Aiming at the Heart of the Arab/Israeli Conflict
The basis of the antagonism in the Arab/Israeli conflict is ultimately the Arabs’ seeming inability to accept even a minuscule Jewish state among a sea of Arab nations. That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. Any arguments such as Israel being Arab land, Palestinian refugees in camps, lost homes or a foreign race of European Jews “taking” “their” land are nothing but an attempt to justify their intolerance.
There is little will to change this, of course, because the ruling class is very comfortable where they are, with total control over oil and other resources. The hatred and antagonism against Israel is nothing more than a diversionary tactic that keeps the sheepish mindless masses angry at something and someone else. Instead of those masses worrying about how miserable their lives are, when they could in fact have the highest per capita income in the world, they are made to hate Israel who they are told is to blame for all their problems. This tactic worked very well in Europe for a thousand years; it worked very well for the Nazis, and is working very well for the Arabs.
“Can you think of many cultures that teach hatred to their children? That teaches them to use a machine gun instead of a pencil or a plow? That teaches them that nothing could be better than to die young while fighting the enemy?”
I think many people wish the Arab countries made peace with Israel, but unfortunately that does not seem to be a priority among the Arab nations. There are myriad indications, including popular polls, which indicate that most Arabs believe that the rightful place for the Jews is at the bottom of the Mediterranean. Certainly there are differences among the different Arab nations, yet they share something quite significant in common: their hatred for Israel and lately their hatred for the Jews. Simply look at their rhetoric of the last few decades: it’s just like Germany in the 1930s.
If you look at the last 50 years of the history of Israel you’ll see that in many regards their accomplishments and lives are quite similar to those of other Western countries. Granted they have to live dodging bombs, but in most other regards it’s quite similar. Certainly from a technological perspective they have made remarkable accomplishments. It just makes me sad to think of what the Arabs could have accomplished in the Oil Century had they had the same drive as the Israelis. Just imagine what peoples like the Americans, the Germans, the Israelis or the Japanese could do with pretty much unlimited funds, if they’ve done what they’ve done with limited but growing economies. So far the Arabs have little to show for their unlimited wealth. It would embarrass their ancestors from their glorious days of a millennia ago!
Only two countries signed peace treaties with Israel, and they both did it after they recognized that they simply couldn’t defeat the Israelis at war. No Arab country entered into an Alliance with Israel: those two countries have at best a “cold peace” status quo. Achieving peace is of paramount importance; the question is how to achieve it when one of the parties has a tradition of outright rejection, vile antisemitism and violent action.
I think it’s hard not to sympathize more with the Israeli side than with the Palestinian because I believe the latter, despite their legitimate claims, has done every single possible thing to discredit themselves as a respectable group. I find it very hard to respect any person that believes that something like a holy war or the indiscriminate murder of “the enemy” is not only acceptable and desirable, but also honorable. Islam indoctrinates its believers with concepts that are anathema to me, such as to die for a god. The end result is always to cheapen the value of life, since the dogma teaches to die—the younger the better—for the god. Can you think of many cultures that teach hatred to their children? That teaches them to use a machine gun instead of a pencil or a plow? That teaches them that nothing could be better than to die young while fighting the enemy?
The problem is extreme fanaticism. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are free of it, unfortunately. But if you took a cross section of the Israeli population at random and compare it with a cross section of the Palestinian population at random what you will find is that at any given time the group that leans toward violence in general is the Palestinian. You know what? Not even among the most radical of the radical extreme Israelis will you find children fighting in the front against any “enemy”, or a preacher venomously instilling hatred among the faithful, or people going into a bus or public market and blowing themselves up while killing indiscriminately dozens of innocent people, including women and children. That is the problem. And those are just some examples of why I believe that the Palestinians did everything wrong from 1948 onwards.
But don’t get me wrong: by no means am I saying that there are no Israeli monsters: Israelis are no angels either. I don’t want you to think I believe Arabs cannot be loving, intelligent people. On the contrary, I think they truly can be. But unfortunately intelligence doesn’t seem to be very prevalent among the Palestinians, at least right now. I wish educated, progressive Palestinians (and they exist—although unfortunately not enough of them) had a louder voice among their gun-wielding fanatic brothers. But personally I think the Palestinians are doomed for the foreseeable future because their leader—who does not believe the Holocaust happened—cannot really coexist peacefully. Even if he could accept to live alongside a Jewish state, there’s no way he could make his own extreme factions (who had been conditioned against this very idea since childhood) to accept this as well.
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Six Million Crucifixions
Traces the history of antisemitism in Christianity and the role that played in making possible the Holocaust.
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