Getting the Story Straight

Anti-Zionism dominates the Islamic world, reason does not.

Prof. George Jochnowitz

OpEds Prof. George Jochnowitz
Prof. George Jochnowitz

Many countries—Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and others—are rich in oil.  Yet their citizens live poor and backward lives.  Despotic rulers terrorize the people, who put up with their oppression because they know their leaders are anti-Israel, the cause that matters more than any other.

Since the fall of the USSR, radical Islam has been the world's major force opposing reason.  Anti-Zionism has always been a central element in the obscurantist vision that inspires and protects terrorism.  Israel is a small country, but it is viewed by fanatics as the most powerful evil in the world.  

The Palestinians are seen as the most persecuted of victims.  When there was a Soviet Union, it too opposed the Enlightenment.  A de facto Marxist-Islamic alliance existed, united by hatred of Israel and fear of the West, with its wealth, its freedom and its temptations.  This coalition was inherently illogical, yet, inexplicably, it survived the war between the USSR and Afghanistan, the anti-religious policies of the Soviet Union, and the anti-Communism of Saudi Arabia.

The destruction of Israel is more important to fanatics than the liberty of the Palestinian Arabs.
Islamic orthodoxy is not the same thing as radical Islam.  Islam came into being 1,400 years ago, long before the rebirth of the State of Israel or the wealth and power of the United States.  Although there is no such thing as liberal or reformed Islam, obscurantism is an unfamiliar role for Muslims.  For many centuries, Islam was more flexible and tolerant than Christianity.  It was the creation of Israel that introduced a new rigidity.

Israel is considered such an offense that anti-Zionism has dominated the world of Islam for half a century.  Demagogues remain in power, fighting bloody wars against each other and endangering the world.  Women are persecuted.  Young people plan to die in a holy war instead of looking forward to life.  Reason and self-interest are abandoned, and nothing remains but obscurantism.

There would have been an independent Palestine long ago were it not for anti-Zionism.  Palestinian independence, now as before, can be achieved only with the Israelis, not against them.  The destruction of Israel is more important to fanatics than the liberty of the Palestinian Arabs.

A great opportunity was offered to the world on November 29, 1947.  The United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181, dividing Palestine into six areas, arranged in a checkerboard pattern, three of them having a Jewish majority, the other three with an Arab majority.  The partition resolution, had it been accepted by both sides, would have created a Jewish and an Arab state in Palestine.

Representatives of the 600,000 Jews then living in Palestine accepted partition.  The six Arab states in the UN at that time--Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen--rejected the resolution.  Anti-Zionism won.  The Palestinians lost.

The world lost too, and the Islamic world lost most of all.  It lost its art, its grace, its science, its creativity, its humanity.