The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The conventional wisdom regarding the Middle East has for a long time been that the US is hated in the Arab world because of its support for Israel, and if the Palestinian-Israeli conflict could be settled, everything would get better. Amir Taheri confronts this conventional wisdom about the anti-American and anti-Israel sentiments of the Arab world by reversing the cause and effect.
Conventional wisdom also insists that the US is hated by Muslims because it is pro-Israel. That view is shared by most American officials posted to the Arab capitals. But is it not possible that the reverse is true – that Israel is hated because it is pro-American?
I think that in part he is right in this assertion - one need only to look at Iran's view of the US as "The Great Satan" and Israel as the "Little Satan" as confirmation. However, one needs to look at the different parts of the Arab world. For the part that is secular, Israel is seen as an outpost of America in their neighborhood. Their hatred of Israel clearly has to do with Israel's support of the US. But in the fundamentalist part, US or not Israel is an intruder - an occupier of holy Muslim land. It would not matter who was supporting Israel or whom Israel was supporting, the issue would be the same - Israel's very existence.
|| Nudnik 12:03 PM
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