Sunday, 29 July 2012

Palestinians 0, Israel 0



 by Igor Slamoff

Palestinians’ claims to solidarity from others against Israel’s oppression are not very credible. Whenever Palestinians have held power in neighboring territories they have behaved just as arrogantly toward the local population as the Israelis. In the early 1980s southern Lebanon was ruled by the PLO. The region was nicknamed “Fatah-land”. When the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in 1982, the Shia inhabitants of southern Lebanon greeted the Israelis as liberators, with flowers,[1]  They were so glad to be rid of their Palestinian masters. 

But the Israelis were just as stupid and arrogant as the Palestinians and they soon annoyed the Shia so much that the Shia set up a fighting force called Hezbollah that expelled the Israelis from Lebanon. Hezbollah is the only fighting force that has been able to beat the Israeli army decisively and as such is an admirable institution. But an institution made by Israel.

The Lebanese population is grateful to Hezbollah because it keeps the Israelis at bay, but Hezbollah’s effect on internal political life in Lebanon is extremely pernicious and reactionary.[2]

Israel’s other principal foe in the region is Hamas. Would you believe it that Israel was also the founder of Hamas?! The Shin Bet created Hamas from scratch in order to compete with the  secular PLO. The whole sordid story is recounted by Stephen Zunes.[3]

Consequently Israel's claims to solidarity from others against its Arab foes are not very credible either.

Israel has generally followed excessively harsh, short-sighted policies. You know who said that? Not Yassir Arafat, but Walter Laqueur, the eminent Jewish historian and expert on terrorism and the Middle East, who is definitely pro-Israel.

And there is room for legitimate criticism of Israeli policy; I for one have been more than uneasy since 1967 about Israeli policy vis-a-vis the West Bank and Gaza which I thought shortsighted and self defeating. This explains why Israel lost a great deal of sympathy.[4]

Consequently, I think supporters of both Israel and the  Palestinians should take  a step back and view their respective champions with more skepticism.



[1] The War of Lies, by Uri Avnery, online, June 11, 2012
[2] Hizballah development and the political economy of pain, by Bassam Haddad, Jadaliyya, http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/5959/hizballah-development-and-the-political-economy-of     
[3] America’s Hidden Role in Hamas’s Rise to Power, by Stephen Zunes, AlterNet
Posted on January 3, 2009, http://www.alternet.org/story/116855/
[4] An Interview with Walter Laqueur, by Alexander H. Joffe, Covenant, Global Jewish Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 1 (November2006 / Cheshvan 5767)          

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