Peter’s Point

A comment to my Open Letter to Friedman by someone who calls himself Peter made me realize that I did not explain myself well enough in my disagreement with Friedman, so here it goes:
Yes, Israel is one of the oppressed of the region, if only because of its relative size in comparison to those states who are in a state of War with it. Fine, Israel’s military strength was proven again and again, but the fact of the matter is that Israel’s 6 Million are hardly a match for the 1.3 Billion that Mahathir reminded us are intent on opposing it.
Mahathir’s speech made public what was only hinted at before: even countries as disconnected from the Israel/Palestine arena such as Malaysia view the Jews as enemies. Quoting Mahathir, “The 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strengths, to plan, to strategise and then to counter-attack. [sic]”
So yes, I do consider Israel amongst the oppressed in the Middle East, along with the Kurds, the Turkomen in Syria and Iraq, the Assyrians, the Copts, the Berbers…the list goes on. Each of these ancient peoples is either being dominated or in a battle against domination by a colonialist power which has solidified its empire over the region in the past 1400 years.
Second, about Iran and those other countries that are not directly affected by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict–what I meant by my words was that the conflict is being used by the tyrannies in the region to justify their existence, and that if the conflict ends, they will have to find a new way to justify their iron-grip. Thus, anti-Semitism might rise, not fall, as the goal would be the full destruction of the Jewish state instead of the creation of a Palestinian one.
How can I prove this? Look at the aid sent by the countries in question for civilian projects in Palestine. It dwarfs in comparison to the under-the-table aid sent to terrorist groups, and the declared support for the policies of “resistance.” That includes aid sent during the Oslo years, where the world truly believed that the Palestinian Authority was the best vehicle towards statehood. So, no matter if “the Palestinians themselves will be calling for other support and activities and resources: the economic reconstruction and political development of their nation,” as Peter writes, it is simply not in the interest of the tyrannies of the region to give it to them. More proof? Look at how well they treat their own people.
All of the situations which Peter then cites, “post-Franco Spain, post-apartheid South Africa, and recent developments in Northern Ireland,” are not comparable to the Palestinian issue. In none of the above mentioned conflicts was there an entire consortium of countries which declared war against the other party of the conflict with the expressed purpose of wiping that country off the map, and none of the above conflicts were used as justification for continued oppression of peoples outside of the conflict area. So sorry, Peter, it seems your argument has gone “haywire.” And so has Friedman’s.


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