December 14, 2004
Friend of FLAME:
You may have seen the article in Sunday's newspapers on the Arab-US
summit held in Morocco on Saturday. The event, co-chaired by US Secretary
of State Colin Powell, featured speech after speech by Arab spokesmen
blaming Israel and the United States for Arab nations' failure to
fight terror, failure to democratize and failure to eliminate corruption.
The problem, the Arabs contend, is Israel's conflict with the Palestinians
and U.S. support of Israel. This Arab position displays consummate
chutzpah on two counts: First, tiny Israel has no influence
on the internal politics and policies of any of the 20 Arab nations
in attendance; and second, the stated goal of most Arab states and
organizations is the total destruction of Israel. Nonetheless, however
implausible, Arab politicians have for decades blamed Israel for the
ills of the Arab world.
Here's an example of how it works: In October, 2002 a massive study
commissioned by the United Nations a body that is virtually
never sympathetic to Israel on the social, political, economic,
educational, and democratic progress in the Arab world was carried
out by twelve Arab sociologists. They documented the Arab world's
massive human rights abuses, wide-sweeping and brutal oppression of
women and minorities, gut-wrenching child abuse, and whole populations
subsisting in grinding poverty while Arab elites live in obscene luxury.
In addition, a dozen wars throughout the Arab world have caused the
deaths of millions and made millions more homeless. In most Arab countries,
literacy and education opportunities remain at a lower level than
most sub-Saharan countries, many have legalized slavery both for labor
and sex, and their levels of technological achievement are lower than
almost anywhere else in the world.
And to what does this U.N. study attribute such a massive failure
of Arab governance and such deplorable levels of human rights, education,
freedom and opportunity? According to the study, the misery, poverty
and suffering, from Mauritania through North Africa, to Egypt and
"Palestine," Syria and Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
throughout all 21 Arab nations and all 265,000,000 Arabs living in
those nations are ALL due to "...the occupation of Moslem
lands by Israel" a country the size of Rhode Island with
only about 6 million people.
So why should we anyone expect any other explanation from Arab statesmen
for the lack of freedom and democracy in the Arab world? Colin Powell,
to his credit, exhorted Arab countries at the conference to stop stalling
reforms. "Political and economic freedom go hand in hand,"
he said. "All of us confront the daily threat of terrorism. To
defeat the murderous extremists in our midst, we must work together
to address the causes of despair and frustration that extremists exploit
for their own use." Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League,
replied, saying that while extremism must be fought, any reforms must
be linked to a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Just so we don't forget what the Arabs are talking about when they
discuss "resolution of the conflict," Hamas spokesperson
Moshir al-Masri underscored it for us again yesterday in his comments
following the killing of five Israeli soldiers in a Gaza tunnel explosion:
"This sends a message to everybody who tries to seek a peace
settlement: Resistance is the only option for the Palestinian people."
The goal of Hamas, as of most Arab nations and as it has been
for decades is not "peace," but the absolute destruction
of Israel. Thankfully, the current U.S. administration seems to understand
the duplicity of the Arabs, and it will not let Israel's existence
or its right to self-defense stand as an excuse for Arabs not cleaning
up their act.
P.S. Thanks to pro-Israel activist David Meir-Levy of Menlo Park,
California, for many of the facts and analysis in this piece.
P.P.S. Please make a point to visit www.factsandlogic.com
for a complete library of articles on a virtually every significant
issue surrounding Israel and the Middle East. All can be printed out
for your convenience and for distribution. Thanks for your continued