Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sophia's Voice

I was discussing this recently with a european friend and he asked why Arabs were collaborators in their own decline ? I think the question is legitimate but at the same time, one has to consider that Arab countries were never decolonised.

That statement only makes factual sense if it is taken to mean that most of the Arab states today consist of territory that was conquered, then colonized, by Arabs through religious wars. The French did colonize Algeria, but they departed over two generations ago. What became Israel was already being re-settled by Jews before World War II, though not without unnecessary hardships by many of the pioneers: many complained they had to pay two or three times for the same plot of land.

The current problems of the Arab World are intimately linked to the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Jew fought beside Arab and European in that struggle to liberate Baghdad, Damascus, and other cities, both because the Jews had been promised their homeland as a reward and because they thought their Arab neighbors deserved their own chance at self-rule.

Independent Arab states with an independent Jewish homeland were thus meant from the very beginning to be a package deal. Once the war was over, however, Arabs (1) wanted more for themselves and (2) feared the comparitive newness of a territory ruled by Jews in the midst of their own lands.

This fear was reasonable only in the sense that the examples of the Turks (where did all those Armenians and Greeks go?) and Arabs themselves was that once their ethno-religious groups dominated a region, it tended to kill or drive out the others. That the Jews arrived with the intention of not doing so could not be believed; nor the prospect (circulated by the local Imam) of the "last mosque" being converted by infidels be tolerated.

First mob violence, then armed violence, took place against the Jews. Not all Arabs participated. When independence finally came Arabs heeded the call by their own leaders to flee so conventional armies could fight unhindered, but, I guess, secretly out of fear and hatred of Jewish rule. Israel won its wars partly because the Arab states were fighting for "honor" - that is, thievery - whereas the Jews were fighting for their very lives. The leaders of the new Arab "republics" used their leverage over the law and people's fears to eject most if not all of the remaining Jews from Arab lands, seizing thier property and thus creating a permanent justification in the ruling class for anti-Semitism, for if Jews were accorded equal or even limited rights with Arabs how could they justify keeping their loot?

And what of the Arabs' original fears? The Temple Mount is undamaged, save by Muslim hands. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs returned to Israel after its war of independence. Israel-dominated territory has not experienced ethnic cleansing, save of the Jews in Sinai and Gaza. Their have been no massacres of Arabs by Jews; indeed, their population has been exploding under the twin pressures of lawlessness and unlimited food "aid".

Indeed, Bruce Thornton claims, "Since World War II, some 25 million people have died in various conflicts, only 8,000 as a result of Israel’s attempts to ward off a chronic existential threat. That number includes soldiers.

That's about one-third the casualties Assad inflicted upon Hama in a week, and less than Saddam averaged during each year of his misrule. And who counts the casualties in the civil wars of Yemen, or the Arab expansionist wars in Sudan and Western Sahara?

So how can Western colonialism be counted as one of the major ills of the Arabs? Why even associate it with Arab decline? Is it, perhaps, because Western Colonialism is a "safe" whipping boy that serves as a distraction for Arab leaders who prefer to distract their populace by waving a red herring while robbing their pockets and stealing their children to die for the sake of glory? After all, Westerners, especially Jews, don't terrorize populations by killing children for the deeds of their parents the way some Arabs do on a routine basis.

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