Tag Archives: Arabs

The Palestinian Fiddle

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Palestinian issue is not a primary Middle East concern.

Pro-Western oil-producing Persian Gulf leaders are traumatized by the lethal Iranian nuclear threat, by a raging Arab Street of their own and by a potential Iraqi “earthquake” in the aftermath of the US evacuation. The pro-Western Hashemite regime is threatened by intensified discontent among its Bedouin power base; the Muslim Brotherhood hosted an anti-Western Arab
conference in Cairo on July 24-25, 2011; Strategically-critical Turkey is becoming more-Islamic and less-western; the pro-Western Moroccan monarchy is imperiled by the ripple effects of the Tunisian, Libyan and Egyptian turmoil; Islamic terrorism is gaining ground; Russia, China and North Korea are expanding their penetration into the Middle East and the US posture of deterrence is eroding substantially.

However, while the Middle East is burning – irrespective of the Palestinian issue, of the Arab-Israeli conflict or Israel’s policies and existence – the American and the European foreign policy establishments are playing the Palestinian fiddle. Their track record features the support of Khomeini and the betrayal of the Shah, the embrace of Saddam as a constructive force, the crowning of Arafat as a messenger of peace, the hailing of Bashar Assad as a moderate leader, the legitimization of Qadaffi as a reformed ruler and the idolizing of Mubarak as an Egyptian Rock of Gibraltar. They are convinced that the Palestinian issue is a root cause of Middle East turbulence and the crown jewel of Arab policy-making. Therefore, they assume that the resolution of the Palestinian issue – by pressuring Israel to yield Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians – would moderate the Middle East, would subside anti-Western terrorism, would appease the Arabs, would enhance Western ties with Arab countries and would facilitate a Western-Arab coalition against Iran.

But, such foreign policy assumptions are invalidated by the real Middle East, which highlights the root causes of regional turbulence: inherent fragmentation, instability, unpredictability, volatility, violence, terrorism, hate education and tenuous policies, commitments and alliances. None of these 1,400 year old root causes is related to the less than 100 year old Palestinian issue.

Arab leaders have never considered the Palestinian issue their prime concern, but an intra-Arab tool and a pawn against Israel. They are aware of the subversive and treacherous history of the Arafat-Abu Mazen wing of the Palestinians, which was therefore expelled from Egypt in the late 1950s, from Syria in 1966, from Jordan in 1970, from Lebanon in 1982 and from Kuwait in 1991.

Thus, Arab leaders marshal their rhetoric, but not their resources, on behalf of Palestinians. For example, during the October 2010 Arab Summit in Libya, Arab leaders pledged $500MN to the Palestinian – only seven percent was ever delivered. More than $2 billion were pledged by the Arabs in support of the first and second Palestinian Intifada against Israel, but less than $500 million reached the Palestinians. During the 1980s, Arab financial support of the PLO was less than 10% of Arab financial support of the anti-Soviet Muslims in Afghanistan.

Arab regimes did not actively support the PLO during its 1982 war (in Lebanon) against Israeli and they did not flex a significant muscle on behalf of the Palestinians during the 2008 war in Gaza. In fact, this has been the Arab attitude toward the Palestinian issue since 1948, irrespective
of the identity of the Palestinian leader: Haj Amin al-Husseini, Shukeiri, Hammuda, Arafat, Abu Mazen or Haniyeh.

The Red Carpet, which welcomes Palestinian leaders in the West, is transformed into a shabby rug upon landing in Arab capitals. What do Arab regimes know about the Palestinian issue that Western policy makers do not know or understand?!

Relativism: From Israel to Einstein

By Paul Eidelberg

One can only wonder how a Jewish state, surrounded by hostile Arab-Islamic regimes, can survive when the educators of its political and military elites do not believe in the absolute justice of Israel’s cause. Professor Harkabi, who once served as head of the Israel Army Staff and Command College, concludes Arab Attitudes to Israel with this demoralizing remark: “The study of the [Arab-Israel] conflict reveals the relativity of the attitudes of the parties.” Influenced by such relativism, former General Ehud Barak, during his campaign for Israel’s premiership, was quoted as saying (in the United States) that had he been born an Arab, he would have been a terrorist!

Raised and educated in this decadent atmosphere, Tel Aviv University professor of philosophy Asa Kasher, under the authority of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and with the acquiescence of then Chief of Staff Barak, erased the words “Judaism” and “Zionism” as well as “Eretz Israel” from the Soldiers Code of Ethics! Who but minds afflicted by demophrenia would want to transform the Jewish state into a multicultural “state of its citizens”?

Israel is not multicultural America, the most powerful nation on earth. There relativism can permeate every level of education without immediately endangering that democracy’s existence—especially with benign Canada and feeble Mexico on its borders. But minuscule Israel, with Arab-Islamic dictatorships as neighbors, can hardly afford a diet of moral relativism. Yet this has been the fare of countless Israeli students.

Thus, in his book The Middle East, Israeli political scientist Yair Evron teaches: “Only by avoiding questions of right and wrong and also by limiting oneself to an analysis of patterns of behavior and strategies in conflict, can we approach this complex [Arab-Israel] conflict not in any emotional or apologetic way but scientifically and analytically.” We see here a tension between the apparent needs of “science” and the needs of society. To persevere in the Arab-Israel conflict, the people of Israel require steadfast belief in the justice of Israel’s cause. But for academics to preserve their “scientific,” i.e., academic credentials, they must adopt a morally neutral attitude toward that conflict. But wait! Evron’s book was published in 1973. To appreciate the pernicious impact of his relativism, come with me to the year 2003, and let us see what has happened to students attending Israeli universities.

Caroline B. Glick, an editor and gifted writer of The Jerusalem Post</em., addressed some 150 political science students at Tel Aviv University, where she spoke of her experience as an embedded reporter with the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division during the Iraq war. Any person not corrupted by moral relativism would favor, as she did, the U.S. over the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Yet the general attitude of her audience was expressed by a student who asked, “Who are you to make moral judgments?” Now ponder this exchange between Ms. Glick and a student who spoke with a heavy Russian accent:

Student: “How can you say that democracy is better than dictatorial rule?”
Glick: “Because it is better to be free than to be a slave.”
Student: “How can you support America when the U.S. is a totalitarian state?”
Glick: “Did you learn that in Russia?”
Student: “No, here.”
Glick: “Here at Tel Aviv University?”
Student: “Yes, that is what my professors say.”

Ms. Glick spoke at five liberal Israeli universities. She learned that all are dominated by moral relativists who indoctrinate their students and ban “politically incorrect” publications. The deadly consequences are clear: “A survey carried out by the left-wing Israel Democracy Institute on Israeli attitudes toward the state [indicates that] … a mere 58% of Israelis are proud of being Israeli, while 97% of Americans and Poles are proud of their national identity.” Ms. Glick concludes: “Is it possible that our academic tyrants have something to do with the inability of 42% of Israelis to take pride in who they are?”

One might think that moral relativists would adopt a neutral attitude in the conflict between Jews and the Palestinian Arabs—as political scientists like Yair Evron might have done back in 1973. To the contrary, today’s relativists have demonized Israel. Never mind the well-known fact that Arabs use their own women and children as human bombs. Because moral relativists—typically liberals—cannot acknowledge the enormity of evil, they not only ignore the genocidal intentions of Israel’s enemies, but they identify Jews as the cause of the conflict! Moral relativism has thus produced moral reversal!

Moral Relativism and Relativity

The relativism of the physicist differs profoundly from that of the moral relativist or pluralist. The theory of relativity denies the classical notions of absolute space, absolute time, and absolute motion; it does not deny the absolute. Far from excusing an easygoing pluralism, it appeals to scientists by virtue of what Einstein calls its comprehensive simplicity. The theory would explain “all events in nature by structure laws valid always and everywhere.” Indeed, “Without the belief that it is possible to grasp reality with our theoretical constructions, without the belief in the inner harmony of our world, there would be no science.”

As for Einstein himself, one may find in his philosophical ruminations expressions of moral relativism, but not in his sober and somber moments. In Out of My Later Years, first published in 1950, he writes:

I am firmly convinced that the passionate will for justice and truth has dome more to improve man’s condition than calculating political shrewdness which in the long run breeds general mistrust. Who can doubt that Moses was a better leader of mankind than Machiavelli?

But two pages later one reads:

I know that it is a hopeless undertaking to debate about fundamental value judgments. For instance, if someone approves, as a goal, the extirpation of the human race from the earth, one cannot refute such a viewpoint on rational grounds.

Evident here is the influence of logical positivism on Einstein, who wrote those words only five years after Hitler and his followers had murdered six million Jews and almost six million non-Jews. It was as if positivism had erased everything in the vastness of his rational mind with which to condemn this evil. And yet he did condemn this evil, moreover, in words the government of Israel should heed in dealing with Hitler’s successors! Thus, in a message honoring the heroes of the Warsaw ghetto, Einstein declared:

The Germans as an entire people are responsible for the mass murders and must be punished as a people if there is justice in the world and if the consciousness of collective responsibility in the nations is not to perish from the earth entirely. Behind the Nazi party stands the German people, who elected Hitler after he had in his book [Mein Kampf] and in his speeches made his shameful [genocidal] intentions clear beyond the possibility of misunderstanding.

Gas and Oil Rush to Israel–Will Russia and Her Muslim Allies Too?

If memory serves, Dallas Seminary Professor John Walvoord writing about middle east oil and end time prophecy, predicted Russia would lead a confederacy of Arab nations against Israel enticed to gain control of Israel’s oil supplies. Like other prophecy teachers, Walvoord believed this was the hook God would use to draw Israel’s enemies to the final showdown at Armageddon.

A recent article in the on-line magazine, Israel Today, announced expectation of Israel becoming the center of a new ‘oil and gas rush’ of western oil producers. According to the Israeli financial newspaper Globes, the largest natural gas reserve (122 trillion cubic feet) was discovered as well as a 1.7 billion barrel crude oil reserve in the Levant Basin.

God has given the people of his covenanted land another weapon potentially of equal power her enemies in the international politics of oil. Just as the Islamic nations use oil against Israel and Russia uses them for their geopolitical agendas, Israel’s new resource may tip the perceive scale of power inciting the response previewed by the prophets like Ezekiel, John, the writer of the book Revelation, and Prof. Walvoord’s Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis.