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The Danger of Towing the Line Behind Israel


At a time that most countries of the world felt a sense of relief for the positive steps taken by Iran and the West, which promise a let up in tensions on the regional and international level, Israeli analysts, writers and rulers single themselves out by expressing exasperation at this agreement and concern regarding the call for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities.

It is useful to recall that Israel does not respect its signature on international agreements as in the case of the Oslo accord or with any other Arab party.  That is why Israelis are saying today that signing the Vienna agreement with Iran is not worth its ink and paper.  It is a racist position, an expression of racial superiority of one of the signatories and an undermining of the status, dignity and credibility of the others signatories.

Israel was the main stoker of doubts in recent years about Iran’s nuclear projects.  It was also behind drumming up war against Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza, and promoting a military strike against Iran following the same strategy it followed before the war on Iraq.  It was the main power behind the decision of the United States and some Western states to launch this war which failed to convince any one of its real objectives since claims of the existence of mass destruction weapons proved to be false.

Israeli media activity aiming at imposing strict sanctions against Iran is a copy of their media, political, diplomatic and intelligence activity before the war on Iraq.  That is why they are depressed now because Iranian behavior was completely different from that of Iraq.  The behavior of president Obama is also different from that of president Bush.  Obama, so far,  thinks primarily of America’s interests, not Israel’s interests like Bush.  The military correspondent of Haaretz, Amos Harel, acknowledges that the agreement is an achievement for the United States while it puts Israel in a real dilemma: “should it behave as a player in the team and partake of the general optimism or continue to spread doubt and threats?”  The danger of the agreement for Israel is that it manifested, maybe for the first time a real difference between the American and Israeli positions, although statements made by secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, still aim at obscuring this difference.

The Israeli media machine is creating a world of its own, bursting with  aggressive plans against the peoples of the region.

Had scholars found the time to examine Israeli racist statements against Arabs, they would have been surprised by the volume, implications and objectives of such statements which express deep hatred.  The latest of these statements was made by Dan Schueftan, a lecturer in Tel Aviv University in a special course for high ranking officials at political and security institutions, when he said: “The Arabs are the biggest failure in the history of the human race. There’s nothing under the sun that’s more screwed up than the Palestinians.  And those who do not say so subject themselves to miserable political correctness (October 21, 2009).”  On the Iran-Iraq war, Schueftan says that it was “seven years of pure pleasure!”  The Israeli role in Iraq is not my analysis or personal conclusion.  I refer readers to the lecture given by Avi Dechter, the Israeli security minister on September 4, 2008, when he said: “No one can deny that we have achieved a lot on this arena (Iraq).  We have even achieved more than we planned for.  We should recall what we wanted to achieve from the beginning of our intervention in Iraq since the early 1970s.  Our strategic goal is still not allowing this country to restore its Arab and regional role because we are the first to be affected.  We are trying to keep Iraq outside the circle of Arab countries.  We are negotiating with the Americans to prevent Iraq from ever returning to the position of being in confrontation with Israel.  The American administration is keen on securing our interests and providing these guarantees through different means.  Our overriding equation in our strategic movement in Iraq is based on undermining Arab capacities in the main Arab countries in order to achieve national security for Israel”.  He adds: “Iraq is disintegrating as a military power and united country.  Our strategic objective is to keep it divided.  Neutralizing Iraq by maintaining its current condition is of special strategic significance to Zionist security”.

So, have the Bush administration and the countries which sent their troops to Iraq and caused human, social and historical disasters to the Iraqi people done that only to serve a Zionist strategy?  And do most of the states which opposed the Goldstone report still support the killing of Palestinians and shelling them with phosphoric bombs in their schools and hospitals?  What right do the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Italy have to oppose a report which aims at punishing criminals who committed crimes against humanity in Gaza at a time they continue to brag about human rights?  They have shown that human rights do not mean anything to them, except if they share Schueftan’s racist views.  What right do Bosnia, Slovenia, Burkina Faso, Uruguay, Cameron, Japan, Gabon, Mexico, Norway, Belgium and South Korea have to express reservations against a resolution condemning the killing of children and civilians, the confiscation of land and the demolishing of homes, hospitals and schools?

The free people of the world should put the countries which opposed the report, or expressed reservations against it or abstained from the vote on it on a black list because, regardless of their excuses, they support Israel in committing all these crimes against Arab civilians, and with such positions provide political and diplomatic support to those who committed such crimes, and consequently share the responsibility with Israel’s rulers.

Most of the countries which objected to the Goldstone report did not read it.  They allied themselves with those who commit crimes against humanity.  Do those who opposed the report accept crimes such as demolishing wheat mills, poultry farms, killing animals in order to starve civilians and destroying the water treatment plant in Gaza in order to pollute the adjacent farms?  Do civilized democracies accept these crimes simply because their perpetrators are Israelis?  Or because their victims are Arabs?  Can the United States urge Israel to stop settlement, while conducting military exercises with it which aim at strengthening its aggressive capacities against its neighbours and enabling it to occupy, confiscate and settle their land?  Is it acceptable for the UN Secretary General to protest against any act of self defense on the part of Lebanon, while simply expressing ‘concern’ over more than eighteen thousand Israeli air, land and maritime violations of Lebanese territories?   Aggressors have slipped their tether; and no one is ignorant any longer of the reality of the Israeli agenda and the responsibility of those who promote it or remain silent towards it.

The differences between Israel’s position and that of other Western countries, which have started to show in the Iran example, have become an absolute necessity for regional and international security.  Israeli racism which publicly targets Arabs and Muslims today will stretch its arms tomorrow.  No one should find an excuse in the guilt complex towards the Jews, for the Jewish Justice Goldstone has broken this complex with his honourable moral stance against Israeli war criminals.

From this perspective, history will mention Ardogan’s stance in Davos, Turkey’s stance against the war on Gaza, and its endeavors to lift the blockade off Gaza as noble stances which will pave the way for yet more countries, which respect human rights in deed not in word, to follow in its footsteps.

Towing the line behind Zionism is no longer a danger to Arabs alone, it has become a danger to international justice and the sanctity of human rights and dignity.

BOUTHAINA SHAABAN is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. She has been the spokesperson for Syria and was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She can be reached through



Bouthaina Shaaban is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. She has been the spokesperson for Syria and was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She can be reached through

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