Thursday, February 14, 2008

Conversations With Sadiq (Part One)

If you work for a boss , you learn to be diplomatic. You must you accustom yourself to his or her style of communication and management. More importantly, you must get along with the coworkers chosen for you.
The people I have had to get along with over the years have been most valuable for my education. I have worked with people from all parts of the United States and around the world.
One of my coworkers was Sadiq, a Muslim from the Pakistani side of the Punjab. We got along well together , and found the common trait of being members of non-christian minorities intent on maintaining our respective cultural and religious identities. He was the top salesman for the hardware supply company in which we worked . I packed the orders. He was outgoing and friendly. He was also against the existence of a Jewish State.
For months, our disagreement was implicit. We both avoided "hot Button" topics. We did our jobs and worked together well.
One day, a story about a top P.L.O. terrorist being killed by the Israelis hit the papers and the radio. I turned to the page in the New York Post describing the Israeli strike. Although I read the story in silence, I was happy as I read the story.
Sadiq started talking about Zionist settlers coming in from Europe to torment and displace the Arabs living there.
I weighed my words. An employee must always weigh his words. Sadiq brought in large orders. The owner needed Sadiq more than he needed me.
"You know Sadiq, " I said, "My rebbe was against the founding of the State of Israel".
Sadiq looked at me with a puzzled expression.
"Our rebbe said that if we had not lobbied for a Jewish State in 1948, then the Messiah would have come, and we wouldn't have all the problems we do today.
I am against the idea of a Jewish state based on non-Jewish law. Jewish law should be used in a Jewish land.
The best thing your fellow muslims could have done to delegitimise the State of Israel would have been to provide peace and tranquility to Jews living in Arab countries. Instead , the Arabs perpetrated pogroms , (farhud) against Jews living in their countries. Some Jewish communities in Iraq and Syria went back over 2000 years. These Jews were forced to flee for their lives to Israel, without any compensation for property they were forced to leave behind.
I wish you would have shown the State of Israel to be an unnecessary creation. You could have done so by showing that Jews could live in peace in Arab countries.
Instead, you forced me and others like me to support the State of Israel. Even though it was and remains a secular state, it protected Jews fleeing Arab persecution. I am upset with Israel's Arab neighbours for forcing me to support a secular Zionist state.
The warehouse was quiet that afternoon. Our cordial acquaintance survived the emotional exchange, and with time , Sadiq shared a candid and unique view of his world.
Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe Sphere: Related Content

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