USrael's Lies: The New Orientalism and the Elusive Peace

Israel does not want peace. That's not only Gideon Levy's conclusion but also the conclusion of some in the Bush camp as it appears (i.e. Robert Novak). Indeed, nothing for now can move Israel and the neo-cons from their attitude toward conflict and peace in the ME, because public opinion in the US and the west in general are kept in ignorance of facts about the region. Western policy about the Middle east is divorced from facts and from informed public opinion, thanks mainly to the work of the neo-cons.

''To these people the interests of Israel are paramount, and if Israel is not interested in a two state solution that involves handing back settlements then neither are the neo-cons. And no matter what game they play publicly, their policy line remains tied to whatever the state of Israel wants.''

A blatant example of this willful ignorance is the death of investigative journalism and the reduction of the media, even the most prominent ones, to simple mouthpieces of their governments and their leaders. Homeyra points out to an article on the neo-cons where there is mention of the fact that most of them come from the news media which they tranformed into their echo chamber, a subjective one by their own admission. Le Monde yesterday published answers to questions sent to the three front runner candidates for the presdiential elections in France. The questions were about ten 'crucial' issues in foreign policy, as determined by le Monde. A third of the questions was about Iran, more than a third was about internal and foreign affairs issues related to Europe including attitudes toward China and Russia, and there was a question on Darfur, a recently zionist sponsored 'humanitarian' cause. There was no mention of the Israeli-Arab conflict, no mention of Iraq, and no mention of Palestine. Half of the questions on crucial foreign policy issues in France, as determined by le Monde, can be seen as neo-con issues. Le Monde is a center left mainstream French newspaper. The sounds of the drumbeats in the echo chamber are reaching distant neighbourhoods.

I realised yesterday that the neo-con thinking has become invasive, even among people and countries outside their own circles. This work of disinformation was achieved by a joint effort from Israel and its neo-con allies through means including shock and awe wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, lying, intimidation, mayhem, threats, and most of all, the devaluation of facts on the ground which were replaced and substituted by false narratives bearing no relation to Truth.

Take for example the present zionist narrative on the Israeli-palestinian peace process, the one that was fabricated since 9/11 with the help of the 'War on Terror'. We all know that the 'war on terror' has produced more terror, displaced three to four millions Iraqis from their homes while eight to nine millions need humanitarian assistance, killed another million of them, and destabilised the whole Middle East, not to mention Afghanistan. On the other hand, the 'war on terror' served as the main line in a narrative preventing any effort to reach peace in Palestine. The following were the main premices of the 'War on Terror' narrative:

-Sharon could not talk to Arafat because Arafat was a terrorist;
-Sharon could not talk to Abbas because Abbas could not reign in on terrorists;
And when Abbas was sufficiently weakened and Hamas took over democratically after having stopped suicide bombings:
-Sharon, and consequently Olmert, could not talk to Hamas because not only Hamas are terrorists but they don't recognise Israel's 'right to exist'. Israel was frightened asking for the protection of the international community because, in Palestine, terrorists in government don't recognise its 'right to exist';
The international community followed Israel in this path and Israel felt enough support to conduct daily invasions and armed assaults on Gaza (Remember Jennine, Beith Hanoun ?) as well as daily harrassement of Palestinians, which continue to go on as I am writing. Israel felt enough support to conduct a bloody criminal war on Lebanon to get the pro-Bush Sanyura government rid of Hezbollah 'terrorists' which are roughly 40 % of the country's population and more if you count their popular support from other communities, killing, in one month, more than a thousand civilians, displacing a quarter of the population, destroying infrastructure and dropping some one million cluster bombs intended to kill well after the ceasefire.

During this time, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority were caving to international pressure to form a unity government so the west could send aid, halted at the election of the Hamas government, to palestinians who are in critical conditions and starving. Rice, Bush and Olmert tried their best, and behind the scenes, to stop a unity government, by giving money and arms to corrupt Palestinian factions (Fatah) pushing Gaza into a civil war. Things were starting to look really ugly when Saudi Arabia, the first official US and Israel implicit ally in the region, worried by a rise of anti-Saudi sentiment in the Arab street and among Muslims, stepped in and brokered a unity government. The Palestinian Authority government that resulted has not only a third of its members from Fatah, an organisation seen now as 'moderate' by the US and Israel (it wasn't moderate enoug for them when it was time to negotiate with Arafat), but it has also more than a third of its members from the civil society and independant groups. Israel ignored the government. The saudis relaunched their peace initiative, with an implicit agreement from the present Palestinian government, Israel continued to ignore it, until a week ago. Meanwhile, Olmert is mulling the Arab peace offer. If it is good for him on the internal level, he may engage in talks but he seems reluctant to accept it as such. Read here how Israel and most Israelis view the peace initiative, which is minimal to a two state solution, and here an appraisal of the initiative.

During the five years and a half since 9/11, chances for peace in the ME were squandered by a simple narrative, the 'war on terror' narrative, making all Arabs and Muslims potential terrorists, ennemies of the West, unfit for talks and undeserving peace. It is a convenient lie and it is a new dehumanising tactic for the New Orientalism enabling the continued and renewed occupation of Palestine, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the invasion and bombing of Lebanon, the extraordinary renditions, torture, at scales unseen before, by modern western democracies, enabling Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and the reorientation of the international foreign policy agenda away from the Israeli-Arab conflict to new satellite but nonetheless important conflicts like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, and Somalia. And it does not stop there. Al-Qaida, which is an objective ally of the neo-cons in the 'war on terror', because Al-Qaida exists as long as the 'war on terror' exists (see the Adam Curtis documentary, 'The Power of Nightmares'), was trying recently to spread this 'war' to the Maghreb, Algeria and Morocco. The Algerian government, which dealt with a murderous and state threatening wave of Islamist terror whose scale was much wider than 9/11 related directly to an internal social and economical malaise, and which is trying to revive the state, the economy, and national reconciliation, was very very angry with the US ambassador's reaction to the recent bombings in Alger. It accused the US embassy, who issued a warning on future and imminent Al-Qaida terror attacks in Alger, of interference in internal affairs of a sovereign state. The present US ambassador in Alger had a previous job in occupied Iraq as an ambassador. The Algerian government is labeling the shocking attitude of the US ambassador as the 'Iraqi' attitude, a coloniser attitude. Algerians fought a bloody war of decolonisation and they are, more than other Arabs, very sensitive to the colonialist attitude.

Lets listen to professor Edward Said speaking on Orientalism.

Thanks Kel.

By labeling Arabs and Muslims as terrorists and potential threats to the US and the West, Israel, the neo-con, and their much cherished 'war on Terror' have recreated Orientalism. This New Orientalism, no less dehumanising, is much more rapacious; it supresses any humanity to Arabs and Msulsims and manages to deny them the status of victims and to convince the world that it is Israel who is the victim in this conflict. The 'War on Terror' is a convenient lie hiding an inconvenient truth; the unjustice done to Palestinians, Muslims, and the Arab world, by Israel.

This New Orientalism is unlike others because it uses as a proxy an occupying state, Israel, which is politically and strategically, and at the same time, an integral part of the ME and an integral part of the West. Unlike other occupation endeavours, and with the exception of the European occupation of the new World, this one, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, is here to stay. If it refuses peace, if it refuses to merge into a uniquely Middle Eastern state strategically and politically different from the West's military power and in peace with its neighbours, and if the West refuses to dissociate itself from this occupation, the only logical outcome, and history is here to testify to this outcome, will be a dramatic outcome and either one of these:
The end of the existence of the Palestinian state. It happened already;
The end of the Israeli state. It could not happen given the military and economic power of Israel;
The extermination and dissemination of the Palestinian people. This is happening before our eyes.

If Israel does not want a two state solution, giving a viable state to Palestinians and retreating behind the 1967 occupation lines, neither a one state solution integrating all Palestinians and giving them rights equal to Jewish citizens, the only outcome will be the slow extermination of the Palestinian people. This is the simple truth we are trying to hide from by listening to neo-con lies.

UPDATE: I am relieved that no Arab or Muslim was behind the horrible shooting at Virginia Tech on Monday April 16th. Otherwise, Bush would have to invade the Arab or Muslim country of the shooter. That's the meaning of the war on terror; waging wars with organised armies against a bunch of fools and thugs. Now, is Bush going to attack South Korea ?


Emmanuel said...

Regarding Darfur, I don't understand why you say it is a Zionist sponsored cause. And why don't you see it as a real humanitarian cause? There isn't a real problem there? You give us Zionists too much credit...

I agree with you that the Israeli governments of recent years have made too many excuses why they shouldn't negotiate with the Palestinians. Though I'm skeptical about Hamas, Israel can definitely negotiate with Abbas. Maybe something will happen now with the Saudi initiative.

Anonymous said...

I thought you don't accept the two state solution...
what about the right of returen, a little part that you forgot to mention, every body know why there is no peace in the middle east, only because this "right"...so don't say israel try avoid from peace talking, do you remember Rabin, Peres, Bibi, Barak...they did talk and talk and talk, the right of return is the cause of our wars, nothing else...the israel can't accept it, the Palestinians can't agree without it, this is the only reason.

Wolfie said...

While the propaganda may be working wonders in the Americas I don't see much confusion in European minds between the Palestinians and the "War on Terror", exempting the press who seem extraordinarily out of step with public opinion. Perhaps as only fuel for the Islamist extremist cause.

Europeans are more concerned about large-scale Arab immigration and the determination of a sizable proportion not to integrate into European society or adopt our "values". However it is a two way street. There are some very vocal groups making noises about "reclaiming Andalucía", even as far as Madrid, both in Spain and in other European countries so with so many living at the grace of the taxpayer (the state) this is trying the patience of the Europeans. Not exactly doing themselves any favours now are they?

Sophia said...

Yes there is no ambiguity in Europe between Palestinians and terrorists (among the public). However, European policy is in hte footsteps of the US's in boycotting the PA and turning its back on the Palestinians. I am not sure what you mean by 'reclaiming Andalucia'.
Europe must have a common policy for immigration. It is much needed but as Stef wrote there is hypocrisy toward clandestine immigration which European countries seem unable to stop. The capital is profiting from clandestine immigration and Politicians don't want to upset the capital...
As about integration, it is time governments set clear guidlines instead of letting things inflate to huge proportions and pitting communities against each other.

The best example is France which has in my opinion the best integration (culturally speaking but not socially, jobs etc...). Le Pen is regularly gathering between 15 and 20 % in the polls just on this specific question. Politicians are diabolising him while at the same time copying his slogans and not doing anything about immigration.

Wolfie said...

I think the European governments are in step with US policy in Palestine for the simple reason that they are so beholden to the press, far more so than the people.

Even the issue regarding clandestine immigration seems fatuous as I am unable to find any proof that there is any economic gain, but then I am looking at the overall rather than the particular and issues regarding integration seem low priority to the EU governments; which I find suspicious in itself. However the burden of responsibility does not rest solely on Europeans, new arrivals have to help themselves too.

Maybe you aren't aware of the "reclaiming Andalucía" thing, its something that doesn't get discussed much outside of Spain but now I am a regular visitor I notice the News bulletins have it up there with issues such as resurgent ETA activity. I'll try and find you some reports/links on it (how's your Spanish?). Don't write it off as mere propaganda, I did at first but its something that is gaining popularity amongst immigrants to Spain and even wider-a-field.

Sophia said...

HI Wolfie,
My Spanish hasn't improved since I finished level 2 early this winter. However, I intend to pursue studying it. There will be more practice this summer to improve what I know. But I can definitely read things in Spanish, I am not afraid to do so. If you have the references in Spanish send them as they are...

Wolfie said...

Hi Sophia,

Sorry this took a while, I have been quite busy. As is usually the case with more sensitive subjects I have not found it easy to locate moderately balanced references also the Spanish are not so developed in their use of the web. These give some idea :

Spanish Bishops Fear Rebirth of Islamic Kingdom

Monitoring the Jihad in Spain

A Fatwa in Spain

Alarm in Spain over al-Qaeda call for its 'reconquest'

In spite of the fact that most quotes are credited to Al-Qaeda it has become apparent that this romantic fantasy is taking root with the "man in the street" which is sparking concern in Spain; featuring in television debates during my visits.

Sophia said...

No problem. Thanks for the links.

Since March 29th 2006