BLOG: THE ROOT OF THE MIDDLE EAST PROBLEM:
MY COMMENT ON MR BRICMONT”S ARTICLE
“The De-Zionization of the American Mind
By JEAN BRICMONT”
IN COUNTERPUNCH , AUGST 12/13 2006
The gist on Mr Bricmont’s argument and logic starts with the intense hatred felt by the people’s of the Middle East for the US. Some quotes are:.
“But the level of hatred that leads a large number of people to applaud an event like September 11 is peculiar to the Middle East….
That much was understood by Americans leaders and infuriated them. Such a level of hatred calls for explanation…….
And there can be only one explanation: United States support for Israel.
Why is Israel so hated? The constant stalling of "peace plans" in favor of more settlements and more war aggravates that hatred, but the basic cause lies in the very principles on which that state is build. There are basically two arguments that have justified establishing the State of Israel in Palestine: one is that God gave that land to the Jews, and the other is the Holocaust. The first one is deeply insulting to people who are profoundly religious, like most Arabs, but of another creed. And, for the second, it amounts to making people pay for a crime that they did not commit”
He goes on: “(I am not arguing here in favour of « wiping Israel off the map », or in favor of a « one state solution » but simply underlining what seems to me to be the root and the depth of the problem. In fact, I am not arguing for any solution partly because none seems to me to be attainable in the short term, but, more fundamentally, because I do not think that outsiders to the Middle East should propose such solutions.)”
And he suggests:]
“What should the Left do? Well, simple: treat Israel as it did South Africa and attack the Lobby.”
Mr Bricmont may be correct as to “the root and depth of the problem”; those two arguments that justified the establishing of the State of Israel in Palestine.
But the outcome did not have to be as we are witnessing and have been witnessing.
Firstly, it is my understanding that the State of Israel was legally established under the prevailing international laws of the time. It is not the case of an illegal invasion. Hence the legality of Israel’s existence is secure. Correct me if I am in error.
Where I think things began to fall apart was that, not enough effort on the humanity side done when Israel was established or in the lead –up to its establishment. A much greater effort should have been made in appealing to the humanity of the Palestinians and Arabs, to allow these long suffering peoples of so many pogroms, a homeland where they can at last feel secure.
The Arab leaders, intelligentsia and as many ordinary folks as possible, should have been taken on tours of the concentration camps after WW11. They should have been educated about the history of European plight of the Jews. Promises on compensation, the proposed relationship between Jews and Arabs / Palestinians, should have been made and fastidiously kept, knowing that there will be rough spots , but the good faith is there.
So having made this point and understanding WHY things went wrong, there can be hope for a two state solution. In the years since Israel’s establishment, many external factors , now including religiosities , have played to exacerbate the situation.
If ALL parties keep their eyes on the goal of having modern civilized states, and having the relationships that exists among such states ( eg , say, the Scandinavian states) then, there is real hope for a solution.
At such time, or even before, it would be cathartic to admit to these errors, to even have a public pageant play that portrays the things that should have been done and that includes all the appropriate humanitarian reactions, befitting peoples with a real humanity.
As to why this all out effort was not made at the very beginning…? Maybe people back then were just not as professional as people are today. Well, at least, some people are today i.e. those government apparatchiks and leaders that use their thoroughness in a negative Machiavellian way.