What the Western political class and its media demand of the Arabs and Muslims is acceptance of the unacceptable status quo in Israel-Palestine. To resist the status quo is to be troublesome, destabilising and irrationally violent. Resistance arises from the inadequacies of a culture and religion given to antisemitism and hysteria. In order to develop, these backward folk must give resistance up.
For the Lebanese, this means that they must forget the brutal 22-year occupation of their country and the 1982 siege of Beirut as well as the 2006 assault on the country’s civilian infrastructure. They must forget the endless chain of massacres perpetrated by Zionists and their allies on Lebanese territory. They must smile when Israel violates their air space on a daily basis and threatens to send them “back to the stone age” on a weekly basis. They must disarm and label as terrorist Hizbullah, the principled defender of their country.
Syria must smile at the illegal occupation and annexation of the Golan Heights and the theft of its essential water supplies. It must repress the refugees from the Golan and the half million Palestinian refugees and their political organisations. It must not buy or build weaponry that might give it minimum protection from Zionist terrorism. It must grin stupidly when Israel chooses to bomb its territory.
The Palestinians must be modern and democratic. They must do this by fighting the winner of democratic elections and by supporting an unelected and corrupt bunch of collaborators.
As for Western sympathisers with the Palestinian cause, they must preface their criticisms of Israel with such statements as “Of course, Israel has a right to exist in security,” or “Of course we don’t support Hamas,” or, in the case of the passengers on the Rachel Corrie (whose courage and commitment I salute), “We will not resist.”
It’s time we stopped playing this game. To recognise Israel’s ‘right’ to exist in security is to deny Palestine’s right to exist in security. No state which occupies other states’ territories has a right to security. Did Hitler’s Germany have a right to security once it had invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland? And apartheid states don’t have a right to exist at all. There’s nothing anti-Semitic about this, just as there was nothing anti-white or anti-Afrikaaner in arguing that apartheid South Africa didn’t have a right to exist. A state established by massive ethnic cleansing and perpetuated by occupation and repeated massacres is not a normal state like any other. Israel will earn its right to exist when it allows the refugees to return home and when Jews, Muslims and Christians enjoy equal rights.