At a time when anti-Semitism is at an all-time high in the history of the United States, how disturbing it has been to drive along Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe and see the vulgar, hateful and misleading murals on Guthrie Miller’s property.
These murals depict images that cause deep hurt in the Jewish community. This distorted pictorial propaganda only serves to inflame people at a time when we should be fostering unity and standing together against anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred.
Miller wants to “put himself out there” politically, but it’s obvious he doesn’t know much about the Arab-Israeli conflict if he believes these cartoons can depict it in an accurate way. As a former scientist, If he is trying to assuage his own conscience, he should be ashamed of faking history through such propaganda.
We appeal for a more balanced perspective. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complex. There are victims of the conflict all around. However, Israel is not the provocateur. Israel continues only to defend itself time and again.
For almost 75 years, Israel has sought peace and security with its Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. It has proposed numerous peace plans since 1947. When its Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan, responded positively in 1978 and 1994, Israel embraced peace. Unfortunately, Syria and Lebanon have perpetuated a state of war with Israel. And since 2009 when Israel froze all settlement activity for nine months, the Palestinians have refused to come to the negotiating table.
Many Arab countries are fed up with the Palestinian intransigence, leader corruption and failure to better their citizens’ conditions by using international resources to support terrorism rather than build viable infrastructure of schools, hospitals and libraries.
As stated in Santa Fe in 2016 by Bassem Eid, founder of Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, Palestinians lack viable leadership and are stuck as a pawn-like body politic that is fragmented by outside and inside manipulative terrorist forces. And the Palestinians continue to promote a hateful narrative toward Jews and Israelis in their schools, while lionizing terrorists, paying out millions of dollars each year to convicted terrorists and their families.
Does not every sovereign nation such as Israel have the right to defend itself against an unending, daily flow of rocket attacks, attempts to infiltrate the country with efforts to cause carnage, along with a long history of suicide bombings?
Although not emphasized in the news, Israel offers the Palestinian people in the West Bank and in Gaza significant humanitarian support and medical services in real time, each and every day. Many Palestinians have chosen to be citizens of Israel. When they do so, they are accorded the same privileges as other Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens.
Sadly, far too many Palestinians are deprived self-determination by non-Israeli terrorist forces that impose themselves on and subjugate vulnerable populations. Hamas diverts supplies and aid from the Palestinian people to their war machine, uses civilians as human shields and abuses its people. Contrary to the lie that many Lannan Foundation anti-Semitic speakers state, Israel is not the apartheid state in the region — it is the Palestinian Authority and Hamas that want to make its territories judenrein, preventing any Jews from living within its territories.
Palestinians are arrested and given long prison sentences or even executed for selling property to a Jew. Meanwhile, Jewish Israelis live at peace with Arab Israelis, who make up 21 percent of the Israeli population — 1.9 million.
We as a community stand together with Israel. While we share diverse views about Israel’s policies or leaders at any moment in time, we abhor those who spew anti-Israel bias as a cover for abject anti-Semitism — either intentionally or unintentionally. And we vehemently reject all forms of divisiveness that fuel hate, xenophobia and promote one-sided narratives such as those expressed in the offensive murals on Old Pecos Trail.
If Miller and Remy truly want to promote peace, they would display murals of mutual understanding and encourage dialogue, not propaganda about one side of the conflict.
We ask all of our neighbors of all faiths to stand up and condemn all forms of hate speech, violence and anti-Semitism like that displayed on Old Pecos Trail. Anything less becomes tacit approval of the growing culture of hatred that continues to be laid bare each and every day, and now here, in plain view on Old Pecos Trail.