Could Muslims have any responsibility for their own plight? Why of course not. From AP, with thanks to Kemaste:
The creation of Israel and the US support for its policies in the West Bank are partially to blame for the lack of reform in the Arab world, according to a UN-sponsored report released Tuesday.
The Arab Human Development Report 2004 (AHDR) cited the creation of the Jewish state as one of the roots of authoritarianism in the Middle East, along with the discovery of oil and the support for dictators by the superpowers during the Cold War.
Yes, of course. Before 1948 there was no authoritarianism in the Middle East. Just pluralist democracies, full of happy civic-minded voters.
Israel rebuffed the claims. “For too long too many people in the Arab world have used Israel as an excuse to justify behavior that cannot be justified,” said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. “You can’t have democratic elections because of Israel and you can’t give equal rights to women in Saudi Arabia because of Israel. This is of course a cop out.”
It is more than that. It is a smear, and an evasion of responsibility.
The 248-page report, published by the United Nations Development Program, was ready months ago, prior to the Palestinian and Iraqi elections, but its release was delayed because of objections by the US and Egypt. It was finally released with the UN logo and a disclaimer in the preface.
In the most controversial part titled Towards Freedom in the Arab World, the report stated that the Israeli occupation of the territories and the US occupation of Iraq both created excuses for Arab governments to postpone democratization and they strengthened extremist groups which advocate violence.
A spokesman for the State Department rejected those claims.
“We think it’s misguided to blame Israel for the problems and the challenges that the Arab world faces,” said Greg Sullivan, spokesman for the Near East Affairs Department.
That’s for sure.