Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
Wouldn’t you like to live in a world where the only problem is Israel?
This is the sweet world the 4th committee of the UN General Assembly lives in: On Thursday the committee had adopted 9 resolutions against Israel - and rested. One of the resolutions called for handing over the Golan Heights from Israeli to Syrian control. You read it correctly: the UN 4th committee wants more people to come under the crushing violence of the Syrian civil war.
The 4th committee’s total performance for 2013, as reported by Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, included 22 resolutions against Israel, and 4 dealing with the rest of the world. I wonder how much money was spent this session on sustaining the 4th committee’s fantasy world for another year. How much talent and capabilities of well educated people put into this task: diplomats, lawyers, advisors, interpreters...
One interpreter was struck with a moment of realization this Thursday’s session:
“I think when you have… like a total of ten resolutions on Israel and Palestine, there’s gotta be something, c’est un peu trop, non? [It’s a bit much, no?] I mean I know… There’s other really bad shit happening, but no one says anything about the other stuff.”
Yes, her mic was on. She wasn’t aware of that, and thus a glorious “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” moment was born, documented in this video: [watch on YouTube]
Allow me a short detour: Another UN body, The UN Refugee Agency, uses a clear definition to identify who is a refugee. UNRWA, a UN agency dedicated to Palestinian refugees only, uses a different definition. One of the most surprising truths around the Arab-Israeli conflict is that if the issue of Palestinian refugees was judged similarly to any other human being on this earth, the Palestinian refugee problem would have been insignificant to non-existing. It goes without saying that UNRWA had not achievement the resettlement of a single refugee since its founding, resettlement is not even included in its mandate.
Similarly, the problem with the 4th committee begins with it’s mandate, which includes: “...Decolonization, Palestinian refugees and human rights, peacekeeping, mine action, outer space, public information, atomic radiation and University for Peace.”You won’t find “TIbetan refugees and human rights” on the third or fifth committee’s mandate, not to mention any of the large number of real, terrible human rights crises around the world.
So what does that mean? That the UN is mostly incapable, but is at least handling one of the terrible human rights crises around the world? I wish. The obsession in which the committee deals with a single item on its mandate while abandoning the others, (including “mine action” and even “outer space”), is only one damning evidence of this ridiculous hypocrisy-fest. The committee never addresses the legislated Apartheid practiced against Palestinians in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. It’s not concerned with the grave human rights abuses suffered by Palestinians on their own land under Hamas’ rule in Gaza.
No. The committee’s mandate is to provide one more platform for vilifying Israel, not to help the Palestinians or achieve peace (which would have been much easier without the UN’s constant exacerbating action, stemming from the “original sin”: The different definition of “Palestinian refugee”.) The very branding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a human rights issue is a political fallacy.
The committee is, in fact, simply taking sides. This is politicization and abuse of the worst kind, the one that hijacks resources and platform needed for real agenda items in order to achieve a political goal. The fact that this specific political goal is a violent and un-peaceful one, is an equally disturbing failure. In this crusade, the end justifies all means, even the subjugation of the prosperous population of the Israeli Golan Heights to the reality of Syrian violence and war. How absurd.
The perpetrator of this distorted reality is the automatic majority against Israel in the UN, consisting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (56 countries) and the Non-Aligned Movement (118 countries). Members of these 2 groups will vote for a resolution that blames Israel for global warming, if need be. The Non-Aligned have nothing personal against Israel, but they do against the US, and that’s enough to abandon the moral obligations of the UN’s 4th committee towards humanity and focus on a single, made up villain.
No other indicator reflects the UN’s tragic loss of way stronger than the mounting of entire committees for the sake of the angry desire to undo Israel, a UN member. The spectacle of Israel-hate and anti-Israel action in the UN (from the General Assembly through UNRWA, UNICEF and of course the pathetic UN Commission on Human Rights and its racist creation, the Durban anti-racism[!] process), is a reflection of a world dominated by countries like Sudan, Mauritania, Venezuela and Nigeria, the likes of which sponsor the 4th committee anti-Israel resolutions with great redundancy. The rule of their values and morality is the face of the UN’s harsh anti-Israel policies.
Meanwhile, in the real world, a first Philippine baby was delivered by Israeli doctors in the Israeli field hospital set up following the typhoon.
His parents named him Israel.
11.15.13 at 1:48 pm | One interpreter was struck with a moment of. . .
10.30.13 at 10:08 pm | The moral problematics in releasing these men are. . .
10.16.13 at 10:24 pm | Good morning Europeans. Today the European Court. . .
10.8.13 at 9:00 pm | Another glorification of terrorism; Swift,. . .
9.28.13 at 11:26 pm | This past Tuesday Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. . .
8.26.13 at 12:46 pm | On August 15th a powerful car bomb exploded in. . .
October 30, 2013 | 10:08 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
Look closely at this picture: The men triumphantly posing with Mahmoud Abbas are all convicted murderers. Qassem Hazem killed Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg with an axe. Sharif Abu-Dahila stabbed Avi Osher, his employer for 15 years, to death. Haza’at Sa’adi and Othman Hussein shot Leah Elmakayes and Yossef Eliahu, both teachers, and threw their bodies into a water hole in the forest. And on and on - every last one of them.
The moral problematics in releasing these men are clear. Six of them, it turns out, murdered their victims after the Oslo agreement was signed, and that raises legal questions. But most of all, the reality in the background of this release is problematic: 3 Israelis were murdered in the West Bank in the last few weeks, 9-year old Noam Glick survived an attempted murder in her parents yard. Rockets were launched from Gaza the day this release was announced. You put your finger out in the air, and there are no winds of change out there. Not even a drift.
Palestinian terrorism goes systematically under-punished. Between all the instances of early releases from Israeli jails, it should be clear to the Palestinians who murder today that if they’re caught, they’re not going to really do the time. Only crime, no punishment. Some of the terrorists released today are in their early 40s, they still have sufficient number of years ahead of them, to raise a family, to pass on their legacy. The stark injustice in the opportunity given to them and the lack there of for their victims, is not something you want to correlate with a peace process.
What is the benefit to this cost? I wish there were metrics that can show the positive effect of releasing joyous killers on the level of trust between the peoples. I wish I could imagine a reality beyond the word “gestures”: a Palestinian John Doe saying “You know what? Now, that they’ve released these prisoners, I think I’m ready to believe them and to compromise”.
This seems far removed from reality, first because Palestinian public opinion sees the release as a successful blackmail, not as a gesture of kindness and good will. This is an aggressive exchange, rather than a gentle step towards understanding and reconciliation. Secondly, because attitudes, words and acts in the Palestinian territories seem to be inspired more by these men’s acts than by their supposed remorse and redemption. Inspiration that strengthens upon their release.
So what is the benefit to this cost? If trust is the goal, perhaps this is a qualifying consideration: When the current round of talks was announced, 85% of Israelis were against release of prisoners as a gesture. 70% said they didn’t believe anything will come out of these talks. How trusting are Israelis now? On the Israeli side of this coin, these releases, this masochistic ritual of anger, agony and philosophical wandering, is detrimental to the prospect of peace. Everything about it is in fact unbearably counter to peace.
To me, the Palestinians seem too proud and victorious for the moment. Where is the soul searching? The new realizations? One may imagine the amount of victimization and threats of imminent violence thrown around if the Palestinians had been required to go through soul searching. The picture of Abbas celebrating with murderers of women and children is telling. The occasion would be an embarrassment and a disaster to any leader of a civilized nation, but Abbas - he hugs them like they were heroic warriors returning with valor. Flip the coin and you find Palestinian celebrations that don’t lead to peace, but to the cement of the idea that terrorism is fine, it’s resistance, it’s legit. Celebrations that fuel the ugly Palestinian culture of glorification of terrorists and terrorism, which in turn guarantees the supply of fresh terrorists, and so on, and so on.
This is not a cost-benefit formula, it’s cost-cost. These releases are the fossil fuel to Palestinian violent nationalism’s CO2. I simply cannot imagine a vantage point from which an observing peace-lover may smile in satisfaction and note to himself: “Today was a good day for peace and good intentions.”
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October 16, 2013 | 10:24 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
Good morning Europeans.
Today the European Court reveals that €1.95 billion of European aid money delivered to the Palestinians in the past few years has been “lost”. With all the fiscal crises and austerity in your continent, how does it feel to lose €1.95 billion of your wealth to someone else’s corruption habit?
Aid money being “lost” is in fact not the worst outcome, as many cases of misused EU funds clearly illustrate. Your money ends up in surreal places, such as salaries paid to convicted terrorists or underwriting a TV quiz where Haifa and Jaffa are Palestinian cities waiting to be reclaimed. Hundreds of millions of Europeans believe that “Pro-Palestinian” = “Pro-peace”; Turns out that support for the Palestinians tends to fuel their most radical nationalistic aggressions, and that totally defeats the purpose.
Today, Europeans, may be a good day to examine the reasons for this transfer of wealth from the progressive European realm to a corrupt elite of Palestinian individuals. Good time to understand the nature of a bad deal forced upon you, Europeans, by blind political-correctness.
Good morning those who extend generous aid to Gaza.
Today it was revealed that the IDF has exposed a tunnel dug by Hamas under the border to facilitate attacks on Israeli civilians. 1.5km long, 20m under-ground, multiple exits, rail and little cars - the works. How does it feel this morning knowing that your money goes, directly or indirectly, towards realizing the extravagant visions of the finest terroristic minds?
The Gaza Strip persistently stars in the list of highest per-capita recipients of aid money, today is a good day to wonder what this fortune had ever achieved. There was never a desire to build or rebuild in Gaza, just to un-build, destroy and eliminate with holy rage. The most advanced greenhouses left behind by Israeli settlers in 2005 were gone within an hour of their departure; Internationally funded schools, hospitals and UN facilities are infested with weapon and ammunition handled by gangs of shady characters, in contrast to basic civilized conduct - Nothing is ever put to good use in Gaza.
Some of you, donors, share Hamas’ uncontrollable desire to hurt, kill and kidnap Jews, you may feel content about the tunnel. You, too, are accomplices to the hijack of the entire Gazan population for the sake of the manic desire to undo Israel, undo the Jews. This is not the first Arab population sentenced to miserable existence by its own brethren in order to satisfy this violent and sadistic obsession.
Good morning “Human rights activists”.
Can you see this morning what the problem may be with cement in Gaza? Some 800 tons of the stuff were used to construct the tunnel. Today is a good day to understand that seemingly innocent goods may be used for surprisingly guilty purposes, depending on the intent of the user. Yes, “Intent” - it’s a word. It’s a consideration. It’s a moral indicator. It’s everything.
Do you wonder what kind of human rights you’re promoting by helping to sustain Hamas’ destructive, loathsome rule, screaming Hamas’ victimhood from the decks of glorious flotillas, yearning for the Gaza shore as if it was the touch-down zone - just to shake Ismail Hanyia’s hand, just to offer him some words of encouragement.
October 8, 2013 | 9:00 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
Another glorification of terrorism; Swift, macabre and painfully mainstream.
The girl, Noam Glick, survived - somehow.
On Sunday, the official facebook page of Fatah (Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling party) posted this:
“The sniper of Palestine was here ... He left the signature of real men ... He saluted and left, and moved to a different place, with a new signature, as he tells the story of those who love the homeland.”
The Marlboro man must be turning in his grave: What’s manly about shooting an unsuspecting 9-year old? What kind of beliefs and convictions turn the shooting of a 9-year old girl into an act of valor? What vantage point is twisted enough to find virtue in this act, and negate the fact that, well, this is a 9-year old child playing in the backyard?
We’ve seen this before. 9-year old Noam Glick is first and foremost Jewish. Or “Israeli”, or “Zionist”, “Settler” - take your pick. And that supersedes everything else about her: that she’s a child with a mother and a father, with dreams and joys and frustrations, that she’s a human being. These are all way down on the Sniper of Palestine’s list of considerations. Noam IS one of the words above, and that strips her of the right to be treated as a human being, strips her of the right to live. And that gives him, the “real man”, the Palestinian James Bond, a permissive license to kill, in cold blood, with no remorse, and become a national champion of patriotism as a result.
Is there an equivalency in our society? Could there be anything about a 9-year old victim that could make you feel at ease or even elated with her being shot? What could make you ‘Like!’ the glorifying post, share it with enthusiasm? How would you feel if everyone around you thought the shooting was ok, natural, patriotic? Dive into these question, and you get a glimpse of the enormous moral rift between the Palestinians and the civilized world.
If you get to Ramallah one of these days, you may find yourself crossing the Dalal Mughrabi square. Mughrabi was the leader of the worst attack in the history of Palestinian terrorism, a 1978 ordeal that left 38 Israelis dead, including 13 children, and 71 wounded. The scene of horror, desperation, death and carnage that Dalal Mughrabi had conjured in 1978, as described by survivors, would make any civilized person wonder about the nature of human kind. In a grotesque expression of Palestinian nationalism, Dalal and her peers were reported to jubilantly celebrate and sing while inflicting their victims with untold misery.
But for Palestinians, Dalal Mughrabi is the ultimate national hero, with an impressive naming frenzy to account for that: All things Palestinian had been named after her, from a political panel to a ping-pong tournament, from kids’ summer camp to a public square.
An average Palestinian enjoys a breezy evening walk at the Dalal Mughrabi square. What goes through his head right about now? Does he think about the anxiety and terror consuming Mughrabi’s hostages, women and children on a bus, and than routing, supporting, justifying, adoring the perpetrator?
Palestinian society’s romance with death and killing is morally promiscuous, and everyone is an accomplice: Those who kill, those who send them, those who glorify them, their adoring neighbors and friends, those who celebrate their violent acts, those who sing their glory, those who honor them at conferences, those who teach the kids to admire them, those who name their summer camp after terrorists and place an order for T-shirts with a terrorist face on them, the General giving a speech of admiration of terrorists, the praising politician calling on Palestinian youth to go in their footsteps, parents who expose their children to glorification of violence, people on Palestinian TV that produce and air glorifying items about terrorist, and up to Mahmoud Abbas himself, who reminisces on the long Palestinian legacy of terrorism - every single one of them is an organ in a sick body.
There’s no peace coming out of that, ladies and gentlemen. The political process is premature. There’s a lot of growing up that this disturbed teenager of a society needs to go through before the road to peace can be found.
40 years ago this month a terrible war raged in the Middle East. The anniversary of the traumatic Yom Kippur war was commemorated on Israeli media by somber programs, newly released archival material, and so on.
In Egypt, there was a public celebration in Tahrir square, including music and fireworks.
The Egyptians initiated that war. They scheduled the attack on Yom Kippur, for maximum surprise. They brought about the death of thousands in roughly 3 weeks of fighting, and after it was all done, they were defeated.
This is all, apparently, a reason for a celebration.
But the festivities didn’t go well. The Muslim Brotherhood announced it was going to interrupt the jubilation, leading to the regular scenes of street violence, and no less than 51 dead.
A violent society remains a violent society, that’s not surprising. It’s just the symbolic and explicit fashion in which events in the Middle East take place:
51 dead during a celebration of war. Are you getting it?
**KUDOS** as always to Itamar Marcus and Palestinian Media Watch for their wonderful work exposing Palestinian hate speech.
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September 28, 2013 | 11:26 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
This past Tuesday Iranian President Hasan Rouhani gave CNN’s Christian Amanpour an introduction on how to say nothing while speaking: “Whatever criminality they [the Nazis] committed against the Jews, we condemn” he said.
A day earlier Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas performed a “condemnation without condemning” when asked about the recent incidents of Palestinian terrorism, saying that he “...Condemns all acts of violence against civilians”. Anybody has a problem with condemning all acts of violence against civilians? That’s what I thought. Easy.
Abbas immediately continued to compare the two killings of IDF soldiers (one shot by a sniper in Hebron; The other lured by a Palestinian friend to Kalkiliya in order for him to be murdered), to the killing of 3 Palestinian youths in Kalandyia on August 26th.
I agree with Mr. Abbas that death, loss, tears and sorrow are all tragically equal. The only use we, human beings, have in these situations is our ability and willingness to prevent these deaths. The 3 Palestinians were killed as a result of a violent incident (shown here) between a few Israeli soldiers and no less than 1,500 Palestinians, while the Israelis were killed in two pre-meditated efforts to create violent incidents.
The issue of intent does not appear in the Palestinian lexicon, hence the total lack of understanding of the meaning of terrorism and the insurmountable moral problems associated with perpetrating it for the past 8 decades.
On the subject of intent, I’d like to call the attention of Hasan Rouhani: Those who develop nuclear weapons while boasting their intention to annihilate Israel, a horror that can be achieved by nuclear weapons, cannot go on the UN podium and call for the proliferation of the Middle East. You’ll need a bit more than a 3-day charm offensive, the Persian edition, to gain this kind of moral ground. As a start, your alleged peaceful intentions should be expressed at least as explicitly as the regular Iranian lines of war, hatred and violence.
One reason why Israel (and the US and others) may hold this kind of weapon and Iran cannot, is the same reason why I can use scissors while my 3-year-old can’t. But this allegory is incomplete as it doesn’t reflect the issue of intent. Yes, the class bully who intends to hurt other kids should face restraints that good students don’t.
Class bully Bashar Al-Assad takes complete disregard to intent to the next level: After stabbing another student in class, he now demands that all the other kids, who had only math books and lunch boxes in their school bags before he showed up, surrender their knives if he’s to do so.
The sole reason for Israel to hold nuclear weapons is preventing Assad and his ilk, people who for generations clarify their intention to annihilate Israel and its Jewish inhabitants, from using their weapons to do just that, pretty much right out of the assembly line. The toxic combination of ill-intentions, unrestrained hatred and middle-ages-style moral boundaries disqualify you, Assad, and you, Rouhani from owning a BB gun, let alone WMDs.
Condemning “Any Nazi criminality against the Jews”, Condemning “Any act of violence” and “Proliferating the Middle East”: all easy, ill-intended, deceitful statements disguised as progressive mantras of peace, but motivated by more hate and geared towards more violence.
Be peaceful, for real, like President Saadat, and than we can talk.
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August 26, 2013 | 12:46 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
On August 15th a powerful car bomb exploded in Beirut’s Dahia neighborhood, turning a summer day into yet another hellish scene of terrorism, leaving at least 20 people dead. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman (Maronite Christian) reacted to the attack saying that “The Dahia blast bears the hallmark of terrorism and Israel”. Prime Minister Tamam Salam (Sunni) reasoned that “Israel has the most gain out of the blast”, a line used by his Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour (Shi’ite), the Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri (Shi’ite) and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.
Watch Lebanese politicians' conspiracy theory in all its idiocy, in this Iranian TV report:
Only blaming Israel can bring the sectarian leaders of Lebanon so heart-warmingly together. This is a rare wall-to-wall agreement in a country scarred by a 15-year civil war (1975-1990), one that constantly moves between bursts of sectarian violence and attempts to diffuse it. In this sectarian settings lies the actual background to the bombing as well: Dahia, a Hizbullah stronghold, was struck by Sunni terrorists, as a retaliation to Hizbullah’s (Shi’ite) alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad (Allawite Shi’ite) against a tapestry of Sunni opposition groups. A Sunni organization took responsibility for the blast, promising “More attacks, God willing”.
This sort of claim of responsibility in the Middle East is just a means to show-off, it doesn’t mean they actually did it. But the context of this attack is clear, to President Suleiman as well as anyone else. The same Hizbullah neighborhood was struck by a car bomb on July 9th, and on August 23rd the Shi’ite retaliation came, in the form of - you guessed it: A car bomb, which ripped through two Sunni Mosques in Tripoli right as the crowd got out of Friday prayers, killing 42.
Lebanon’s current snapshot of sectarian power-balance shows Hizbullah, a political party with a powerful army, representing the foreign interests of Iran (Shi’ite) and Assad (Alawite Shi’ite), dominating the country politically and militarily. There’s nothing anybody in Lebanon can do to stop the brutal intrusion of Hizbullah’s army on behalf of chemical Assad, therefore there’s nothing that can stop the spill-over of the sectarian war in Syria across the border into Lebanon, a tiny country extremely prone to sectarian chaos.
This is an ominous reality for any Lebanese, and the fact that the entire leadership wouldn’t deal with the gravity of the situation, but rather blame Israel in a surreal display of Middle-Eastern fantasy, is even more menacing.
How I’d want to be a Lebanese fly on Michel Suleiman’s wall... Does the President believe that his reaction serves to solve the very real sectarian problem? It already failed to do so, 42 dead in Tripoli can attest to that.
The same question goes to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who announced last Tuesday that Israel is behind the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. His evidence: Bernard-Henry Lévy, who “is also Jewish” said in a conference two years ago that the Brotherhood should not be allowed to take power in Egypt. Scientific.
Erdogan’s fantasies tend to shamelessly resemble old-school European Antisemitism, where “The Jews” were known to be responsible for any malaise to begin with, requiring only a ridiculous circumstantial excuse in order to prove their connection to any specific event. This is, ladies and gentlemen, the leader of the modern powerhouse called Turkey, a country of over 70 million, and a NATO member. The seat from which this man, wearing proper suits and carried by the esteem of state protocol, preaches his idiotic antisemitism is the most problematic thing about Erdogan, a man who poses many challenges.
Does the Prime Minister believe that his statement may serve to solve the situation in Egypt? Does any action or inaction by Israel stand to relieve the very real enmity between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood - a war that precedes the founding of the State of Israel?
In the streets of Egypt both camps blame their adversary for supporting or enjoying the support of “The Zionists” and “The Jews”. This is really just an adjective, another synonym to reflect one’s belonging to a certain crowd and the consequential disdain towards the other crowd. You probably won’t see the Lebanese President or the Turkish Prime Minister actually burning an Israeli flag or sticking a Star of David onto their opponents’ likeness - that’s below their office and stature.
But the un-evolved, irresponsible idea certainly seems to fall within their sets of appropriate conduct.
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August 23, 2013 | 5:09 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
A military court today found Major Nidal Hassan guilty in the November 2009 Fort Hood killing which left 13 dead. Hassan, who mounted his own intentionally weak defense, followed a clear line: He had simply “Switched sides”.
And yesterday, in Washington State, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was sentenced to life without parole for the intentional killing of 16 Afghan citizens in March 2012. The coincidental proximity of the decisions in the 2 cases is symbolic: Here are two men who had gone on indiscriminate killing sprees. Major Hassan’s claim to have “simply switched sides” makes the resemblance between the cases even closer, raising moral questions:
Does the fact that Hassan killed US soldiers, not citizens, make his actions less criminal?
Had Bales killed 16 Taliban fighters rather than citizens - still indiscriminately and in cold blood, would he had been sentenced differently?
Would Nidal Hassan go out and kill American citizens with the same moral conviction he expresses for killing American soldiers?
In these questions lies the definition of terrorism. Staff Sergeant Bales is sentenced by his own peers because his action is deemed criminal and an unacceptable conduct in a situation of war. His equivalents on the Taliban side would be celebrated and glorified. It’s safe to say that a pole among Talibs would reflect a mentality where the killing of as many Americans is a worthy goal. American soldiers - I want to believe - don’t hold this view.
The indiscriminate nature of terrorism is what defines it. Egyptian generals, who now put their money on branding the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, should realize that the indiscriminate nature of their own actions put them under precisely the same definition. Yes, the generals are right: The brotherhood crowd, burning Coptic Churches and executing 25 police officers in cold blood, are terrorists. And so are the Generals. No good side here.
No good side in Syria either. Bashar Assad, who mounted the original branding-as-terrorists campaign against his own enemies, is also the chemical killer of women and children. His Sunni opponents, terrorists indeed, killed 27 with a car bomb in Beirut last week.
Across the Muslim world factions wage their sectarian and religious wars through terrorism: in Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Yemen - you name it. “Terrorist” in these parts is a synonym for “My enemy”, and despite the erroneous use of the word, they’re all, tragically, correct in so labeling their opponents.
The definition of terrorism in the democratic world is based on moral convictions, not sectarian stances. In his wonderful, surprisingly entertaining documentary “UN Me”, Ami Horowitz presses a UN official to admit that the organization has never managed to agree on a definition to the word “terrorism”. The UN represents the entire humanity, and seeing the stark differences in the way different parts of this humanity regard terrorism, its definition and its moral problematics, makes this UN fiasco soberly natural.
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August 17, 2013 | 10:56 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
The BBC News Hour reporter was clearly taken aback by the Egyptian interviewee he talked to on the streets of Cairo. The man was expressing unsettling support for the military’s action that left at least 638 Muslim Brotherhood members dead.
The number of casualties is unreal. It’s difficult to cope with this scope of disaster or with the idea that soldiers - ordinary people and representatives of the government, can take part in such a political massacre. (Or that a citizen in the street would show support for it on the BBC News Hour).
The Egyptian civilization is clearly very different than ours. A report from Egypt from March 9th illustrates that: “22 killed in riots sparked by the sentencing to death of 21 people following the death of 74 soccer fans in a game at Port Said”. Death and more death, horror after horror after horror.
The brutality of the war in Egypt is not the only shocker. The pace and velocity of the drama there are no less hair-raising: The Muslim Brotherhood, the military’s arch-nemesis, went from rags to riches, from jail cell to the President’s palace in a matter of months. Preventing this from happening was the military’s raison d’etre, but they did tolerate two years of the unthinkable - Muslim Brotherhood rule. Eventually, the military had decided to snap out of it. Now we’re talking about the destruction and dissolution of the Brotherhood, there’s no compromise or negotiations here, it’s total, life or death.
Nothing new here. The epic battle between Egyptian military rulers and the Muslim Brotherhood has been going on for decades, with similar middle-ages mentality. There’s only one new aggravating factor: this is now going on under unprecedented international scrutiny, and a serial pull out of international corporations from Egypt is the first, immediate result.
The Democratic world doesn’t play this way, this is all very foreign: The outrageous violence, the confusing burst of spontaneous street-democracy that landed Morsi back in the jail cell, up until his dramatic address from Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday, even President Obama looked like a camel caught in the headlights.
The President was equally blamed for supporting both sides; Perhaps it’d ease American guilt and confusion to internalize that there’s no good side here, no candidate for support - at least not on moral grounds. The events in Egypt are unacceptable across the board (just like in Syria), it’s a screenplay with no character you can identify with, and that movie - anybody in Hollywood can tell you - is never going to be made.
The Generals have a clear head-start with the Western public because they’re not religious fanatics. They’re wrong to think that’d sustain support though: Lack of moral clarity tends to end up with total identification with the victim
Victimization is perhaps the dominant political principle of this generation. The victim is sanctified, exempt. We’ve seen human rights champions hug it out with the un-liberal leaders of Hamas; We’ve seen Brotherhood-affiliates from the Turkish IHH on board the Mavi Marmara pump each other with fantasies of glorious violence and chant antisemitic slogans all the way to their unfortunate encounter with the Israeli navy, just to be dismissed by world opinion (and the UN) as aggressed victims.
Congratulations, Muslim Brotherhood, you’ve been accepted into the program. If all goes well, the Brotherhood will be granted a blank slate any American with bad credit would kill for.
On PRI’s The World Thursday edition, host Marco Wurman ended the program reading portions from the tragic text correspondence between 26 years old Habiba Abdel Aziz, who ended up dead in Cairo on Wednesday, with her mother. The text messages didn’t include a mother’s call to get out of an area where religious extremists known for their desire to die for Allah are getting ready to confront a blood-thirsty military. It did end, though, with a troubling line, an essence of radical Islam, texted by Habiba most likely seconds before her death:
“Death, here we come. We are not afraid of you, but you from us”
When read with enough pomp, even this chilling choice of a 26 year-old sounds heroic.