Say It Ain’t So/ When I Tell You To

Daoud Nassar and friend at the Tent of Nations
Daoud Nassar and friend at the Tent of Nations

Back in the ’80s, my brother Paul wrote a song called ‘Say It Ain’t So’ that went “Say it ain’t so/ When I tell you to./ I’m getting used to having my own way.”

It was written during the Reagan Era, when people got tax breaks for buying SUVs and alternative energy was a hippy pipe dream.

Another couplet went, “Light the fire,/ Turn up the air conditioning …ing …ing …ing./ Me and Nancy gonna stay inside all day.”

The song was about Reagan and climate change, but I was just thinking it also applies to Benjamin Netanyahu and the slaughter in Gaza.

Here’s yet another guy with millions of people who will say it ain’t so when he tells them to, even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — ouch!

As Jimmy Carter has pointed out, any member of the U.S. Congress who stands up and says Palestinians have rights like everyone else will not get reelected. That kind of talk is simply not permitted. You remember Jimmy Carter. He put solar panels on the White House. Reagan took them down.

Anyone who points to the dead bodies in the streets of Gaza and says that those who fired the rockets and tank rounds that caused the explosions that caused them not to be alive any longer were responsible for their deaths… is guilty of treason, of siding with the terrorists.

And guilty of the blood libel of saying the Israelis kill children. With lifeless children lying in the streets of Gaza, I’m going to leave that irony alone.

Say it ain’t so/ when I tell you to.

I understand Israel’s difficult position in the Middle East, I feel much as they do about their neighbors and I consider myself a friend of Israel, but as Socrates pointed out, a true friend is not necessarily someone who approves of everything you do.

And I’m getting the sense that the only two groups who are actually allowed to criticize Israeli policy — American Jews and Israeli citizens — are getting a little tired of seeing brutal undeniable facts and being told to say it ain’t so.

If these groups lead the way, non-Jews and politicians will follow and support a sane policy toward the occupied territories that doesn’t involve a two-tiered system of citizenship that leads down the Primrose Path to apartheid followed by Israel’s erstwhile ally, South Africa.

If this were just what I think, it would be hardly be worthy of note, but it is what Ariel Sharon said, and what many other friends of Israel have said — friends in the true Socratic sense.

I view the conflict in the Holy Land as a struggle between those on both sides who want war and those on both sides who want peace.

War helps those who want to continue the inexorable pace of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and it also helps fanatics maintain their control over Gaza and the West Bank.

If the Palestinians had leadership committed to the policy of non-violence, and if Israel had a humane policy toward the people, if not the leaders, of Palestine, we could at last see a way toward peace in the Holy Land.

But don’t take my word for it. Go to the video page of and watch the video made by the Austin Stone Community Church. If you aspire to be a follower of Jesus, as I do, I believe you will get a new insight into this conflict.