Robin Yassin-Kassab

Zionism’s Fear of Arab Movement

with 8 comments

making the middle east safe for zionism. AP photo

Tony Blair, with the blood of Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine dripping from his fingers, says Egyptian dictator Husni Mubarak is “immensely courageous and a force for good.” The opinion is based on working “with him on the Middle East peace process.” Mubarak’s record on the pacification process involves helping the Palestinian Authority transform itself into a (stateless) police state apparatus, obstructing Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, and constructing, in concert with US army engineers, a metal wall underneath the Gaza border.

Under Nasser’s police state Egypt had no popular sovereignty, but it did have national independence. This was lost at Camp David in 1979, when Sadat signed peace with Israel, retrieved the occupied Sinai peninsula, and received the promise of billions of dollars of annual American aid. After Israel, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid. American funding of the military is the reason why top officers remain loyal to the regime despite all the humiliations (for Egypt lost its Arab leadership role long ago) and committed to the peace treaty, although Israel has reneged on its Camp David undertaking to provide a just solution to the Palestinian problem.

Blair claims to fear that democracy in Egypt will be stolen by the Muslim Brotherhood – an improbable outcome, to say the least. The Brotherhood is popular and deeply rooted, but so are secular nationalist and leftist currents. The Brothers are involved but not at the forefront of the revolution, and they recognise this quite plainly. Egyptian democracy would resemble Turkey more than Iran (though it would be poorer than both). And even if the Brothers were to win a majority in a powerful parliament, Egypt is in no position to take on Israel militarily. It’s entirely possible that the peace treaty would survive a Brotherhood government, which would be eager first to prove its worth by improving living standards in Egypt.

But no real democracy in Egypt, whether secular or Islamist, neo-liberal or leftist, would provide support for the colonisation of Jerusalem and the West Bank, the emasculation of Palestinian political forces, or assaults on Lebanon, Syria or Iran. This is what most immediately worries Blair and other Zionists.

In the longer term, Egypt would certainly work to undermine Israel, politically and culturally as much as militarily. In these respects, democracy and the rule of law would make Egypt a formidable opponent, a country containing millions of articulate voices, a nation worth listening to. To use Zionist language, a free Egypt would seek to ‘delegitimise’ Israel. Obviously it would, for Israel has no legitimacy amongst Arabs, not because Arab culture is inherently anti-Semitic but because the Arabs know Israel for what it is: an aggressive apartheid state founded on theft and ethnic cleansing. And a successful democracy in Egypt would provoke democratic changes elsewhere in the region, magnifying the challenge. Arab freedom equals a clock ticking towards the end of the Zionist project. Another way of putting it: for the sake of security for five million Israeli Jews, 300 million Arabs are not permitted to rule themselves.

The problem is Zionism, not Judaism. The Westerners who worry about democratic anti-Zionism in Egypt don’t worry about, or choose not to notice, the Mubarak regime’s anti-Semitism. Today regime media is blaming Mossad and ‘the Jews’ for anti-Mubarak protests. Announcements that Israeli spies are masquerading as journalists has led to the beating and entrapment of many foreigners. But the regime scapegoats widely – other explanations for the democracy movement include an Iranian-Hizbullah Shiite conspiracy.

Keeping client dictators in power does not help the long term survival of Jews or any other minority in the Arab world. Dictatorships which lack nationalist credibility employ sectarian propaganda when they can, and the cultural stagnation they bring produces desperate and nihilistic Islamist terrorists. Ayman az-Zawahiri, the brains behind al-Qa’ida, 9/11’s Muhammad Atta, and the massacre of tourists at Luxor – these are also products of Mubarak’s reign.

The most obvious answer to stagnation is movement. The answer to sectarian hatred is democracy. The answer to Arab hatred of Israel is for Israel to change itself from a violent ethnocracy to a multicultural democracy.

Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

February 4, 2011 at 2:48 am

8 Responses

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  1. “The problem is Zionism, not Judaism.”

    I am a Zionist and I have marched with Egyptian pro-democracy demonstrators: http://solomon2.blogspot.com/2007/03/at-pharaohs-gate.html

    “the Arabs know Israel for what it is: an aggressive apartheid state founded on theft and ethnic cleansing.”

    That is scarcely accurate, but it is a fair example of how minds can be warped even when citizens know their government is crooked. Eastern Europeans and Russians had the same problem for decades until they wised up. Here’s a clue: in every trial one hears from the prosecution and the defense, yet hardly any Arabs have heard Jews’ side of the Israel story. That’s how you know your minds are being messed with.


    February 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    • Solomon – I’ve written frequently on this blog why i oppose the zionist ideology. i think my description of israel is entirely accurate. unfortunately i am exposed to the western media more than anything else. I also have jewish friends, not all of whom are anti-zionists. I agree that not enough arabs understand the history that made such an ugly and stupid idea as Zionism seem attractive to large numbers of jews. I don’t agree that a categorical rejection of zionism, however, is the result of a warped mind.

      Robin Yassin-Kassab

      February 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      • and be careful with your generalisation about ‘the jews’ side’. some of the greatest antizionists are Jews.

        Robin Yassin-Kassab

        February 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm

  2. Spot on.
    The foreign policy of the West is determined by alliance with Israel. Already once have Arab people been forced to pay the price of mistakes committed by the West, and that was when Israel was foisted on Palestinians.
    Now democracy is denied by the West to the Arab world — with the willing complicity of Arab upper classes — for fear that democracy in the Arab world would be destabilizing for Israel.
    It is mindboggling for me how a tiny, minor country on the Mediterranean shore might be the lynchpin of the foreign policy of the so called free world.


    February 5, 2011 at 11:43 am

    • Carlo – a lot of it has to do with cultural-religious mythology, some of it to do with orientalism and racism, but most of it is to do with a monied and organised Israel lobby in the West. I recommend “The Israel Lobby” by Mearsheimer and Walt.

      Robin Yassin-Kassab

      February 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

  3. i assumed the zionist above was a soft zionist. but perusal of his blog shows that he calls for nuclear attack against syria and iran, and that he’s an extremist neo-con. I don’t have fascists of any variety here. he won’t be commenting again.

    Robin Yassin-Kassab

    February 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm

  4. and he’s posted another comment, which I’ve deleted. Here’s his post about bombing syria and iran


    If anyone feels the need to engage him further, please go to his blog. Some of his other posts include: The Proposed Islamic Conquest of Western Civilisation; Why Israel Tolerates Arabs; Why G-d Chose the Jews. The last contains this line: “If you support the prison system, then consider what Israel is doing by isolating the Palestinian Arabs: is it really different?”

    To be clear about this – I will debate occasionally with soft Zionists. I know some of them are decent people who are unfortunate to have grown up within the Zionist ideology. And of course there are plenty of israeli anti-zionists, and debate with them as to ways of approaching the future is always interesting. But I won’t debate with people like this who are calling for nuclear attacks on Iran and other countries. Neither will I debate with anti-Semites, or racists of any description, or takfeeri wahhabis. Why? First, life is too short. Second, I enjoy intelligent debates, not engagement with thugs. Third, I’m not going to allow him to advertise his disgusting fascistic ideas here. The world is full of platforms for such scum, starting with Fox News.

    I look forward to the day, fortunately drawing much closer, when such fascists no longer have the power to vandalise Palestine and the lives of Palestinians.

    Robin Yassin-Kassab

    February 6, 2011 at 11:51 am

  5. […] Robin Yassin-Kassab: “The answer to sectarian hatred is democracy. The answer to Arab hatred of Israel is for Israel to change itself from a violent ethnocracy to a multicultural democracy.” […]

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