WARARKA BARAAWEPOST Sabti 19 december 2009
Arab honour and the peace process
Arab honour is at the root of Arab rejectionism and intransigence. It prevents Arabs from accepting blame or compromising. It also prevents Arabs from losing land to
Arab honour is closely linked to Islamic concepts of jihad and dhimmitude. Arab honour impells them to seek domination. Failure to dominate, dishonours them. Accepting responsibility is an anathema to their honour..
Muslim violence against the publication in
“The HJP understands the Arab-Israeli conflict through the prism of honor-shame culture and Islamic jihad. These elements of Arab culture are the main factors that have made it impossible to reach a solution to the conflict. Arab leaders view any compromise with
“According to HSJP, the Arab-Israeli conflict is fueled by wounded Arab honor and frustrated religious imperialism.”
Denis Schulz on Honor and Islam writes
“The less honor reposing in a person or a group, the more angry and violent the response to any challenge, real or imagined, by said person or group.”and “[..]
..those who have the least of it spend the most time defending it”.
The peace process, if not the existence of
In The refugees, still essential to peace, Rami G. Khouri* claims the Arabs wish to achieve a negotiated, peaceful end to their conflict. I beg to differ. If the Arabs were so willing, why aren’t they willing to compromise by agreeing to accept 95% of the land. The truth is, they are willing to end the conflict, if at all, only on their terms.
For Khouri, “
While he acknowledges “half the people were forced into exile, either by deliberate Zionist ethnic cleansing or by the normal dynamics of war that caused civilians to flee temporarily to safer areas.” he fails to mention that the Arabs started the ‘48 war or that the invading Arab armies counseled the Arabs to leave. He makes the ahistorical claim that “the national community of Palestinians was shattered” whereas no such community existed at the time.
He demands that
I would argue that but for Arab aggression against Israel, there would be no refugee problem, I would further argue that but for Arab refusal to resettle the refugees as Israel did Jewish refugees from Arab countries, there would be no such problem.
But he does make an interesting analogy,
The current Israeli superiority in military power will not bring it lasting peace and security because the Palestinians will not simply disappear into history – no more than the exiled Jews in Babylon went away to never return. [..]
The Palestinians have passed through the same experience, two and a half millennia later, of seeking to end our exile through nationalist self-assertion and reaffirmation, along with patience and hard work.
He shamelessly takes from the Palestine Mandate which called for the “reconstituting their (Jews) national home in that country (
Then he returns to the solution.
For now, the Palestinians and all Arabs have expressed a willingness to coexist with Zionism – if the Israelis in turn come to terms with how critical it is to acknowledge and resolve the refugee issue in a reasonable and fair manner that does not negate the idea of a predominantly Jewish state.
Why should such “willingness to co-exist” be considered a concession. And why is it only “for now”?
If this was so important to the Arabs why don’t they agree to
Nowhere does he ascribe to the Arabs, responsibility for causing the problem or for maintaining the problem, not just by refusing to allow refugees to be settled but also by inculcating in them the desire to return. But for this inculcation, there would not have been a national consensus or desire to return.
The analogy above noted is really a false one. Prior to the Jewish expulsion to
Furthermore, to fight for only 5% of the 4.5 million “refugees” to be returned, is to fight to get
If that weren’t enough,, their honour doesn’t permit them to end the conflict. Islam requires all lands over which Islam is supreme to be retained or recovered, if lost. It would be an enormous loss of honour to end the conflict without destroying
Jonathan Dohoah-Halevi comments on the matter in a JCPA article,
“Osama bin Laden has written: “We request of Allah…that the [Islamic] nation should regain its honor and prestige, should raise again the unique flag of Allah on all stolen Islamic land, from
“Accepting the Arabs’ terms for a
Abbas is not returning to negotiations because he is not prepared to accept President Obama’s terms that the Arabs recognize
Professor Barry Rubin, in his latest article on why Obama’s offer was rejected, referred to Arafat’s rejection of Barak’s offer at
“As for the Right of Return demand, it was in line with something Qaddumi had said in March 2002: “The Right of Return of the refugees to
Gaining total victory and destroying
Nothing has changed for the better. Nothing will change.
* Rami G. Khouri is Editor-at-large of The Daily Star, and Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the