Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Israel's war on Islamic terrorism ] [ Israeli policy toward Palestine and Israeli Arabs ]

Clash of Jewish European and Arab mentalities

A solution to Israeli-Arab war must accommodate Arab mentality

Jews should respect Arabs and demand respect from Muslims

The clash of Jewish European and Arab Middle Eastern mentalities

The Jews brought their European mentality to the Middle East, and the clash of Israeli and Arab mentalities is largely responsible for the conflict between Arab and Israel. Muslims tolerated the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem during the crusades, and certainly Muslims could accommodate Israel. But Israelis disregarded Middle Eastern customs and took hold by powerJewish terrorist warfare, foreign support of the Jews, and Jewish money. Not up to crushing Arab resistance completely, Israeli power only provoked more Islamic insurgency, especially since Israel based her claims on a religion other than Islam. The Jews could have avoided Middle East conflict. The Jews already in Palestine had good relations with their Arab neighbors and bad relations with European Jews. With so many Jews flooding in Palestine from Europe, so much Jewish and Arab blood spilled, and so many calamities befallen, a return to the status quo antebellum became impossible for Israel.

Arabs tolerated the Jews before the 1920s when the notion of an Israeli state appeared. Muslims persecuted Jews far less than Christians up to then. The Middle East conflict is between the Middle Eastern and European cultures and not about Jewish religion or Palestinian territory. The Arabs previously gave in to territorial manipulation quietly. The British drew the political map of the Arab world the way they wanted it. Though outsiders tend to see Arabs as a coherent unity, Arabs do not see themselves that way. The usual explanation for the ease with which the British operated in Muslim worldthat they only subdivided a single Arab nationis wrong. The way Arabs removed from pan-Muslim ideology and politically ambitious Arab rulers see it, land was taken from some Arab and given to others, and the reason for Arab compliance with foreign powers lies elsewhere. The British understood Arab mentality, similar to the European mindset centuries ago. The British rode in the Arab world on military power, arrogant but respectful of Arabs, treating the Arabs as friends and allies; the people on the scene learned Arabic and adopted Arabic dress. The Russians ruled Muslim Central Asia with a heavy hand but with little direct involvement, thus in a sense respectfully. Israelis did exactly the opposite to Arabs: the Jews came to Palestine weak, running from European anti-Semitic persecution, and showed no respect for the local Arabs. If this were not enough, the Israelis pontificated and moralized, assuring the Arabs that dispossession was a Jewish blessing to Palestinians. Had the Jews planned for two millennia, they could not have made their return to Israel more difficult and obnoxious.

Jewish solution to Israeli-Arab war must accommodate the Arab mentality

An Arab-Israeli peace settlement must accommodate the Middle Eastern mentality, the way things are done among Arabs. Israelis should admit that the Jews provoked the war with Arabs by trying to impose European ideas and modus operandi on an indigenous Arab culture. Israelis acted from the colonialist assumption of European superiority, especially ironic for the Jews many Europeans despised. The Arabs smelled the Jewish lie and turned their hatred of foreigners onto the Israelis, unmitigated by their respect for Europeans. The possibility of Arab-Israeli accommodation retreated into the future.

Worse, Israeli Jews, with all their political analysts, historians, and psychologists, still do not recognize the Jewish behavioral incompatibility with Arabs. Why are the British and, to a lesser extent, the French welcomed in the Muslim countries they colonized until recently, where they committed atrocities far worse than Israels persecution of Arabs? The reason is simple: Arabs forgive power when respect accompanies it. Arabs see Israel as a powerless American proxy, humbly suing for peace with Arabs, vacillating between Jewish fear and neurotic braveryand despising, not respecting, Israeli antagonists.

Only a culturally and economically appealing empire can keep conquered people happy. Scores of monotheist Jews settled in pagan Rome both before and after the revolt of 132 C.E. Unlike the Mexicans, who lost a third of their territory to the United States, Arabs will never accept Israeli domination so long as Israel's ideology is anti-Arab. The official Israeli animosity to Arabs is still more puzzling when Israel has the opportunity to operate from Hebrew biblical posture of seeing the Arabs as cousins of the Jews. Israeli propaganda should paint Muslims as Israels closest and best neighbors, facing the infidel world with Israel, even if that would look disingenuous in light of Israels deeds. Few care about deeds; most get sidetracked on words. A lie cannot stand forever, but while it does, Israel could befriend the Arabs.

There is another option: present Israelis as dhimmi who need their Arab brothers support. To such an appeal, Arabs would respond with military guarantees to Israel and perhaps money. Jewish communities flourished in the Muslim world without military duty or burdensome taxes for centuries. Whether Israelis would sacrifice Jewish self-respect to achieve Arab-Israeli peace is a matter of choice for the Jews.

Israelis should respect Arabs and demand that Muslims respect Jews

The line between cautious respect and hatred is thin. Power and cruelty provoke both. Indeed, Jewish powerlessness engenders aggression and anti-Semitism. It is tempting and probably necessary for Israel to use Jewish terror in response to anti-Israeli organizations, which abound in Muslim countries, anything from Israeli hasbara defaming Islamist leaders to Israel Defense Forces blowing up offices of Islamic terrorist organizations. But is Israels harsh reaction to Islamic terrorist acts and insubordination enough? No. Current Israeli policy only provokes more Arab hatred and resolve to strike Israel back, either openly or in Islamic terrorist acts against Israel. To earn respect, Jews must show Israel strong, regardless of American help.[1] Israel must be fair and respectful with Israel's enemies. Most of all, Israel must stop vacillating between asking Arabs for peace and proclaiming far-reaching territorial objectives in the Islamic lands with the ephemeral bravery Israel's tactical victory of 1967 brought.

Arabs respect force and honor. Israel must become aware of signs of Arab disrespect for Israel, including mistreatment of Israeli citizens, absence of Israeli flags at international conferences in Arab countries, and concessions to Palestinian terrorists. Unless Israel presents herself as a superpower in the Middle Eastern conflict, Arabs will not treat Israel so. Arabs do not want an affectionate Jewish cousinunless that Jew is strong. Israeli training of Arabs, military or otherwise, counts. Military personnel, often narrow-minded, are vulnerable to technical indoctrination and loyal to the system that educated them. Israel does not risk by training Arab enemies. To begin with, Arabs know the Israel Defense Forces' tactics. The Russians and the Germans studied in each others military schools before WWII, though they used different tactics and achieved very different results. If Israel offered to train them, the Arab military would become accustomed to Israel, know the people better, and see that Arabs and Israel need not be enemies.

Israel should divide Arabs

[1] Israel does not need to refuse American aid but rather to demonstrate that Israel can make war with Arabs with Jewish muscles, by introducing more Israeli weapons which, though perhaps less effective than the best American ones, would still be better than the weapons the Arabs possess. Israel's doctrine of the first use of nuclear weapons against Arabs can also undermine the myth of Israeli dependence of the U.S. But a strong Israeli economy is the most important factor in gaining the Jews international respect.