Let me begin by stating that there is a tradition in
both Judaism and, much later, Islam to treat animals
in a humane way. And, in the modern age of factory
farming and such--with all the inhumane practices
which accompany them--none but the vegetarian comes
out really looking good on this matter. Still,
having stated this, there are some vey real
differences in practice. A mere glance at Wikipedia,
for example, at how animals are used by some folks
(especially, guess who ?) to commit atrocities
against others is educational...
There is a truly great organization which goes the
extra, extra mile to defend animals. Yes, there are
other great ones too--and I try to support as many
as my very limited funds permit these days. But the
one I'm refering to now--and the inspiration for
this article--is the World Society for the
Protection of Animals.
The most recent mailing I received from WSPA (which
I introduced to thousands of my students over the
decades) focused on saving the donkeys of Bethlehem
from the horrendous pain and suffering that they are
frequently subjected to.
Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive
doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and
conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has
lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly
debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been
published in dozens of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and
websites all around the world.
After describing the
agony caused to one donkey by an owner overloading
him, using painful harnesses, and driving him to
exhaustion, and contrasting this to a luckier animal
rescued by a local veternarian supported by WSPA,
the excerpts from the mailing continued...
Unfortunately, the first story depicts the daily
lives of tens of thousands of donkeys living in
Bethlehem right now. Toiling without rest under the
hot sun; exhausted, injured, and hungry; neglected
and abused, these poor animals know only pain and
suffering...many live with agonizing wounds...yet
most will never be brought to a veternarian because
their owners see them as little more than
machines...they will literally be worked to
death...then thrown away when their worn out bodies
can no longer go on.
Oh yes...there is another fate for donkeys in the
"Arab" world as well, not mentioned in the mailer.
As hinted above, they have been used to carry
explosives to blow themselves and human targets up.
Another famous organization, PETA, was very vocal on
this matter. On February 3, 2003, Ingrid Newkirk,
PETA's president, wrote a letter to Yasser Arafat
urging that the Arabs not use donkeys when murdering
Jews (no mention of concern about blown up Jews,
however...just that animals be left out of the
While no people nor culture has a monopoly on saints
or sinners, one would be hard-pressed to find Jews
doing these sort of things to animals, let alone
people...especially on the massive scale we're
referring to here.
Not only are Jews not permitted to do such things as
overwork their animals (the latter must also rest on
the Sabbath), they are expected to take care of
their animals' own basic needs--such as food and
water--before those of themselves. And, unlike what
we see too often in the "Arab"/Muslim world, these
principals are largely put into practice.
While there are some folks who don't mind abusing or
murdering people but supposedly still like animals
(Hitler, for example), the mistreatment of the one
too often seems to make the slaughter of the other
The same common disregard for animal life described
above in now predominantly Muslim Arab Bethlehem
happens to also be taking place in a culture which
glorifies and makes heros of those who visit
families in the night, beheading infants and
murdering the others as well; creates museums with
fake Jewish body parts hanging from the ceiling in
commemoration of the real acts of barbarism; stops
pregnant mothers in their cars and murders the
children at point blank range in their seats along
with the women; kidnaps young children and smashes
their heads against walls on the inside of caves;
deliberately targets schools and school buses; etc.
and so forth.
No problem with the Jews' donkeys...and no Jews
beheading Arab infants either.
Get it ?
Unlike Arab civilians who die because their brothers
use them as human shields in the process of
attacking Jewish non-combatants (a double war crime
according to the Geneva Conventions, by the way),
those victims above were as innocent (and
deliberately selected...the more innocent, the
better) as those donkeys cited by WSPA being worked
While I'm not trying to downplay such problems
associated with things like veal calf or mass
chicken production (which many Jews are also guilty
by association with), what I'm focusing upon here
represents something far different.
Not that the Arabs are the only folks with a bad
record on the these matters, it's still no accident
that WSPA had to do a mailing about the donkeys of
Bethlehem rather than the fate of any animal in the
land of the Jews.
Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has
done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern
Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-Arab
propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured
on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has
publicly debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles
and op-eds have been published in dozens of
newspapers, magazines, academic journals and
websites all around the world. Visit his
Gerald A. Honigman, a longtime contributing writer
for ekurd.net. Honigman has published a major book,
Quest For Justice In The Middle East--The
Arab-Israeli Conflict In Greater Perspective."
By Gerald A. Honigman for eKurd.net, May 27, 2011. You may reach the
author via email at: honigman6 (at) msn.com.
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