Why is the Arab world so troubled? Or to quote two Palestinians cited by David Pryce-Jones in “The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs” : “Why have Arab countries failed to cope with some of the most basic social tasks? Why have the Arab people been unable to cooperate, to defend themselves, to organize, to unify? Why is Arab behavior, emotional, unscientific, and ‘irrational’?”
Pryce-Jones believes the root of Arab problems lies in the civilization ‘s culture, which he defines geographically as stretching from Western Sahara to the Persian Gulf, although for the purposes of his discussion he includes Iran under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In summary, he probes the Arab psyche.
The main thrust of this historian’s research is that the West with its history of parliaments, common constitutional law, notions of freedom and justice simply cannot understand Arab thinking and that for a thousand years the Arabs have been conditioned in a tribal –religious –cultural environment of continuous violence under military dictatorships.
“For Arabs, there is no way to resolve a conflict except through violence,” Pryce-Jones writes. Thus, the Arab League meeting at Khartoum after the Six-Day victory for Israel had no recourse but to issue the three no’s: ‘no recognition, no negotiations, and no peace.’
According to the author, the history of the Arabs reveals ‘the desire for honor is what makes life worthwhile and shame is a living death demanding vengeance.” Perversely, murdering innocents is a way of achieving stature and respect and a means of creating fear in one’s enemy.
Ordering torture, massacres and death sentences—all of which were seen in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia—is a way of acquiring honor. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Israel is somehow responsible for the ills of the Arab world, he shows how violence is endemic in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and the Gulf States—all of whom have been involved in wars against each other or against, as in the case of Iraq and Iran.
Since the Arabs threw off the yoke of colonialism after the Second World War, they were expected to create democratic regimes which would exemplify the best in Islamic and Western political traditions. Pryce-Jones heaps scorn on the gap the vision and the reality when he remarks contemptuously about Arab socialism, “which in practice was only absolute power, every where an exercise of untempered autocratic power.”
As examples of their callousness and brutality, Pryce-Jones writes: “Mercilessness to external enemies is matched by mercilessness to the internal population under rule.” Of note, he cites Assad’s massacre of ‘several tens of thousands’ at Hama in 1982. He adds in the same year, Saudi Arabian security forces rounded up three Koreans at random and executed them without any due process.
Arab history is replete with stories of assassinations by rulers of perceived upstarts. Pryce-Jones does not see an easy solution to the Middle East standoff. He points out that the Israelis have been drawn into the whirlpool.
On October 18, 2023, AlJazeera published, “Abbas accuses Israel of hideous war massacre after Gaza hospital attack.” The Palestinian president says Israel crossed “all red lines” by attacking the hospital, killing hundreds of people” [at least 500].
He said further “that any talks about anything than stopping the war unacceptable.” Of course no sane individual representing Israel would be willing to do this given the known facts. Over the years, he has gained favor in the eyes of certain officials of the Left, convincing them that the PA is liberal. Perhaps they do not realize that he is Arafat’s successor. Nor much of his history.
Israel Hayom posted Stephen M. Flatow’s “Time for Mahmoud Abbas to face the truth about Munich.”
In the body of this fine paper, we read, “But let’s not forget that one of masterminds of the massacre heads a regime that is currently receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect aid each year from the Unites States, Germany and numerous other countries. I am referring to Mahmoud Abbas, the chairman of both the Palestinian Authority and its main faction, Fatah.”
A detailed report on Holocaust Denial appears in Tablet of April 27, 2014, entitled, “Mahmoud Abbas Still a Holocaust Denier”, by Yair Rosenberg. Its introduction, “The New York Times says the Palestinian leader’s position ‘shifted.’ It didn’t.”
Benjamin Netanyahu’s, “Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists”, published on 1995 is undoubtedly a classic. This book states the principles and basic conceptions of fighting terrorism.
Because of the events of September 11, 2001, international terrorism can no longer be considered a tactical threat with no real global implications. There is no international terrorism without the support of sovereign states. Terrorists train, arm, and indoctrinate their killers from within the safe havens on territory provided by terrorist states.
The International terrorist network includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, Taliban Afghanistan, Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority and Sudan. These terrorist states and terror organizations together form a large network whose constituent parts support one another operationally as well.
The greatest danger facing the future is the possession of chemical and biological capabilities by some states of the terror network. Once this network acquires nuclear weapons, the power of the West will be compromised. The first way to fight terrorism is to impose sanctions on supplier of nuclear technology to terrorist states. The second way is to impose diplomatic, economic, and military sanctions on the terrorist states themselves. Third, terrorist enclaves must be neutralized. Then financial assets in the West of terrorist regimes and organizations must be frozen.
The public must be educated to fight the impulse to give in to terrorist demands and survive attacks with the least amount of damage.
On May 3, 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on the subject of Iran and “the bomb.” He was well received, given his established expertise on this topic. As one of the most significant figures in the creation of the ideology of counter-terrorism, he founded the Jonathan Institute in memory of his brother on September 1976; and organized two seminal international anti-terrorist conferences.
Had Sharon not enforced Disengagement from Gaza, would we not be in a war now. Martin Sherman addressed its false promises during March 2006, which included this statement. “Before our very eyes, all the prophecies of doom are coming true, and all the rose-colored predictions have been forgotten.”
A little encouragement, “White House slams ‘Squad member’s repugnant comments on Israel attack.”