You are responsible for what happens to me...

Abbed Rabbo commented that "The results of the election are proof of Israel's interference with the election" (!). His reasoning?...since Obama has been more receptive to the Palestinian case than any other American President, any setback he might experience in political power is the consequence of Zionist interference. Similar reasoning is what has brought us to this day with the Israeli-Arab conflict unresolved.

In 1948, most Arabs opposed the Independence of Israel because they felt that the whole of the Mashreq (Fertil Crescent) ought to be part of the Arab Khalifat. They were confident in their victory over Israel because they had been conditioned by centuries of dominance over non muslims through the laws of Dhimmi status encoded in the Pact of Omar. In that context, Islam is by definition superior, so it will triumph, and when it does not, it is because of the conspiracy of anti-Allah forces and the setback is only temporary. While many Arabs and Muslims had moved away from this thinking by the mid-twentieth century, it was still one of the underpining principles that regulated Muslims-non Muslim relations in the Arab world. For those interested in learning more I recommend a book by Sir Martin Gilbert called "In the House of Ishmael - a history of Jews in Muslim lands".

When Israel won the 1948-49 war and was not destroyed, the outrage in the Arab street was real, not just because of the defeat, not just because of the government incitement, but because at a very fundamental level, made Arabs feel disempowered. The outrage was utilized by Arab leadership to direct the anger to the Jews living among them, what resulted in over 850,000 Jews being forced out of the lands of Islam over just a few years. Did it solve anything? of course not. As a matter of fact, the forcing out of the Jews from Arab societies resulted in a marked impoverishment of those societies because of the leading role Jews played in industry, commerce, the professions and the arts.

On top of the simple stupidity of blaming others for what happens to us and using that game to avoid taking responsibility, the very accusation that Jews can "control America" or "manipulate the elections" is a very old and it seems never dying anti Semitic canard ever present in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", that long running best seller in the Arab street.

To Rabbo and those like him in the Palestinian Authority I can only say that if you truly want Peace you need to ditch out the window your prejudice and look at Jews as people, a People with its own right to self-determination, a People that contributed so much to Arab culture for so long until they were expelled, a People that keeps extending its hand in friendship. Yes, there are issues that need resolving between Palestinians and Israelis, but recurring to Anti Semitism to "kick the board and end the game" is not the way. Only an honest and open dialogue can resolve the pending issues and bring about the realization of the Palestinian dream for a State of their own living side by side in Peace with Israel.


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