We need patience, ideology, and endurance to survive in Middle East
By Mordechai Kedar
Our enemies read us, hear us, and understand us better than we understand our own self-liquidation process, which we are engaging in with our very own hands.
Our enemies see before them a people that is panic-stricken, emotional, prone to tears, corrupt, hedonistic, reckless, and individualistic; a people subscribing to a grab-what-you can mentality, lacking historical roots, lacking ideology, devoid of values, lacking a sense of solidarity, wanting everything now, and willing to pay any price without taking into account the results of its reckless behavior.
Our enemies see media outlets that took sides, invested endless broadcasting hours and limitless newspaper pages in order to produce a media melodrama out of a wife’s tear and a mother’s sigh, thus creating public opinion with the sense that we should pay any price for an immediate achievement. Yet who appointed the media to determine our national priorities like that? Who determined that it is appropriate to secure the return of two fallen soldiers in exchange for a living murderer? Did anyone in the media think about the future implications of the pressure exerted by the media on our submissive government?
Anyone familiar with the simplest basis of deals in the Middle East knows well that the moment one of the parties shows that it is facing pressure, the price tag goes up, and the greater the pressure is, the higher the price tag. Our media and public conduct every time we are facing our enemies – those in Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip – shows them that they greater the pressure they exert, the higher the price we shall be willing to pay for easing the pressure, whether it is missile pressure or psychological pressure.
Our media and public panic created a situation whereby we, with out very own mouths, are boosting the price of any deal to the point we cannot accept it.
This was our foolish conduct vis-à-vis Hamas in Gaza, vis-à-vis Hizbullah in Lebanon, and vis-à-vis Syria, as every day we hear in the media the “sages of Zion” reciting like a parrot the mantra: “Everyone knows what’s the price of a ceasefire/return of the hostages/peace with Syria,” and when our enemies hear it, why should they demand less than what that fool says “everyone knows”?
Our clock is different
Besides that, our clock is different than that of our enemies: Around here, an average government serves for three years, and therefore it wants to do something in that time and operates out of a sense of pressure that the other side quickly recognizes.
The Muslims, in line with the Koran, believe that Allah is on the side of those who have patience, and patience is found here on two levels: Time and suffering. Allah helps those who do not rush and patiently wait for their dreams to be realized, and in addition, are willing to patiently contend with the suffering inherent in the struggle and expectation for the victory that shall come, God willing. Nasrallah taught all of us some lessons, big time.
A people that has no patience, and that wants everything now without the ability to suffer the pain of living in the poor, deprived, hungry, thirsty, sick, split, and radical environment that surrounds us, cannot survive in the oh-so-old Middle East, where the Shiites are still fighting for supremacy in Islam, 1,400 years after it was taken away from them, and where terms such as democracy, human rights, minority rights, freedom of women, freedom of religion, and freedom from religion are but a distant dream, much more distant than our impatience.
Only a people that is instilled with ideology, possesses a sense of mission and confidence in the righteousness of its path, and feels it is part of a historical process and is willing to suffer and pay the price of survivability in blood, sweat, and tears – only such people can survive in the Middle East. This region is no place for post-Jewish spineless people who are necessarily, sooner or later, also post Zionists.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a member of the Arabic-language department and Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -