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John Pepple

Hi Peg. Happy holidays!

I think of myself as a progressive, but whereas I have been continuously changing and re-thinking things for the last forty years, the other progressives seem stuck in the early 1970s. For example, their view of Muslims was one I had back then, but then the Iranian revolution hit, and once Khomeini got into power, Muslims butchered leftists. I want to shake these people when they whine about Gitmo and "Islamophobia" and say, "Do you understand who it is you are supporting? They will slit your throats." It does no good, of course. Sure, there are good, enlightened Muslims, but that's no reason for supporting all Muslims.

As for Israel, it is the same thing. That narrative is one developed forty years ago and further reinforced by Said's book "Orientalism." And progressives cling to it. Meanwhile, I went back and forth on Israel for a long time before finally settling in the pro-Israel camp.

The narrative I now use is what I call the Middle East minorities problem. The Middle East has a dominant group, Arabs who are Sunni Muslims, but there are plenty of minorities in the region. Aside from the Jews, there are Shi'ite Muslims, Copts, Kurds, blacks, and so on. Forty years ago, none of us knew much about these people, and so we ignored them when developing our narrative of the oppressed Palestinians. It's when one looks at these other groups, especially blacks in Darfur, that one begins to see what's really going on. There's nothing in the way that the dominant group treats all these other groups that suggests that they are wonderful people who treat all minorities well. The difference between Darfur and Israel is simply that the Jews are much better at handling the dominant group than the blacks of Darfur are. Take a look at how Palestinians treat women and minorities and compare it with Israel's treatment of them. Or consider how Hamas treated Fatah.

The Palestinians look like nothing but would-be oppressors who are whining because they are not dominant, for a change.

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