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TWO PERSPECTIVES —both are right

(Posted to this site on 10/1/01 )

TWO PERSPECTIVES —both are right
Dr. Mark Nataupsky, President
Holocaust Education Foundation, Inc.

We must learn lessons from the Holocaust and we must remember our responses against Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On September 13, 2001, two days after the savage and terrorist attack on the USA, I wrote that message in a letter to the editor of my local newspaper. A few days later they published most of it. My message focused on just treatment on Arab Americans and Muslim Americans. We must not behave like Nazis when they attacked groups of people just because they had certain religious or ethnic characteristics and we must not repeat America’s past errors of persecution. (click here to read the letter)

The words of Benjamin Netanyahu (former Prime Minister of Israel) to the US House of representatives were posted in the on-line Jerusalem Post News on September 24, 2001. He focused on the nature of the terrorists and their fervent goal to obliterate America. He stated that we must take strong action against these Muslim Arabs who are determined to destroy us. (click here to read the article)

I am opposed to “tolerance” even though it is a politically correct term. I am a strong supporter of “acceptance” even though we rarely hear that term. To me, tolerance has the implication of reluctantly accepting something that we cannot change even though it might have some intrinsic good associated with it. This is negative. To me, acceptance has the implication of embracing something even though we may not completely agree with it. This is positive. In these trying times I believe that we need to be positive.

I agree completely with Mr. Netanyahu and the need to fight vigorously against both terrorists and terrorism. At the same time, we must not now generalize and “attack” every Arab or every Muslim. Many of them join us in our resolve to obliterate both terrorists and terrorism. These are very precarious times and sometimes the decisions are extremely difficult. I don’t want to see any innocent lives lost in any country because of terrorist activities. I don’t want to us behave in a manner similar to the Nazis and I don’t want us to repeat America’s earlier mistakes. I don’t have answers HOW to do it, I just know that we have to keep raising both issues and to keep trying.

Dr. Mark Nataupsky,