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.
Read more by the Author
February 26, 2012
An historical twist--to say the least…
Towards the end of the 19th century, France accused
an assimilated Jewish captain in the army of
espionage. It was later proven that Alfred Dreyfus
was innocent and shamelessly framed. Much later,
after disgraced, sent to Devil's Island, etc., he
was finally exonerated.
The Dreyfus Trial became the cause celebre of the
era, and the prominent writer, Emile Zola, wrote his
open letter, J'Accuse ("I Accuse"), which was
published in L'Aurore on January 13, 1898.
Among those covering the trial after 1894 was
another assimilated Jew, Theodore Herzl, from
While the religiously-inspired, age-old
anti-Semitism of the masses was regrettable (but
understandable) to such men, it was the virulent
Jew-hatred which remained even after the so-called
Age of Enlightenment among the educated classes
which became the most troubling.
The rise to power of such folks as the anti-Semitic
demagogue, Karl Lueger, in Vienna in 1895 combined
with the Parisian Dreyfus Affair to convince Herzl
that there was no hope left for the Jew outside of
the resurrection of Israel. Herzl soon wrote Der
Judenstaat--the Jewish State--in response, and while
others before him wrote of such things as well (Dr.
Leo Pinsker's Auto-Emancipation is especially
haunting), Herzl became known as the Father of
modern political Zionism as a result.
Back to the future…
All hell is breaking loose right now in the Middle
Every day, for years now, we hear of Arabs and other
Muslims blowing each other (and non-Arab, non-Muslim
folks) apart in the region. Unfortunately, the words
of Israel's late Golda Meir come to mind. Back in
1972, Golda, of blessed memory, stated…
We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children.
We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their
In a similar manner, we have become almost immune to
the carnage over there--it has become that common
Yet, with events in Syria now crying out for action,
I cannot help but thinking once again of Emile Zola
and that French Jewish captain…
The world's duplicity and indifference has largely
produced what we are seeing today.
Thousands of Arabs are now dying in Syria because,
for decades, most of the world largely turned a
blind eye to what Arabs were doing to literally
millions of other non-Arab folks in the region and
basically did nothing beyond huffing and puffing
every so often. It literally took acts of genocide
by Arabs in black Africa and in Kurdistan before the
world was moved to respond at all…and the atrocities
continue in the Sudan as I pen this piece.
During that same time period, if Israel took one too
many breaths, the United Nations condemned it and
passed one resolution after another taking it to
Thousands of Jews were killed and maimed by Arabs
seeking Israel's destruction, and, among other
things, the Jewish State was brought before the
World Court in Geneva for building a security
barrier to prevent its kids from deliberately being
disemboweled. Etc., etc., etc.…
Had the world--the Russians, Chinese, Europeans, the
U.S. State Department, and so forth--not given Arabs
a virtual free pass when they were slaughtering and
enslaving black Africans, Copts in Egypt, Berbers in
North Africa, Kurds, Jews, and others as well,
perhaps--just perhaps--those regimes now blasting
their own people would have been more reluctant to
Instead, the reality has been that Syria has been
coddled for over a half century now.
During this same time period, it was subjugating
Lebanon and doing likewise (and often worse) to its
own native Kurds, Jews, and others as well.
The Alawi Arab Bashar al-Assad's late father wiped
out between 20 to 40,000 Sunni Arab opponents in the
infamous Hama Solution--a precursor to how the
younger Assad is now handling today's predominantly
Sunni Islamist revolt.
As in Egypt and elsewhere in adjacent North Africa,
while there are other, more democratic ("tolerant")
elements in the opposition, with the exception of
Syria's millions of Kurds, look to organized
Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood
taking over in Syria as well if the Assad regime
caves. Indeed, for its own reasons,www.ekurd.net
the American State Department has largely been
ignoring those more tolerant elements in the
opposition in favor of the Islamists instead. While
it's good to see the Turks taking a stand here, it's
also sobering to note that Ankara's support is
coming as a result of its own turn towards militant
And while all of the earlier "stuff" was all going
on, the world basically looked the other way.
The Europeans, Russians, the United Nations, and the
American State Department were putting the squeeze
on the Jews instead.
The Syrians had shelled Israel from atop the Golan
Heights since 1948. The latter were actually part of
the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine until the
French and Brits did some imperial trading.
Damascus did much to instigate the June '67 Six Day
War--but lost the Heights in the process.
The final draft of UNSC Resolution 242--the main
peace-making tool adopted in the wake of the
war--promised Israel that it would finally get real,
more secure, defensible borders instead of the
armistice lines which had made it so vulnerable in
Regardless, Secretary of State James Baker III
promised the elder Assad a total return of the
Heights--without even consulting Israel. Had Syria
just been a bit more cooperative in Lebanon and
later in Iraq as well, America was all set to
deliver (or at least try to) Israel on a silver
platter to Damascus.
One of the first things President Obama did when he
first took office was to send his good friend (and
Arafat's bosom buddy), Robert Malley, to the Assads
with basically the same offer. Luckily, Damascus
wouldn't play ball. The Obama Administration was
uttering sweet words about Syria until just months
There is no doubt that Obama has the same ideas, in
the long term, for the Golan as he does for the
other territories addressed by 242…
Forget about the latter's call for a territorial
compromise to create those secure borders Israel was
The new deal, one which would supplant 242, was
expressed repeatedly by Obama stating that Israel
would be crazy (his exact words) if it rejected the
alleged Saudi Peace Plan. Note, please, that the
main provision of that plan calls for a total
withdrawal of Israel to its 9 to 15 mile-wide,
pre-'67 armistice line existence. That's what the
fuss over the building freeze and settlements issue
is all about.
All of this behavior has sent a message,
however…that Syria could get away with anything and
everything that it indulged in--internal barbarism,
aggression against its neighbors, and so
forth--unless someone physically stopped them. And
no one did--except the Jews--who, more and more each
day, were and are being treated like the Czechs at
Munich in 1938 for the sake of a new "peace for our
time" by their alleged friends.
Indeed, if Israel wasn't involved taking steps to
protect its own kids from getting blown apart by
Arabs, no one gave a hoot.
We are thus largely faced with this tragic, bloody
mess today because no one really dealt with Damascus
before--when, perhaps, the problem would have been
easier to manage. Syrian and other Arab atrocities,
after all, are nothing new.
Now, instead, Syria's best friends--the similar
bloody, maniacal, ruthless mullahs of Iran--are on
the verge of becoming a nuclear power. And its other
close pal, Hizbullah, has all but taken over Lebanon
while amassing scores of thousands of
Iranian-supplied missiles just a few virtual stones'
throws away from Israel.
While the above are just a few of other newer
problems now exacerbating the situation, had folks
acted earlier, that very axis of Iran, Syria, and
Hizbullah--which is now causing so many of the
world's headaches--could have very possibly been
nipped in the bud in the first place.
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
Gerald A. Honigman, a longtime contributing writer
for ekurd.net. Honigman has published a major book,
Quest For Justice In The Middle East--The
Arab-Israeli Conflict In Greater Perspective."
By Gerald A. Honigman for eKurd.net, February 26, 2012. You may reach the
author via email at: honigman6 (at) msn.com.
Copyright © 2012 ekurd.net.
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