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January 3, 2017 5:05 pm

British Muslim Activist Slams Obama Middle East Policy, Says Israel Not Region’s Biggest Problem

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British Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz. Photo: Eregis via Wikimedia Commons.

British Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz. Photo: Eregis via Wikimedia Commons.

There are far more important issues in the Middle East to deal with than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a British Muslim activist acknowledged in a Daily Beast op-ed published last week in which he took the Obama administration to task for letting the recent anti-settlement UN Security Council resolution pass.

“I remain unaware of a single Middle East pundit not tied to Obama’s State Department who holds that the outgoing president has done a good job in the Middle East,” Maajid Nawaz — a co-founder of the London-based Quilliam counter-extremism think tank — wrote. “Obama cut a deal with Iran and conditionally lifted sanctions, while the Iranians, Hezbollah and Russian President Vladimir Putin aided Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he used crude chemical bombs and massively destructive weapons against his own people. And just as Obama’s inaction allowed others to act in Syria, his inaction at the UN set the tone once again, this time reaffirming the notion that Israel is the region’s biggest problem. That is despicable. It is inexcusable. And I could remain silent no more.”

The UN’s anti-Israel bias, Nawaz said, is shared by “Arabs, Muslims, Islamists, liberals, leftists, and our international organizations.”

“Opposing Israel is The One Ring that binds us all,” he continued. “It is the sacred god that must not be questioned. So deep runs this bias against Israeli transgressions, that to call it out is to arouse immediately incredulity and ad hominem abuse.”

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“Our unwillingness to hear outside our own echo chambers has severely limited our ability to innovate solutions,” Nawaz went on to say. “A critical mass of Arabs, Muslims, and leftists still struggle with Israel’s historic legitimacy, leading us to constantly overplay our hand at such venues as the UN. Like a broken record, we are guilty of repetitive sloganeering, lazy thinking, emotional decision-making, and a dogmatic approach to what should be the art of politics. We have allowed our political, religious, and ideological tribalism to shape our emotional response to the point of developing an unhealthy obsession with Israel. It is post-truth.”

Nawaz’s article sparked a fierce reaction on Twitter.

In response to criticism he received, Nawaz tweeted, “As predicted in the column, ad hominem has already begun. Post-truth, emotional, angry replies are what I’ve come to expect from the #CtrLft.”

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