Home / J’Accuse – The West and Arabs To Palestinians: Drop Dead

J’Accuse – The West and Arabs To Palestinians: Drop Dead

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In the 1890s, Afred Dryfus, a Jew and a French officer, was wrongly convicted of espionage in yet another wave of French anti-Semitism. It wasn’t until Emile Zola published his famous editorial, “J’Accuse” (I accuse), condemning the French government for railroading Dryfus, that he was released.

So today, J’Accuse the west, the western media, and the Arab states of complete indifference to the chaos going on in the territories or using that mess for their own ends. After two days of stories about violence in Gaza and the West Bank, using feeds from Yahoo.com, there was nothing in The Washington Post, The New York Times, or USA Today, and nothing listed in the top stories at the networks, Fox, MSNBC, Salon, Reuters, or even Diablog or memeorandum.

Civil war may be breaking out in the territories, but it’s not worth the media’s time. Had Israel been conducting raids in the territories, it’d have been front page news everywhere.

The exceptions were The Los Angeles Times and CNN. The LA Times‘s article focused on the fact that Hamas is in complete disarray, not only being snubbed by its so-called Arab allies but also being pressured by the Arab states to reach some accommodation with Israel. Egypt supposedly is trying to broker talks between the two sides.

But where is the clear voice from the Arab world that the Palestinians have to clean up their mess? Where is the kind of aid the Palesinians need to relieve the suffering of their people? Where is a combined Arab effort to intervene in the chaos? Where are the voices from Western nations offering to broker peace, to impose peace, to engage in something other than silence and occasional blame directed at Israelis? What we’re getting are words — and empty words at that.

Meanwhile, gunmen still roam the West Bank and Gaza while Hamas and Fatah fiddle.

According to Palestinian analyst Talal Okal, “The question is really where they can go from here. It looks like a dead end — but one that could drag down everyone else along with them.”

Hamas is in complete disarray, with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh being endplayed by Hamas thugs and unable to form a working government. “Several Hamas ministers are said to have nearly come to blows with aides who refused to carry out their bidding, or did so half-heartedly.”

CNN, citing an AP report, had an extraordinary story this morning: President Jahmoud Abbas said that he “has the authority to remove the newly elected Hamas government from power…” Hamas’ response:

We will go, but we will not recognize the Palestinian political regime. We will not participate in any new election and we will go underground as we did before and we will not adhere to any commitments, any truce, by anyone. Being ousted from power will have a heavy price for everyone. We hope not to reach that.

The great failure of the Israelis is the lack of a strategic plan to address the pan-Arab insanity, but it’s tough to create a plan in the midst of such blatant hypocrisy on the part of Arabs and Western governments.

The Arabs want Israelis pushed into the Mediterranean. Anyone who fails to understand that is either blind, naive, or just plain anti-Semitic. The only true democracy in the Middle East, the only true ally of the U.S., Israel gets no real support from anyone.

For years, the world has been crying crocodile tears about the fate of the poor Palestinians. Now, when, more than ever, the Palestinians need help, the silence is deafening. I worry for the fate of Israel in the face of Western policy incompetence and lunatics such as the leadership of Iran. I don’t trust calls for peace among the Arab nations, because whenever Israel makes concessions, the Arabs just raise the bar.

But to allow the situation in the territories to deteriorate where Israel has no choice but to retake Gaza is the height of immorality and hypocrisy on the part of the West and Arabs. On second thought, perhaps that’s the game plan? Let Israel take care of the mess – again – and then the world can comfortably go back to blaming the Jews.

There are no depths so low that people will not sink in their disregard for their fellow human beings.

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • Wow what a powerful piece, Mark….

    And so wonderfully written, easy to read. Thanks for bringing some clarity to such a mess of a story.

  • Chantal, thanks! Glad you appreciated it.

    I am surprised, given the subject, that I haven’t got more response. My earlier piece on the outbreak of the violene has had some fascinating comments about the origin of the Palestinians and how some of the problems were created by the Europeans after WWI.

  • I read your other article too, another fascinating and informative read. As much as I have tried, it has always been hard for me to make sense of what’s going on the mid-east…but it’s becoming more clear to me now.

  • Palestinians elect terrorists as their government, and then Palestinians kill other Palestinians…but the WEST is to blame???

    What a crock…

  • I’ve kept out of this for a reason, Mark. Your piece is well written though Alfred Dreyfus would spit at you for misspelling his name – he was unjustly imprisoned, but was known as a class A schmuck anyway.

    You buy into too many falsehoods. Israel, whatever it is, is not a democracy. Not being a democracy does not automatically classify you as a goose-stepping fascist dictatorship, but Israel is not a democracy. This crock about the “only democracy in the Middle East” is just that.

    The State of Israel is a dependency of the United States and the EU. It is nobody’s ally and definitely not an ally of the Unites States. And the United States is definitely not an ally of Israel. Keeping Israel militarily dependent on America is the point of all that American money that Israel is allowed to spend in America. You do understand how American “foreign aid” to Israel works, don’t you?

    “Palestinians?” I expect that from the idiots in the media (including the secular Israeli media), not from an intelligent guy like you. Why are you giving the Arab claim to delegitimize this country credence? Let me quote MAOZ to you from his comments at your other piece on this subject.

    “Used to be (like, up to the mid-20th [by the Christians’ reckoning] century) that if you referred to someone as a “Palestinian”, your listeners would, if anything, tend to assume you meant that person was a Jew. My Israeli Jewish friends who were born in Eretz Yisrael during the days of the British Mandate were listed on the English part of their birth certificates as Palestinians.”

    Let’s look at all this with slightly different lenses. Nobody wants Israel to go back into Gaza. And someone gains if the territory turned over to the PA degenerates into chaos. That someone is NATO. It gives them an excuse to land troops here and occupy the territory, much like they do with Kossovo-Mitoyan.

    Then they impose their “peace”, their diktat on Israel. They don’t give a damn about Arabs of any stripe. Nor do they give a damn about us.

    And what is NATO, BTW? It is the one place where the nascent European (or German?) Empire and the American Empire are not necessarily rivals. Therefore the dependency that is the State of Israel can be fully manipulated.

  • RJ,

    [b}the WEST is to blame?[/b]

    I should have been more clear I think. Remember when we subtly winked at Sadam Hussein and said we’d look the other way if he attacked Kuwait–and then went to war over it? The U.S. and Europe have basically supported the creation of a Palestinian State, as absurd as that is, which imposes on us some degree of responsibility.

    We’ve pressured Israel into making absurd compromises, giving back land with nothing more that empty promises. (What country ever took land in a war and then gave it back with the promise that the losers would go and sin no more? What bullshit.)

    A policy decision was made that supporting the Palestinians (sorry Ruvy, but I’ll deal with that term later) would improve our relations with the Arab world. A dumb policy, but one made and stated.

    Inherent in that policy is a set of behaviors. The U.S. and West and the media are so quick to condemn Israel if one innocent Arab is killed in a raid on terrorists, but their silence in the face of this chaos demonstrates that their policy and promises were empty blather.

    That’s why I blame the West. Once again, we’ve demonstrated a level of incompentence in foreign policy that can only be called terrifying. We have forgotten the great saying by Teddy Rosevelt: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” It’s been replaced by, “Yell a lot and carry a swizzle stick.”

    Hope that clarifies it.

    And Ruvy, my friend, the sad thing about Dreyfus’ name is that I actually looked it up. Then I realized once this was published that I’d spelled his first name wrong, corrected that and forget the second. Hey, I’m AADD, dyslexic, and stupid. But I’m cute.

    But on to bigger issues: Israel is as much a democracy as is the U.S. You have a screwed up parliamentary system, we have a screwed up representative system. But being a democracy is more than a system of government, it’s a series of rights (either codified or not, as in the British system,) it’s a belief, no matter how tattered, that the government serves the people, and its a series of basic freedoms that one hopes only occasionaly get run over by a steam roller. The U.S. and Israel have that–no Arab country does.

    In terms of US/Israel relations, consider that throughout the cold war, all of Europe was dependent on the U.S. Did that make them non-Democracies. Of course there are differences, but I think you’re too harsh on your own country.

    As for my use of the term “Palestinians,” I understand your frustration and I agree with you historically, but the time is past for arguing that it’s an incorrect term. We lost that battle. If everyone refers to the “Palestinians” as those people living in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan and elsewhere, then we can howl all we want, but we lose the battle before the war is joined.

    And I’m not sure about NATO intervening in Gaza. The U.S. is militarily exhausted, so who’s going to lead the way? The French with their Islamic radicals? The Germans with their history? The Italians? The EU as a whole is a economic basket case and getting weaker all the time.

    I think it’s a geopolitical quicksand right now that no one in their right mind would jump into, which makes it all the more dangerous.

    From the perspective of living in Israel, I understand how you can look at the U.S. government as Big Brother, but I would suggest you may be looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

    From a U.S. perspective, Israel is a relatively small issue in a world that’s growing more dangerous and complex all the time. The economic growth of India and China, the deterioration of any reform movement in Russia, the growing insurgency in Afghanistan, the Messopotamia, the ongoing wars and famine in Africa, the lunatics in North Korea…and that only touches on a few of the international issues.

    Internally, we’re fiddling while our economy burns. Medicare & Medicaid, Social Security, the lack of savings by the Baby Boomers is a time bomb that no one has the courage to address. Immigration, the philophical, moral, and strategic collapse of both major parties, the inability to clean up New Orleans, economic indicators pointing all ways at once, to name but a few, show a country at sea and leaderless.

    There is a strong segment of the U.S. that still supports, respects, and admires Israel. You’ll rarely read that in the media, but it shows up in polling. There are also the anti-Semites, the “Arabs can do no wrong” types, and the “gimme my oil” guzzlers. You can’t just rely on American policy because there really isn’t one–and whatever is posed as one changes with every new administration.

    Now I’m really going to piss you off & I can’t help it; I do feel sorry for whoever it is you want to call those people living you know where. They’ve been brutalized, slaughtered, marginalized, and forced into unyielding poverty by the Arabs. The PLO under Arafat was corrupt, incompetent, and despicable.

    It was only the radical Islamic groups that made any effort to provide housing, food, and education–not because they’re nice guys, but because a cockroach was smarter than Arafat. It’s the same thing that was and may still be going on in Egypt.

    So who are these people who’ve been kept in camps and misery for 50 years going to turn to? Brainwashed against Israel–the common enemy that directs their attention and anger from their own plight, told that all their problems are caused by the Jews, and given meager support by the rest of the Arab world to foment radicalism. Of course, they’d vote for Hamas. Who would you have voted for if you were one of “them?” Fatah?

    I don’t have a solution. I barely understand the questions. When they kill women and children, there are times I’d support wiping every Arab off the face of the earth.

    But I put myself in the camps. I hear stories of how good life was before 1947. I’m told that our “home” was stolen by those Jews, and we should demand it back. I’m told that important Islamic sites are in Jerusalem (which is bull.) I’m hungry, I’m frightened, I see no future for myself or my family. And everyone’s saying–it’s the Israelis.

    How can you not hate them their leadership but feel the tragedy of the people at the same time? And then be totally confused. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, that’s where I spend most of my time.

    Whew. Enough. (On another note, you’ve got me thinking about the article about my father. I may do some work on that and see what comes out. At least it’s a more pleasant and positive story than this one.

    So…we still friends???



  • Let’s take your comments one by one, in order of importance.

    1. We’re still friends.

    2. There is a road to peace that gets the Arabs out of their camps and into real housing, gets them at least the opportunity to live in an independent country with dignity and such freedoms as an Arab monarchy will allow. It means sitting down with mukhtars and sheikhs who understand the Qur’an and who can realize that in their book, we Jews have a right to all of this land. Such people do exist, Mark.

    The people who have to sit down with them are rabbis, preferably the ones of the developing Sanhedrin. A deal will not be pulled off by bought off Israeli traitors who do not even understand anymore why they are living here, and it will not be pulled off by Arabs who want to kill us off because they have swallowed the Wahhabi line of reasoning, hook, line and kebab.

    3. The Israeli State is NOT a democracy. What you do not see because you do not live here is that a very key concept that is basic to any democratic system, no matter how it is organized – equal justice under law – does not exist here. If you agree with the secular elite, you’re sort of okay. If not, you get shafted in the courts, the papers, by the police, and everywhere else. This is something I see all the time, unfortunately.

    4. America is not an ally of Israel and Israel is not an ally of America. This country is a dependency of the States and the European Union. Your misconceptions above in the article were the inspiration for me posting “Dependence Day.”

    5. I shouldn’t say this, but it takes a minimum of soldiers to control areas around here, Two or three brigades could pull off a lot in terms of controlling things. Americans do not view themselves under the same constraints as Israelis do (they do not have Uncle Sam tying their hands) and come onto any scene a lot better armed. A cluster bomb kills off a hundred Arabs? So what, the liberals in the States will piss their brains out and that’s all. What you’ve got to realize is that NATO would be invited in (by Israel or by the PLO) and could clean up the place in no time at all – just like we could if Uncle Sam wasn’t whining every time we actually did something effective.

    6. American arms and aid are used to keep this country militarily dependent on the States. You don’realize how many pressure points there are that the States could use to “influence” Israeli policy. It’s worse than the Cosa Nostra or the Russian mafia.

    7. When you give up small points like “Palestinian”, it leads to larger concessions, like “West Bank.” In a propaganda war, every workd counts, and every insistence on defining the territory your way cuts your way eventually.

  • If Israelis are so pissed off about being “dependent” on the US, then why do you keep accepting our billions in aid every year?

    Look, I support Israel as a country that has a right to exist, and I admire Israelis for building a prosperous and DEMOCRATIC nation in the middle of the desert, surrounded by murderous savages.

    But I am NOT supportive of endless billions of American taxpayer dollars flowing into an Israel that merely resent us for it.

    If you don’t like our influence in the region, go it alone, I say.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    RJ, Tom Sipos expressed views similar to yours at my piece “Dependence Day.” This is what I wrote him and it applies to both you and Mark.

    “American aid to Israel is a mechanism of an imperial power designed to insure military dependency. The way it works is that the State gets a credit chit to spend in America on arms, mostly. This comes with conditions, of course, but that is not the point. The ego of rich American Jews who think they have done a ‘good deed’ is satisfied, the power of bought out politicians to hand out gifts from the Israeli treasury is cemented, and the sovereignty of the country goes right down the toilet.

    In the late 70’s when Begin was elected, he wanted to refuse foreign aid from America. How he was prevailed upon to do otherwise, I do not know, but I’ll bet the greed of the ministers in his cabinet played a big role, along with the importuning of rich American Jewish fat cats to seek the aid. That, Mr. Sipos, would explain the excuses you heard in the late ’70s.

    Like you, I wish that the government down town would act with the pride of men instead of the mendacity of beggars. Right now, they are figuring out how to burden us with their demands on the treasury while they take the country apart in the name of ‘peace’.

    I’m am happy to finally be home, but I’m deeply ashamed of the ‘government’ that claims to represent us.”