by Fred Maroun
When I see Arab hatred directed at Israel, such as the Palestinian Authority’s repeated attempts through UNESCO to deny Jewish history in Jerusalem, I shake my head in disbelief. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Arab countries, even Egypt and Jordan which have signed peace agreements with Israel, gag pro-Israel opinions and promote antisemitic fallacies, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery. In Lebanon, it is a criminal offense to communicate with an Israeli for any reason.
If Jews behaved like us, Israeli media would ban any criticism of Israel and the Israeli government would disseminate lies about Arabs and Muslims. Instead, Israeli media and the Israeli parliament provide platforms for a wide range of opinions, including the most extreme anti-Israel opinions. In the Knesset, the Arab members who support Hamas, a terrorist organization openly calling for the killing of Jews, are free to speak just like everyone else. When Israel’s prime minister made a comment that was perceived as anti-Arab, he was widely denounced by other Israelis, including the Israeli president, and the prime minister later apologized.
During the Israel-Arab war in May 1948, Azzam Pasha, the General Secretary of the Arab League, announced, “This will be a war of extermination, a momentous massacre, which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”. Before the Israel-Arab war of 1967, Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad boasted, “The time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation”, and Egypt’s President Abdul Nasser threatened, “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel”.
If Jews behaved like us, when Israel defended itself against attacks from Gaza and Lebanon, it would have used its military superiority to wipe out those entities and to force their inhabitants to flee, leaving only deserted land that Israel could easily control. Instead, in each case, Israel took extraordinary care to avoid civilian casualties. A former Commander of British Forces said that, “During its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare”. Israel even provides free medical assistance to Syrians, which it has absolutely no obligation to do.
As explained in Forward, Arab Jews were practically all killed or forced to leave the Arab world. During the Israel-Arab war of 1947-48, Arab armies expelled all Jews from the land that they occupied, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem. While they occupied East Jerusalem, Jordanian authorities undertook a systematic destruction of the Mount of Olives cemetery. They also performed careless excavation resulting in the damage of important Jewish religious artifacts.
If Jews behaved like us, after the war of 1947-48, they would have expelled all Arabs from Israel. Also in the war of 1967, the Jews would have expelled all Arabs from the Sinai Desert, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights, and they would have desecrated non-Jewish religious sites. Instead, Israel did none of those things. Today 20% of the Israeli population is Arab, and five million Arabs live in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel also gave all of the Sinai back to Egypt in a peace agreement. The protection of all religious sites, including Christian and Muslim sites, is standard Israeli practice and is guaranteed by Israel’s Basic Laws.
Any Arab who looks at the history of the Israel-Arab conflict with honesty realizes that we Arabs are damn lucky that Jews do not behave like Arabs. We demonize Israel over imperfections such as delays at legitimate security checkpoints, but we have done hundreds of times worse to Jews, and we would have done even worse if we could. We demonize Israel over total fabrications that we shamelessly create, such as the claim of a massacre in the West Bank city of Jenin, which was later recognized to be a lie.
In addition to this, we Arabs are also damn lucky that the world applies a different standard to us than to Jews. We get to behave badly while Jews behave far better than us, yet the world blames them. So not only do we benefit from our own antisemitism, but we also benefit from the antisemitism of non-Arabs. Wow!
But that “luck” is a double-edged sword. Jews know that they can count on no one but themselves, and so they work tirelessly at building a beautiful country, a strong economy, and a highly skilled military. While we rely on whining and obstructionism to get what we want, the Jews rely on hard work and perseverance. While we use brainwashing and fanaticism as our primary tools, they use knowledge and diversity.
From the years 2002 to 2015, Israel had 35,900 patents granted while Saudi Arabia, the Arab country with the most patents granted during that period, only had 1,513 patents granted, yet Saudi Arabia has almost four times the population of Israel and more than double its GDP. We can lie all we want, but plain numbers tell the world the truth about us Arabs.
If we Arabs wanted to grow as a people rather than continue to be the world’s basket case, we would not only stop demonizing Israel, but we would also thank the Jews for having treated us far better than our actions deserved, and we would measure our success based on our own achievements, not based on how many lies we get away with.
Many Arabs know this, but few of us admit it, so we continue to lie, not only to the world, but also to ourselves.