Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chicago Radio show brings Palestinians and Israelis together on "Say Something Nice" day

I have invited two guests on my show this morning, Fadi Zanayed, president of the Chicago Chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and David Steiner, president of the Chicago Chapter of the American Friends of Peace Now. Zanayed is Palestinian and Steiner is Israeli.

Over the past few weeks, it has been disheartening to watch and listen as some leaders in the Arab community and also in the mainstream Jewish American community, spew hatred and vicious rhetoric blaming others for the unspeakable crimes against women, children and innocent people in the Gaza Strip and in the Israeli towns near Gaza. Instead of leadership, some of these organizations have been denouncing fiercely the crimes committed against their people, but have either remained silent or have justified the carnage and immoral conduct committed against the others.

Both sides are committing crimes, and the worst crime is when the people on either side pretend their side is not committing a crime but scream and cry about the crimes committed only against their people.

That is complicity in the carnage and that needs to stop.

Today on my Radio Chicagoland program (WJJG 1530 AM Radio) I am asking callers, especially Arab and Jewish listeners, to call in and say something nice about the "other side." To show not that the other side is right but that their side has a remaining sense of morality in a conflict filled with a vicious war of words of "moral equivalency."

Innocent people are dying in a conflict that has raged on for more than 100 years. No one incident started anything. The facts so the claims on both sides are untrue. And when people lie or they close their eyes to the truth, they are also participating in the inhumanity that is taking place today.

Our government leaders are failing and are also playing politics on the spilled blood of innocent people. It's up to us, the people, to take the lead and say and do something to force them to do the right thing.

If you are not in the Chicagoland area to hear the show live on the radio this morning between 8 and 9:30 am, you can go to the web site and listen online, including on the live video streaming option,

-- Ray Hanania