Still Blaming Israel First

(American Spectator) Daniel Mandel - Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom declared that the Paris attacks are really about the war that entwines the Israelis and the Palestinians. Dutch Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen opined that the Paris terrorists' behavior "eventually is connected also to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" which he described as "the growth medium for such an attack." The notion that the Arab war with Israel lies at the core of Middle Eastern problems now washing over Europe has been popular among the political class in all continents for years. The idea is both nonsensical and tenaciously disproved by history: the Arab war on Israel had no bearing on the Algerian war in the 1950s; Egypt's invasion of Yemen, the bloody emergence of the Ba'athist dictatorship in Iraq, or the Aden Emergency in the 1960s; the Libyan-Chad war or the Polisario war against Moroccan forces in Western Sahara in the 1970s; or the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, which claimed a million lives; or Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait in 1990. Nor did it have any bearing on events that followed - like Saddam's subsequent massacres of hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shia, the Taliban seizure of most of Afghanistan, or the disintegration of Somalia. Events in post-Saddam Iraq and Syria have followed their own trajectory, unrelated to what Israelis and Palestinians say or do. Those who insist on the centrality of this conflict to the world's misfortunes are not making a credible assertion. Rather, they are availing themselves of an alibi for their own hostility to Israel's existence. The writer is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University in Australia.

2015-11-26 00:00:00

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