Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:29 pm The Real "Quiet" In The Mideast...
The Real "Quiet" Corner In The Mideast…
by Gerald A. Honigman
The June 12th New York Times ran an article skewed against Israel by Helene Cooper, The Quiet Mideast Corner (Surprise).
Shocking not…but given this paper's duplicity towards the Jewish State, this was actually one of its milder rebukes.
Still, the thrust of the article was that Israel should consider itself lucky because the Arab Spring hadn't taken up against the Jews yet. Cooper quotes President Obama and Yasir Arafat's bosom buddy, Robert Malley, as calling this potentiality a "game-changer."
Interestingly--especially for an op-ed appearing in this particular newspaper--Cooper then concedes that the territories in question are disputed lands…not simply occupied territories.
Keep in mind that the disputed lands of Judea (as in Judean… Jew) and Samaria also became known as the West Bank only since British imperialism named them so in 1922. This was done to distinguish these territories from the nascent Arab state the Brits were creating on the east bank of the Jordan River--Jordan--which itself was sired from almost 80% of the original April 25, 1920 Mandate of Palestine.
Contrary to Arab fairy tales and explained in quotes below, all residents of the Mandate--not just Arabs--were allowed to live in these non-apportioned territories of the original 1920 Mandate. Indeed, Jews owned land and lived there until they were massacred by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s. After illegally seizing it during the attack on a nascent Israel in 1948, Transjordan declared the West Bank to be as officially Judenrein as it had made itself since 1922.
With this as background, let's now focus on what the real "quiet" corner(s) of the region are--and what the real game-changers would be…
Notice that the Helene Coopers, Robert Malleys, Barack Obamas, New York Times, and so forth only see this entire picture through Arab eyes--as if no one else mattered, or even existed, in the region.
Now, to truly understand the reasons for this, we have to go back over a half century to when Arabs made their honey deal with the West which effectively resulted in scores of millions of native, non-Arab peoples getting the shaft in terms of their own human--let alone political--rights.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, I have a few favorite quotes from North African Amazigh ("Berber") spokesmen which spell this out nicely.
Follow these excerpts from a Special Dispatch of MEMRI on May 3, 2007, written by Belkacem Lounes of the World Amazigh Congress, as he responded to Libya's Mu'ammar Qaddafi's denial of the very existence of the Amazigh people:
"The people of whom you speak...speak their own Amazigh language daily...live their Amazigh identity...What worse offense to elementary rights is there than denying the existence of a people...30 million in North Africa? You menace the Amazigh, warning that whosoever asserts his identity will be a traitor (identical problems in Algeria and Morocco)…There is no worse colonialism than internal colonialism--that of the Pan-Arabist claim that seeks to dominate our people. It is surely Arabism--an imperialist ideology that refuses diversity--that constitutes an offense to history and truth..."
Or, even more to the point, check out these next excerpts and paraphrases from the New English Review on January 18, 2008 and reported in North-of-Africa.com on July 3, 2009:
"In Algeria, Berbers were forbidden to use their own language, Tamazight...riots erupted, reported in France but ignored elsewhere in the West...America, of course, had been sufficiently subject to ARAMCO (the Arabian American Oil Company) propaganda, a payoff to the Saudis by Big Oil, to allow the latter to produce and market Arab oil. So, ARAMCO's message to America was that there is just an Arab world in this region in which there are no Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen...and, of course, no Berbers and no Jews—they all came to Israel, you see, from Europe for everyone in this region is just Arab."
The American State Department has been in bed with ARAMCO since its creation…get the picture ?
And from that noxious fountain sprung subsequent indoctrination of the media and others as well…even much of academia--whom should have definitely known (and acted) better.
While countless columns--such as the Cooper essay--are written about (and academic courses focus upon) the quest for Arab rights in the region, one is hard pressed to find folks making the same demands for scores of millions of the area's native, non-Arab peoples who predate the Arab conquests by millennia.
The same essayists and editorialists who take Israel to task for its reluctance to shrink itself again to suicidal, virtual invisibility on a world globe by a return to the '49 armistice lines forced upon it up until the '67 war, act deaf, dumb, and blind to the plight of Imazighen, Kurds, Copts, and millions of other non-Arab folks in the region.
True, when Kurds get gassed and otherwise massacred by Arabs, a story might make it into print. And the plight of black Africans in the Sudan at the hands of Arabs also sees the light of day more often these days too. The same goes for burned down churches and murdered Copts in Egypt.
But the dots are most often not connected…
There is no constant outcry--as there is for the birth of Arab state #22--for even basic human rights, let alone the birth of even one single political entity, for any of the region's largely subjugated and oppressed non-Arab peoples. They are simply expected to accept their Arabized fate. Indeed, perhaps the most famous Copt of modern times, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the late Egyptian President Sadat's Foreign Minister and former Secretary General of the United Nations, told visiting Israeli author, Amos Elon (quoted in my own new book http://q4j-middle-east.com), that to "be accepted" in the region, Israel must consent to being Arabized.
Now, read those above quotes, yet again, from those Amazigh spokesmen and see how pathetically hypocritical the so-called voices of Liberal ethical enlightenment truly are.
Why is there no day-to-day demands from The New York Times--as is done on behalf of Arabs, who could have had their 22nd state (and second one in "Palestine"--Jordan created in 1922 from about 80% of the original 1920 Mandate) decades ago if they just didn't really want that state to replace Israel instead of existing alongside it--for Arabs to allow tens of millions of North African Amazigh parents to practice their own culture, speak their own language, and such and likewise for millions of Kurds in Syria?
While the situation is reported to have recently improved in some parts of North Africa, it's still too early to jump for joy. But again, why have these situations been virtually ignored over the decades by the mainstream media--and in other quarters too (shame on too many of those supposedly objective academics)? If Israel is not the alleged culprit, no one gives a hoot…The same situation, until the relatively recent overthrow of Saddam in Iraq, could have been said about the plight of millions of Kurds there as well.
While periodic tragic events like Arab gassing of Kurds and Arab genocide against blacks in the Sudan have been reported, once again, the dots have not been connected.
Where are the editorials demanding a roadmap for Kurdistan?
As I like to remind readers, Kurds were indeed promised independence in the region after World War I, but a collusion of British petroleum politics and Arab nationalism nipped that Mesopotamian Kurdish state in the bud. Purely Arab Iraq arose in its stead…and we have been living with the tragic consequences of this sellout ever since.
Unlike the Mandate of Palestine, where Arabs would be granted the lions' share of the land in 1922 with the creation of what would become Jordan (and would subsequently also be offered, but would reject, half of the 20% of the Mandate that was left in 1947), there would be no offer of compromise to million's of Mesopotamia's Kurds who lived in the land for thousands of years before an Arab ever set foot on its soil.
Where is Helene Cooper's essay complaining about not only the true statelessness of the region's thirty-five million Kurds, but the utter subjugation, terror, and forced Arabization they have been forced to live with?
While Cooper ponders the "quiet" of Arabs in the disputed--not purely Arab--territories, neither she nor the paper she writes for have any real interest, for example, in why millions of Syria's Kurds have been "quiet" too.
Let's just say that, unlike how Israel deals with Arab protests, the title of Ismet Cherif Vanly's book speaks volumes as to what Kurds can expect from Arabs when the subject of Kurdish rights is discussed…The Syrian 'Mein Kampf' Against The Kurds (Amsterdam, 1968).
Hundreds of thousands of Kurds have indeed been massacred over the last century in both the Syrian Arab and Iraqi Arab portions of Kurdistan (with many others victimized elsewhere), and their lands have been forcibly Arabized and their very culture outlawed.
As for Robert Malley's game-changer, think about what would happen if millions of the region's subjugated and victimized non-Arab peoples truly rose up against their Arab oppressors…
Unfortunately, unlike Israel trying to pinpoint those who target its children and other innocents as precisely as possible (but being falsely accused of atrocities anyway), there is no doubt about how Arabs would respond to such an eventuality.