The Nudnik File

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

Friday, April 08, 2005

              Arab Development
A few days ago, the UN released the latest Arab Human Development Report. As would be expected, these Arab intellectuals placed a large measure of blame for the lack of freedom and democracy in the Arab world on Israel and the United States, showing that the idea of actually looking inward and analyzing their problems has not yet fully taken hold. The US and Israel dismissed this analysis as "misguided". Yet, as Caroline Glick shows, despite the dismissal of these Arab claims, the policies of the US and Israel vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict are based on very similar logic.
The view among American policymakers and Israeli Foreign Ministry types, both egged on by their ideological bedfellows in Europe and the international Left is based on two presumptions. The first is that the Palestinian conflict with Israel is the cause of the Arab conflict with Israel. The second is that the Palestinians are weak and the Israelis are strong and that the way to solve the conflict is to strengthen the Palestinians and weaken Israel.

The second presumption is what leads both Israeli and American foreign policy elites to advocate Israeli surrender of land and rights to the Palestinians and to support Palestinian acquisition of arms, money and sovereignty.

The first presumption is what leads both Israel and the US to ignore the direct dependence of the Palestinian conflict with Israel on outside support by Arab League member states led by Egypt. Egypt, like the rest of the Arab world has never accepted Israel's inherent right to exist as a Jewish state in the Levant. Yet over the years, the rhetorical focus shifted from overt calls for Israel's destruction through war to overt calls for Israel's destruction through the establishment of a Palestinian state and unlimited immigration of millions of foreign born Arabs to Israel. These calls are obfuscated to a degree by a public fixation on the perceived weakness and actual misery of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza – both of which are blamed on Israel.
Daniel Pipes and others have long asserted that defining the Arab-Israeli conflict as an issue of Palestinians and a Palestinian state is wrong. The idea that a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians will lead to Arab rapprochement with Israel, is exactly backwards. The Arab-Israeli conflict can only end once Arab states fully accept Israel as a Jewish state in the Middle East. And for this to happen there will need to be a complete political and societal change in the Arab world. When Arab tyrants are no longer around to direct the frustration of their own people onto Israel and the United States, and instead to look critically at their own societies and come up with solutions to their own problems, only then will peace be possible in the Middle East. President Bush has embraced this concept and his policies of spreading democracy reflect that. The Arab world is tentatively wading into this democratic stream. Unfortunately, Europe's continued reliance on the policies of the past are giving Arab tyrants hope that they can outlast Bush and avoid the long necessary reforms.
|| Nudnik 12:18 PM
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