Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tired argument

Yet again I heard on BBC the tired old argument that the Muslims are mad at the West because of the West’s support for Israel. To assuage this Muslim anger, the reasoning goes, the West needs to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, to settle it. This premise seems to be near gospel for many, but it is deeply flawed.

Simply put, it is flawed because it takes two sides to make peace, and all indications show that the Palestinians do not want peace with Israel. This is evidenced by the failure of the Oslo Accords, which, according to former president Bill Clinton, failed because of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. More recently the Palestinians elected Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Not exactly a negotiating partner.

Finally, the Palestinians are now on the brink of civil war. Palestinian society is in tatters and it would seem that before they can make peace with their Israeli enemy they should at least make peace among themselves, and perhaps develop a functioning government. After all, it’s hard to run a state without a competent government.

Those who adhere to the above supposition ignore the disarray and radicalism that is rife in Palestinian society. They put the entire onus on Israel and the West to make peace with a people who are apparently not interested in peace; and even if they were, can’t get their shit together enough to pick up the garbage every day without graft and corruption helping line the pockets of the Minister of Garbage and his clan.

If that were not enough, you have strong elements within the Arab world actively opposing peace and normalization with Israel on many fronts. From the media to professional organizations to the UN and international conferences, many Arab and Muslim leaders do far more to “keep hate alive” than to promote peace with Israel. And yet, that doesn’t stop them from repeating the same old argument: The Muslims are mad at the West because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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