Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Peace As A Strategic Option
by Hugh Fitzgerald (April 2008)
In his most recent taped broadcast, Ayman Al-Zawahiri doesn’t have a word to offer about the “legitimate rights” of the soi-disant “Palestinian people.” He notes that the perfidious Jews, or Israelis, have attacked
But, some will claim, the “Palestinians” themselves are quite different. They truly, really, deeply, madly are interested not in Islam, or the triumph of Islam, but only in that “state” that will bring them, bring Israel, bring all of us, that “solution” we all – don’t we? – equally long for. And wasn’t Arafat, they will say, “secular”? Wasn’t he interested only in a “Palestinian” state, in the cause of “Palestinian” nationalism? Why do you try to transform, in your analysis, the completely “secular phenomenon” (see Rashid Khalidi, see Edward Said, see see see) of “Palestinian nationalism” into a Muslim, Islam-prompted phenomenon? Or are you doing this just to sinisterly transform, for your own purposes, what is so clearly “secular” in nature (just look at Fayyad, the technocratic accountant, or all those others, including Mahmoud Abbas, and all the other terrorist henchmen of yore, now carefully suited and tied, or fit-to-be-tied, just to show their Jizyah-demanding and Jizyah-receiving bonafides? Send your billions to us, those suits and ties and speeches about “we have chosen peace as a strategic option” tell us. “You can trust us, there’s nobody here but us accountants.”
It’s true. Arafat was a Muslim, but not fanatical about it. He had imbibed the attitudes of Islam, however, even if he was not a great mosque-goer. He was famously corrupt and even more famously (so famously, in the Arab world, that everyone managed to keep his little secrets from the Western world and Western press for almost his entire life), had a particular taste for blond German boys. His favorite forms of recreation were not likely to go down well among Muslim clerics. But he was forgiven, he was even protected from the prying, because, you see, for the “good of the cause” – the cause of opposing the Infidel nation-state of
Of course, in one important sense, Arafat was indeed “a nationalist.” What was that sense? It was simply this: he wanted his very own state, a state that he, Yassir Arafat, could rule over. Or rather, when put to the test, he didn’t, really didn’t, want that very own state, because having that very own state would have limited his travel (and the ease of orgies with those blond German boys), and would have involved such tiresome things as arranging to have the garbage picked up, and having to collect taxes. Why do that when it was so much more fun to have the Infidels keep sending those infusions of cash (and so much easier, in that form, to divert it, as Arafat did by the billions, into off-shore and Swiss accounts)? It was important to keep up the patter about the “Palestinian people” (invented circa late 1967, after the Six-Day War), for that was the surest way to Western hearts and Western diplomatic support and Western pocketbooks. The throw-Israel-into-the-sea rhetoric of Ahmad Shukairy, though admirable in its sincerity, hadn’t been convincing, so why not limit that kind of threatening, although sincere, rhetoric only to Arab and Muslim audiences and speak differently to Western audiences eager to hear this kind of thing, because it could then justify, first indifference to Israel’s plight (too painful to consider, especially in the light of guilty consciences all over Western Europe – or, put more accurately, a little residual guilt about not having sufficiently guilty consciences), and then, not merely indifference, but active hostility, a hostility fed by the most outrageous kind of press coverage of Israel and of its attempts to defend itself.
Indeed, no one paid much attention to what Arafat continued to say, never indeed stopped saying, to Arab and Muslim audiences. Those who knew the truth, those in the American government who had access to those blue-papered FBIS reports (Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service), containing transcripts of radio and television programs, were few, and those few often, in their positions, were often willing to skew the material, and certainly not to push it forward. Not the least of the reasons that the Western world, and American policymakers, are in the fix they are in, is that they did not, decades ago, begin to comprehend the nature, the meaning, the menace, of Islam, for they were not permitted to find out, and they were monomaniacally preoccupied with the threat of Soviet Communism. For people at the mental level of the Dulles brothers, Turkey was an “ally” and Saudi Arabia, apparently doing us a favor – as Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s full time propagandist, insisted -- by selling us oil (and besides, hadn’t King Saud met Roosevelt on shipboard) and was therefore also an “ally.” And between
And the Western policy-makers, and the Western publics, did not know what Arab and Muslim reality was all about. How could they? It was the apologists who were the “experts.” The few remaining Orientalists of the old school, the ones who started to be alarmed in the 1950s and 1960s, especially as they saw Muslims beginn to be allowed to settle, in large numbers, deep within
And the same is true with Israel, and the war on
How did all those Turks come to
But the Israelis, though in the midst of the Muslim world, were too wedded to finding a "partner for peace.” The people in the political class were so busy fighting day to day, that they never allowed themselves the necessary time to study and to think. And in the universities, the real scholars of Islam, the ones who were the earliest to warn, were not heeded, for their message was a disturbing one, one that no one wished to believe.
Note, too, that lately the usual NGOs have been lamenting the fact that "conditions in
And yet these British NGOs dare to suggest that this is
Let’s go back, back before Al-Qaeda, back before Hamas, and Hezbollah, and the redundantly-named Islamic Jihad. Do we, indeed, see that there was a time when there was true secularism, true nationalism that was the impulse for the Arab effort, or was Islam always there, Islam disguised when necessary, but still the subtext, or substratum, of that supposed “nationalism” and “secularism”?
Start further back, back before Arafat, and look at the statements of his predecessor as the spokesman for the local Arabs (the ones who have been carefully renamed the "Palestinians" or "the Palestinian people") Ahmad Shukairy, and see if you find rhetoric that is "secular" or rhetoric that comes straight out of Islam.
Go back further. Go back to the leaders of the Arab Revolt (not the "Palestinian" revolt) of 1936-1938 and look at their rhetoric, at what moved them against both "the Jews" and "the British." Is it the language of secular nationalism, or the language, the imagery, the impulse, the promptings, the attitudes, the atmospherics, of Islam?
Go back further still, to the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el Husseini. from one of the powerful local families. What did he say, in 1920? Or in 1930? Or in 1940, when he was in Berlin, offering Hitler his support and encouragement for the "Endlosung," the Final Solution, and talking not about "Palestinian nationalism" but about "the Arabs" and "the Muslims." When Hajj Amin el Husseini raised Muslim S.S. brigades in Bosnia, or when he went to Iraq to spread his message of hate that contributed to the Farhood, or massacre of the Jews in June 1-2, 1941, it was not in order to win points for some non-existent "Palestinian people" but rather to whip up, by appealing to the texts of Islam and the attitudes that were a natural result of those texts, those who might be made to take their Islam to heart, and then to act on it.
Long before there was a “Palestinian people” Arabs, in Mandatory Palestine, and in Ottoman-ruled areas that made up “Palestine,” were deeply opposed to Jews returning to, and buying up land, and starting farms, and making that desert bloom. They were opposed not because of any desire for a “Palestinian state” for they were quite content to continue under Ottoman rule, which meant rule as well by local (and absentee) Arab landlords, in the “ruin” and “desolation” that centuries of Muslim desertification – with nomadic grazing, not farming -- had brought to what had been described in the Bible as a “land of milk and honey.”
Arafat, in his heyday, carefully presented to the West a “secular” and “nationalist” face for his war against
Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, has always been a weak leader, and he and his other Fatah warlords are seen, correctly, as willing to mouth certain phrases for the Americans -- "we choose peace" are the first words, and the only words that the credulous willing-to-believe Americans hear, but never failing to add another phrase, which signals clearly to Arab audiences that Hudaibiyya is the model, Hudaibiyya the aim: "as a strategic option." (The Americans never understand what that phrase means. It is a little puzzling or troubling, so better for them, and for the "peace-process," not to think about it, much less discuss it).
Abbas is essentially running a criminal gang, a gang that is willing to set a few not very significant limits on its behavior, but that still serve to distinguish it from the rival gang, Hamas, in the eyes of the police -- that is, of the outside world. Like a gang most interested in turning a profit and willing, temporarily, here and there, to tamp down violence, or to deal in cocaine and heroin but virtuously abjuring dealing in methamphetamine, the warlords of Fatah are most interested in money, the money they get from the renewed Jizyah of the nearly eight billion dollars in foreign aid, and to keep that aid flowing, they occasionally have to give speeches suitable for Western ears.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government is run by an outstanding -- even for
Why, despite all that aid money, that nearly eight billion dollars, is Abbas losing out? As stated above, it is in the first place because his hold was always that of a racketeer paying out money to obtain at most a temporary allegiance. But since that money has been promised in such abundance, and apparently will come anyway, to be distributed to everyone no matter whom they support, or what they think (in Gaza as in the "West Bank"), no real change in behavior is required from the "Palestinians" as long as Abbas (or his usefully technocratic accountant Fayyad, whom the Westerners all love, failing to realize that he is not quite what they take him to be, and in any case has no following at all, and no political power, but is merely a useful employee with reassuring eyeshades) remains in power or even if he is deposed.
It would be far better to deny any Western aid to the "Palestinians" and ask them to go, hat in hand, to the rich Arabs. If they get money, they will at least not be getting it from Infidels whose generosity they will not be grateful for, but which will merely reinforce their sense of aggrievement, that the money is given to them by Infidels because it is their do, because “Infidels” allowed Israel to come into existence (actually, no one allowed Israel to come into existence; it was fought for by Jews, and constructed by Jews in Israel with some help from others outside of Israel, but until after the second successful defense of the country, in 1967, no military or other aid came from the United States, or any significant aid arrived from anywhere else) and, furthermore, because “Palestinians” are Muslims and Infidels owe them a living, just as Infidels in Western Europe and North America owe Muslims in countries without oil wealth aid, or owe Muslims living in Infidel lands all kinds of benefits, including those that support monstrously large Muslim families, and even polygamous arrangements, by those who are keenly aware of the use of demographic increase as an instrument of domination and conquest. It is important to stop all acts that reinforce the historic relationship of dhimmi to Muslim overlord, and the best way to do so is to stop transferring more Infidel funds and other aid to Muslims, including the “Palestinian” Arabs who are the shock troops of the wider Jihad, the Lesser Jihad, conducted by Muslim Arabs (and seconded by non-Arab Muslims who take both Islam, and Arab supremacism, deeply to heart).
There is still no recognition of why it is that decades of peace-processing have led, and always will lead, essentially nowhere. Or at least, nowhere if the goal is a true and permanent peace between
Or one can do something else. One can look steadily and whole at those texts and tenets of Islam, and read what the scholars say about treaty-making between Muslims and non-Muslims. The indispensable understanding of the relevant doctrines can be found in Majid Khadduri’s “War and Peace in Islam,” and if one wishes, one can find dozens or hundreds of other authoritative texts that will all say the same thing. How is it these books and articles never make it into the hands of those who make our policies in the Middle East? What keeps them from ever being consulted, or read by those who advise those who make policy?
And if a policy-maker were to do that, he would have to conclude that peace and a peace treaty are not the same thing. A durable peace can be maintained between
Deterrence worked for the
(This article is based on previous comments posted at Jihad Watch.)
Posted on 08/10/2010 9:40 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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