Merriam Webster also offers the following examples:
- His racist attitudes were born out of ignorance.
- an appalling ignorance about other cultures
On May 14, 2012 I attended a discussion given by Erick Stakelbeck host of Stakelbeck on Terror. This discussion was hosted but Josh Ahrens of CUFI on Campus, a Christian organization led by students on University and College campuses around the United States. It was held at Portland State University. I attended this event because I know Erick Stakelbeck and have hosted him on conference calls to discuss terrorism in the US. I know him to be an extremely knowledgeable person when it comes to the terrorist threat in our country. As an investigative reporter, he has been on the inside of mosques, and interviewed members of Hamas, a military/political leader in Gaza and on city councils in the West Bank. Hamas is also defined by the US State Department as a terrorist organization. (Hamas is a member of the Palestinian Authority, you might also compare the US designated foreign terrorist list with other members of the Palestinian Authority)
Erick has not only interviewed many high ranking officials in the US but also in Israel. More importantly, he has toured Israel, which is where I first met him. When you have an investigative mind for truth, it’s not hard to find people to speak to in Israel about terrorism. Everyone has a life story to tell and because Israel is a democracy built on freedom, you can easily speak with Arab Israeli’s both Muslim and Christian as well as the Jewish people. So from my viewpoint and by definition, when it comes to understanding the root of terrorism, Erick Stakelbeck is not “ignorant”.
Day’s leading up to this event paint a different picture though. Posters advertising the event were posted around the Portland State University (PSU) campus. Many were torn down, but some people decided to put a swastika in the middle of the Magen David (Star of David) which was on the poster. Here is were I see either ignorance, pure hate or both. Will the University step up and denounce this kind of treatment to the Jewish students on their campus?
Prior to the event, protesters organized a meeting to develop their strategy and state why they intended to protest. Click here to see the video of that meeting. During this meeting protesters equated Erick Stakelbeck with racism and the KKK because he speaks out against radical Islam which advocates Jihad. Islam is a religion, and those who follow Islam are called Muslim’s. According to Merriam Webster “racism” is defined as: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. A quick google search will show the KKK is in fact a racist organization. They advocate a pure white Anglo-Saxon race and guess what? They hate the Jews too! Therefore, student protesters, being muslim is not a race, and you who hate Israel and Jews have something in common with the KKK. True Racism!
As the night began, protesters (approximately 25) began to enter the room. They had their mouths taped, and many had messages against Israel written on the tape. For the most part they were quiet although they only stayed approximately 9 mins. Erick invited them to remove the tape, stay for the discussion and to please ask questions. He told them he loves a good debate and was ready. Sadly, ignorance won out and they left.
Those of us who stayed to listen were educated about the history between Hitler and the Grand Mufti, Iran and the so called Arab spring, and much more. Erick supplied many facts that can be found by anyone who knows how to use good ole “google”.
As I listened to his talk, my thoughts wandered to many of my friends in Israel whose families helped develop the State of Israel in the Palmach, Etzel and other early organizations which now form the IDF. Many friends lived in Arab lands and were kicked out when Israel became a state and went on to fight in the wars since. I thought about my friends in the Shomron, who have had to endure rock throwing and senseless murders by Arab’s in that area. Also, friends in Sderot who endure the onslaught of rocket attacks on Shabbat, Purim and at other times. I remembered the time I experienced a rocket attack and standing with friends watching rockets being fired off from Gaza.
Discussions I’ve had with Arab Christians in Nazareth, in taxi’s and in Jaffa, as well with Arab Muslims came to the forefront. Mental pictures flooded my mind from the sights I’ve seen on the many trips taken to Israel. Beaches in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa and elsewhere filled with both Jews and Arabs swimming, playing and having fun. Parks filled with Arabs and Jews having picnics in places like Kfar Saba, and Tel Aviv.
I finally understand, these university student protesters must not have visited Israel, and obviously they have not used google too much. After they left our meeting, they went to a room for their debrief. Listen to them talk, you will hear the ignorance.
I wish I would have seen more people at this event. Only a few students attended and much of the general public was missing. As I told Erick at the end of the evening. This shows the apathy of our nation and we have much work ahead of us.
In conclusion, I found that “ignorance” is not bliss, this common phrase is used to say that a person who does not know about a problem does not worry about it. In my opinion that is foolish. Just because some bury their head in the sand does not mean that terrorism will not happen again on our land. It’s here and is happening! So far we have been very fortunate to intercede.
To all the protesters, we have defined Ignorance, Islam, Muslim and Racism in this blog. Before you point fingers at others, you should point at yourself. Educate yourself first, by taking a trip to Israel, not with your supportive anti Israel tour guides, but a real trip. Meet the people of Israel, listen to their stories, sit in the parks and on the beach and look around, visit the Universities and talk with students both Arab and Jews. Choose to be a student who searches for truth with an open mind. Choose wisdom rather than ignorance.
Next time Erick is here, I hope you all will choose to attend, listen and then have a civil discussion, rather than protesting. You may still disagree but who knows you might actually discover something to agree on. Until then, ask yourself? What is it about Jews and Israel that cause such hatred of them for thousands of years?