Saturday, July 16, 2011

An Egyptian, An Israeli and An Angry Arab-American

The Egyptian:

"The question, then, is not, how could an Egyptian “liberal” partake in a round of Holocaust revisionism? Rather, it is whether Ahmed Ezz el-Arab and others like him are in fact really liberals. That is, is it possible to be a genuine liberal and an anti-Semite at the same time? Of course not. Egyptian anti-Semitism is the starting point of a political ideology that has dominated the region for more than 60 years and shaped how politics are conducted. Jew hatred and the accompanying conspiracy theories serve as a way of explaining the world that not only builds up hatred, but also crushes any serious attempt at examining the region’s true ills. Until Arab officials, journalists, and academics—encouraged by their Western counterparts—start to reconsider not only the roots of their anti-Semitic discourse but also its ugly fruit, there’s little chance of liberalism carrying the day in the region. After all, liberalism needs real liberals. "
The Israeli:
"Many people are discovering that the Israeli-Palestinian problem is not as central as it was depicted, and it is certainly clear today that it is not the heart of the Middle East conflict. On the contrary, in the eyes of more and more Arabs Israel appears indeed like a model worthy of discussion –its democracy, the way it has successfully integrated East and West, its highly developed civil society.This process is beneficial for Israel. Now it has better chances in the region, without the incitement of decades past as a tool of dictatorship in the hands of dictators. This process is also beneficial for Arab societies, which are developing self awareness; societies that are finally able to look at themselves internally. There will not be another central axis on which the whole Arab world will be able to lean. But there will be endless true and stable axes – even more than the old illusion that is breaking up now. "
The Angry Arab:
"For the fourth or fifth time, the gas pipe line to Israel has been bombed. I received word about this latest one from one of the leading figures of the Egyptian uprising. He was ecstatic and told me that they laughed for one hour yesterday when they received the news. And then Egyptians (and other Arabs) were joking about it all night long with various comical hash tags. Wait: I am not supposed to write on this because Thomas Friedman reassured Zionists that the Egyptian uprising has no foreign policy goals."

***

To me it appears that the Angry Arab and the Egyptian journalist agree on the basics, that anti-Israel sentiment animates the populism of the Arab "spring". AA is couldn't be any more pleased about the tales of violent sabotage, and sign of the vivid animosity against Israel that he can find in Egypt after Tahrir. The Egyptian journalist rues the treason of the so-called "liberal" Linkclasses for maintaining exactly the kinds of antisemitic/anti-Zionist postures, which he cannot compromise with their talk about democratic reforms, freedom, law, order and civil society. The Israeli journalist seems to want to look at the Egyptian's understanding as though it were representative of the mood in the Arab Street, and center his analysis around that.

Having asked the same question.
I listen to Samuel Tadros when he asks, plainly: " ... is it possible to be a genuine liberal and an anti-Semite at the same time? Of course not."

1 Comments:

At 1:30 AM EDT, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Er... OK, fine.

 

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