"Expert" Takes Us All for Fools

Well, Mr. Thomas Friedman, I shall not mince words either. American policy is not "insane," but your flawed observations and analyses are. From your first assertion that the Palestinians are "gripped by a collective madness" causing them to "commit suicide", to your cure-all suggestion that an Israel reduced to a nine-mile wide strip will be a more defensible Israel, you have shown yourself to be

Rachel Neuwirth,

Rachel Neuwirth
Rachel Neuwirth
INN:RW
"Let's not mince words: American policy today toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is insane," asserts Mr. Thomas Friedman in his article "War of Ideas: Part 4" (New York Times, January 18, 2004; See http://www.nytimes.com).

Well, Mr. Thomas Friedman, I shall not mince words either. American policy is not "insane," but your flawed observations and analyses are. From your first assertion that the Palestinians are "gripped by a collective madness" causing them to "commit suicide", to your cure-all suggestion that an Israel reduced to a nine-mile wide strip will be a more defensible Israel, you have shown yourself to be neither a friend of Israel nor an expert on this matter.

Once again you have ignored the basic fact that the Israeli-"Palestinian" conflict is nothing more than the same old Arab-Israeli conflict using a new platoon, the so-called "Palestinians." Even "new historian" Benny Morris came to the conclusion that the long history of [Arab] rejectionism has perpetuated this conflict. (See http://www.tnr.com.)

What is "insane" is your claim that Israel is in the way of the Arab/Muslim world modernizing and liberalizing. What hinders that process is not Israel or America, but the corrupt, despotic systems of government in most Arab/Muslim states, including Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Arab leaders refuse to modernize because they realize it will involve democratization, which would spell an end to their regimes. If anything, Israel is the only example of modernization, liberalization and democratization in the entire Middle East. Yet you blame her for the shortcomings of her enemies.

What is "insane" is that you criticize the Bush team for a "just do nothing policy" in the "Palestinian"-Israeli conflict. The Bush team knows there is little it can do until the corrupt, terrorist-supporting regime led by Yasser Arafat ends. The American administration knows that until that time, sadly, there is no hope for peace.

What is "insane" is insisting that Israelis must evacuate their communities in Judea-Samaria (your "West Bank") in order to be more secure, when, in fact, the opposite is true. The brave Israelis living in these territories are the first line of defense in keeping out those "collectively mad" Arab terrorists "committed to suicide [Jihad]."

What is "insane" and ignorant is that you overlook the fact that an Arab-"Palestinian" state already exists and has existed since 1922. It is called Jordan. Even the Arab world recognizes Jordan's historic ties with the Arab "Palestinians". Prior to 1967, no Arab state ever called for another independent Arab-Palestinian state, even when Arabs were in full control of today's so-called "occupied territories." Nor did they ever recognize a distinct "Palestinian" nationality.

As Zahir Muhsein, former head of the PLO's military division, stated in 1977:

"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." (From the Amsterdam-based newspaper Dagblad de Verdieping Trouw, March 31, 1977)

If Arab terrorism emanating from Judea-Samaria ever ends, the Arab-dominated areas could possibly confederate with that existing Arab-"Palestinian" state of Jordan. Or those Arab-"Palestinians" could simply wade across the knee-deep Jordan River and become official Jordanian citizens. But it has become painfully apparent (except to you) that they will never renounce their right to murder Jews or wipe Israel off the map. And this is why they should never be allowed to create a state along Israel's underbelly from which to continue their war on the Jewish state.

What is "insane" is that you are so wedded to your distorted, yet simplistic, view of the conflict that when questioned about it, you overreacted. According to journalist Steven I. Weiss, when Manhattan attorney Harvey Schwartz suggested that you were "willing to sacrifice Israel on the altar of Iraq," you yelled "F**k you!" and slugged him. (See the report in Jewsweek.com.)

Perhaps, Mr. Friedman, you should reflect on the conclusions of Japanese researcher Nobuaki Notohara, who lived among the Arabs for some 40 years, and of Kuwaiti columnist Muhammad Al-Rumayhi, who reviewed Notohara's recent book: "[The author] says: 'I think that oppression is an incurable disease in Arab society, and therefore any author or researcher who speaks of the Arab society without being aware of this simple and obvious fact is not a serious researcher.'" Mr. Al-Rumayhi concludes that in order to enter the modern age, the Arab value system requires revision. (See http://www.memri.org.)

Mr. Notohara has never claimed to be a Jew, a Zionist, or an expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict; but he certainly has a lot to teach you about sanity and reality.

Or perhaps, Mr. Friedman, you could learn from Walid Shoebat, 43, who grew up fully indoctrinated in the hate-filled Arab culture and became a zealous, Jew-hating Muslim in the West Bank, progressing from a boy who threw stones to a young man who was a full-fledged Molotov cocktail-tosser, and perhaps even more. Eventually, he learned the difference between right and wrong.

"The world does not see the truth about what's happening in the West Bank," Shoebat told the Star in an interview one afternoon last week. "My purpose is to tell the West that they aren't getting the real picture, that what they're seeing is propaganda. I know the truth because I was there, I was part of it. And the truth is, we wanted to kill Jews long before the occupation. I wanted to kill Jews." (http://www.thestar.com.)

In conclusion, there are two insanities at work here. First is the insanity of your reasoning and depiction of Israel as the main source of every ill known to the Middle East. But equally sad is the insanity of those who fill your lecture halls time and time again to listen to your distortions.

The Arab world's war of ideas, Mr. Friedman, can never be blamed on Israel and/or America. If anything, those countries offer hope to the mass of Arab peoples living under despotic regimes. Let's place blame where blame is due and not mislead American readers.

Thomas Friedman, you stand accused of waging your very own intifada against the Children of Israel, and for that, there is no excuse. You are nothing more than a full-blown apologist for Arab terrorism. You have spent ample time in the Middle East, but it has taught you nothing.





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