A Leauki's Writings
Culture of the Nation against the Nation of Culture II
Published on May 12, 2005 By Leauki In War on Terror
"Out there, in the world, all the walls were covered with graffiti: "Yids, go back to Palestine," so we came back to Palestine, and now the worldatlarge shouts at us: "Yids, get out of Palestine." - Amos Oz "A Tale Of Love And Darkness"

Had Israel not been founded, had American and British and European Jews (those that survived) not joined the Jews of the Arab world, would the fate of the Arab Jews have been the same as the fate of Christians in Sudan and Kurds in Syria and Iraq who did not have resourceful western allies?

The philosophical disease of pan-nationalism has one eternal enemy: Israel, the Jewish people. Jews are traditionally a minority everywhere and often among the most successful members of a society. It is no surprise that Jews are always among the first victims of the disease's agents. And passive supporters of the disease are also likely to believe that Jews are to be blamed for whatever problems there currently are. Sure, it wasn't the Jews' fault the last time and those who blamed them then were evil bigots. But certainly now it is clear that the victims have become the criminals, isn't it? And I am not talking about today, I am talking about Germany in the 1930s. Or am I?

Israel is the only country in the world where a Jew is not a "Jew" but a citizen like any other. It is the only country in the world where Jews themselves guarantee that this will not change. And it is a nightmare come true for anti-semites everywhere: the Jews fight back.

The Jews are the only minority in the greater Arab world who have their own country. The result was that attacking Jews became a lot more difficult than attacking Kurds or black Christians in Africa. The nightmare became alive.

And it is the nightmare that makes the conflict in Palestine more visible than the other battles in the same region. While the other conflicts are greater and consume more lives, it is this one conflict that dominates the headlines. Pacifists say that fighting back adds to the violence. But the history of the last fifty years suggests that those who did not fight back were beaten (violently) while those who fought back eventually reached a cease-fire.

There is a conflict in Palestine.

The conflict is between a power that doesn't want the Palestinian Arabs to have their own country and a power that might accept such an entity. If I accept that Judea and Samaria as well as 'Azza form what should be a Palestinian state (and why not?) I have to wonder who it was who advocated statehood and who has done most to achieve it.

When I look at Palestine I find that Judea and Samaria were annexed by Transjordan (then renamed Jordan) and 'Azza by Egypt until the two countries decided to attack Israel and lose these territories. The territories have since then gained some autonomy. Under Arab rule the territories were not on their way to becoming an independent country. It was announced that the Jews would have to be killed before the Palestinians would get their state. But then history has taught us that many people have announced that all sorts of great things would happen if only the Jews were killed first.

I do not believe that without Israel there would have been a Palestinian state for long or any hope for establishment of one.

Pan-Arabism wouldn't allow it. The would-be "liberators" of Palestine did not hold it with individual Arab countries. Egypt and Syria joined to form the United Arab Republic. Yemen joined in to form the United Arab States. Saudi Arabia and Jordan wouldn't have been able to withstand Syrian and Egyptian attacks. The idea that Palestine would have been able to exist as an independent state in the middle of a pan-Arabist dictatorship is quite ridiculous.

(In fact, when Syria finally did invade Jordan in 1970, it was Israel's air force that saved the kingdom.)

But political pan-Arabism close to Israel proved fragile. The United Arab Republic fell apart. Pan-Islamism replaced the plain unromantic fascism of previous pan-Arabists and pan-Arabism as a political movement became an ally of religious fundamentalism. Suddenly Saudi Arabia became an important player in the conflict.

What remained were three countries still ruled by classic pan-Arabists; Libya, Syria, and Iraq. When Egypt made peace with Israel and Jordan continued its I-can't-see-them-so-they-can't-see-me strategy, Syria and Iraq remained true to their colours. Israel might be out of reach (for the moment) but the Kurds were not. Now the Kurds had to suffer for not having the western lobby of the Jews and thus the curse of not having their own country to defend against Arab attacks.

When I grew up in Germany I received an excellent education by world standards. I learned Latin and French (my own incompetence limited the success) and I learned history. One thing I learned about was the founding of the state of Israel. School books had maps of the middle-east, and teachers explained. Little arrows pointed from the north west (Europe) and the west (Gibraltar, i.e. the Americas) to Palestine, and smaller arrows pointed from Palestine to other Arab countries. A typical colonisation project, much like the earlier colonisation of the Americas was presented to me and the remarkable military power of immigrating Jews was explained with Israel's alliance with America.

In fact it was rather ironic that the mystery of how a country of immigrants could become so strong was explained as due to the support of another country of immigrants.

What was less ironic is how I failed to learn that the US weren't actually on Israel's side until much later in the conflict. It was indeed France and Britain that supported Israel, against America's wishes; and unfortunately America's will often prevailed.

School books didn't mention that the Hebrew spoken in Israel is the Hebrew of the Mizrahim (Arab Jews). And school books didn't mention that Palestinian refugees were supported by the UN and Jewish refugees were not. In fact school books didn't mention Jewish refugees. For all I knew the Mizrahim didn't exist.

Arabs and Jews lived in peace together during the middle ages and later. When Christianity expelled and killed Muslims and Jews, Islam showed its superior and tolerant face. And then the Jews in the Arab world just vanished. Mizrahim didn't exist any more. At least school books didn't mention them in chapters about the 20th century.

There was no plot to hide the truth of the Arab-Israeli conflict. There was no plan to keep the Arab-Kurdish conflict a secret. But there was, I think, an unspoken rule to not accidentally connect the dots and make this conflict one between the Arab nation and everybody else. Because we knew that this would be evil. And evil is something we do not want to call others; especially considering our own past. Germany has learned that nationalism is evil. Thus, nationalism is something we do not want to see in others and we certainly would not want to point it out. It cannot be.

Most Germans would have to say something negative about Jews, and most would say that Israel is a danger to world peace. And the US are of course the closest to ending world peace. And this really is the easiest explanation.

If the Jews are not to blame, somebody else is (Arab nationalism). And if Israel is not a danger to world peace, somebody else is (Arab nationalism). And if America cannot be blamed for what happened in Iraq in the last 25 years, somebody else could be (Arab nationalism). And since the other explanation is not very flattering, it must the simpler one. And Jews are evil again. At some point the accusations must be right, after-all, even if they have always turned out to be wrong in the past.

There is one remarkable difference between anti-Semites in the Third Reich and anti-Semites today: the Germans in the 1930s did not know about the holocaust that was to come.

One of the most disturbing features of the disease is not one that can be found among its agents but among everybody else. There is a tendency to accept the disease's agents' acts as mere reactions to others' acts. Surely Arab anti-Semitism can be blamed on Israel, can it not? But who do we blame Arab anti-Kurdish racism on? What did the Kurds do? Perhaps victims don't have to do anything but be there.

The disease usually breaks out in underprivileged nations (like Germany after WW1) and failed cultures (like the Arab world now). The Arab world produces nearly nothing valuable (the oil was already there before the Arabs), but it produces wars. I would not be surprised to find that there is no border between the Arab world and other lands which is not subject to ongoing wars or unrest.

War as a part of political normality is another feature of the disease. Saddam's Iraq was constantly fighting, first against Iran, then against Kuwait and the world, then against British and American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones, and at the end an Anglo-American invasion force. It was then that the world heard about constant Iraqi fighting, confident that it only started then, blaming the Americans for turning a peaceful country into hell, and priding itself for closely watching human rights violations in Iraq.

Iraq's war against Iran cost more than 1.5 million lives.

The only strategy that works against pan-nationalism, apart from communism destroying its power from within (without intending to do so), is attack. Pan-nationalism must be fought because otherwise it will fight us. Letting pan-nationalism choose when to fight is not an option. The choice must be ours. In the case of Iraq the invasion was too late. And while it can be argued that Saddam's war against Iran was strategically useful for the West the same cannot be said for letting him remain in power to appease the Arabs. From now on the strategy should be instant invasion and removal of the offending dictator regardless of what the Union of Nationalist Oppressors (UNO) or Neo-Nazis and their selective pacifist allies say.

Unfortunately that strategy would be too expensive. It is also diplomatically impossible given that most countries (France) are more prone to collaborating with fascists than to fighting them. International law has not yet adapted to the fact that the worst criminals are not violating their own national law.

But then Iraq made a mistake.

A common feature of instances of the pan-nationalist disease is that when pursued step-by-step it is difficult for the international community to find out when it will have to be stopped (instantly) or how (whatever is necessary). Let Hitler take Austria, let him take Bohemia, but don't let him take Poland. Let Saddam attack the Kurds and Iran, but don't let him get Kuwait.

But the PR division of the disease has learned. When Hitler attacked Poland the world woke up and fought him. But when Saddam attacked Kuwait the world believed it would be sufficient to liberate Kuwait and make Saddam promise to be nice in the future. If you cannot trust a mass-murderer, who can you trust? (In fact many selective pacifists demonstrated against liberating Kuwait, arguing that Iraq might just as well keep it.)

It has always astounded me that people are so likely to believe what mass-murderers tell them. In fact it seems that being a mass-murderer is the single most critical element of trustworthiness. When Saddam said he would dismantle his weapons of mass destruction programs, the world believed him. After a few years, when he still did not follow up with any evidence that he had done what he promised to do, and when he finally refused to cooperate with the UN inspectors, the world at large remained silent. And Saddam's strategy worked. The world is now convinced that there was no such weapons program, even though Saddam admitted that there was and promised to dismantle it. Fascist dictators are believed to be entirely honest even when they themselves try to set the record straight.

And that is impressive.

In fact it is the most impressive public relations success I have ever witnessed.

Kurdish villages were attacked by Saddam's troops with poison gas, but the world believes that the poison gas doesn't exist, wasn't produced, and that a war fought to find it was immoral.

So what have we reached since the invasion of Iraq?

Libya has surrendered its WMD program after admitting it to the United Kingdom during the invasion of Iraq.

There were elections in Iraq and a Kurd has become president.

Syrian troops have finally left Lebanon.

The Palestinians were able to elect their president in something that seemed to approach real elections for the first time.

Syria is surrounded by states unfriendly to its regime.

Iran is surrounded by states unfriendly to its regime.

Saudi Arabia is confronted with a new democratic Iraq that is likely to become the new regional power in the area (apart from Israel).

Kuwait is confronted with an Iraq that democratises faster than Kuwait.

There is now a strong western military presence in the region.

I think we might just change something in the world.

Unless we give up and hand over control to the fascists again.

on May 12, 2005
Wow, Fantastic article!  Thanks. It was very educational and enlightening. Great followup to your previous one on Pan-Nationalism.
on May 12, 2005
A very interesting read.