A Few Moderate Arabs Provide a Voice of Sanity in the Crazed Atmosphere of Palestinian Attacks
As anti-Israel propagandists take to social media with memes and statements supporting the “Knife Intifada,” it is refreshing to hear voices of reason in the Arab world, who describe the situation realistically.
“When someone dashes off to stab an Israeli youth passing on the street, or a settler crossing at the traffic light — this is not resistance,” Egyptian editor Ibrahim Issa wrote, according to a translation released on Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “There is no nobility in it, and it does not serve the cause of liberation. It is only an expression of a flood of rage that has overcome, blinded, and drowned reason.”
Issa faulted Islamists who use religion “as a tool to rip and divide countries to pieces [and] to declare Allah’s creatures apostates … and calls on its youth and those it has misled to kill themselves as [a form of] jihad in the path of Allah. But this path never leads to Palestine.”
Similar sentiment came from a Kuwaiti columnist with a more peaceful viewpoint.
In a piece for Al Watan, also flagged and translated by MEMRI, writer Abdallah Al-Hadlaq called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the attacks and stop incitement against Israelis. Not only is it ineffective, but it is wrong. He called it “embarrassing” that the international community was unable to confront “Palestinian crimes against Israelis [and] the continued series of stabbings against them.”
“Israel has a right to defend itself and kill the Palestinian terrorists, whatever their age, whether they are children, adolescents, men, or women,” Al-Hadlaq wrote. Inherent in the conflict is a Palestinian “lie versus the clear, open, Israeli truth.”
Al-Hadlaq previously has been critical of Hamas, MEMRI reported. In this case, Al Watan took the article down in the face of negative reactions.
On Israeli television last week, Arab-Israeli broadcaster Lucy Aharish lashed out at Arab leaders for failing to act to quell the violence. “I don’t understand,” she said, “even if the status quo has been broken, which in reality is false … does that allow someone to go and murder someone else because of a sacred place? Or because of religion, or because a Jew went there to pray in the house of God? I don’t understand it and can’t comprehend it.”
“What God are they speaking of that allows for children to go out and murder innocent people?” Aharish asked. “What woman puts a hijab [on] and prays to God, takes a knife out and tries to stab innocent people? I don’t understand it and I don’t justify it in any way. I can’t accept it. Not even excuses of frustration.”
She blamed weak Arab leadership for stoking tensions and “inciting thousands of young people to go to the streets. You are destroying their future with your own hands.”
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.