IsraPundit

WE'VE MOVED! IsraPundit has relocated to www.israpundit.com. Click here to go there now.
News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 14, 2002

Two notes on recent news reports

(1) Where did they learn this Chutzpah?

After Canada listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization - which is merely calling a spade a spade - the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations reacted by saying “This is a sad day for Canada. The Canadian government’s approach will alienate and frighten the Arab communities” ( Ottawa Citizen, Dec 12, 2002, p. A6). “Alienate and frighten” because a terrorist group has been recognized as such? Is that because “the Arab communities” identify with these terrorists and/or support them?

Still, this reaction is “civilized” by comparison with the reaction of the terrorist organization itself, according to AP also reported by Jerusalem Post):
The Hezbollah guerrilla group said Thursday that Canada was making a "grave mistake" in declaring it to be a terrorist organization.
To add insult to injury, Lebanon too has added its voice in support of Hizbollah, as Ha’Aretz, December 13, 2002, reports:
Lebanon denounces Canada decision to outlaw Hezbollah

Lebanon called Friday for Canada to reverse its decision to add Hezbollah's military wing to its list of terror organizations, Israel Radio reported.
...
Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hamoud instructed his country's embassy in Ottawa to intervene in the matter, the radio said.

(2) The new myth

It will be recalled that according to Bin Laden himself, he waged his war on the US because the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia defiled its holy soil. Then it occurred to Bin Laden and/or to his henchmen that it would be much more useful (especially in the European entity) to attribute his hostility to “the occupation” (not the occupation of Lebanon by Syria, or the occupation of Tibet by China, or the occupation of Corsica by France, and not the occupation of the Basque lands by Spain - he meant Israel’s regaining control over Judea, Samaria and Gaza).

Now this myth, "it's all because of Israel and/or the occupation", is gathering momentum, as the following piece from the Gulf News indicates:
Like Arabs elsewhere, Kuwaitis say there is a widespread sense of rage and humiliation felt by average people that is caused by the actions of Israel against Palestinians and a sense that the U.S. campaign against terrorism is a thinly disguised religious war against Muslims.

"Every day we watch on TV the scenes of Israel killing people in Palestine. Every day. What do you expect to happen in the Arab person's mind? You should expect huge anger, and sometimes it does not stay only as anger. It develops into action," said Dr Ismail Shatti, the Islamist who met with a journalist at the Galleria 2000 mall.
We must concentrate on fighting this new myth which is clearly designed to sabotage the friendship that most people in the US feel towards Israel. A good starting point is to remind the people of the US that years before “the occupation”, during the Cold War, such Arab states as Syria, Iraq and Egypt were aligned with the Soviet Union against the Western democracies. And during WW II, it took British troops to put an end to the pro-Nazi regimes in Iraq and Egypt. The humiliating expulsion of John Glubb (Pasha) and his British colleagues from Jordan, 1956, after decades of loyal service, is another episode one should mention. When did the West receive anything but hostility from the Arab world, even when Israel was hardly a concept?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.