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Eureka: What Arabs tell me about Israel
by Joseph Gatt
2018-10-31 08:13:06
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Comments on a few blunt questions I get on Israel.

-We Arabs don't like the Jews.

isr00000001_400Up until the 1950s most Arab states had a wealthy merchant or landowning class and the rest were farmers or working class people or people who were in the streets. I think colonialism was a terrible thing, but at least one thing it did was teach the Arab world something about capitalism. When Arab states gained independence from France and Britain, leaders, whose cash registers were empty, basically stole the merchant's money and the landowners' land and money and randomly redistributed the land and kept the money.

Now if I have money, and I'm a leader, and I don't want you to take my money, so I'll tell you something along the lines of “only Jews want money.” So in the 1950s Arab leaders equated profits and money making to a Jewish sin, specifically to prevent people from sharing the money. State-owned enterprises were set up to make leaders even more money, but those failed and leaders actually lost money in those. Farm land was redistributed to farmers who had little or no experience, lack of water, lack of fertilizer, and then of course economic collapse was blamed on the Jews as well.

-Why don't Jews accept a Palestinian state?

UN Resolution 242 is a pleasant joke in my opinion. It says “Israel should retreat to the 1967 borders and Palestinians should implicitly recognize the Jewish state.” That's like saying that Belgium should implicitly recognize France or that South Africa should implicitly recognize Swaziland. If you date a woman and you implicitly date her, you're headed to a heated argument that will either end up in fights, breakup or an explicit relationship. No mention of either side refraining from unprovoked attacks.

Now the resolution implies that the West Bank will be Switzerland and that Gaza will be Singapore. And hey, if you have a Moroccan passport, you can buy and apartment in Bern Switzerland or in Amsterdam with little or no problems right? You can have a Chadian passport and live in Kazakhstan.

Two implications. If there's a Palestinian state, can Israelis live there just like say an Indian can live in Ethiopia or whatever? Can Israelis own neighborhoods there? Or are they all ousted? This is a very important point, because a lot of religious Jews want the right to reside in the West Bank or Gaza, or the Sinai for that matter.

Second implication: will the Palestinians renounce violence? Will they stop throwing rockets? Gaza was liberated so Gazawis could build a modern state. They had a free pass. Did they build roads? No. Did they establish a financial system. No. They still use Israeli shekels. Did they try to build a tourism industry? They could get millions of hippies to visit that would bring in hard cash. Again no. First thing they did was launch rockets on Israel.

-God punished the Jews for not believing in Him and not fearing Him.

First, a lot of Jews lead comfortable lives and have cars and houses and girlfriends and boyfriends and friends and live very comfortably. I don't see how that qualifies as punishment. Maybe our punishment is a lot of Arabs hating us.

-When there's a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, it will be the Apocalypse

Well the Quran says Jews and Muslims will hate each other until the Apocalypse. But the Quran specifically does not allow Muslims to have Jewish friends or Christian friends for that matter (Google it!). That's probably why a lot of Muslims get all shook up when I tell them I'm Jewish.

-All banks are owned by Jews and they control all the money

Banks are owned by a multitude of people, many of whom are not Jewish. There's a myth in the Arab world that if you keep your money in a Western bank, the Jews will take it. Yet those very same people put money in Western banks, and get it back along with the interest rates.

-If all Muslim armies in the world fought the Jews, Muslim armies would win

No worries. Jews can make alliances. It will be Muslim armies vs. the rest of the world. But Jews want peace. Not because they are scared. But because of the belief that life on earth is sacred and you must make the most out of it.

-Israel is responsible for all the wars in the Middle East

What did Saddam give to his people? What did Arab leaders give their people. Things as simple as starting a business are complicated in the Arab world. Peddling vegetables in the streets is illegal in many cases. Again, filthy rich leaders blame the Jews to avoid sharing their money and investing it in public goods.

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