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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Islamophilia and the Israeli Question

The dominant theme of the Islamophile foreign policy narrative is that America's troubles with Islamic terrorism and the violent instability of the Middle-East somehow derive from our excessive closeness to the Jewish State. In this narrative, which is prevalent among diplomats, journalists and assorted talking heads who are neither but pretend to be both, the terrorists are really just critics of our foreign policy. Except instead of penning smarmy New York Times columns like Thomas Friedman or Nick Kristoff, they plant bombs and ram planes into buildings not for the greater glory of Allah, but to prove the theses of Adlai Stevenson III and Zbignew Brzezinski.

The trouble with this is that it fails to reflect any reality other than the one in the stifling craniums of the  opinionators. The foreign policy dolts have been complaining about the Zionist menace long before there was a special relationship between the United States and Israel. Back then the British Foreign Office thought that the Empire could govern the region through a passel of puppet kings and princes. They carved up Israel, turning most of the land over to an expat bunch of Saudi royals, trained the Hashemite Kingdom's Legion into the second best military in the region and commanded them in the assault on Jerusalem against a handful of Israeli farm boys and Ghetto fighters fresh off the boat.

What did the Empire get in return for all its Islamophilia? Less than ten years later it was forced to turn to those same farm boys and their sons after the Woolrich educated King Farouk I went into exile in Rome and General Nasser began to be unfavorably compared to Hitler by leading British politicians for his designs on the Suez Canal.

Fairly soon the monarchies were all gone, except for those under direct American protection, and those kings and princes have been some of the leading financiers of Islamic terrorism making them a very bsd bargain.

In the Islamophile version of history, the Israeli Lobby "bought up" congress and terrorizes any politician who doesn't salute the Blue and White. In the actual history the relationship emerged because the reflex Anti-Western sentiments of the Muslim world left Western powers with few options.

The so-called "Special Relationship" did not develop until growing Soviet influence among the receptive Arab Muslim nations of the Middle-East created the need for a counterbalance. Israel has been that balance, the uncomfortable option held in reserve for when the Muslim allies of the United States, Britain and France inevitably turn on them. And to assert otherwise is to put the cart before the horse and the present before the past.

Had that relationship been the work of a nefarious Jewish lobby then it is rather odd that it has deepened even as the numbers and influence of American Jews have declined along with their commitment to the Jewish State. Somewhere between a third and a quarter of American Jews, among them some of the wealthiest, famous and best educated of the bunch, consider Israel an embarrassment and wish it would go away. They pour small fortunes into liberal lobbies that urge politicians to oppose Israel. 

But what does this relationship consist of exactly? American troops don't fight for Israel the way that they have for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Lebanese governments. The military aid exists for much the same reason that unnecessary bases and Pentagon cost overruns do as part of the complicated relationship between defense contractors and local congressmen looking to subsidize industries in their districts.

The far more important part of the relationship, that of moral support hardly exists. Most Americans do support Israel in its conflict with Islamic expansionism, which is more than can be said for American leaders. Israel has hardly ever been in a war without receiving stern warnings from Washington to immediately seek a truce, regardless of who began the war or what's at stake. 

Critics of Israel harp on America's failure to act as an "honest broker" in that country's negotiations with Islamic terrorists, by which they mean that we haven't pushed Israel all the way under the bus. But how much more room is there under the bus? Arafat's Palestinian Authority has never been held to a single one of its commitments, while Israel has been held to countless commitments it never even made. To gauge how far the negotiations have drifted and in whose direction, a process that began with Israel not negotiating directly with terrorists and signing on only to an autonomous territory within its borders, has now reached the point where the Vice President of the United States throws a fit because a housing permit was granted for houses in Jerusalem while he was in Israeli airspace.

It goes without saying that no Muslim ally of the United States is treated in such a shoddy way. Turkey, which genuinely and indisputably occupies Cyprus, could build mosques out of piles of Cypriot corpses and Biden would only smile and remark on the fascinating Eastern architecture. When Turkey's Thug in Chief threatened to ethnically cleanse the Armenians a second time if they didn't stop complaining about the first time at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Britain, the good fellow pretended to find something very interesting on the ceiling at that moment.

The Saudis can slowly behead a woman accused of witchcraft and win a long round of applause from diplomats, but when Israel grants a house permit in its own capital, one of the oldest cities in the world which fashionable Islamophiles now call a settlement, then all hell breaks loose.

Is this really anyone's idea of a special relationship?

The truth of the matter is that this is a relationship built primarily on Muslim intransigence. Rather than Israel trapping the United States into a relationship that alienates the Muslim world, it is the Muslim world's alienation from the West that made the relationship both possible and necessary. 

Israel has not poisoned the West's relationship with the Muslim world. It is the native and reflexive hostility of the Muslim world which did that. The Islamophile apologists for a failed foreign policy would rather jauntily don their keffiyahs and meet for coffee in Cairo with the next up and coming revolutionary, while blaming America's relationship with Israel for the regional violence and hostility, rather than admit that a century of playing Lawrence of Arabia has only left behind two types of Muslim countries. Open enemies and covert enemies.

The problem is a structural one. Muslim Westaphobia is a hatred that predates the United States or the current foreign policy arrangements of its leaders. It is a civilizational conflict that cannot be settled with a convenient scapegoat or addressed solely in terms of the foreign policy of the last century, which is hardly more than a minute in a struggle defined by over a thousand years of acrimony. 

Israel makes for a convenient scapegoat. A colonial scapegoat to tick the checkboxes of the left, never mind that its people are the indigenous inhabitants and the Muslim terrorists are the settlers and conquerors who have more in common with Francisco Pizarro than they do with Chief Joseph. But the attacks on Israel as the source of the sore spot are expedient rather than meaningful. It isn't about Israel or Mubarak or reports that somewhere an American soldier in a latrine flushed a Koran or any of the other spurious scapegoats of Muslim violence. 

The structural animosity between Islam and the West must be addressed and it cannot be addressed so long as the Nazi ambassador is allowed to answer every question about his country's actions by pontificating about the Sudetenland north of Jerusalem. The relationship between Israel and the West is not the cause of the conflict between Islam and the West, it is the unacknowledged Western response to it. 

17 comments:

Kyra said...

Very insightful. I wonder how it is possible for these foreign policy wonks to be so utterly clueless.
I've been waiting up for this post-now I can go to sleep!

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

They're committed to a course

Sorry to keep you up but my computer died and writing and getting these up has gotten trickier

Meira Lettieri Kingberg said...

Wow, the body language in the Bibi - Obama picture is very telling. Not only does O point his finger, he's got Bibi backing up and leaning backwards and for an Israeli used to being in close with one's interlocutor that's bad. Total intimidation. Mr Netanyahu needs to stand up straight and push back, so to speak.

TBS said...

YOu don't understand Daniel.
the Empire et al hates Jews because they can't feel superior to them.
They can always freel superior to and comfortable with the Arab Muslims (therefore compensating them with other people's money), firstly because both systems hate Jews, they both have class-based systems and they both respect power, whereas Jews/Jewish culture, while it does have protekzia, essentially respects achievement and life, in toto, not just as a function of class, unlike Empire, Marxists and clan-based despotic regimes who want to convert and conquer infidels.

THis is a very brief summary of my view of the situation, not intended as an essay so any tired notions by any readers that I 'hate" Christianity, the English, etc, can take a running jump.

(Just pre-empting any premature and unjustified assumptions about my attitudes.)

Rita said...

"...Israel has not poisoned the West's relationship with the Muslim world. It is the native and reflexive hostility of the Muslim world which did that...."

This is soooooo breathtakingly obvious than anyone with an IQ even only marginally higher than your normal shoesize would HAVE to see it. So, what we have here is bad faith in such excess that it makes me want to vomit in frustration.

Nor, I am sad to say, do some (mainly leftist) Jews help the cause of fairness and the true David by so eagerly helping the repuslively nasty and omni-present Goliath to heat up the modern version of gas ovens.

(Pardon my mix-up of metaphors, but I am sooooooooooo angry at the sheer injustice of it all - and I am not even Jewish!)

Marcel said...

The West's policy of appeasement led by the U.S. has only grown with the help of weak,fearful and servile Israeli leaders who always bend on command who always fold and never stand firm.

The failure of Israel's lap dog policy towards America has been evident since that fateful Oslo day in September of 1993 on the White House lawn and yet the insanity of weak groveling leadership continues.

You wrote ;

'Israel has hardly ever been in a war without receiving stern warnings from Washington to immediately seek a truce, regardless of who began the war or what's at stake'

How is it possible that Israel does not see that the U.S. is not just arming their enemies but protecting them by making sure that not another Arab army is defeated by the 'infidel Jews' ?

Even after President Bush came to the rescue of Hezbollah in the second Lebanon war of 2006 and rescued Hamas from defeat in the Gaza war in 2009 delusional fools in Israel and elsewhere stall call him 'good' and a friend of Israel.

The only answer possible is that a people who forget their God trust in lies and delusions and will not part with them even if it suicides the nation.

This is why the Oslo,Road Map appeasement of Jewish land to the new Nazi's for a second holocaust debacle which began in 1993 in Washington D.C. is still breathing,alive and well in the halls of power in Jerusalem.
Little Grasshoppers just can't say no.
There are no Joshua's and Caleb's in Jerusalem who can say no and stand firm without capitulating, only the poodles and losers like Ehud and Benji who retreat on command of their Baal Masters in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Bingo. You nailed it again.

Paul said...

"The relationship between Israel and the West is not the cause of the conflict between Islam and the West, it is the unacknowledged Western response to it."

It is currently fashionable to identify Israel as a hedge against Islam. But in the end Israel is a focus of both Islam and the West only because of antisemitism, or its inverse among Christians who see Israel as sign post for their own beliefs. Israel has no natural role to play in relations between the West and Islam, except as an indicator of how diseased either one is. When Israel and its affairs can easily be ignored, we will see that both the West and Islam have come to a better realization that must include peace between the two. Islam will never defend Israel, but the West can only defend Israel in its victimization by Islam. It has yet to stand up for Israel's right to exist as Jewish state on its own terms.

Linda Rivera said...

In the photo of Obama and Netanyahu. Netanyahu looks defensive and humiliated. Obama with his body language is saying to Netanyahu: I'm superior to you. I'm King. You are inferior to me and you will do exactly as I say.

Leah said...

Yes, the body language of Obama is very telling. It has been for some time even without his overheard comments on the mic with Sarkozy, either way.... I fear though that the West will wake up only when it is faced with a nuke from Iran. After all, if the reality of the the situation of ALL that is taking place in the Mid E is not waking the West up, then it will require something even bigger and on a more harsh scale.....

Ciccio said...

There is one glaring factual error in your post. The Saudi beheadings of their sorcerers, witches, apostates and adulterers are not slow. I have seen some and it it one quick chop and the head goes rolling in the sand.

Anonymous said...

I've seen this trait before - it can't be treated: It's short, read it all.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001919/

kate b

Bill in AZ said...

"What did the Empire get in return for all its Islamophilia? Less than ten years later it was forced to turn to those same farm boys and their sons after...Nasser began to be unfavorably compared to Hitler by leading British politicians for his designs on the Suez Canal."

Ouch !!Perfect!

TBS said...

Paul - well and accurately said.



Marcel - when 'Little Grasshopper" DOES say no, it gets harangued, expelled, bullied, its resources stolen, its people "resettled" and extorted.

The West does not have the same to Jews as it does to itself and its allies. Jews are not people to the West and/or Islam - they are items to be used and discarded, not respected.
Powers in the West have the history of ganging upn on Jews and thieving their resources when it suits them, same with the Muslims.

Until Israel and Jews are seen as people with the inherent RIGHT not just to exist but exist as people/persons within their own right, and not just as useful pawns for powers that be, attitudes towards Israel and Israelis/Jews will not change.

As to the remark about Leftists Jews, yes that is right but Marxists and leftists are sort of in their own category, despite Coomiunism's bloody history towards Jews/Israel.
Any attachment to Marxism supplants any previous religious affiliation - Marxism/leftism has its own worldview in which objectivity has no sway.

fsy said...


The Saudis can slowly behead a woman accused of witchcraft and win a long round of applause from diplomats


If they do it quickly, it's OK?

Marcel said...

TBS

when wimpy,secular,faithless'Little Grasshopper" politicians in Jerusalem DO say no.... they does not really mean 'NO' and everyone knows it.

David Barry O'Connor said...

I'm satisfied to see someone else using the term "Islamophilia". It's epidemic. (I usually get the raised eyebrow up here in Boston {All this time I arrogantly thought it was my coining.}.)
Frankly, I see it not so much as solely politically correct, as conveniently politically correct. This country has degree'd {Pst.Perf.vrb.} people to become willfully the dumbest human grouping.
It's not as though we're asking our fellows of the Judeo-Greco-Christian heritage to sit in libraries inhaling dust.
Just ask them to think when they hear the news, read beyond a headline; and you might as well impose the draft. (Well, the draft is out considering the cost of detoxing post-adolescents from Ritalin.)
If the years of climbing the 'educo-social' latter has strained the correlation of eyes to mind; then go see a movie (recommending here: "Unmasked" {about recent evidence of Anti-Semitism} or "Iranium" {need a hint?}.

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