Israel Palestine Infos
December 4, 2010
“Islam is the Solution”
FIRST, AN apology: I am not going to write about the Wikileaks.
I like gossip as much as the next (wo)man. The leaks provide a lot of it, interspersed with some real information.
But there is nothing really new there. The information only confirms what any intelligent person could have worked out already. If there is anything new, it’s exactly this confirmation: the world is really managed the way we thought it was. How depressing.
Four hundred years ago, Sir Henry Wotton, a British diplomat, observed that “An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” Since then, nothing has changed except that the ambassador has been joined by the ambassadress. So it is quite refreshing to listen to what they say in secret messages home, when they don’t have to lie.
That said, let’s move on to more important things.
THIS WEEK’S ELECTIONS in
Years ago, the story goes that a Soviet citizen went to the polling station on election-day and was handed a sealed envelope to put into the ballot box.
“Aren’t I allowed to see who I am voting for?” he asked.
“Of course not!” the
stern-faced official retorted indignantly, “In our
This could not happen in
Second, because they so obviously are not.
On one of my visits to
Visiting a polling
station in a village near the
I am not sure whether this good humor has been retained under the Mubarak regime, but the results are the same. Media editors, all appointed by the government, prevent any criticism of the government. Opposition activists are arrested well before election day (if they are not in prison already). The government party is a sorry joke. No one seriously pretends that the country is anything but a dictatorship. The upper classes like it that way, not only out of fondness for their privileges but also out of a genuine fear that under democracy, their country would elect a fundamentalist religious regime, with burqas and all.
ALL OVER the Arab world, this is a real dilemma. Free elections would bring fundamentalists to power.
During the last century, secular nationalism was in vogue. In many Arab countries, nationalist movements sprang up. Their model was the great Ataturk – a revolutionary renovator as no other. He suppressed Islam, forbade the fez for men and the hijab for women, replaced the Arabic with the Latin script, fostered Turkish nationalism instead of the Ottoman Islamism.
This, by the way, was a model for many of us, who aspired to replace the Jewish religion and Zionist pseudo-nationalism with a healthy Hebrew territorial secular nationalism. The son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the renovator of the modern Hebrew language, also proposed replacing the Hebrew script with a Latin one.
To put it bluntly: secular nationalism has not delivered. It has brought no real independence, no freedom, no economic and technological breakthrough.
In the economic sphere,
no Arab country has succeeded in doing what has been done by
The dream of a secular pan-Arab union, as envisioned by Gamal Abd-al-Nasser and the original Ba’athists, is in tatters. So is the dream of Arab independence. Almost all Arab countries are backward American clients and dance to the American tune. A whole generation of Arab leaders has spectacularly failed.
The most recent example
was Yasser Arafat. He created a Palestinian national movement that was proud of
its non-sectarianism. Christian Arabs played a significant role in the
Arafat himself was a
practicing Muslim. Often, even in private conversations, he would excuse
himself, disappear for a few minutes and return unobtrusively, while his
assistants would whisper to us that the Ra’is was praying. Yet he never tired of
assuring everyone that the future State of
As long as he was alive, political Islam remained a minor influence, and not because of any repressive measures.
ALL THIS is history. The Sunni Hamas (“Islamic Resistance Movement”) and the Shiite Hezbollah (“Party of God”) are becoming the models for masses of young people all over the Arab world.
One of the major reasons
for this is
If Arafat had succeeded
in founding the free and sovereign State of
The rise of Hamas in
As the Wikileaks show (here I go, mentioning them after all) not one single Arab regime gives a damn about the Palestinians. That is nothing new – indeed, Arafat created his movement, Fatah (‘Palestinian Liberation Movement”), in order to liberate the Palestinians, first of all, from the cynical Arab regimes, all of which exploited the “Palestinian Cause” for their own ends.
But the depth of cynicism
revealed in these conversations between Arab potentates and their American
masters borders on outright betrayal. This will increase the already massive
frustration not only in
This is a deeply humiliating insight. It may not produce immediate results, but when hundreds of millions of people feel humiliated, the effects are foreseeable. The older generation may be used to this situation. But for young people, especially proud Arabs, it is intolerable.
I am very sensitive to
this kind of feeling, because at the age of 15 I felt the same and joined the
“terrorist” Irgun (“National Military Organization”). I just could not stand the
sight of my leaders kowtowing before the British rulers of my country. Putting
myself in the shoes of a young Arab of similar age now in Jeddah,
Sooner or later, the
situation will explode – first in one country, then in many. The fate of the
THE FRUSTRATION about
Secular nationalism has signally failed the Arabs. Communism has never taken root in the Islamic world, being by its very nature inimical to the basic tenets of Islam. Capitalism, while attractive to some, has also failed to solve any of the basic problems of the Arab world.
The Islamic revolutionary movement in its many forms promises a viable alternative. It is no fluke that the Egyptian dictatorship forbids the use of the slogan “Islam is the Solution” – the simple and effective slogan that unites the Islamic opposition in all the countries. There is a gaping vacuum in the Arab world, with no one there to fill it – except Islamism.
Everybody seems to be
talking about the Decline of the American Empire. It’s all the rage. What’s
happening in the Arab world may accelerate or slow this process. The creation of
a sovereign, free and viable State of
Judging from these leaks, this seems very far from the minds of American statesmen and stateswomen, such as they are.
If I were responsible for
Fortunately, this is not an inescapable danger. Israeli policy can do a lot to avert it. Unfortunately, we are doing the exact opposite.
To those who chant “Islam is the Solution”, our answer should be: “A just Peace is the Solution”.