MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
The terror bombings in the Taba Hilton and Nueiba resort areas provoked a variety of comment in the Middle East. Many Muslim commentators and some official commentary attempted to link the bombings to Israeli actions against Palestinians in general or to the brutal Israeli "incursion" in Gaza. Surprisingly, some European heads of state tried to make the same link.
The Teheran Times stated:
The author of that article tried to create a direct link to ongoing Israeli operations in Gaza, though the elaborate planning and coordination of the separate attacks indicates that this operation was planned months ago. The operation was timed to coincide with the Sukkoth holiday, when large numbers of Israelis would be visiting in Gaza.
Egyptian terror expert Dia Rashwan went further. He asserted that the Israelis had themselves carried out these attacks, since, in his view, only Israel had anything to gain from them. Egyptian President Mubarak declined to confirm this outrageous notion, but on, the other hand, he didn't refute it either:
Though many commentators did not try to blame the attacks directly on Israel, even moderate Palestinians like Daoud Kuttab insisted on linking these attacks in Egypt to Israeli actions and the current Israeli incursion in Gaza. Kuttab's article is titled "It is hard to be shocked by Taba." Of course, hard-hearted Israelis can say "It is hard to be shocked by Gaza," facilitating the continuation of the "cycle of violence" that Kuttab claims he opposes.
Likewise, somewhat surprising and disappointing were the reactions of certain European heads of state. It is quite true that it is urgent and pressing to find a way to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but it is not necessarily the case that the terror attacks in Sinai were the result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or that a settlement of that conflict in a way acceptable to European countries would also satisfy the perpetrators of those attacks. It was especially premature to conclude that there is a linkage between the attacks and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when we still are uncertain who carried out the attacks or why. The only thing that seems certain is that Palestinian groups have denied any role in the attacks. Yet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was quick to conclude:
What relation the roadmap might have to terrorism against tourists in Egypt is unclear. Clearly the bombings were aimed at Israelis, since they were timed for Israeli holidays and took place in vacation spots frequented by Israelis. However, so far only 13 of the 34 victims have been identified as Israelis. Two of the 13 are Israeli Arabs as it happens. If the attackers had only want to hurt Israelis, they would have attacked in Israel. These attacks in Egypt killed people of different nationalities and ruined tourism in the Sinai for the foreseeable future. The point of the attacks was not simply to hurt Israelis but to embarrass Egypt and to make a statement against the peace between Israel and Egypt that made it possible for Israelis to vacation in Egypt.
The people who perpetrated these attacks would not be satisfied by any peace agreement produced by the roadmap. If they are still around when and if there is ever peace between Israel and the Palestinians, these same people would attack Palestinians vacationing in Israel. and Israelis who came to visit the Palestinian areas. As one Web site put it, the purpose of the attacks was to punish the Jewish sons of dogs and pigs who are corrupting the Islamic land. This sort of complaint cannot be fixed by any roadmap peace agreement. The purpose of such attacks is to disrupt any possible agreement.
While the apologetics of the Europeans and justifications of some of the Muslims were par for the course, it was refreshing to see that another breeze is starting to blow ever so gently in parts of the Middle East and perhaps in Europe. A Palestinian opinion poll now shows that for the first time, only a minority of Palestinians now support suicide attacks against Israeli civilians.
In an article in the London daily As-Sharq Al-Awsat on October 9, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, director-general of the Al-Arabiya TV channel discussed the series of brutal attacks that have been made in the Middle East and came to a conclusion that should be self evident, but is nonetheless remarkable and apparently not evident at all to people like Gerhardt Schroder:
Al Rashed was not alone. An editorial in the Jordan Times opined:
What differentiates Gerhard Schroeder from Al Rashed and the Jordan Times is clearly not the fact that Schroeder is not a Muslim, but perhaps it is rather the fact that Schroeder's country has thus far escaped major terror attacks, so he can afford to wax philosophical about roadmaps for peace.
In simpler English, the UN said, "Thou shalt not kill." As prodigious and noteworthy as this achievement is, the resolution does not specify any mechanism for enforcement, or any penalties against states that do not abide by the resolution. So, the UN has gotten around to outlawing murder finally, but it may be a very long time before they get around to making sure it is really punished. Still, these small signs of progress are indications that people are beginning to realize the obvious: terrorism is the number 1 obstacle to peace. Opposition to terrorism is not a "Zionist" cause or an "anti-Islam" cause, because the terrorists are out to hurt all of us, to deny freedom of conscience to all of us equally.
Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000303.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
Replies: 11 comments
Of course the UN's definition of terrorism clearly applies equally to Israel's actions in Gaza.
Posted by Chris @ 10/11/2004 02:59 PM CST
I always found it an interesting but disturbing characteristic that the supporters of terrorists find it possible to ignore the less pleasant truths about the groups they support. Years ago I used to get angry when USA'ns claiming allegiance to the notion of a unified Ireland were quite willing to ignore the fact that crime primarily funded the IRA and the principal victims of the IRA were the very Catholics that the IRA claimed to support and protect.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 10/11/2004 10:02 PM CST
Message to BULLDOG, instead of foaming from the mouth, read the history. These terrorists are not wanting to immigrate to your country (wherever you might live)and become a productive and honorable citizen. They are fighting to regain what they
Posted by Don Pepe @ 10/12/2004 08:00 PM CST
United Nations, HAH! a group of thugs. What have they done (other than fill not only their pockets but huge vaults). They allow killers to perform genocide in country after country, pledging support, financing and humanity/medical aide. After they have discussed it for years and all the affected are long dead and forgotten, they vote to investigate serious abuses.
Posted by Don Pepe @ 10/12/2004 08:09 PM CST
Jihad for Kids and Hatred Now are two poignant videos showing that the Palestinians are not working for peace. These are "must see" videos, which will help you understand why most Israelis don't see Arafat and his cronies as partners for peace. Other poignant videos are produced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
SEGMENT OF ANOTHER SECTION IN THIS BLOG-READ IT.
Posted by Don Pepe @ 10/12/2004 08:43 PM CST
Hello! can you read and smell
Posted by Don Pepe @ 10/12/2004 08:47 PM CST
Both Don Pepe & Bulldog inadvertently provide an interesting commentary from the US & European perspectives. Yet both omit to mention their own nation's culpability in the mess that is the Middle East. The continual war in the Middle East has created and maintained employment in the western arms industries. Both US & Europe have actively conspired to ensure that the oppressive dictatorships that abound in the region survive.
Don Pepe is deluding himself if he thinks that the US gave Europe democracy via WW1 & WW2. The USA lent billions to the UK to enable it to fight the war. UK repaid the WW1 debts in 1968 and the WW2 debts in the mid '80's. Had the UK not continued the fight in WW2 it is highly questionable whether there would be any democracy in Europe as the US turned up late in both wars. The US also used the debt to dismantle the British Empire and to ensure that its own industry took over their markets. Whilst the US today takes a very strong line against terrorism, for years it allowed the IRA to fund-raise despite the fact that the IRA were killing the citizens of its closest ally. The US also enjoys the benefits of a corrupt and violent middle east. If the middle east were to develop rapidly into a coherent bloc of peaceful democracies, it is highly likely that the US would lose its dominant status in the world.
Bulldog is also profoundly mistaken - the religious inheritance of the Middle East informs the very fabric of UK law and values. The Old Testament was the reference point for the social progression in UK from the 17th Century onwards. If some state were to "nuke" the middle east it would send Europe back into the middle ages without the means to power its industrial and commercial base.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 10/12/2004 09:48 PM CST
Regrettably, many of the comments on this article are horrifying. At least one will be removed because it advocates genocide.
Don Pepe writes:
I do not remember and could not find any such phrase in any materials at MidEastWeb, though it might appear in someone's comment. The phrase is not found by the site search or the log search.
Posted by Ami Isseroff @ 10/13/2004 01:44 PM CST
Thanks a lot Chris you speak for my tongue....
Posted by Ima @ 10/13/2004 06:44 PM CST
Ima's comment that Israel should revise its history is interesting and perhaps it would be better if we all "revised" our histories. The current conflict is repeatedly presented to us within a relatively narrow envelope from about 1890 to the present day. From that perspective we are asked to agree with a limited number of interpretations. If the envelope of acknowledged regional history, and its lateral scope, is expanded the range of interpretations changes, and many of the apparent current certainties lose their credibility.
Posted by Rod Davies @ 10/14/2004 02:57 PM CST
Fify nine years of war, hatred, killing in Palestine.
Next 59 years?
What a wonderful world for our kids and grandkids to look forward to living in!
Posted by Jerry @ 10/17/2004 02:12 PM CST
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