The Times: Israel is a target of hate because. . .it's Western

Riad Kobaissi hamman at inco.com.lb
Wed Sep 26 20:20:07 MDT 2001


Sherri Muzher from the libissues list wrote:
Letters of Protest can be sent to:  letters at thetimes.co.uk.  It seems that
it is not the Israeli occupation or forced exodus of Palestinians that
causes resentment toward Israel, but rather, its Western style non-Islamic
democracy.  Here is another "enlightening" view by a zionist .  Good God,
are zionists really that oblivious to the hell they are causing for others?

___________________________

 WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 26 2001


Ally we would rather not mention

DANIEL FINKELSTEIN/The Times UK

The extremist Islamic suicide bombers have struck again. A building lies in
rubble and innocent people lie dead and dying. A democratic nation mourns,
crying tears of sorrow and anger.
Naturally there will have to be retaliation, for terrorism of this sort
cannot go unpunished. Training camps will have to be obliterated and
terrorist leaders eliminated. The action will be as careful as possible, but
the reality is that more innocent people will die.

Yet this democratic nation will not hear its national anthem played at
Buckingham Palace nor find the countries of Nato rallying to its flag. This
nation will be told by the world not to let itself be provoked and its
military action will be widely condemned. For this nation is not the United
States of America, it is the state of Israel.

Since the attacks on New York and Washington, a consensus has grown up about
the role of Israel in the war on terrorism. During his visit to recruit the
treasurers of Hezbollah into the fight against terrorism, Jack Straw has
shown that he accepts this consensus, or at least that he is utterly
unprepared to challenge it. However, in most cases the consensus view is not
only untrue, but the exact opposite of the truth.

Take, for example, the idea that America was attacked largely because of its
support for Israel. The idea, in other words, is that America and Britain
are fighting Israel’s war. The truth is the exact opposite. It is Israel
that for many years now has been fighting America’s war, the democratic
world’s war. For many years Israel has faced almost daily attack from the
same sort of people who attacked the World Trade Centre, indeed perhaps from
the hijackers themselves.

What these extremists hate about Israel is not its appropriation of a tiny
sliver of Arab land, it is the siting of a Western style, nonIslamic
democracy in the Middle East. As the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Akhbar put
it: “The conflict that we call the Arab-Israeli conflict is, in truth, an
Arab conflict with Western, and particularly American, colonialism.” In
school textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of
Education young children are told that Islam “will defeat all other
religions and it will be disseminated, by Allah’s will, through the jihad
fighters”. In such a war American liberalism and Israeli Judaism are equal
enemies.

The refusal to acknowledge the desperately awkward fact that Israel is
fighting the same war as the democratic world, on the same side, helps to
shore up another wrongheaded notion. As part of the effort to assemble the
broadest possible coalition, it is hoped that Yassir Arafat and the
Palestinian people will form part of the front against terrorism. Yet Arafat
is the father of modern Arab terrorism and the Palestinian people its
enthusiastic supporters.


The response to the New York attack from Al hayat al Jadida, a newspaper
funded by the Palestinian Authority, was that “the suicide bombers of today
are the noble successors of their predecessors. These suicide bombers are
the salt of the earth, the engines of history . . . they are the most
honourable among us”. Last November polls showed 73 per cent of Palestinians
in support of suicide missions against American interests in the Middle
East.

On hearing news of the American deaths, thousands of Palestinians in Nablus
ran into the street chanting, “God is great”. Associated Press Television
News filmed the demonstration, but the film was never shown. The cameraman
was told by Arafat’s Cabinet secretary that if it was shown his life could
not be guaranteed.

The Palestinian Authority need not have bothered issuing this threat. Few
people in the West want to hear about Palestinian support for Islamic
extremism. Few want to be forced to answer difficult questions about whether
it makes sense for the West to help to create another left-wing terrorist
state in the heart of the Middle East.

Most people simply want a peace of some kind since they share the conviction
that victory in the war against terrorism is possible only if, first, there
is peace in the Middle East. And here they make the final big mistake, for
once again the truth is quite the opposite. There will be peace in the
Middle East only if, first, there is victory in the war against terrorism.



daniel.finkelstein at thetimes.co.uk


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