Friday, February 25, 2011

You Want To Know The Real Key To Middle East Peace? Get The Muslims To Stop Killing Each Other

Danny Ayalon, Israel‘s deputy minister of foreign affairs, writes about the fallacy of the linkage between Israel-Palestinian peace and peace in the Middle East:
...the linkage argument has allowed a dereliction of responsibility for anything that happens outside of Israel‘s few square kilometers, which is equivalent to less than one seven-hundredth of the Arab world. Even the term “Middle East conflict” is negligent in that it stresses the singularity and uniqueness of our conflict, perhaps even one of the least bloody and destructive, in a region that has seen dozens of recent and ongoing conflicts.
That is not to say that there is no linkage to be made--on the contrary, there is a very direct linkage to the violence in the Middle East.

Ant that linkage flows, not from peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, but rather from Muslim vs Muslim in-fighting:
In fact, of the 11 million Muslims that have been killed in violent conflicts since the middle of the last century when the state of Israel was created, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of Muslims were killed in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab conflict. However, more than 90 percent of all Muslims killed during the same time period were killed by fellow Muslims.
In fact, there is a very long history of Muslims fighting and killing other Muslims--starting from the death of Mohammed to modern times.

For instance, at the end of his book The Arabs In History, Bernard Lewis provides a time line (p. 179) of the early history of Islam:
632. Death of Muhammad
656. Murder of 'Uthman--beginning of first civil war in Islam.
657-59. Battle of Siffin
661. Murder of 'Ali--beginning of Umayyad dynasty.
680. Massacre of Husain and 'Alids at Karbala.
683-90. Second civil war
685-87. Revolt of Mukhtar in Iraq--beginning of extremist Shi'a.
Let's face the facts: the Arabs have never needed Israel as a pretext for going to war--and that fact has not changed over the centuries.. Raphael Patai, in an updated chapter in his book The Arab Mind has a list of Arab conflicts--none of which involve Israel--just during the 13 years from 1970 to 1983:
1. Intermittent disputes involving border warfare and assassinations between South Yemen on the one hand, and North Yemen and Saudi Arabia, on the other since the early 1970's. A brief but fierce border war between the two Yemens took place as recently as March, 1979.

2. A major and bloody, albeit brief, conflict between Jordan and Palestinian guerrillas in 1970, complicated by Syrian intervention.

3. Fighting between the Kurds and the Iraqis, which lasted several years.

4. A bloody conflict between Northern and Southern Sudan, 1956-1972.

5. Clashes between South Yemen and Oman, linked to the Dhofar rebellion, 1972-1976.

6. A tripartite conflict between Algeria on the one hand and Morocco and Mauritania, on the other, over the control of the former Spanish Sahara, beginning in 1976 and subsequently transformed into guerrilla warfare against Morocco by the Polisario, the freedom fighters of the Western Sahara, supported by Algeria and Libya, which was still in progress in 1982.

7. Intermittent hostility, and actual border fighting, including air attacks, between Egypt and Libya in 1977.

8. The Lebanese civil war, which began in 1975, involving two outside parties, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization, still unresolved in early 1982.

9. The invasion of Chad by Libya in 1980.

10. The war between Iraq and Iran, which began in the fall of 1980, in which Iraq is supported by Jordan and Iran by Syria, making it in effect, an inter-Arab conflict. It was still in progress in early 1982.

11. In February, 1982, a conflict flared up between the Syrian government and Muslim fundamentalists in the Syrian city of Hama, in which several thousands were killed and major parts of Hama were destroyed. [p.357-358]
For an even more up-to-date list of Islamist violence, there is, which has a list (as of the writing of this post) of 16,859 Islamist attacks around the world since 9/11. Among the places where these terrorist attacks have taken place include:
India and the Sudan and Algeria and Afghanistan and New York and Pakistan and Israel and Russia and Chechnya and the Philippines and Indonesia and Nigeria and England and Thailand and Spain and Egypt and Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and Ingushetia and Dagestan and Turkey and Morocco and Yemen and Lebanon and France and Uzbekistan and Gaza and Tunisia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Mauritania and Kenya and Eritrea and Syria and Somalia and California and Kuwait and Virginia and Ethiopia and Iran and Jordan and United Arab Emirates and Louisiana and Texas and Tanzania and Germany and Australia and Pennsylvania and Belgium and Denmark and East Timor and Qatar and Maryland and Tajikistan and the Netherlands and Scotland and Chad and Canada and China and Nepal and the Maldives and Argentina and Mali and Angola and the Ukraine...
Notice that many of the countries listed are themselves Muslim countries--is anyone seriously suggestint that all this would come to an end by creating a second Palestinian state?

If you want Middle East peace and stability, you will have to get Muslims to stop killing other Muslims.

It's just that simple.

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