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Why Do They Hate Us?

by Hilmar von Campe

Referring to actions of the Israeli army, Secretary of State Colin Powell told a House subcommittee on March 6 that Israeli Prime Minister Sharon "has to take a hard look at his policies to see whether they will work". I quite agree with him that killing as many Palestinians as possible will lead nowhere even though precisely the same American policy toward Arafat’s fellow terrorist, bin Laden in Afghanistan, was quite successful. Without any doubt the Israeli civilians have been exposed to the most vicious and murderous terrorist attacks in the last months. What on earth is an Israeli government on that tiny peace of land supposed to do to defend its people with enemies around every street corner?

The other day I saw the film Collateral Damage. In it the family of a fireman captain in New York (Schwarzenegger) was killed by a bomb, which had been planted by the head of a Columbian terrorist organization. The captain goes after this man and faces him in the jungle of Columbia. In their conversation they touch on the heart of what led to the massacre, hatred, which fills the terrorist – but also the man who wants revenge for the murder of his family. There is no meaningful dialogue, however, about hatred, what it does to a person and to societies, what causes injustice and how hatred leads to war. Nothing about what to do about it: just guns and killings through the very end of the film, where of course the captain, who represents the "good", defeats the terrorist, who represents the "bad". This could have been a very powerful film, initiate healing and show a way out of the growing violence, which surrounds us, if Hollywood would understand the fundamentals of life. Instead it was just cheap action.

The Associated Press circulated a story about a 19 years old Palestinian youth, Mohammed Farhat, under the headline Boy found purpose in hatred which was published in our local newspaper The Gazette on March 9. The death of close friends in the battle with Israeli soldiers, the first one when he was 10 years old, produced a growing hatred and thirst for revenge in him. The fulfillment of these passions of his lower nature became mission and meaning for the youngster. Islam has no healing for this spiritual poison. On the contrary, hatred against the unbelievers is being nourished through the media in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and through schoolbooks day-in, day-out. Mohammed Farhat ended up killing 5 Israeli youth, students of the Torah, and was shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Farhat is now revered as a holy Muslim martyr by his friends and family according to the Associated Press report." A friend expressed this in the following way: "He succeeded in carrying out his mission. We ask God to grant him an honored place in heaven, because he deserves it." This religious nonsense exposes the lie at the heart of Islam, sanctifying hatred and murder. I don’t think that Mohammed Farhat is getting even close to God. Nor will the suicide bombers of September 11. Even less those "religious" seducers who put this heresy into the hearts and minds of millions of young people.

The men who murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, are consumed by the same hatred which has nothing to do with God, the creator of all life.

I know the destructive force of hatred. The Nazi ideology was based on hatred and no arrangement with Hitler got the world closer to peace. On the contrary, every agreement was for him a stepping-stone to the next conquest until he arrived at total war. Arafat is no different from him, whipping up hatred for political power until Israel is eliminated and Islamic power is ready for the next stepping-stone.

But I also know the power of hatred in my own life and in our family. When World War II had ended the rest of our family landed as refugees from Eastern Europe in what was then the British occupation zone of Germany. My father had been taken away by the Soviet army and perished in a Communist concentration camp, my brother had fallen as a soldier in Russia and when my mother was expelled from our home in Sudetenland, all our belongings were stolen by the Czechs who’s government and judiciary system until today call revenge and theft justice. Because of justifying revenge they can’t see and think straight.

In our family the hatred for the Nazis was like a hurricane inside all of us. We blamed them for the destruction of our family and our country. Especially my mother asked over and over again "why my husband? Why my husband? We loved each other so much." She got sick and could not sleep at night. We hated the British for their arrogance with which they tried to educate us about how wrong we had been. They confiscated the house where we lived in a small apartment under the roof and threw us out within 24 hours to transform the house into an officer’s mess. Our furniture, which we had collected with great difficulties, was also confiscated. The captain who walked through our home and confiscated what he found treated my mother and us as if we were air. My mother face became white with fury. Since then our family slogan was, "to love your neighbor is a Christian duty, to hate the British is a national concern!"

After several months we got another apartment in the house of a worker in overcrowded West Germany. They resented our presence and we were disgusted with being forced to live there. Many small things brought growing frictions in our relationship. The owner, Herr Kochbeck, for instance, went to bed early in the evening and left around 4:00am for his work. His motorcycle made a horrendous noise and my mother who normally fell asleep not much earlier was awakened and could sleep no more. We on the other hand went to bed late and washed before. The water tubes passed behind his head through the walls of his bedroom and the water, which was coming down in it, awoke him. He asked us very often whether we couldn’t wash earlier but we ignored it. Every Sunday we went to the same and only church in the village, but never together. We prayed the Lord’s Prayer but never connected it to the raging hatred in our hearts.

A well-known British journalist cured me from my hatred and became my friend. He made me understand that hatred is not only wrong and an insult to God but also dumb. How can anybody hate groups of people whom in most cases you don’t even know – like the British or the Germans, the Jews or the whites, the black or the capitalists, the Muslims or the Christians, etc., etc., etc. Why do they hate us?

My own heart convicted me and I asked God to forgive me and He freed me of my hatreds. I apologized to the same journalist for having hated him and his countrymen. Then I worked on my mother and the day came when she realized how wrong her hatred was and what a Christian hypocrite she was. But she couldn’t get rid of her hatred, it even got worse. The idea to ask any Nazi for forgiveness made her raging mad. Hatred had engulfed her. One day she went down on her knees and said to God: "father in Heaven, I know that my hatred is wrong, but I am just unable to get rid of it. Please help me! I shall stay on my knees and not get up until you make me free." It took her two hours of praying and crying, then she got up as a transformed woman and immediately began caring and fighting for other people – there was much desperation and hatred in post-war Germany. My mother had found a new purpose and destiny.

It was not easy for any of us to apologize to the Nazis. Representing all of them in her mind and heart was her own brother-in-law, a Nazi general, who had always ridiculed her as an ignorant reactionary. When she did it, she cut the grip of the past on her and became free to participate in constructing the future. The same happened to other women throughout Europe, like Irene Laure, secretary general of the Socialist women of France, whose son had been tortured by the Gestapo. What for us were the Nazis was for her anything German. Like my mother she found an answer to her hatred and became a tremendous force for reconciliation between France and Germany. A hate-free basis for Europe was created this way.

The easiest for us was the apology to our landlord and his wife. The Kochbecks turned out to be wonderful people, warmhearted and only too anxious to reconcile themselves with us. We became good friends – and Christians!

Since then I know that hatred can be cured like any sickness. I consider the peace mission of General Anthony Zinni in the Middle East an exercise in futility even though a cease-fire, which would hold as result of his efforts, would be a great interim improvement. There is a raging sea of hatred in the region – but the issue is not even addressed. Therefore there can be no peace. The Mitchell and Saudi peace proposals are dead on arrival. Even more so the European plan. It has nothing to do with peace.

Israel as well as the surrounding Islamic nations is living in a historical context. The Jewish nation has a history of 4000 years with Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the center. There is the promise that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem at the end of times. The Islamic nations see a world converted to Islam as the historic mission of their religion. But there is justification for hatred and murder in that religion and therefore it is not a real religion. The so-called moderate Arab leaders are not part of the direct terrorist action but they are part of the hatred. They have not condemned the atrocities of the suicide bombers nor the religious heresy that God will compensate you for murder. By the way, I ask myself, what would be the compensation for a female suicide bomber? The moderate’s point of view is the same as the one of the terrorists: there is no room for Israel in the world they want. Whatever any of them may say or propose, the reality is that they fight a religious war to eliminate the Jewish state in their midst. They don’t look for peace; they just want a stepping-stone. The Saudi proposal is nothing but such stepping- stone. The people of Israel, I believe, want peace but must defend themselves in order to survive. Arafat and his corrupt government establishment must be removed. They are as much elected as Hitler and his comrades were. The liberated Palestinian people can find a new leadership that can be a partner for peace as Germany was after the war.

Most Muslim states are economically backwards and because of the ignorance of the mullahs and the tight control of most rulers there is little hope of progress. They resent the affluence of the unbelievers, especially America, which they need at the same time. They resent the economic and military power of the United States and their own inability to escape the application of that power. The leadership, mostly rich, hates the fact and the specific exercise of power and filters that hatred down to the last Muslim. It is the same scapegoat-philosophy as lever for own power as was applied by Hitler whipping up hatred against Jews and Western nations.

But there is an additional element and that is the abuse of power which surfaces when the United States applies a different standard to others than to itself, like trying to make Arafat a partner of Israel while treating bin Laden as a terrorist. "He is the partner that Israel will have to deal with" stated secretary of state Colin Powell at the beginning of April, teaming up with the socialist-communist leaders of the European Union , Russia and the United Nations against Israel, refusing to define the reality of the terrorist nature of the Arafat establishment. At the same level the state terrorism in China and Soviet Russia and their links to international terrorism are being ignored by Western policy makers who already delivered, among others, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Angola into the hands of terrorists. Analyzing my own cases of hatred, in every one of them hatred was caused by what I felt was a combination of immorality and the abuse of power exercised by a stronger group of people to the detriment of our life. Hatred was the escape valve for a problem I was unable to handle. In the Islamic version of hatred terrorism emerged as the correcting action. How on earth can Western nations intent to broaden the Arafat-Palestine land basis for more terrorist attacks, because that is what all "peace" propositions boil down to? For Israel it would mean self -destruction and not peace.

"The lesser the physical resource, the greater must be the stress and reliance on the spiritual dimensions of war. Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is an end in itself," writes the Pakistani Brigadier S.K. Malik in his book The Quranic Concept of War. The foreword was written by the then president of Pakistan, General M. Zia-Ul Haq. The book must therefore be considered an expression of the official doctrine of war of Pakistan. It is being applied by bin Laden, Arafat and others. Malik continues, "Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge. Terror is not the means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him."

There is more to terrorism than Al Quaida and the Taliban. It has become a program of unrestricted hatred across the globe. Military, political and economic countermeasures are necessary. But they can’t solve the problem.

The representatives of the Islamic nations and the Catholic Church together fought at United Nations conferences resolutions and actions to the detriment of the family like abortion, which normally was promoted by United States government delegations. Abortion according to them (and to me) is deadly terrorism against unborn human beings. It is based on hatred of God and self. If then the leaders of the abortion-infested Western societies arrive in Islamic countries preaching peace and justice and using their muscle they may produce temporary arrangements because of their power but never a lasting solution. On the contrary, they feed resentment and the hatred against these Western hypocrites – as they correctly see our society and their leaders – grows. Double standards in international relations make people hate us. The answer to the terrorist problem therefore lies in our own society. We have to clean it up and connect power with truth. America needs an integrated universal system of truth and must promote truth in every human relationship and not manipulation. And then we shall find the way to peace.

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