in the arrest of a cousin of the murdered boy, 15 year old Tariq Abu Khdeir, whose beating by Israeli police was caught on videotape and caught international attention. The police claimed Khdeir was armed with a slingshot and was with protestors who were shooting stones at them. After receiving medical treatment and serving nine days of house arrest, late Wednesday evening Khdeir returned to Tampa where he lives with his family.

While many Americans seem unaware or apathetic to the escalation of violence and the ground war going on in Israel, protests have occurred in several cities, particularly where the Muslim community has established a physical and vocal presence. After Tariq’s return to Tampa, local CAIR Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibley took the opportunity Thursday morning to speak on local radio and television shows to condemn the treatment of Tariq by the Israeli police and against the ongoing persecution of Palestinians living in Israel.

On Friday in Temple Terrace, a once exclusive suburb of Tampa, a group of nearly 200 protestors gathered at the corner of Fowler Avenue and 52nd Street near the University of South Florida. The protestors were supporting the Hamas militants and denouncing the retaliatory actions of Israel. Palestinians and many in the Muslim faith refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the state of Israel. They call for the extermination of the Jewish people from every corner of the globe. Why is this not decried and condemned by our government as the hateful and dangerous anti-Semitism that it is? Is this any different than the Nazi propaganda of 1930s and 1940s Germany? Are we going to remain silent as these protests escalate?

In this article is a short video from Dennis Prager explaining the Middle East conflict, which is really very simple: “One side wants the other dead.” The Palestinians and many other Muslims and Arabs refuse to recognize Israel as a state and refuse to live in peace with Israel. While Israel has agreed to give up valuable land for peace and welcomes a two state solution to the problem, it is impossible to negotiate with people who refuse to acknowledge its very right to exist.

In researching this article, it seems young Tariq Khdeir attends the Universal Academy of Florida, a pre-K through 12th grade Islamic school in Tampa. According to its website the school has been in existence since 1992 and states: Our MISSION at UAF is to teach our students the principles and practices of Islam and to prepare them for academic success and good citizenship.” The UAF philosophy states: “The child is taught Islam across the curriculum to produce intellectual thinkers with ALLAH’s Laws as a basis.” We have a very real and insidious indoctrination of young Muslims occurring in the United States, and it is gaining ground. A recent email from United Voices for America reports a chilling statistic – Islam is the second largest religion in 20 states in America. This organization and CAIR, the Council on American and Islamic Relations (an unindicted co-conspirator of the terrorist group Hamas) encourage young Muslims to get involved in American politics and train them to advocate for the Muslim community and run for elected office to advance their agenda.

In these private Islamic schools across the country, Muslim youth are being taught from pre-school through high school graduation the tenets of Islam and Islamic law, or shari’ah. If these schools are teaching Muslim children the tenets of the Quran and Allah’s Laws they are teaching hatred and intolerance of all non-Muslims. These beliefs can never coexist alongside the rule of law in America. We need to jealously guard our freedoms or we will surely lose them.

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