Saturday, October 29, 2005

In the Geography Taught to Children Only a “Great Palestine” Exists

Corriere Della Sera:

28th October, 2005 by Magdi Allam

I still remember the peremptory sentence in my Arab history high school book: “International imperialism has impaled the cancer of the Zionist entity in the heart of the Arab world, to hinder the birth of the Arab nation held together by unity of blood, language, history, geography, religion and destiny”. On the map, Israel did not appear at all. Palestine extended from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. “We will not give up a handbreadth of land from the river to the sea” thundered then Egyptian President Nasser. “What has been taken by force can only be retaken by force”.

The sentence of death passed on Israel culminated in political suicide for Nasser and in a catastrophe for Egypt and the “front line” Arab countries which emerged decisively defeated from the war of 5th June 1967. But these school texts have remained substantially unchanged in a large part of the Arab and Muslim world.

This is why the affirmation of the Iranian President that “Israel must be wiped off the map”, is not a solitary show but is indeed the genuine _expression of a widespread and deeply rooted belief; even in those countries which have de facto recognized Israel without accepting its right to exist. A typical example was that of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who, the day after the historic handshake with Rabin at the White House on the 13th September 1993, claimed in a South African Mosque that that peace had the same value as the Treaty of Hudaibiya. In February of 628, the prophet Mohammed signed a treaty with his Meccan enemies when, in a weak position, realizing that it was impossible to conquer his native city, he promised not to return for ten years. Instead, two years later, in January 630, Mohammed conquered Mecca and transformed it into the holy city of Islam.

Therefore for Arafat, the Camp David accord was nothing more or nothing less than a truce. His prejudice towards the right of Israel to exist was confirmed by his rejection of the historic peace deal proposed by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the summer of 2000. This prejudice finds religious justification in the Koranic verses (Sura 17, 4-7), which Kamal Abdel Raouf, writing in the Egyptian Daily “Akbar El Yom”, interprets thus: “Some theologians claim that the first time that the sons of Israel brought corruption into the Holy Lands of the Al Aqsa Mosque, was when they killed the prophets and violated the precepts of the Torah. The second time was when they killed the prophet John, son of Zachariah and decided to murder Jesus. Others say that the second time is still to come. The first time, God sent King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to punish and kill the sons of Israel and to destroy their temple. Some theologians think that the second time was consummated by the hand of Hitler, who packed them into concentration camps and exterminated them with gas. Then they returned to corrupt the land a third time, after having taken control of America and its riches. Now we ask ourselves: Will God punish them in the most drastic manner as He has promised us? Is what is happening in the Holy Land preannouncing the end of the sons of Israel? I am convinced that the hour of the end of the state of injustice is nigh. Allah is patient, but he does not forget”.

It is a fact that many Moslem preachers, including the supposed moderates, end their sermon with the invocation “Allah, help us wipe out the Jews”, to which their faithful answer “Amin”. This happens regularly in Moslem countries, but it also happens in the Mosque of Rome. It was the 6th June 2003, when, at the end of a fiery sermon, the Imam Abdel-Samie Mahmud Ibrahim Moussa told me: “From the Muslim point of view, there is absolutely no doubt that the ‘mujaheddin’ operations against the Jews in Palestine are legitimate. They are martyrdom operations and their perpetrators are martyrs of Islam. Because all of Palestine is Dar al harb, house of war. Because all the Jewish society illegally occupies Islamic land.” The truth is that Arab and Muslim countries are divided over everything, including the de facto recognition of Israel, but they are solidly united in not recognizing the right of the Jewish state to exist.


Post a Comment

<< Home