Ever since Islamic terrorists planted death and destruction in the heart of the United States, I have been dwelling on the experience in Durban. At the conference on racism, I saw the distressing vision of the theoretical framework of the practical events in New York and Washington and the fusion of Cold War and Arab-Islamic ideologies. I saw the failure of “civil society” whose non-governmental organizations (NGOs) only existed if they were willing to pay obeisance to the U.N.’s dominant ideology, as in the times of the USSR. Not to mention the weak opposition of Western countries against the United States which made the only reasonable decision together with Israel: Get out and away from that maddening crowd.
On my return flight to Israel after the conference, just a few days ago, I sat on the night flight brooding over the Jews who turned around their IDs and removed their yarmulkes to avoid attacks. I fretted over the NGO meeting, dominated by Palestinians, trying Israel for alleged crimes against humanity, where Jews were often thrown out or silenced with violence.
I felt restless as I mulled over the preliminary documents that called for the conference to condemn Jews and Israel (an apartheid state) and declare its existence illegitimate, and lay the blame for all of humanity’s oppression on America. Make no mistake, despite the valiant struggle of a courageous few, the NGOs produced a terrible document, calling on worldwide “civil society,” from the Mayans to the Tibetans to all those oppressed by racism to embrace the struggle against Israel – as if it were a struggle of ethics, of civil rights – and condemn the United States. Images of Israeli and American flags burned in the streets of Ramallah crossed my mind during that night in the plane, calls from several mufti to kill the Jews and the Americans broadcasted by Palestinian television were in my mind as well.
While many ethnic and cultural groups complained that the Palestinians had “hijacked” the conference, with few exceptions, it hurried to pay tribute to the suffering of the Palestinian people inflicted without respite before denouncing their own trodden rights. That politically correct language, globalized by the left, gave voice to Fidel Castro and Arafat and Mugabe with their accents of hatred. And traces of that hatred could be heard in almost every speech by African and Middle Eastern leaders. The final document, the world document about racism, instead of describing the Holocaust and anti-Semitism as the worst possible expressions of racism, mentioned them in the Middle East section, also the only section that speaks of a political conflict. That political conflict has been indeed made the symbol of the clash between civilizations, between Western society and the rightful society of the victims, the Palestinians, that today carry high the flag of the Mosque of Al Aqsa.
There were four attacks the day I returned to Israel – two of them with suicide bombings, with five people killed. Then, the immense disaster in the U.S. For anyone at Durban, the connection between the theories espoused there and the practice of homicide in New York is clear.
Anti-Semitic hatred condensed into a hatred of Israel is certainly not nurtured by the territorial conflict in the Middle East. It is fed by the basic idea that there are forces of Good and Evil where Evil is completely identified by the greed, corruption and unworthiness of the West. Most Third Word leaders applauded wildly at speeches against American and Israeli crimes: colonialism, imperialism, racism, exploitation and criminality. The point is that the ideological jumble and victimism-triumphalism of the left wing during the Cold War was the same as the victimism-triumphalism of the extreme camp of Islam (with the hope that the moderate Moslem forces will come forth and condemn, sooner or later).
The anti-Americanism was summarized in the idea that the West is the corrupting force of man’s good nature, occupying what does not belong to it. That consumption makes it ferocious and that the day will come when Good will vanquish the enemy without pity. This concept is now part of the Islamic/anti-imperialist battle that created the disaster in New York.
The key is “Israel” has been there since the times of the Cold War: The Zionist enemy, the colonial aggressor, the racist persecutor is a flashing strong light signaling the new division of the world into blocks, leading to the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. And in the same way, it gives rise to attacks on discotheques, streets and restaurants in Israel. What else could a conference against racism do in the 1970s and in the first half of the ’80s, until the communist block was alive, if not identify Americans and Israelis as the guilty parties! And what has changed today? It did just the same: hating America and Israel – with the difference of a very serious growth of Islamic terrorism, killing hundreds of innocents in Israel during this Intifada.
It is clear from the collection of writings and declarations on America and Israel – from well before the Bush administration and the present Intifada – that the compulsive hatred leading to suicide terrorism is not caused by either American policy nor the present conflict.
“Al hajatt Al Jadida,” a Palestinian newspaper wrote, “history will not remember the USA, but it will remember Iraq, the cradle of civilization, and Palestine, the cradle of religions. On the other hand, the assassins of humanity, the creators of barbarian culture and the vampires of nations are destined to die.” Another quotation: “The White House must become black.”