Fast Jihadists and Slow Jihadists

by Hugh Fitzgerald (Jan. 2009)

It has taken quite a while. It still is not understood by many, and among those many are many in Israel, who simply do not want to understand how badly they have for so long misunderstood, the war being waged against them. For too many of them, it is an upsetting idea. They can’t quite grasp, because they would dearly prefer not to grasp, that the war against Israel has no end, so further Israeli concessions and at this point irrational sweet-reasonableness will only weaken Israel, and thus, by the logic of Islam, make it more not less likely that Muslims will attack the Infidel nation-state. Nor should much significance be given to the war, for power and loot, between the two factions Hamas and Fatah. They agree completely on the goal, and the end result. But the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, being more corrupt, and thus more immediately desirous of Western aid, and being more patient and cunning as well, because less heedlessly fanatical, differ only in tactics and in timing from the Fast Jihadists of Hamas, who in any case may themselves be becoming, just a little, more pragmatic, which naturally draws them closer to the Slow Jihadists of Fatah.

But the Slow Jihadists and the Fast Jihadists simply underline the main and obvious point, which nonetheless must be restated as often as possible: The war against Israel waged by Muslim Arabs and other Muslims who follow the Arab lead is merely a classic Jihad. After the Six-Day War, the Arabs made every effort, because they realized that a military “solution” was not at hand, to repackage their opposition to Israel. They would use the fact of Israel’s victory against it. Among the territories that Israel took possession of were two — Gaza and the “West Bank” — to which Israel had good, even clear, title according to all the legal and historic (not to mention moral claims) — which were soon re-presented to the world as the land of a suddenly-invented “Palestinian people,” (never mentioned before by any Arab rulers, diplomats, historians, or others), and the careful fabrication continued as part of the so-called “construction-of-the-Palestinian-identity” project, right down to the renaming of a few banal Arab folkdances as “Palestinian” in nature. For the Arabs have always been very clever about manipulating the Western publics, while Israel has endured a political and media elite that takes pride in its absence of guile, its blunt forthrightness, save that the blunt forthrightness of Golda Meir’s dismissal of the “Palestinian people” did not continue, and the Israelis became unwitting collaborators in their own propagandistic degringolade.

The Arabs understood, after the colossal defeat of June 1967, that they would need more time, and other strategies, to defeat and then destroy Israel. They realized that they would need the outside world, and particularly the Western powers that had affinities with, and even gave moral and sometimes other kinds of support to Israel, to take the Arab and Muslim side. They worked hard to make sure that those Western powers, little by little, stopped seeing the conflict as what it was, but as something else, in which tiny Israel could be depicted as the o’erweening bully, and the Arab side depicted as the much weaker victims.

Considering that the Arabs alone outnumber the Jews of Israel 60 to one, and that the land in the possession of the Arabs is about 14 million square miles, while Israel in the 1949 armistice lines is about 10,000 square miles, and even with the “West Bank” does not even contain the 14,000 square miles that would make Mighty Israel, Greater Israel, all of one-one-thousandth the size of the Arab-ruled lands (where Berbers, Kurds, Copts, and all other non-Arab or non-Muslim peoples, are treated with contumely, or discrimination, or persecution, or worse), this was a neat trick.

But the Arabs managed it. They began by carefully renaming the Arabs in the territories won by Israel in the Six-Day War as the “Palestinian people,” a phrase not used, not once, by any Arab diplomat or leader prior to the Six-Day War. Thus a new “people” was created — see Zuhair Mohsain’s admission to the Dutch newspaper “Trouw” about the propagandistic motivation for the “Palestinian people”:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism..

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa,, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

But then the Israelis, so desperately eager for peace, failed to respond. They failed utterly to recognize the propagandistic case that was being built, by which the Jihad against the Infidel state of Israel was to be disguised as merely a conflict between two “tiny peoples” (though the Arabs never hide the fact that they consider themselves one people, a people united in language, customs, religion, and all the other outward and inward markers of ethnic identity).

In this scenario, Israel was cast in the role of bullying “occupier.” In reality, it was no such thing, for its historic and legal claim to the “West Bank” did not begin with, and was not dependent on, the possession that resulted from the Six-Day War. For Israel’s “occupation” of territory deliberately set aside for the Jewish National Home according to the League of Nations’ Mandate for Palestine could hardly be seen as similar, say, to “Occupied Paris” (to which the Germans had no legitimate claim) or “Occupied Vienna” or “Occupied Berlin” (both cities which the Allies occupied with military forces after the war, but to which they did not have, and did not wish to fabricate, any kind of permanent claim). The same goes, of course, for “Occupied Japan,” to which the Americans of course had no claim other than of being military occupier. That is quite different from Israel, which in the Six-Day War came into possession of territory to which it had a claim, and a right — legal, historic, and moral — recognized by those who established the Mandate system after World War I.

The Arabs have had a good run, aided and abetted by a series of mediocre Israeli governments, and by media and political elites in Israel largely ignorant of Islam, almost willfully so, and thus blind to the war being waged, for all time, against the state of Israel. Perhaps to allow themselves to understand the nature of Islam, and thus to recognize the endless nature of the war being waged on Israel, has simply been too painful for Israelis to face up to. So instead they — like the Western Europeans — simply prefer to deny it all, and thus to end up collaborating with the propaganda put out by their enemies, aiding those enemies to conceal the nature of the war being waged.

But now, it seems, each new killing or attack, in Madrid or London or Mumbai, in Amsterdam or New York, in Washington or New Delhi, in Moscow or Manila, in southern Thailand or in southern Nigeria or in southern Sudan, of Muslims against Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others, chips away at that Arab propaganda, and begins to allow us once again to see, revealed, the true nature of the war against Israel. As this war is seen, and seen more clearly, soonest by the keenest, and then afterwards by the less keen, it will be harder and harder for the farce of the “legitimate rights of the ‘Palestinian’ people” business to be uttered with a straight face. And if Israel can hold on, and can start to see things straight, and help others in Western Europe and North America, by making its own new understanding of things clear, to themselves come to grasp the meaning, and permanent menace, of Islam, then it is just possible that Israel will have a chance. Further appeasement will not and cannot work. Islam is triumphalist. Every victory, anywhere, against any Infidels, only whets, and never sates, Muslim appetites. This needs to be understood. Not after the next concession of tangible assets to the Arabs, but before any more such disastrous concessions, by the likes of the olmerts of this world, are made.

consists of several countries. One of those countries is the one in which an Olmert can compare the justified fury of Jewish villagers in Kiryat Arba who have been goaded by the local Arabs beyond endurance to a “pogrom.” In that country, Ha’aretz columnists, aided by Israelis who control the radio and television, can consistently and deliberately avoid all mention of the texts and tenets of Islam, and blithely describe a “peace” that they think can be established if, and only if, Israel continues to make tangible concessions, as it has been making to the Arabs and Muslims ever since the 1948-49 war, though every single resulting agreement or, if not agreement, then assurances by an Arab state — e.g., Nasser’s Egypt to the “international community” in order to get back the Sinai, has in one way or another ultimately been breached by the Arab side.

And those breaches have been so continuous, so systematic, and so blatant, that one might have thought that some people in the Israeli government, as well as some in the Foreign Ministry, and some in the Israeli media would have begun to ask if perhaps the problem was not with this or that country or leader with whom the treaties were contracted, but rather with some underlying theory concerning the observance of treaties in Islam – a theory that had little to do with the “Pacta Sunt Servanda” (treaties are to be obeyed) principles that underlie the Western understanding, and Western assumptions, about treaties.

And if those in Israel’s political and media elites had done what should have been the most obvious thing in the world, which is to say, if they had begun to study the law of war and peace in Islam, perhaps by beginning with Majid Khadduri’s book War and Peace In the Law of Islam, then the members of those elites — the Ha’aretz columnists, in all their baseless and smug self-assurance, and the political figures who meet with their approval, and the television wise men — would have had to recognize some uncomfortable truths. They would have had to come to grips with those truths, and would have had to come to formulate or support policies that were based not on the notion that Pacta Sunt Servanda would prevail, but on the truth: that no Arab Muslim state is ever going to reconcile itself to the existence of the Infidel nation-state of Israel, no matter what its size. They would have had to recognize also that Israeli policies for maintaining “peace” are futile. Such a “peace” is maintained right now by the threat of what the Israeli Defense Force can do to those who make war on Israel, and that is the only long-term “peace” that Israel can ever rely on. Israel must come to realize that it certainly cannot rely on a “peace” that depends on the Arab Muslims ignoring their own texts, tenets, attitudes, and their own insistence that the basis for their treaty-making with Infidels must remain the model of Muhammad’s treaty with the Meccans in 628 A.D. at Hudaibiyya. After concluding that treaty for a period of ten years, Muhammad, that Model of Conduct (uswa hasana) and Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), soon found a pretext to breach it, and within 18 months did so. And he has been hailed for his cunning in deceiving the enemy — hailed in Muslim texts — ever since, and Muslims have no other model for treaty-making with Infidels, nor do they wish one.

One way that those who presume to inform and instruct us could and should promote greater clarity in discussions about the Arab Muslim war on Israel is to do the following: every time the word “peace” is written, instead let the phrase “peace treaty” appear. That will do a great deal. And if, every time that phrase “peace treaty” now appears, the phrase “truce treaty” were to be substituted instead, for it is indeed only a hudna, a “truce treaty,” that would make things even clearer. And isn’t clarity important? Isn’t an absence of confusion a good idea, whether one is buying a toaster, or betting the future existence of an entire state and an entire people, on the right understanding of things?

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Hugh Fitzgerald contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all his contributions, on which comments are welcome.


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