Tell it like it is.

Two articles that I’ve come across are an excellent read if you are interested in Saudi Arabia. The first was written by Wajeha Al Huwaider on the abuse of Saudi women rights and the second is on the CNN website about what motivates Muslim terrorists. Finally journalists are starting to get it right about the recruitment of youth into “the holy war against infidels”. I wish though that they had put more emphasis on the Palestinian/Israel conflict. What makes youth turn against the outside world rather than facing their own governments and life conditions are the great injustices by Israel against Palestinians. They can’t demand such luxuries as democracy and government accountability when Palestinians are raped of their land and basic human rights. The latter is just a greater cause.

Once Palestinians are happy with their own country, these recruitments will go extremely down. And our youth will be able to look inward for a cause within their own borders.   


Filed under Palestinian/ Israel conflict, Regional and International

51 responses to “Tell it like it is.

  1. Jerry M

    Blaming the Israeli Palestinian conflict doesn’t explain everything. One must add into the mix the fact the modern Jihadist movement (by which I mean real training camps with real weapons etc.) was created by Pakistan (with US money) to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. Without that fact one wonders why frustrated Arabs never seem to attack Israeli soldiers, just US soldiers.

    So, we have young Arab males becoming the tools of outside interests (Pakistan, US even Iran) but motivated by hatred of Israelis.

  2. Dude

    while I am an ardent support women rights, I do not support Wajeha Al Huwaider, although she brings up some good points she does make a lot of generalizations. I remember in an interview she stated that mecca should be open up to everyone which probably includes athiest, non muslims etc. There are many advocates/supporters for women rights in the arab world especially in S.A who have more moderate views.

    The second article was great, I think that applies to everyone it’s no surprise that violence or terrorism motivated by socioeconomic or political factors rather than religion.

  3. It is one of the greatest logical fallacies to assume that once the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solved, then the Arab and/or Muslim worlds can begin to make progress on other things. Any other country’s progress is not at all dependent on what happens with the Palestinians.

    That having been said, you also cannot say that the Palestinians cannot demand democracy and government accountability until Israel stops, how did you put it, raping them of their land and basic rights? Well, my dear, for one, this makes it sound as if the Palestinians have never committed any crimes against Israel (which the world conveniently ignores). Also, the Palestinians’ own leaders have been raping them of their basic rights for decades. In fact, democracy and government accountability are EXACTLY what the Palestinians need to focus on, right now. If they could build their own nation and stabilize their own nation, they would be in a much better position and much better-trusted among Israelis and we would thus be in a position in which greater progress could be made.

    • saudiwoman

      Lena you are either a zionist or an Israeli in denial. How can Palestinians get anything done when their homes keep getting bulldozed. They can’t move from one city or town to another and their own food, water and all other supplies keep getting confiscated. Never mind the Gaza genocide and the open racism you treat all Arabs.

  4. Yes, I am both an Israeli and a Zionist. I’m puzzled by your use of Zionist; you see, Zionism is not racism and Zionists are not racists or Arab-haters. At the same time, Israelis do not treat all Arabs with open racism. Yes, there are cases of such, but to equate Israel and Zionism as a whole with that accusation is wrong.

    And what went on in Gaza was not genocide. Remember, please, that we were under attack from rockets constantly being shot into our territory from Gaza. That was what provoked the response. The IDF does not purposely go after civilians yet Gaza is so heavily populated and Hamas purposely puts their own in harm’s way because they think this will make a bigger splash in the world press.

    • Chiara

      I would suggest you read the recent reports by the UN and Physicians for Human Rights, as well as the IRCC, on the IDF behaviour during the Gaza 2008-2009. Incommensurate response doesn’t even begin to cover it. Who is allowed to knowingly bomb UN schools, and relief convoys, ambulances and hospitals? What possible justification can there be for using naphtalene in densely populated areas in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention, or for cutting access to medical information by MDs in Palestinian hospitals, so that they had to plead to the world via a BBC report for someone to confirm the mystery substance (since well identified and documented) was naphtalene, and how to treat it?

      Read your own young historians, Israeli Human Rights Watch, and “Breaking the Silence” by IDF soldiers.

      Check the accurate tolls of harm caused by Palestinian rockets fired into Israel.

      No, not all Zionists were/are racist, but the ones who dominated in the founding of Israel, were, unlike Martin Buber and others, in favour of eliminating the Palestinians from the territory, by any means necessary, including the propaganda of saying there were none there to begin with.

      What goes on in Gaza and the West Bank is a displacement of a population, by exile, death, or social destruction.

  5. Jerry M

    Where I agree with Lena is that the Palestinian Israeli conflict is a poor excuse for the lack of progress in Saudi Arabia. It reminds me of the delays in civil rights in the US using the excuse “all deliberate speed” (which meant no speed at all). Believe me if the Palestinians were running the show and successfully evicted the last Jew to Europe or the US there would still be excuses made.

  6. saudiwoman

    Well Lena and Jerry you both are wrong and I know it as a fact that life in the Middle East was extremely progressive socially, economically and politically before the Zionists and their supporters in the West squashed everything and then covered it up. It’s not an excuse (as you claim) for any Arab, nor is it debatable, it’s our reality.

    • That is one of the most over-simplified explanations that I have ever heard for anything. You can’t blame Zionism and Israelis for every little economic, social or political problem in the Middle East post-1948. That’s nuts.

      • saudiwoman

        That’s what half a century of international injustice will do to a region. Why do the Arabs have to pay for the Holocaust? We suffered as well at the hands of Germany, especially North African Arabs. And what really should be called nuts is the very concept of Zionism. Ruining a whole country because of a promised land in a religious text!

    • Jerry M

      The US had presidential elections during the Civil War (1861-1865). It also passed the Homestead Act (a way of giving land to settlers for free) during the same war. I don’t love the Israelis, but you cannot use political strife as an excuse for lack of political progress.

  7. The Arabs aren’t paying for the Holocaust. Jews have lived in this land for thousands of years. This *was* the land of the Jews until the Roman expulsion in the 1st century, CE; and even then, Jewish communities in places like Jerusalem, Tiberius, and Tzfat remained. The first Jews really began returning in the 1800s thanks to pogroms in Eastern Europe. Jews kept coming from all over the world and built the infrastructure needed for a state – towns, roads, health care systems, labor unions, universities and the like. The Holocaust was just one evil event that contributed to the return of many of the Jews who had become refugees in Europe.

    Zionism is a movement that holds that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination in the land of their ancestors. It isn’t necessarily based on a religious text but on a history of Jewish habitation in this land.

    And while we’re on the concept of fashioning a country on a religious text, you do live in Saudi Arabia, do you not?

    • saudiwoman

      The last time the jews had a state in the Middle East was in 73. Yes two digit year! And that’s only if you trust the history books. What return and what ancestors?! It’s a country based on killing the natives to take over their land in the name of religion.
      The very people of Saudi Arabia are Muslims so that’s completely different.

  8. And why wouldn’t you trust the history books? Ask any scholar of Middle Eastern history, and he or she will tell you as much. Furthermore, archaeology will tell you as much as well.

    And those Jews, who had been here for thousands of years, are the ancestors of today’s Jews; you see, that’s what “ancestors” means. And I already told you about the return of Jews to this land.

    I can promise you here and now that Israel is not “a country based on killing the natives to take over their land in the name of religion.” That has never been the idea at all.

    Well, the people of Saudi Arabia were mainly Muslims but there were other religious groups living there and I believe that there still are non-Muslims in the Kingdom. But practicing their religion is illegal in Saudi Arabia.

  9. saudiwoman

    Turning everything back to Saudi makes no sense. People of other religions are expats. They know the rules and come of their own free will to work. Again it’s a completely different issue.

    Do you have the actual street address that the Romans threw your ancestors out of in 73? That’s how crazy your argument is.

    • I’m not turning everything back to Saudi. I’m simply trying to present another example of a country run based on a religious text. Do you believe that partition of India so that Pakistan could be a Muslim state to be just? If so, then why not the partition of Palestine into Israel and Palestine?

      No, of course I don’t have an actual street address. But those people are the ancestors of modern Jews. Jewish history in this land goes back thousands of years. All of those Jews would have remained had the Romans not expelled us. As I said, many *did* stay and their history in the land goes back thousands of years. Jews began to return based on injustices committed against us in other countries. It was a gradual process of building a state here of our own. You can understand that desire of every people for self-determination, can you not?

  10. saudiwoman

    A country run or divided by religion is completely different from a country created from thin air and built over a whole people. No matter how you dress it Israel’s existence is based on Palestinian expulsion, racism and genocide.
    And about a two state solution, I suggest you watch this documentary that I posted earlier.

  11. I’ve already explained to you how Israel is not a country created from thin air. I told you about the return of Jews to their historical homeland. There’s no need to repeat it because you would probably spout the same platitudes back at me every time.

    Yes, mistakes were made in Gaza earlier this year – every Israeli knows about this; we’ve heard about it, too. And there were protests and storms of articles in the Israeli press denouncing such things. We’re hardly blind when our own country commits acts that horrify us. I never said Israel was blameless.

    Israel’s existence is not based on racism or genocide. I doubt you know much about Israel’s founding outside of the propaganda that you’ve heard but I can promise you that many of Israel’s founders were not racists. They were just people trying to create a secure place for their people.

    • saudiwoman

      Even Hitler is called a just and honorable man if you ask the right person.

      • Yes, some people are still disciples of Hitler, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

        You can believe all you want that Israel is racist and genocidal but you will continue to be wrong. Have you ever known an Israeli? Have you ever been to Israel? Your knowledge is based mostly on propaganda. That’s all.

  12. Chiara

    It is nonsense to talk about the right of return of Jews based displacement 2ooo years ago and to deny that of Palestinians who still hold the keys to whatever homes are still left standing, or the right to self-determination of a people who deny that to another.

    So many “kingdoms” have occupied this same piece of land, that it would be difficult to establish a land rights based on ancient history with any certainty. Not to mention, that far more conversion, and intermarrying has occurred than Jews would like to believe. In summary, far fewer Jews are biological descendants of the Ancient Kingdoms than they would like to believe.

    That said, while the Palestinian fate is a thorn in the side of the region, other colonialist entreprises have had a major impact, not the least being the current American one, and internal patterns of rule within Arabian countries.

    I was disappointed that the CNN article never came around to identifying suicide-bombing as a tactic of assymetrical warfare, in an occupied land by a people under severe restrictions, and where one population (Gazan) is being literally starved into submission.

    Now that American and Canadian Palestinians are not being allowed to cross into Israeli territory to go from one enclave within the West Bank to the other, how long will it be before all movement outside of walled cities stops?

  13. Dude

    @ Leena

    “I can promise you here and now that Israel is not “a country based on killing the natives to take over their land in the name of religion.” That has never been the idea at all.”

    lol are you for real? you are either in denial are just an Israeli apologist

    btw many Jews from places such as Europe are descendants from non-jews (or is it gentiles) who converted to Judaism and not from some ancient Jewish ancestry as you put it.

  14. Why is it ridiculous to return to the land of your ancestors? And as I said, there were Jews still living there all those thousands of years. And of course bloodlines have been changed by intermarriage but these people are still descendants of those people, no matter how many marriages have been made since. Those people are still ancestors – that doesn’t change.

    Chiara – are you condoning suicide bombing?

  15. Dude – what do you know? Have you ever met an Israeli? Had an Israeli friend? Are you getting your ideas solely from what comes from the media? If so, you aren’t getting a complete picture.

    I’m neither in denial nor am I an Israeli apologist. I have two degrees in Middle Eastern history. I’m speaking from an educated position and as one who knows her country’s people and history.

  16. Jerry – And I do love the Israelis, because I actually know them. I live with them. I am one of them.

  17. saudiwoman

    I bet that’s what Hitler’s followers’ said about him. That does not change who he was and what he did. Same as your love for Israel does not change what it is. And Hitler and Israel are just two sides of the same coin.

  18. Umm Latifa

    I thought that return to the land of ancestors, is not an option in the Torah…. Aren’t Jews supposed NOT to have their own state accordingly to their Holly Book? I heard about orthodox Jews who oppose Zionism and are against the existence of Israeli state. And if the right of return is the option for Jews, what about the right of return for all Palestinians that used to live in Palestine for ages and were forced by Israelis to leave because the state of Israel was treated? Do they have a right of return and claim their properties? Or it is “one way ticket” only?

    @ Chiara, well done.

    Thought that might be interesting.
    Jews protest against Israeli invasion of Gaza
    by David Masters
    Jews around the world are protesting against the Israeli offensive on the Gaza strip, which has already claimed over 650 Palestinian lives.
    This hidden protest – ignored by the mainstream media – sees a significant number of Jews from the US, Britain, and Israel opposing Zionism, the Zionist oppression of Palestinians, and, in some cases, the state of Israel.
    According to Orthodox Jews, Zionism – and the Zionist invasion of Gaza – violates every principle of the Jewish religion, as set out in the Jewish holy book, the Torah.
    Orthodox Jewish website,, explains: “Zionism was devised to replace the Torah and its commandments with empty nationalism and power.
    “Jews believe that the redemption of the Jews will come only through G-d, and then there will be peace for the entire world.
    “Zionists believe only in the power of their hands: a physical, artificial redemption.”
    Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews stood in Jerusalem today with placards reading “Stop the Zionist terrorist massacre in Gaza”.
    As they stood in their line of protest – clad in traditional black gowns and hats – they shrieked “Geveld!”, Yiddish for “Help!”

  19. saudiwoman

    Lena my own ancestors were Jews that immigrated to Yemen, doesn’t that mean my whole tribe has a right to the land according to your logic?

  20. Chiara

    Umm Latifa–thank you, and that is an interesting article. It reminds us all that Zionism developed as one form of 19th nationalism, and grew in response to other nationalisms in Europe that resulted in increased discrimination against Jews–pogroms in Russia, restrictions elsewhere, and leading to the Holocaust. That same nationalism and empire building lead to European colonial designs on the Middle East, and the various broken promises in an effort to supplant the Ottoman Empire and secure power in Europe.

    Zionism as a Jewish nationalism is much more diverse than the most well-known attitudes, actions, and people. What could have been an integrated, gradually evolving, shared state has been turned into a permanent battleground and military occupation by those who came to dominate the movement with exclusionary, and sectarian ideas.

    Lena–of course I am not condoning suicide bombing. I am saying that when an oppressed people has no resources, and is harassed in every day life, prevented from working, studying, raising families in stable homes, etc. they turn to whatever means they have: boys with stones or suicide bombers. These desperate attempts at fighting back show how few choices they have in methods or weapons. That some see suicide as a legitimate act of war says alot about how one-sided the war is.

    The Gaza Community Mental Health Program deals with the trauma of children afraid to go to bed at night because Israeli jets deliberately created sonic booms all night, waking the children, and shaking them right out of their beds; with the impact of daily violence or threats thereof; with traumatized mothers who have lost children, or spouses, or other family members, have trouble comforting the others and are the victims of domestic violence by men who despair of ever finding work and food to sustain their families. What better recruiting tool for Hamas I cannot imagine.
    Oh, and their small clinic, and the house of the chief psychiatrist were bombed too in January 2009, leaving his daughter with PTSD–good thing there is an expert in the family.

  21. eki

    lol relax people. the truth is usually somewhere down the middle of both arguements.

    lets look at all the facts:

    jews have a right to self-determination
    palestinians have a right to self-determination

    jewish communities existed in palestine before the creation of israel.

    many palestinians have lost their homes and have been driven away from their homeland due to the creation of israel and its policies

    most palestinians continue to live in substandard conditions without employment and educational opportunities

    the recommended two-state solutions are always unfairly balanced in favour of israel (just read john pilger)

    isreali governments and army have commited gross violations of human rights, and consistently flout UN conventions

    palestinian suicide bombers have killed thousands of innocent isreali citizens

    the israeli army has killed thousands of innocent palestinians

    terrorism is a gross violation of human rights, no matter the excuse.

    when you look at it its all pretty fucking stupid isnt it. everyone just keeps going around in circles, blaming the other. in the west palestinians are made to look like the ones in the wrong, and in the ME israel is made to look evil. why must humans be so dumb?

    bottom line:

    palestinians have been alot more grieved than israeli citizens by this whole ordeal.

    violence breeds more violence

    there is no point in arguing about whether israel has a right to exist in the ME or not. its there to stay, and the children that have been born there now have as much of a right to the land as do palestinian children

    And palestinian children have as much of a right to be able to use and enjoy the land as do israeli children

    and so forth..

    • Chiara

      I would agree with much of what you said, except that by Israeli count the death toll from Palestinian suicide bombers 1995-2007 is 162.

      The resources and types of force by each side are incommensurate, as Lena pointed out, herself.

      The laws would allow Israel to totally close off Palestinians, and the roads are in place to help them do it–one of the reasons I am so concerned by the new “Palestinian” and “Palestinian Territory Only” stamps on the passports of returning American and Canadian Palestinians, who are forced to enter through Jordan only and cannot cross an Israeli road to go from one Palestinian town to the next. It seems like a prelude to increased restrictions on all Palestinians within the West Bank, reducing them to fish in so many barrels, like their Gazan brethren. This would directly further restrict the ability to work, study, till the fields, take licencing exams, etc. of an already oppressed people.

  22. Israel does not equal Hitler. If we had wanted to set up death camps, we’ve had 61 years – hasn’t happened yet. If we had wanted to exterminate the entire Palestinian people, we could have – and we haven’t tried to.

    Yes, there are Jews who are against Zionism but they are religious extremist, and considered an insane fringe group here in Israel. The founders of Israel were not religious and were not motivated by religious tenets, for the most part.

    If you wanted to reclaim your Jewish heritage, then yes, you would have the right to settle here and be given citizenship.

    Chiara – And Israeli psychiatrists are having to treat adults and young children living in areas near Gaza for PTSD because of the constant sirens, the rockets and the 15-second interlude between the two.

  23. Now, Saudi Woman & Friends:

    I cannot help it if you refuse to believe anything I tell you. I live in Israel, I know the people first-hand; you do not. How this gives you any authority to tell me what Zionism and Israelis are, I do not know.

    But if you are so insistent on moving through life with such blind hatred, then there is no help for you.

    • saudiwoman

      I never said Israelis weren’t nice to each other. And none of us hate Israel blindly. We have all seen what they have done and many Saudis, including myself, know Palestinians who have lost someone and/or their home to Israel’s atrocious inhumane “self-determination”. My Grandfather lost his leg and not in warfare but because Israel bombed the hospital he was recovering in after being shot.

      • Chiara

        Saudiwoman–if you haven’t already written a post on this, the story would lead to greater insight for all of us I’m sure. With all due respect to your grandfather, and family, of course.

  24. Israelis are nice to plenty of people, not just their own. You mentioned Breaking the Silence, right? Well, there are several other such groups, as well as Machsom Watch (Checkpoint Watch) – made up almost entirely of women. And there are groups of Israeli activists that travel into the West Bank to help Palestinian villagers pick olives during the olive harvest.

    All that said, Eki is mostly right – acknowledging Israel’s existence and getting rid of that clause about destroying Israel in order to have a 2-state solution isn’t that difficult, but…never mind.

    And, Saudi Woman, you may wonder why I bother with this? Why do I read Arab blogs? Curiosity. Desire to know/learn. It may surprise you to find out that I grew up in Washington, DC and always had Arab friends. Since I’ve been in the ME, I’ve been to Egypt and I’ve been to Jordan. I like Arabs and I like Arab culture. I like them a lot, actually. I engage with Arab bloggers because it makes more sense, to me, to look at each other as human beings and not to slap a label on someone because of his/her ethnic or national background.

    • Firstly, history books cannot all be trusted, as many are forms of fiction, based on abstract thought and social phenomena of the day. Even something that happened last month, watched by five different people, can be recounted five different ways. Individual human perspective and all it mutlipicity makes sure of that.

      Secondly, a big part of the problem with Israel is that they take any stand against Israeli politics as being ant-semitic and this is a manipulative lie. Calling what happened in Gaza pre-meditated ethnic cleansing is not Ant-Judaism; Amnesty International the UN and other organizations calling Israeli actions tantamount to war crimes is not Anti-Judaism; calling Israel’s actions in Palestine the systemic and organizaed eradication of a people is not anything but what is happening at this point in time.

      Its not about religion, its not about race, its about hegemony and power, about control and those who weild it.

  25. Chiara

    Lena–yes the human toll, especially on civilians, is high but is indubitably higher in the Occupied Territories, where the the people are not free to leave, there are no jobs in the neighbouring towns to go to, etc. Israeli psychiatrists do a brilliant job of treating , researching and educating, their own, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians. Some are in the forefront of Human Rights, and have been “interrogated” by their own government for their efforts. In general, MDs are more likely of the “treat all suffering” variety than not.

    Thank you for mentioning Machsom Watch (Checkpoint Watch), another group I was thinking of.

    I have no doubt you are intelligent, knowledgeable and articulate and I admire your wish to know about and dialogue with the “other”, and to share your view point here. In that (best)sense you remind me of a typical reader of Haaretz, a newspaper for which I have great respect. You also remind me of my Jewish friends and colleagues who are knowledgeable, compassionate, and open to non-Jews including Muslims. For all of them though, the buck stops at the right to exist of Israel, and that allows a lot of latitude in what can be done to ensure that right.

    I, for one, am talking about the sense that Israel goes overboard with that right, and betrays its own values in the name of self-defense. I was personally dismayed with the Gazan offensive because of the devastation of Gaza, and because of the devastation of the reputation of Israel, which suffered a major blow even among pro-Israelis.

    The best of Israeli was also in evidence during that offensive, as in this journalist’s and his colleagues’/program’s compassionate response to Gazan Dr. El-Araish’s grief over the deaths and critical injuries of his daughters and nieces:

    They refused to abandon him, and stayed on the phone with him, both on air and off, as he sobbed, recounted the tragedy, and wondered why.

  26. The Israeli gov’t is worried about foreigners crossing into the West Bank to join militants.

    However, I’ve known several people who were traveling in Jordan (or, like one or two, living in Jordan as foreign students) who crossed into Israel through that central crossing just to be tourists, so that new stamp seems to me a little silly.

  27. Chiara

    It’s either silly or a preliminary step to restricting Palestinians in the West Bank further–hopefully silly, but inconvenient for tourists visiting family in more than one Palestinian town. Obama has protested, and of course Harper (PM of Canada) is as mute as usual when it comes to “brown” Canadian citizens abroad. The man is a disgrace to his office (with minor good works like Arctic development)!

  28. Israeli citizens are not allowed to use that crossing at all. When I went to Jordan, I crossed in the north (which is not entirely inconvenient to cities like Amman and Irbid). When we returned, we took a bus to Aqaba and crossed there because the bus to the northern crossing from Amman is very expensive.

    • Chiara

      Hmmm. More division of crossing users. I envy your travels in Israel and Jordan though! I almost got to Jordan, and supervised a Jordanian grad student on a Jordanian thesis topic. Still on the to-be-visited list with other countries in the Levant including Israel–almost got there once too!

  29. Chiara – I went to Amman last-minute because a fellow grad student needed to interview some Jordanians for her thesis. 🙂 Jordan is great, I loved Jordan and I was really impressed with the cleanliness and standard of living I perceived in Amman, as compared to Cairo.

    The bus that I mentioned from Amman to the border, I believe, actually will take you all the way to Tel Aviv (if I remember right) but it’s 35 JD, which is a lot. And I think – I think – if you go through the West Bank and cross *into* Jordan via the central crossing, you shouldn’t have a problem. The southern crossing is kind of out-of-the-way as far as anything but Eilat & Aqaba is concerned but if you get a taxi to the nearest bus station (Afula or Beit She’an), you can get pretty much anywhere you want.

    I very much lament that I am barred access from Lebanon & Syria, but…c’est la vie.

  30. And by “nearest bus station” I meant nearest bus station to the northern border crossing. Eilat also has a bus station from which you can get anywhere as well, it just takes longer.

  31. Chiara

    Lena–thank you very much for the encouragement and directions. One of my near misses was for a major conference in Eilat (with great scuba near by), another a major conference in Tel Aviv. Petra is a must!

    Without wishing to be facile, the collaborations of Noa and Mira Awad, and of the late Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim, are inspirational, as is the collaborative work among professionals and scholars. They defy the stereotypes of personal animosity between Jews/Israelis and Arabs/Palestinians, and resituate the problem back in the political sphere where it began.

  32. Charles

    First of all, I would like to thank Eman Al Nafjan for taking the time to create her blog. As an American who is disenchanted with mainstream media, blogs provide an unfiltered view into other parts of the world. The number of people killed by the Arabs in Sudan is much larger than the number of Arabs killed by the Israelis in Gaza. I know that Americans are rightfully seen as total hypocrites in many of the Gulf nations, but the silence about Sudan makes it appear to me and many of my fellow Americans as if the Middle East Muslims are outraged about killing only if it involves fellow Arab Muslims.

  33. legalanalyst

    I guess the main difference I’ve noticed is that for westerners, the issue of iraq, terrorism and palestine are completely seperate issues. They could be on seperate planets and the issue would still be the same. Arabs see these issues are more intertwined. No american I know ever connects Iraq and Al Queda with Palestine. I was wondering is there a connection? If so, what is it?

  34. Liz


    After reading the second article, I wondered about something, and I ask (you or the forum) for a further explanation.
    I’m not asking about terrorist acts committed in Israel or in other countries but against Israelis – here the reasons are clear. But there were many terrorist acts that were committed in countries that are Muslim or not related to Israel (Indonesia, Malaysia, UK, Turkey). I’m wondering about these.
    The article gives several reasons to why youths turn to terrorism. But youth is easy. I can see how you can take a 17-year old, in any country, be it Indonesia or UK, who sees no way up, is driven by a need to join a cause, and maybe humiliated about something, indoctrinate him that Islam is under attack and that he needs to avenge the Palestinian brothers, and then convince him to commit a terrorist act. I see how this young man (or woman) could commit a terrorist act because of the “great injustices by Israel against Palestinians”.
    But – someone makes him do it, right? Someone in Indonesia, or Malaysia, or UK takes this 17-year old, and teaches him, and sends him to the terrorist act. In their own country. Against local population.
    So here is my question – do you think that these people, extremist Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, or UK, who train the young people and send them to commit the terrorist acts, do you think that they do so because of the “great injustices by Israel against Palestinians”? Or do they pursue their own local goals, disguising it as revenge for the Palestinians because it’s an easy way to recruit followers? To my (western) eyes it seems as a cover up for the real, local, causes. Why would you bomb a hotel or a street in the name of Palestine in a country where there are no Israelis and no Palestinians, killing mostly Indonesians or Turks? How would you explain this?

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