Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Disconnect, Part III: The West

Shoshana Bryen
Senior Director for Security Policy
JINSA Report #: 1,064
February 21, 2011


So repressive governments – Arab governments – lie to their people about Israel, politics and the 21st century to maintain the illusion of security and control at home until the dam breaks. But why do governments in the West, knowing better, nevertheless insist that lies and wishful thinking be accounted for in policy formation at Israel’s expense?

Just because the Palestinians say they are entitled to an independent state where no state ever existed; just because they demand that their capital be Jerusalem, which has never been the capital of any people except the Jewish people; just because they say Israel is “illegally occupying” Palestinian land; just because they say the 1949 Armistice Line is a border that should be the first border of Palestine and houses for Jews east of the line are illegal, why does anyone who knows better agree?

Just because Hezbollah says Shebaa Farms is Lebanese territory that Israel occupies. Just because Hezbollah says it needs an Iranian-sponsored army inside Lebanon to continue the “resistance” against Israel. Why does anyone who knows better agree? When the Turkish government says the agitators aboard the Mavi Marmara were “peace activists” who were mauled by the vicious IDF. When the Turkish government erects billboards denouncing Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza. Why doesn't anyone who knows better tell them to stop?

Or, when the president of Iran calls for a world without Israel or the United States and denies the Holocaust, why do people who know better still permit him to address the United Nations, which is supposed to be a civilized place. OK, scratch that last one.

There are two reasons why otherwise well-informed people voluntarily suspend their knowledge of history, religion, international law and political reality when Israel is involved: money and fear. Both lead weak Western leaders to blame Israel for the illusions Arab dictators and potentates have foisted on their own people.

Arab states have lavished millions of dollars on American academia for the sponsorship of Islamic studies programs, paid for private schools that have no requirement for civics education or the history of the countries in which they operate, and set up groups to promote their version of the world from apparently respectable “think tanks.” Where do you think Director of National Intelligence James Clapper got the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood is a diversified secular social service organization?

Oil is also money and the West needs Arab oil because weak leaders have been unable to diversify their sources of energy. Oil states buy Western weapons and technology – this is a financial incentive as well. Fear of upsetting the money line is one problem.

Fear of large Muslim minorities – unassimilated and unassimilable – fear of attacks at home and abroad, fear that the "Strong Horse" really is the rise of radical, jihadist Islam trying to conquer Europe again is the other.

Unless the West develops confidence in Western civilization and willingness to stand up for what is right and demonstrably true – stand up for the democratic ally that is Israel – their fears may well become reality.

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