Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
In the war of hotheads, the cool heads lose out. Radicalism invokes the worst in us. It makes us angry, hateful, aggressive and crazy. Those with cooler temper and wiser brains cannot make themselves understood, acceptable or even heard. In the noise pollution that goes with fanaticism it is really hard for any differing voice to float over the herds' cheers and shouts.
Thanks to Israel and company, all volcanoes of suppressed, clamed and negotiated hard feelings are now erupting in the Muslim World. All old and new wounds are now open and sour: from the creation of Israel on Arab land, to 1967 War that grabbed more lands including Islam's third holiest shrine, Al-Agsa Mosque, to 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the over twenty years of occupation of its South, to Qana I that killed scores of civilians to Gaza and Jenin massacres up to the recent history from Afghanistan to Iraq. The list of wounds is long and hurtful, and whenever it seems to cool a bit, an adventure like this hit again. No lull is long enough for moderates to preach peace, forgiveness and logic.
Mel Gibson is right when he said in a recent Los Angeles Times interview that Zionists are behind all ugly wars in the world. They are everywhere; the neoconservatives in the US administration are only the tip of the iceberg. Millions more are spreading like cancer in the civilized world, from places of worship to academia, to think tanks, to governments. Their ideologies surpass their sense and sensibility. Reason takes a back seat to a sick obsession, like getting all Jews into Palestine, so Jesus would come and start the Armageddon and end the world as we know it.
This unholy alliance between two influential, ideologically driven groups, the Zionists and Evangelicals, took the world into a hellish journey. To end History, they decided to burn the temple—our world—down. The Irony is: the Evangelicals believe that at the end of this journey Jews and others (including Muslims) would either convert to Christianity or be eradicated. The Jews, on the other hand, believe the opposite. So both are allied for now against Muslims, but know in advance that they will have to eliminate the other once they finish us.
On our side, there are those who understand what is at stake, and read the writing on the walls. Their response is one of a kind. Jihadis meant to get the snakes heads out, and shoot them. They always contented that under the civilized and liberal skin of the superpowers of the world hide crazed devout crusaders who would do anything to reoccupy the Holy Lands. By terrorizing them with hits like 9/11, they would throw their masks and show their faces. Knowingly or unknowingly, the overkill reactions proved their point. Now Israel and allies are stressing the same point.
In such an environment, the nice and pacifist, the logical and reasonable cannot compete with the trigger happy, hell makers, hate spreaders and fire breathers of the world—on all sides.
Try defending Israel's allies these days or blaming Iran, Syria or Hezbollah for starting this fire, in any Arab street. Try warning from the defying the UN and world public opinion in any Israeli street. Try calling for restraining Israel and pushing for immediate ceasefire in America. If you do, you are likely to be labeled defeatist, liberal, unpatriotic, unbeliever if not outright traitor.
Like Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, Hezbollah and Nasrallah were relatively small players. Overnight, they were made huge and powerful by their enemies. With the only choice given to Arabs and Muslims "Either you are with me or against me", most chose the Muslim brethren over Israel and allies. You can't call Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, the certified war criminal of Sabra and Shatila, Man of Peace after his Jenin massacre and still maintain credibility with Muslims. In fact you only give credibility to the man who in October 3, 2001, as Israeli Prime Minister, told Shimon Peres, on Kol Yisrael Radio: "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."
This is the same "Man of Peace" who as Foreign Minister told a meeting of militants in 1998, "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them." When this and similar actions provoked Palestinians into the second Intifadeh, it was blamed on Arafat.
With such fanatics, who would blame the average man for silencing the moderates and listening, if not following, to hate and revenge preachers?