Shifting Sands Throughout the Middle East

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Last Friday in Cairo, a throng of thousands of Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square, marching two miles to the Israeli embassy, proceeding to demolish a protective wall, entering and ransacking the embassy and the building, climbing up and tearing up the Israeli flag, urinating on the building, and concludingby shredding and throwing Israeli documents onto the street below.

In Ankara, Turkey, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is heating up his own anti-Israel rhetoric. Last week, Mr. Erdogan threatened to send warships to escort any new “flotillas” which will try to break the legal Israeli blockade of Gaza.  Even more provocatively, Mr. Erdogan stated that the Turkish navy would not allow Israel to drill for gas in its offshore territory and would send Turkish warships to prevent such action.  Furthering this explosion of hate, Mr. Erdogan‘s government expelled the Israeli Ambassador and ended all military and defense ties, agreements and exercises with Israel.

Last week,  Israeli officials were evacuated from the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan. Activists in Jordan have used Facebook to promote a Million Man Protest,” demanding that the 1994 Peace Treaty with Israel be annulled.  The Jordanian protestors are demanding that the Israeli Embassy be closed and the Israeli Ambassador be permanently removed from Jordan.  Wednesday, about 70 American and Israeli flags were burned in Amman. Fortunately, approximately only two hundred people but that does not negate the possibility that there is not a great deal of anger simmering just beneath the surface.

This week, the Palestinian Authority will go to the United Nations for approval for the PA’s unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood. Said Abu Mazen of the PA,  “We are going to the United Nations, seeking to rid ourselves of sixty-three years of occupation.”

Anyone who has passed elementary school knows that 2011 minus 63 does not equal 1967 – But 1948. The “occupation” that the President of the PA must be referring to, therefore, is not about the land that Israel had captured in its defensive war of 1967, BUT ALL OF ISRAEL ITSELF AS ESTABLISHED IN 1948 — meaning the Palestinians and every other Arab state plus Turkey seek to eliminate every last kilometer of the Jewish state and eradicate its inhabitants — every man, women and child.

While Palestinian spokesmen use soft words that resonate well within the international community to describe their intended plan this week at the United Nations while speaking to the West, about the yearning for “freedom”, they have avoided direct face to face negotiations with Israel, and are manipulating sympathies in the international community to take the war against Israel to a different level, using institutions of international jurisdiction to further isolate and penalize the Jewish state. The Palestinians are doing this simply to place another tool in their arsenal to destroy the legitimacy of Israel.

What seems to hardly raise an eyebrow, is that the protestors on the street throughout the Arab and Muslims world do not hide their intentions. The NY Times, in describing the Amman rally in Jordan, said “the dominant call at the Amman rally, however, was for the liberation of all of what the protesters called Palestine, meaning the pre-1948 British Mandate territory stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and a rejection of the Israeli state.”

And let us not keep our eyes off of the genocidal madmen of Iran who, according to the last IAEA report, have enough enriched uranium for at least one nuclear bomb today and are spinning their centrifuges night and day to build more bombs to use against Israel.  Just last month, in another open threat to Israel, Iran sent warships through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea to threaten the southern border of Israel.

These last months have given rise to what the West calls “The 2011 Arab Spring,” — but to Israel it has become “The Arab Tsunami ” The Arab’s newly found “freedom,” after decades of inciting the populace to hate Israel and the Jews, has now unleashed popular emotion — the peoples’ pure unadulterated hatred of Israel. While Arabs throughout the region are expressing frustration with the pace of freedom and democracy, there is still one topic that unites the otherwise widely split and disparate Muslim and Arab world and that is this classic and familiar hatred.

What is even more enraging, however, is that governments in both Europe and the U.S. have refused to acknowledge every sign of this creeping hatred — even though this longing to pounce on and destroy Israel could not possibly be more openly expressed.  Indeed, with a cynicism that rivals that exhibited by the “Great Powers” before WWII, the European and American governments, to achieve their “peace agenda,” would force Israel into giving away positions vital for its defense and security, while sweeping all evidence of this unremitting hatred under the rug.

Have they learned nothing since Chamberlain gave away Czechoslovakia to Hitler to assure “Peace in our Time.”  In fact, Chamberlain’s name is now an anathema, a synonym for the cowardly cynicism that swept all evidence of Hitler’s evil and aggression under that rug so a “historic peace treaty” could be achieved at Munich. That “historic peace treaty,” pursued with all the energy and brilliance that characterizes today’s pursuit of a “historic Arab-Israeli Treaty,” resulted in the catastrophe of WWII and the death of 60 million people, men women and children, including 6 million innocent Jews.

Since the very beginning of Oslo, I have been passing out videotapes to Congress displaying the steady diet of hatred, exhortation to become martyrs and open plans to “liberate” all of Israel — not stopping at the 1967 borders –that has been the constant education of the Arabs, and especially the Palestinian people. During the thirty-two years of peace with Israel,  President Mubarak did absolutely nothing to sow the societal landscape for peace between the two countries.  It is not coincidence that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” that arch anti-Semitic forgery, is still the number one best-seller in Egyptian bookstores.

After their disastrous defeat in the 1973 War Arab-Israeli War, when Egypt’s army had been surrounded and threatened with annihilation, Anwar Sadat saw that peace would bring more benefits than war and broke with the Arab world, addressed the Israeli Parliament and signed a treaty with Israel at the White House.  This was not an act of love of Zion, or of altruism, but a sober calculation stemming from Egypt’s stunning and humiliating defeats on the battlefield.

As columnist Richard Cohen has pointed out in an article in this week’s Washington Post, at the end of WWII, in 1953, when asked to write a fantasy letter to Adolph Hitler, Anwar Sadat wrote a letter that began, “My Dear Hitler, I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart [for your attempt to destroy the Jewish people]. Even if you appear to be defeated — in reality you are the winner.”  This is the Arab world’s Nobel Peace laureate.

Trillions of American tax dollars have been showered on that region of the world and it still has not eradicated their ancient, primordial hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.  It has just been “politically incorrect” to even address this hatred,

But we have our own dangerous dreamers and Chamberlains.  Leaders such as Shimon Peres, who wrote in “The New Middle East,” that if we Jews just tried hard enough, and gave up enough, he would be able to “realize his dream of eating the falafel of Ahmed in Damascus.”  Nice dream Shimon.  But you cannot eat your “Arab falafel” of peace today in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia or Sudan — and certainly not in Damascus, Syria, today.

Unfortunately, these dreams have only empowered and enraged the beast that hates us. The Oslo Accords were a tranquilizer, lulling many lovely, peace-seeking Israelis and American Jews into the seductive slumber with the mirage that they are living in a safe and a secure neighborhood—if only they would be magnanimous, and take the first steps. Israel has proven to take many heroic steps, but these courageous gestures did absolutely nothing to eradicate the age-old, primordial hatreds.

Most within Israel are now waking up to the reality of the neighborhood within which they are forced to live, the Middle East — of nations richly endowed with primordial and manipulated hatreds — but now, thanks to successive American administrations, also endowed with an abundance of lethal weapons.

Welcome to the results of the “Arab Spring”.

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About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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