In perhaps one of the most self-evident headlines in the Israel-Hamas conflict we have sociology professor Sami Alrabaa’s, “Hamas prefers war as an alternative to progress” in the National Post. You don’t say? On a more serious note, Alrabaa’s article is the perfect thing to forward to your right-wing friend or relative who says Arab intellectuals “never stand up against terrorism and Hamas.”
Some compare Gaza to a huge prison, to Holocaust. But who is to blame for all this calamity?
Israeli politicians have repeatedly stated that once Hamas stops its terrorist activities and launching of missiles, the blockade would be lifted. The Israeli cabinet even approved aid convoys into Gaza despite Hamas’ continued shooting rockets. The Hamas leadership ignored such conciliatory Israeli gestures and carried on the rocket-attacks on residential areas in Israel.
We Arabs are very good at twisting facts and exaggerating them, when it suits us. Mustafa Barghouthi, a Fatah activist, told CNN that “It was Israel which broke the ceasefire with Hamas.” Buthaina Sha’ban, a Syrian cabinet minister, called the recent Israeli attacks on Hamas’ military targets “the most atrocious Holocaust in the history of mankind”…
We Arabs have learned nothing from the two major disastrous wars against Israel. Some of us still believe that the Israelis understand only the language of defiance and violence. Violence is the only “argument” we possess. Rational, realistic thinking has never been a part of our discourse and action.
Especially Islamists, they rejoice at the on-going maiming and killing in Gaza, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. None of those Hamas-sympathizers has ever condemned the atrocities inflicted upon innocent people, arbitrarily killed in these countries by suicide bombers in the name Islam.
In Arabic we say, Ja’ja’a bila taheen” (It is all noise without flour). We Arabs are most boisterous, shrill people, but less effective or inclined to seeking pragmatic, workable solutions.
According to a clandestine survey by Bielefeld University conducted in Syria and Egypt (2006), over 70% of the population in these countries want peace with Israel. They are “sick and tired”, as many put it, of the belligerent discourse of the Islamists and the biased and instigatory propaganda of their national media. They, of course, don’t dare say that openly.
Read it all here.
AMY GOODMAN: And Israel just says if Hamas stops shelling southern Lebanon with its rockets, they’ll stop.
RASHID KHALIDI: They do. They have carried out one of the most brilliant propaganda campaigns I have ever seen, long before this began. The dehumanization of the Palestinians and the demonization of Hamas laid the groundwork for this. They did what I call “clearing the crime scene before the crime” by removing all witnesses….