Friday, August 05, 2016

Arabs Must Turn a New Page with Israel

By Fred Maroun 

  • We must look at Israel not as foreign presence, which it is not, but as a unique and remarkable component of the Middle East that enriches the region.
  • The creation of such a Palestinian state under today's conditions is likely to result in a Hamas-dominated state that is violently hostile towards Israel. The Palestinian Authority must be transitioned into a peaceful and stable entity before it can be expected to run a state.
  • Binyamin Netanyahu recently suggested an approach to make the peace initiative work, but Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi rejected it out of hand. This is not how harmonious relationships between nations are built.
  • "We must all rise above all forms of fanaticism, self-deception and obsolete theories of superiority." — Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, 1977.
We should take inspiration from and follow the lead of Sadat, an Arab leader who took a bold step towards peace and achieved a peace agreement that even the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt felt compelled to respect. Pictured: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin (right) acknowledge applause during a Joint Session of Congress in which U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced the results of the Camp David Accords, September 18, 1978. (Image source: Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress)
This is part two of a two-part series. The first part examined the mistakes that we Arabs made in our interactions with Israel.
There is much that we can do to improve our relationship with Israel -- if we want to -- and there is good reason to think that it would be in both our short- and long-term interest if we did. The most critical change is in approach. Changing that would start to repair the foundation of the relationship and would provide a basis for mutual respect and trust, without which any solution would remain fragile.

Understand Israel

We must see the real Israel rather than the monstrosity that Arabs have been brainwashed to see. We are so afraid to call Israel by its real name that we refer to it as the "Zionist entity". The name is "Israel"; as written in Haaretz, "Israel has been the name of an ethnic group in the Levant going back at least 3200 years".

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