Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Zionists Push for Wars Against All Muslims, to
Avoid Peaceful Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
By Uri Avnery
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 8, 2014
God Wills It!
FOR SIX decades my friends and I have warned
our people: if we don't make peace with the nationalist Arab forces, we
shall be faced with Islamic Arab forces.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will turn into a Jewish-Muslim conflict.
The national war will become a religious war.
conflicts are basically rational. They concern territory. They can usually
be solved by compromise.
Religious conflicts are irrational. Each
side believes in an absolute truth, and automatically considers everybody
else as infidels, enemies of the only true God.
There can be no
compromise between True Believers, who believe that they are fighting for
God and get their orders straight from Heaven.
"God Wills It" shouted the Crusaders and butchered Muslims and Jews.
"Allah is the Greatest" shout fanatical Muslims and behead their enemies.
"Who is like you among the Gods!" cried the Maccabees, and annihilated all
fellow Jews who had adopted Greek manners.
THE ZIONIST movement was
created by secularized Jews, after the victory of the European
Enlightenment. Almost all the founders were convinced atheists. They were
mostly quite ready to use religious symbols for decoration, but were roundly
denounced by all the great religious sages of their time.
before the creation of the State of Israel, the Zionist enterprise was
remarkably free of religious dogmas. Even today, extreme Zionists talk about
the "Nation State of the Jewish People", not of the "Religious State of the
Jewish Faith". Even for the "national religious" camp, the forerunners of
today's settlers and semi-fascists, religion was subordinate to the national
goal the creation of a national Jewish state in all the land between the
Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
This national onslaught met,
of course, with the resolute resistance of the Arab national movement. After
some initial hesitation, Arab national leaders turned against it. This
resistance had very little to do with religion. True, for some time the
Palestinian resistance was led by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini
- not because of his religious standing but because he was the leader of
Jerusalem's most aristocratic clan.
The Arab national movement was
always decidedly secular. Some of its most outstanding leaders were
Christians. The pan-Arab Ba'ath ("Resurrection") party, which came to
dominate both Syria and Iraq, was founded by Christians.
hero of the Arab masses at that time, Gamal Abdul Nasser, though formally
Muslim, was quite un-religious. Yasser Arafat, the leader of the PLO, was a
pious Muslim in private, but under his leadership the PLO remained a secular
body with many Christian ingredients. He spoke about liberating East
Jerusalem's "mosques and churches". For some time the official aim of the
PLO was to create in Palestine a "democratic and non-denominational" state.
SO WHAT has happened? How did a nationalist movement turn into a
violent, fanatical religious one?
Karen Armstrong, the
nun-turned-historian, pointed out that the same thing happened practically
simultaneously in all three monotheistic religions. In the US, evangelical
Christians now play a large role in politics, in close cooperation with the
Jewish right-wing establishment. All over the Muslim world, fundamentalist
movements are gaining strength. And in Israel, a messianic Jewish
fundamentalism is now playing a larger and larger role.
same thing happens in such diverse countries and religions, there must be a
common cause. What is it?
It is easy to speak about something
nebulous with the German title of Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, but
that really explains very little.
In the Muslim world, the
bankruptcy of liberal, secular nationalism has created a spiritual void, an
economic breakdown and national humiliation. The shining promise of
Nasserism ended in abject stagnation under Hosny Mubarak. The Ba'ath
dictators in Baghdad and Damascus failed in creating modern states. The
militaries in Algeria and Turkey did not do much better. After the overthrow
of the elected democratic Iranian leader, Mohammed Mossadeq by oil-grabbing
Western powers, the luckless Shah could not fill the void.
the time, there was the humiliating sight of Israel, which grew from a
despised little foreign implant into a formidable military and economic
power, and which easily trounces Arab states again and again.
every new war, Muslim people ask themselves: What's wrong? If nationalism
has failed both in peace and in war, if both capitalism and socialism did
not succeed in creating a sound economy, if neither European humanism nor
Soviet communism succeeded in filling the spiritual void, where is the
The thunderous reply comes from the depths of the masses:
"Islam is the Answer!"
WOULD have it that the Israeli reply would be the opposite.
is a success story. Not only does it have a mighty military machine and
credible nuclear capabilities, but it is a technological power and has a
comparatively sound economic basis.
But messianic fundamentalism,
closely allied with an extreme nationalism, is now dictating our course.
On the eve of the recent war, the commander of the Giv'ati brigade
published an order-of-the-day to his officers. It shocked many.
Giv'ati brigade was an outstanding fighting force in the war of 1948 (I was
one of its original fighters and wrote two books about it). We took great
pride in its composition. The fighters were a mixture of the sons of the
metropolitan Tel Aviv elite and the poorest surrounding slums a mixture
that was eminently successful and proved itself in battle.
brigade commander was a former German communist underground fighter under
the Nazis, who converted to Zionism and became a member of a very left-wing
kibbutz. So were most of his staff officers. I don't remember a single
soldier in the brigade who wore a kippah.
Imagine our shock when the
current brigade commander called for a holy fight to fulfill God's will.
Colonel Ofer Winter, who in his youth attended a religious-military school,
had this to say to his soldiers on the eve of battle:
chosen us as the spearhead of the fight against the Gazan terrorist enemy,
who abuses and curses the God of Israel's battles
(this is a big Zionist lie, as Muslims praise God day and night and more
than followers of any other religions)
I raise my eyes to heaven and
call with you: 'Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One'. Oh Lord,
the God of Israel, make us succeed on our way, as we are going to fight for
Israel against an enemy who curses your name!"
And here's what they did:
The official aim of the Israeli army in this campaign was to
guard the border and stop the launching of rockets at Israeli towns and
villages. But that is not the aim of the Colonel. He sent his soldiers to
die (three of them did) for the God of Israel, against those who curse his
If this officer were the only religious fanatic in the army,
it would be bad enough. But the army is now full of kippah-wearing officers
who have been indoctrinated with religious fervor and indoctrinate their
soldiers in turn with the same spirit.
The Zionist-religious party
and its fanatical rabbis, many of them outspoken fascists, have been working
for years to systematically infiltrate the army's officer corps. Its a
process of natural selection: officers who are loath to act as colonial
masters in occupied territories leave the army to become high-tech
entrepreneurs, while messianic fanatics are sent to fill their place.
The colonel, by the way, has not been reprimanded or harmed in any way. On
the contrary, he has been lauded during the war as an exemplary battle
ALL THIS leads me to ISIS
the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Greater Syria), which
recently changed its name to just "Islamic State". The change means that the
former states, created by the Western colonialists after World War I, are
abolished. There is going to be one Islamic state
that includes all former and present Islamic territories, including
Palestine (including Israel).
This is a new and frightening
phenomenon. There are, of course, many Islamist parties and organizations in
the Muslim world from the Turkish ruling party to the Egyptian Muslim
Brotherhood to the Palestinian Hamas. But almost all of them restrict their
fight to their national countries Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Yemen. They
want to attain power and rule their countries. Even Osama bin Laden wanted
mostly to take over his Saudi homeland.
ISIS is something quite
different. It wants to destroy all states, especially the Muslim states
carved out by Western imperialists from Islamic land. With horrible
savagery, elevated to a religious symbol, it sets out on its way to conquer
the Muslim world, and then the globe.
It may seem a ridiculous aim,
given that the whole enterprise consists of a few thousand fighters. But
this tiny force has already conquered a huge part of Syria and Iraq. It
expresses the Muslim longing for restoring ancient glory, their hatred of
all those (including us) who have humiliated Islam, a thirst for spiritual
values. One cannot help being reminded of the beginnings of the Nazi
movement its resentments, its thirst for revenge, its attraction for all
the poor and humiliated.
It may take only a few years to become a
huge force, threatening all the states of this region.
threaten Israel? Of course it does. If its dynamism holds, it will overthrow
the Assad regime and reach the Israeli border, where other Islamic rebels
have already shot the first few rounds this week.
With such a
menace looming in the north, it seems ridiculous to fight against a
miniscule Islamic-patriotic force in Gaza.
There may be very little
time left to make peace with the Arab national movement, and especially with
the Palestinian people including both the PLO and Hamas.
alternative is frightening.
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