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 Pay Attention To This Gym Teacher To Understand The Arab-Israeli Conflict...

 Analysis - Opinion
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

 


Pay Attention To This Gym Teacher To Understand The Arab-Israeli Conflict...  11.12.2010 
By Gerald A. Honigman for ekurd.net 

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December 11, 2010

While the artificially glued together state of Iraq--the Middle East's Yugoslavia--struggles to keep intact despite powerful, opposing historical forces acting to pull it apart, there is a lesson here which extends beyond the former Mandate of Mesopotamia's borders.

Created largely for other outsiders' imperial interests after World War I and the forced breakup of the centuries old Ottoman Turkish Empire, Iraq was forged by a union of the Kurdish north with Sunni and Shi'a Arab areas in the central and southern parts of the territory. My doctoral work on this particular subject, British Petroleum Politics, Arab Nationalism, and the Kurdish Struggle For Independence, has been on the recommended reference list of Paris's acclaimed Insitut d'Etudes Politique (Sciences-Po) since the early 1980s.

Briefly, a collusion of British imperial interests with Arab nationalism aborted the best chance today's 35 million truly stateless, non-Arab Kurds ever had at independence. While the world clamors for a 22nd Arab state (and second, not first, in the original April 25, 1920 borders of the Mandate of Palestine since Jordan was created from about 80% of it in 1922), there is still no demand for a roadmap for Kurdistan.

During the heyday of the Arab Islamic imperial conquests, the Kurds--who pre-date the Arabs in Iraq by millennia--were swept up in the struggle of the Arabs' Dar ul-Islam versus Dar al-Harb mentality.                   

Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites all around the world.

Indeed, Salah al-Din, a Kurd, became the terror of Christendom. Religion served as a cover for political conquest of millions of native peoples.

 For millennia, Turks of various stripes, Iranians, and Arabs largely ruled most of the region. By the 19th century, however, a new wind began to blow in the region bringing with it renewed dreams of independence among various subject populations. By the end of World War I, statesmen such as Britain's Lord Cecil and Sir Mark Sykes, America's President Woodrow Wilson, and others were calling for Arabia for the Arabs, Armenia for the Armenians, Judea for the Jews, and Kurdistan for the Kurds .

While some might say that this was just a foreign imperial ploy to divide and conquer the region for their own benefits, while this ingredient may indeed have some truth attached to it, there is also no doubt that native imperial powers were also acting solely to further their own interests.

Seeing itself as the only real legitimate heir to the Turks' centuries of imperial rule, Arab nationalism, in its own various stripes, proclaimed the entire area simply to be "purely Arab patrimony," and none--besides Arabs--were to be allowed to see their own dreams of independence fulfilled in the new age of nationalism fast coming into this region and elsewhere with the disintegration of former empires.

The following oft-quoted (by myself) excerpts of statements by a major, native, non-Arab "Berber" (Amazigh) spokesman from North Africa hits the nail square on the head. Please pay close attention to this Special Dispatch of MEMRI on May 3, 2007, written by Belkacem Lounes of the World Amazigh Congress, as he responded to Libya's Mu'ammar Qaddafi's denial of the very existence of the Amazigh people:

The people of whom you speak...speak their own Amazigh language daily...every day live their Amazigh identity...What worse offense to elementary rights is there than denying the existence of a people...30 million in North Africa? You menace the Amazigh, warning that whosoever asserts his identity will be a traitor...identical problems in Algeria and Morocco...There is no worse colonialism than internal colonialism--that of the Pan-Arabist claim that seeks to dominate our people. It is surely Arabism--an imperialist ideology that refuses diversity--that constitutes an offense to history and truth...

Or, check out how these excerpts and paraphrases from the New English Review on January 18, 2008 and reported in the former North-of-Africa.com on July 3, 2009:

In Algeria, Berbers were forbidden to use their own language, Tamazight...riots erupted, reported in France but ignored elsewhere in the West...America, of course, had been sufficiently subject to ARAMCO (the Arabian American Oil Company) propaganda, a payoff to the Saudis by Big Oil, to allow the latter to produce and market Arab oil. So, ARAMCO's message to America was that there is just an Arab world in this region in which there are no Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen...and, of course, no Berbers and no Jews--they all came to Israel, you see, from Europe for everyone in this region is just Arab.

The American State Department has been in bed with ARAMCO since its creation...Does its historical animosity towards Israel now become a bit clearer?

So, what we have seen over the last century has actually been a combination of internal and external imperial forces colluding for their mutual, parochial interests at the expense of other native peoples. This has led to such things as the forced Arabization,
www.ekurd.netforced Turkification, suppression, murder, and/or subjugation of scores of millions of Copts, black Africans (not only in the Sudan), Imazighen/"Berbers," Kurds, native kilab yahud ("Jew dogs"), Assyrians, and so forth. Kurds and Berbers are often not even allowed to practise their own culture, speak their own language, etc. and so forth. Imagine Israel doing this sort of thing to Arabs living in its territory. No doubt, there would be hell to pay by the Jews on the international scene, yet who is demanding justice for those folks mentioned above? Which brings us to the present...

As Marshall Tito kept the violently antagonistic populations of "Yugoslavia"--forged together by others after World War I's break up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire--from slitting each others' throats (literally), there was never a real question that when he died the nation would implode into murderous chaos.

Saddam Hussein served as an even more brutal uniter of Great Britain's own earlier creation, Arab Iraq. The latter was forged, upon the break- up of another empire (the Turk's), by shafting the Kurds after the favorable Mosul Decision by the League of Nations in 1925 uniting the oil of their northern areas with the other Arab regions of the new British Mandate to make the whole entity more economically viable.

With Saddam gone, Iraq seemed/seems destined to go the way of Yugoslavia. This remains to be seen...

There has always been competition between those who espouse a more tolerant, more encompassing Iraqi nationalism versus Arab nationalism in the state. The latter has always won out in the long run.

The semi-autonomous situation Kurds find themselves in today is, at best, a temporary necessary evil in most, if not all, Arab eyes.

The Kurds are seen as a necessary buffer Shi'a Arabs can--and have--used against Sunni Arabs who like to blow both of the former folks apart.

Sunni Arab leaders declared the Kurds to be a thorn in their sides in the past, declared the potential birth of Kurdistan to be "another Israel," and launched the Anfal Campaign a while back which slaughtered, gassed, and so forth hundreds of thousands of them. And a look at how Shi'a Iran treats its own millions of Kurds is probably a fair gauge of what the Shi'a in Iraq have in mind as well after they feel they have gotten a better handle, one way or another, on the Sunni problem. Oh yes, the latter slaughtered tens of thousands of Shi'a too not that long ago.

In the meantime (prior to the emergence of Iran's sister state, the Shi'a Islamic Republic of Iraq?), America has helped to create a delicate balancing act in the country. What will happen, however, when America has largely exited is not too promising to those who are students of the area.

Under this balancing act, the three main populations--Shi'a Arabs, Sunni Arabs, and Kurds--share power, to one extent or another, and hold the top positions in government.

Largely a symbolic position, the Kurds have come to occupy the President's position, Jalal Talabani the current office holder. But, as a March 13, 2010 New York Times article on this subject (and more recent ones) points out, even this symbolic postion is a bone in Arab's throats.

Muqdad Jaafar, a professor of physical education at Baghdad University, put it this way:

I prefer him to be an Arab...We’re an Arab country, surrounded by the Arab world.

Once again, as we've seen earlier, scores of millions of non-Arab peoples in the region simply don't exist or are to be merely discounted in Arab eyes.

On a similar note, Egypt's late President Sadat's Foreign Minister, Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, told visiting Israeli author, Amos Elon, that for Israel to be "accepted" in the region, it must do what he did--accept Arabization...or else.

Read all of this yet again very carefully, for, in this, you will indeed discover the real root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict...the inability of most Arabs to grant anyone else but themselves even a tiny sliver of the very rights they demand for themselves. http://q4j-middle-east.com

Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-Arab propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many Arab spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in dozens of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites all around the world. Visit his website at http://www.geraldahonigman.com/ Gerald A. Honigman, a longtime contributing writer for ekurd.net. Honigman has published a major book, "The Quest For Justice In The Middle East--The Arab-Israeli Conflict In Greater Perspective."

By Gerald A. Honigman for eKurd.net, December 11, 2010. You may reach the author via email at: honigman6 (at) msn.com.

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