A Palestinian Christian’s Perspective on El Paso

Posted on Aug 9, 2019

Samia Khoury writes from East Jerusalem

To My American Friends:

After watching the news about the El Paso, Texas shooting I started writing a note of condolences to my friends in Texas. It has been sixty five years since I graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, but I still have a soft spot for that area despite statements by some of the Texas representatives regarding our region and our rights. Even though those who favor peace and a two-state solution never seem to be willing to impose sanctions on Israel for violating human rights. While the shooting in El-Paso was taking place, Israeli soldiers were shooting young Palestinian children and holding a seven year old boy for interrogation and putting restrictions on the funeral of a released prisoner.

The world has gone crazy, but at least in our area, we know who the enemy is. As brutal as it is, we expect it because it is an occupation, and when we resist an occupation we are not terrorists. But in a free country when you are even free to carry a gun, and your president feels he can twitter any hate messages all over, it is scary because you never know when the next shooting is going to come from. Actually, that is terrorism.

It was very interesting to hear comments from people interviewed by CNN criticizing statements by president Trump that help feed this white supremacy phenomenon, which eventually led to that shooting episode. I know you were still trying to get over the California shooting and here you were faced with the shooting in Texas and in no time it was followed by another one in Dayton, Ohio.

My heartiest condolences to all my dear American friends, whether they are in California, Texas or Ohio; my heart goes out to all those who lost dear ones. I just hope that the losses of this past week would be a lesson for legislators to reconsider some of the legislation regarding the free access to arms, as well as the hate language that prevails by responsible people like the president.