A poster at Jihad Watch recently referred to an excellent article about Israel by Thomas Sowell as “the same tired Zionist propaganda….”
How, one wonders, is what Thomas Sowell wrote about the silliness of these ceaseless, unceasing, never to permanently lead to a permanent peace but only to more war followed by more ceasefires, an expression of the “same tired Zionist propaganda”? And what “tired Zionist propaganda” is that, anyway? For the last forty years, all over the world, the Arab and Muslim propaganda machine has run circles around the naive Israelis, who seem incapable of understanding the nature of the enemy they face, or are unable for reasons of realpolitik to describe accurately that enemy.
Perhaps this is out of fear of damaging morale: no one likes to be told that the threat to his nation is a permanent one, prompted by the immutable tenets of a belief-system with hundreds of millions of thoroughly brainwashed believers.
From the 1967 defeat on, the Arabs have carefully redefined the conflict for the consumption of Infidels. Some of those Infidels were non-Western: in black Africa, for example, whose leaders were bribed in all sorts of ways to cut the very beneficial ties with Israel that had been formed in the 1950s and 1960s, and which were based on Israel’s excellent aid programs, especially in the area of agriculture. In return, a few despots were paid off, but black Africa received nothing of the promised Arab aid. Ever since then, black Africa has been taken contemptuously for granted by the inheritors of the Arab slaving-mentality. As some Western students of Arabic can testify after a semester in Cairo or in Damascus, the most open and virulent expression of anti-black racism is to be found in Arab countries. And of course the support by Muslims, including those Egyptian pilots who strafed Ibo villages during the Biafra War, for local Muslims has been clear, as everywhere Christianity and black African Christians have been attacked by the forces of Islam — most obviously in the southern Sudan.
And in India and other countries of Asia and, to a lesser extent, Latin America, the Arabs presented themselves as fellow members of the so-called “Third World,” even though those same Arabs and their states were, because of an accident of geology, the beneficiaries — entirely unmeritorious beneficiaries — of the largest transfer of wealth in human history. Funny, was it not, how Bolivian peasants and the poor of Calcutta supposedly have so much in common with the rich Arabs who make up nearly all of the membership of OPEC.
But in the Western world, there had to be something else. And that something else was of course to appeal to Western guilt, however unnecessary that guilt may have been, and to invoke a “colonial” past that hardly applied to the Arab countries, save briefly (40 years) to parts of North Africa (Morocco and Tunisia). For it was the Arabs who were freed from Turkish rule, and who within a decade or two received their freedom from the benign rule of mandatory powers in Iraq, in Syria, in Jordan. Or they had been beneficiaries of the British who ran an efficient and honest civil service in Egypt (for the first and last time in Egypt’s modern history), and who in the Gulf kept the peace by forcing those “truces” or hudnas to be observed between the naturally, and preternaturally, aggressive and violent Arab tribes of the area — hence the very name “Trucial States.” Only in Algeria was there a long period of semi-colonial rule. And it was in that period, from 1830 to 1962, that universities and hospitals were built for the first time and the non-Muslims and non-Arabs treated decently (the Jews, because of the loi Cremieux, passed in 1870; and the Berbers, who were seen by many of the French as superior in their civilizational level to the Arabs). North Africa was temporarily made safe for Christians to openly practice their religion, and civilization was brought to Algeria through that mission civilisatrice, of both a linguistic and cultural kind. The effects of this can still be seen in the pockets that remain of the French influence in what is reverting, alas, to Islamic type.
The cliches — which form that “same tired Arab and Muslim propaganda” that we are all so used to — consisted among other things of trying to persuade many that the establishing of a Jewish presence in the Holy Land from the late 19th century on, through land purchases and gigantic efforts at land reclamation of what had over the centuries become the desolate and ruined landscape of Israel or the Holy Land or “Palestine” (as it was known in Western Christendom, but not to the Arabs or Muslims, who started to appropriate the term only after the establishment of the state of Israel), was illegitimate. Yet this Jewish population included the ingathered Jews from all the Muslim countries, where nearly a million had lived and endured the existence that dhimmis always had to endure, whether economically prosperous but physically insecure in Baghdad, or as chattel slaves in Yemen. If Israel could, preposterously, be depicted as a “white, European, colonial state” and the local Arabs as “dark-skinned” victims of those “colonists,” the Muslim propagandists would win hearts and minds in the West, and they knew it. Yet in many cases those supposed “European colonists” had never left the Middle East. Some had never left Jerusalem, Safed, or Hebron. All three cities had a continuous Jewish presence. And of course the effort to rebuild the Jewish commonwealth in one of the most resource-less, most uninviting plots of land in the world was hardly an example of “colonialism.” Furthermore, there was no “colonial” mother country to derive benefit from whatever these “colonists” might have achieved. But such was and is the power of “tired Arab and Muslim propaganda”: it permitted the greatest of the world’s imperialists, linguistic and cultural as well as economic and political imperialists, the Arabs, to conduct their Jihad against Israel while couching the whole thing in the language of “anti-colonial struggle.”
And then that “same tired Arab and Muslim propaganda” did one more important thing after the 1967 defeat made clear that this was to be a Slow Jihad, requiring the diplomatic and economic and political isolation of Israel from its natural allies and admirers. That was to rename the local Arabs, the ones in Gaza and in the “West Bank” (as the Jordanians had renamed the area of Mandatory Palestine they seized in the 1948 war), now territories won by Israel in that war, as the “Palestinian people.” It had its effect. For most people, most of the time, know very little about anything. And if the area was once known, in the Western world, as “Palestine,” and if there was now a group of people called the “Palestinians,” well then — that was it, wasn’t it? The Jews must have taken their land, the land of those “Palestinians,” unfairly. And all those poor “Palestinians” and their justifiably outraged supporters wanted was just a little bit, just a tiny bit, of what they should have had — and thus it was that tiny Israel, existing on 22% of the land area originally planned for Mandatory Palestine, which was created for the sole purpose of establishing the Jewish National Home (read the Preamble to the Mandate for Palestine, for god’s sake — do a little homework, find out something), is now portrayed as the huge aggressor state. It is now the Arabs who, preposterously, use the exact same figures, claiming that “even if we get Gaza and the West Bank, that is only 22% of ‘Palestine.'”
And so the Lesser Jihad against Israel was disguised, for obvious reasons, as merely a matter of the “legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.” Neither Israel itself, nor many in the outside world, seem willing to comprehend that there is no solution, one-state or two-state or n-state, to the Jihad. There is only the matter of remaining overwhelmingly — and perceptively — more powerful, capable of wreaking great damage on those who would attack. No treaty with Infidel states, and Israel is such a state, can conceivably be permanently honored by a Muslim signatory. Pacta sunt servanda is a Western idea. In the Muslim world, treaties are not to be obeyed, but if made with Infidels, to be violated as soon as the Muslim side feels itself strong enough to press its advantage. The model for all time — see Majid Khadduri — is Muhammad’s Treaty with the Meccans in 628 A.D.
That, of course, is never mentioned by Muslims to non-Muslims. And such an omission is an important part of that “same tired Arab and Muslim propaganda” that the poster to Jihad Watch and so many other remain unaware of. Instead, they have a deep belief in a “tired old Zionist propaganda” machine that does not exist. That belief itself has been encouraged, most successfully, by the “tired ” — no, not “tired” but vibrantly alive, and energetic, and fabulously well-financed, “Arab and Muslim propaganda” that is to be found at the BBC, and The Guardian and Le Monde, and Agence France Presse, and all over the world’s radio, television, and newspapers. This is a fabulous tribute to the power of oil money, and to the Western hirelings, including public relations experts, that it can buy. And it is a fabulous tribute also to the laziness and mendacity of so many journalists who promote the Islamic party line in so many different yet entirely recognizable ways.