LETTER: Our gullibility about the Middle East

By Jon Paul Youakim

This is a response to the cartoon drawn by Pat Abbot. I am deeply saddened by the ignorance and gullibility that many Americans have of the whole “Middle East Conflict”, but particularly the Palestinian-Israeli “conflict”, which is what the cartoon was about. It portrayed the occupation as just a hatred of Muslims and Jews toward each other, and that if they could just hate Catholics, then there would be peace.

There are so many things insulting with the cartoon, so I will just start with the fact that the “conflict” is really an occupation and murder of indigenous people, and what’s most important is that it has absolutely nothing do to with religion except as a mask and manipulation for what is truly being done.

If the cartoon wanted to be realistic it would have a Palestinian Christians being slaughtered and pushed out of Palestine by Israel and telling the Muslim on the bench with a giant Berlin-type wall next to him that he’s next. The fact of the matter is that about 30 percent of around 8-9 million Palestinians world wide are Christian, yet less than 2 percent are still in Palestine. This is because Israel has fought and succeeded in portraying the occupation as a battle between religions, which is not the case at all.

To portray the situation as religious is an insult and bigoted. We become Islamophobes and anti-Arab, which should be just as terrible as being anti-semitic, especially because Arabs are indeed Semitic, but sadly we do not see our double standard. As a Palestinian-American Catholic I am living proof that Palestinian Christians exist, but you’d never know I exist with the cartoon portrayal of the “conflict” or that there is an illegal occupation going on.