Jews vs. Muslims

Throughout the day and in the weeks to come the US nationalist Press, co-opted by Israeli Nationalist interests, and tinged by an American evangelical perversion that sanctifies Israel in a bizarre end times fantasy, will frame today’s criminal act in Jerusalem as the holocaust part two by Muslims.

Never mind the disrespect that affords to the actual holocaust, and the truths about that terrible period in human history. the belief that this is part of an endless and unsolvable historic hatred between Muslims and Jews is simply a lie to hide the root cause of the conflict. Indeed, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is more akin to neighboring hillbilly clans bickering over overlapping hunting grounds than a religious conflict.
Jews and Palestinians are basically family stuck in an antagonistic rut, each knowing precisely how to incite the other.

I live between a predominantly Muslim neighborhood centered on Devon Avenue here in Chicago, and a predominantly Jewish neighborhood centered largely on Touhy Avenue, with the two communities mixed quite amiably in the middle along Lunt. Jews and Muslims shop at the same Jewel grocery store, with Muslims shopping their Kosher section when in a bit of a pinch. Halal and Kosher preparations are acceptable. See, they can coexist.

But if it was really about Religion than Jews would be bulldozing homes on Lunt, while carpet bombing Devon. Muslims would be firing rockets from Devon at Touhy, although their crappy homemade rockets would usually be landing in the Chicago River or hitting Lincolnwood. Devon would eventually be blockaded and Muslims would have to dig a tunnel to Loyola for food and medicine, and FOX news would report that Jews in Skokie were the real victims. But they aren’t, and the Jews and Muslims on Touhy, Lunt and Devon live quite peacefully as neighbors because it isn’t about religion. It is about politics and power and racism, on both sides. It is just that one side has the backing of a superpower and one does not.

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Just trying to get through the day without too many assholes…

Debating a republican friend of mine. We all have them; decent people who otherwise regurgitate every insipidly dumb thing spewed into the so-called public airwaves by FOX and talk radio idiots. I have thoughts on ISIS and what should be done them. I lean towards military action as part of a spectrum of responses, but the more I see ex-generals who lead our nations soldiers to lunches in the PX or pushing papers in Washington on FOX extolling the need for more war, the less I prefer military options. Especially when everyone of these ex-generals is on the board of weapons industry companies. When Jack Keane, advisor to Academi(formerly Blackwater) and a board member of weapons contractor General Dynamics and Anthony Zinni, outside Director of the “global dense, aerospace and security company” BAE Systems, turn up on FOX pushing for massive military intervention I feel like I’m being played.

Seal the borders, double security at all airports, watch who comes and goes from all Mosques, says my friend. We might have to reopen the camps again! Ship them all home or force them to convert like Sarah Palin says. They’re here, he says. ISIS is streaming across the border in Mexico. I heard it on FOX! And they all have Ebola!

When I reply he’s being a bit paranoid, and that we risk damaging the trust of Muslim neighbors, and perhaps terrifying them-many who have faced genocide and inter-ethnic or national violence in their previous homes-into believing that America is no different than the rest of the world, he was undeterred. The enemy is here! Religion of peace? Ha! There are 1.6 billion Muslims, and if 10% want to kill us…it took him a while to do the math…that means 160 million Muslims! You Liberals, he froths, just don’t get that we are threatened from without and from within.

I say first of all, no offense, but you’re an idiot. It’s alright, he calls me an idiot sometimes too. He’s just wrong about it though. The 10% is made up. There never have been any poles. That was a number Sean Hannity and other right wingers began repeating as if there had been a study done. Never has been. Never was. No such number. And don’t send me this article or that estimate. they are simply repeating the same falsehood. And if 10% of Muslims do hate us, guaranteed it started after 2003 when Bush and Cheney and the right decided to make all this mess about religion rather than about a broader issue of justice.

Second, I tell him, though he’s sort of still seething from the idiot remark, he wants to look at everything as a chicken little, good cowboy/bad cowboy sort of way: Muslims bad, Americans(and Israel) good. Rather, this is how I view the world. The fat white guy who cut me off in his Hummer with an up-raised middle finger a half hour ago is far more of an immediate threat to me and my day than ISIS. the right wing Tea Party idiot in congress, like Texas republican Jack Carter, who votes to slash food stamps to hungry families but approves of hundreds of billions going to corporations is way more of a threat to me than ISIS. the cop who pepper sprays a young girl for protesting proven illegal foreclosures by bankers who will never see a day in jail and will likely be paid a bonus is an exponentially greater threat to me than ISIS. Likewise, the Senator saying the science isn’t in on the climate crisis, with oil company money in his pocket is, well…

ISIS is a danger, so are white supremacists, fascist vegans, fascist Christians, drunken Cubs fans who piss everywhere in the neighborhood, fascist Jews, bigots, the lady at the grocery store who was a complete bitch last night, the retired white guy who thinks the gas station where I’ve just run in for gas while trying to get to work is his own private lottery casino, people who use Socialist as a pejorative, Liberals who dodge the word liberal, people who call themselves libertarians without knowing what the word really means(hint, it isn’t a republican without religion), the Arab guy racing through traffic ala Baghdad driving rules yesterday, people who don’t pick up after their dogs, anyone in the Tea party, 44.5% of the Democrat party, 69.8% of the Republicans, Black guys who become president and then bend over backwards to be white, anyone left or right who starts an argument with “the founding fathers…” or “Thomas Jefferson once said…”, ex-congressmen who become radio hosts and people who blame women for being hit or sexually assaulted. And, above all I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate BULLIES! Of any kind.

the real threats to my life and existence and the happiness of my wife and family boils down to one simple club. It’s a big club, and I spend my days either doing my damnedest to avoid them or fight against them. I know they exist, but they aren’t just in Iraq and Syria right now, they are everywhere. Hell, I admit to being one from time to time. The world would be so much better if we all realized that simple fact, and stopped subdividing these people down to this group or that group and simply called them out for the collective misery they perpetrate on the rest of us.

Until that day I am just trying to get through my day without dealing with assholes. When they pop up and refuse to go away then the world hammers them back into the dark hole they came from…

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit

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