Israel is not the cause of all the world’s problems

By Barry Rubin, GLORIA

The following response was published as a response to an editorial in The Diplomat, a top Canadian international affairs’ magazine, which explicitly claimed that the Arab-Israeli conflict–and specifically Israel’s “occupation” policy–was at the root of all the problems in the Middle East, between the Middle East and the West, and between Islam and the West.

This notion continues to be expressed (perhaps increasingly so) despite the fact that there is so much evidence to the contrary and that (though many in the West seem to have failed to nice this little detail) Israel has withdrawn from the Sinai, south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and much of the West Bank, as well as offering to leave the rest of the West Bank and the Golan Heights in exchange for full peace.

What is antisemitism? It is not merely the Nazi view that all Jews are evil and should be killed without exception. It is a set of beliefs including the idea that Jews are the cause of all the world’s problems—which is expressed in this editorial—and others which are not contained in this particular editorial.

These other ideas include, Jews are conspiring to seize world power, Jews are traitors to the nation and pursue their own interests at its expense, and Jews drag countries into unnecessary wars for their own greedy reasons. We can look to Jimmy Carter and Walt-Mearsheimer for these aspects of antisemitism.

Another contemporary mistake about antisemitism during most of history is to think it is present only if all Jews are seen as enemies. Historically, of course, if Jews ceased to be Jews religiously (by conversion) or took a position that advocated the community disappear by other means (as left-wing revolutionaries dissolving any Jewish identity in the new socialist or communist utopia), they were given immunity from being denounced or persecuted. Even Usama bin Ladin likes Noam Chomsky. But I digress. If you are interested in these issues, please see my book, Barry Rubin, Assimilation and Its Discontents.

On the other side, there is acceptance of a myth—if it was ever true at all it is 20 years out of date—that all Arab states are obsessed with the Palestinians. It ignores such things as: inter-Arab rivalries, fear of Islamism and Iran , disgust with the Palestinian political groups and leaders, the use of the issue in demagoguery at home and manipulating the West internationally, and many other factors, not to mention radical Islamist revolutionary ideology. If you are interested on this point, please see my book, Barry Rubin, The Tragedy of the Middle East.


September 18, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. I just happened to notice recently (not really) that the oil-rich Arabs – mostly Saudis – own about half the world, including most of the UK and the US.

    They must be Jews in disguise…

  2. Bill is absolutely right. I have also said that we should turn their charges of Jews having dual loyalty or even accusing Jews of treason against them. Those who are making these claims more often than not are the ones receiving millions in arab largess such as Jimmy Carter.

  3. The editor for Embassy, Canada’s Foreign Policy News Weekly who wrote this editorial obviously concurs with former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey who declared thatSwiss Catholic priest and theologian Hans Kung, is “Our greatest living theologian.”.

    Kung may be a great theologian, but like the editor of Embassy who wrote this editorial trash, both know nothing about what they are talking about and so great is no word I would use to describe either unless it was to say both when venturing into foreign policy issues, are great ignoramuses.

  4. The editorial seems to have been from The Embassy, not The Diplomat.

    It’s here: The Problem is Still Israel-Palestine

    They quote Fr. Kung:

    the double standards practiced by the West for decades over Israel’s contemptuous policy of occupation, which scorns all UN resolutions, have inflamed the whole Islamic world to unspeakable anger and bitterness and hardened its attitudes

    It’s annoying to see banal opinions like this aired in what is supposed to be an erudite publication.

    Wait a minute; I see Gwynne Dyer is one of their regular columnists. Scrap that.

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