UPDATING 5-13-2010 see at bottom
Bismarck said all men in the Balkans who tuck
their shirts into their trousers are crooks. The
shirts of the peasants, of course, hang outside.
At any rate, when I found Hamid Bey --next to
Kemal, perhaps the most powerful man in the
Angora government-- in his Stamboul office
where he . . . [draws] a large salary as
administrator of the Imperial Ottoman Bank, a
French capitalized concern-- his shirt was tucked
in, for he was dressed in a gray business suit.
Ernest Hemingway, Toronto Daily Star, 9 October 1922
[in By-line: Ernest Hemingway (ed. Wm. White: New York 1968), p 44]
Spokesmen for the PLO and the "Palestinian Authority" are gifted liars. When they don't lie it's an occasion for wonder. When their lie is brought to light in a Western publication by a fellow Arab, then that is a remarkable event.
Magdi Allam is an Egyptian who left his native land and migrated to Italy where he found fame and fortune. He is now an editor at Corriere della Sera
, the most prestigious large circulation daily in Italy. Corriere
occupies a position in Italy somewhat like that of the New York Times in the USA. But that analogy may be unfair to Corriere
, since comparing Corriere
to the NYTimes is something like comparing a skyscraper to an outhouse [OK, maybe not to an outhouse but to a factory for breast implants or false teeth].
Anyhow, Allam is now one of the editors at Corriere
and was invited as a journalist and Middle East specialist to one of those panel discussions oh so frequent in Europe, this one on the topic of Italy and the Arab-Israeli conflict held at the convent of St Francis at Assisi [1 March 2004]. Sitting next to Allam on one side was Gian Arturo Ferrari, CEO of the Einaudi publishing house. On the other was Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, director of an outfit operating in Jerusalem near the now closed "Orient House" with the impressive name of "Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs," which usually goes by its shorter moniker, the acronym PASSIA. This outfit was close to the late Faisal Husseini and cooperates with the PLO/PA leadership, while actually having little to do with any scholarly study of world affairs.
Allam writes of Abdul Hadi:
A cultured person, politically minded and active, who knows the West well and has traveled throughout the world. Besides, he is very secular, a lover of good wine and a connoisseur of feminine beauty.
At a certain point, Abdul Hadi surprised us with this statement: "What do I think about kamikazes? I myself might blow myself up from one moment to the next." Ferrari and I listened dumbfounded. Abdul Hadi spoke with the frankness and vigor of someone who wanted to appear as convincing as possible. "Recently, a young university graduate, the father of two children, blew himself up in Israel in order to avenge the killing of his dearest friend. He did everything alone. He did not belong to any group, religious or political."
Abdul Hadi, who considers himself an enlightened leader of Palestinian civil society, is a strenuous advocate of the reactive thesis of terrorism [that is, that terrorism is a reaction to some perceived wrong]. In his opinion, the day when Israel withdraws from the occupied territory [sic!], allowing the birth of a Palestinian state [neither a "Palestinian state" nor a "Palestinian people" ever existed in history, nor was there ever an Arab state with its capital in the Land of Israel], the terrorism will cease. In his speech, he never mentioned the word 'terrorism." Because in his opinion, that is not the problem. Nevertheless, he specifically, as a scholar whose calling is objectivity, ought to know that the suicide attacks of Hamas and Jihad [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] began in October 1993, not long after the historic handshake at the White House between Rabin and Arafat. With the declared objective of causing failure of the peace process based on coexistence between Israel and the Palestinian state. Putting in practice an avowedly aggressive strategy, inspired by the harmful rejection of Israel's right to exist. And still today, suicide terrorism --of which Arafat became a co-chieftain in order to safeguard his power threatened by the Islamic extremists of Hamas-- is the principal obstacle to resumption of the negotiating process. All attempts made to renew the thread of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians are regularly sabotaged by suicide terrorist attacks.
Abdul Hadi is right, however, when, through his shocking testimony, he implies that Islamic 'martyrdom' has been transformed into an ideology of its own. That, even though it makes reference to religion, it counts among its practitioners secular persons as well. It is a fact that today the Palestinian kamikazes are both Islamic and secularist, both men and women, both youth and adults, both married people and singles, with or without children. The kamikaze has become the symbol of the highest degree of struggle, inspired by the radical rejection of the Other, the emblem of the so-called clash of religions or civilizations.
[Magdi Allam, Kamikaze Made in Europe: Riuscira l'Occidente a Sconfiggere i Terroristi Islamici? (Milano: Mondadori, 2004), pp 71-73]
Here are key lines in the original Italian of Allam, including those given in boldface in English:
Io stesso potrei farmi esplodere ...
Abdul Hadi parla con la schietezza e il vigore di chi vuol apparire il piu possibile convincente ...
... proprio lui, studioso con la vocazione all'obiettivita, dovrebbe sapere che gli attentati suicidi di Hamas e della Jihad iniziarono nell'ottobre di 1993, all'indomani della storica stretta di mano alla Casa Bianca tra Rabin e Arafat.
We agree with Allam that murdering others while killing oneself --'martyrdom' in Islamist lingo-- has become an ideology, or rather a cult of its own. But Allam hints --so we infer-- that Abdul Hadi has less serious intention of sacrificing his life for the cause than of becoming a Paris fashion designer or an understudy at London's Old Vic. Allam hints at this by writing: "Abdul Hadi spoke with the frankness and vigor of someone who wanted to appear
as convincing as possible." In other words, Allam is saying that Abdul Hadi "wanted to appear
." Allam seems to be on to the melodramatic theatrics that Abdul Hadi affects and is subtly conveying the truth to us. It seems he sees through some of the "fighting oppression and occupation" mystique. Indeed, Abdul Hadi has been trained in rhetorical techniques needed for mass persuasion, psychological warfare, attacking a belief structure, changing one's morality, etc. But first, who is he? As we answer that, we continue considering the first of Abdul Hadi's three lies, the one that Allam hints at or insinuates. Then, we can discuss the lie that Allam explicitly points to and the third lie that both accept.
Abdul Hadi comes from an old, wealthy and influential Muslim Arab family in Nablus [Sh'khem] and its surroundings. One of his relatives, Ruhi Abdul Hadi, served the Ottoman Empire as a diplomat, later the British Empire as a senior administrator in the Land of Israel, and lastly, the Kingdom of Jordan as a minister. Another relative, Awni Bey Abdul Hadi, was an Arab leader and associate of Nazi collaborator and Holocaust advocate Amin el-Husseini in the 1930s and 1940s. In our generation, this ilk gets the middle class and the poor to do their noble Islamic dying for them. Other such families are the Husseinis, Khalidis, Nashashibis, Nuseibehs, etc. When did you last hear of one of them dying as a terrorist? When did you ever hear of one of them eagerly making his entry into Paradise through the sacrifice of his life in this world? Indeed, the cause has paid off precisely in this world for Abdul Hadi and his ilk with well paid jobs, political influence, international social acceptance, other assorted fruits of Western patronage, etc.
Further, members of these leading families work closely with Western agents and representatives, who finance all sorts of political, psychological warfare, and disinformation enterprises aimed at the foreign press and "human rights" and "peace activists," as well as cultural projects aimed at the educated Arab upper crust, at tourists, and at the large international community established in Jerusalem, most of whom oppose the Jewish presence in the ancient Jewish capital in favor of Arab nationalism. The Agency for International Development of the USA is one of those foreign agencies. Abdul Hadi's outfit, among other things, is the venue for courses in persuasive public speaking, funded directly or indirectly, by US AID and other Western donors (including the EU). David Bedein of Israel Media Resource has reported that PASSIA gets US AID funding
and has as guest instructors expert BBC mind-benders, like Luce Doucette, etc. PASSIA is part of a whole array of Western-funded political and psychological warfare outfits operating in the Land of Israel, especially in Jerusalem, mostly founded years before
Oslo and the subsequent establishment of the "Palestinian Authority" (according to the Oslo agreements), but these institutions work together --with each other and with the PA. In fact PASSIA is one of the PA's voices for communicating its propaganda line to the outside world, especially the West, and its themes are tailored to impress the Western public. While the PA governs parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza abandoned by Israeli forces, and is longingly viewed by international Judeophobes as the seed of a future Arab state in the Land of Israel to be called "Palestine," and incites the PA's population to mass murder of Jews, outfits like PASSIA provide a civilized, humane façade for the PA/PLO's horrors (against both Jews and fellow Arabs). PASSIA and its sister bodies provide a constant stream of lies, of what Stalin's gang called agitprop
, to the outside world, the non-Arab, non-Muslim world and to international organizations, like the UN. Bear in mind that at the time of the Oslo accords and the White House handshake, the Israeli people were lulled by the lack of mention of an Arab state in most Israeli media noise about the accords. Israelis were told in so many words that Arafat and his gang would be satisfied with only "Gaza and Jericho." That almost all land over the 1949 armistice lines was to be soon handed over to the "Palestinian Authority" was also concealed from the public. To return to PASSIA, it not only serves as a channel for disinformation in favor of an Arab state to arise first over the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line), but for a state replacing all of Israel in a later phase. That is, the goal is to destroy Israel altogether. For this purpose, PASSIA trains and coaches propaganda and psywar operatives who are regularly seen on BBC, CNN, Sky, France 2, etc. PASSIA is a kind of factory for liars. Liars in the mold of Hanan Ashrawi, Michael Tarazi, Diana Butu in English, or Leila Shahid in French. Nevertheless, PASSIA is Western-funded and enjoys the benefits of Western expertise in psywar. What is surprising is how crude, simplistic and easily demonstrated to be false the propaganda claims made by the pro-PLO/PA mouthpieces often are.
Back to Abdul Hadi. He utters three lies. One Allam hints at, that is, that Abdul Hadi hypocritically has no real intention of killing himself. The second lie Allam frankly points out, that is, Abdul Hadi's claim that suicide terrorism is caused by "occupation," whereas when it began in October 1993, PM Rabin had agreed not long before to give up almost all territory over the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line) to PLO/"Palestinian Authority" rule. In fact, almost all Arabs living over the Green Line were under PA rule when Arafat started the Temple Mount war in late September 2000. The third lie, on which both Abdul Hadi and Allam agree, is that Judea, Samaria, and Gaza were somehow "occupied territory."
As to the second lie, the one that Allam explicitly points out, Rabin had basically agreed in the Oslo Accord to give up almost all of the so-called "West Bank" [parts of the historic Jewish homeland]. Details remained to be worked out, but euphoria in Israel was strong, and the PLO only had to sit tight, prove themselves capable of being peaceful for a few months, and then the Western and other powers plus a poorly informed, brainwashed Israeli public opinion, subject to constant deceitful haranguing from their own state media in favor of "peace" [Israel Radio's slogan at that time, the months after Oslo and the White House handshake, was: We are talking peace! (m'dabrim shalom
)] would have pushed Israel, that is, the government of that time made up of Rabin, Peres, Beilin, and other fanatic "peaceniks," to give the PLO everything promised at Oslo plus almost anything else they asked for, especially if it belonged to another Jew and not to Rabin, Peres, & Co. or their friends personally. Allam seems to be saying that if the Hamas and Islamic Jihad merely wanted Israel to go back to the pre-1967 (1949) armistice lines, all they had to do was let diplomacy do its work. But Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah apparently wanted something else, something more than mere Israeli retreat to the 1949 lines (called "the end of occupation"). In any event, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the Fatah intensified
their terrorism after
Oslo, and even more so after the White House handshake. Thus, what happened was the exact opposite of the usual simplistic and deceitful forecasts so common in the newspapers, on TV and radio, and in the mouths of diplomats in regard to the Arab response to Israeli concessions. These facts seem to have been in Allam's mind. He is saying that Israel had already agreed to end "the occupation" when suicide bombings began in October 1993. Therefore, the suicide bombings had another purpose. Moreover, they seem to have delayed Israeli retreat from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
By the way, one of the evil results of Oslo was that the PLO now controlled mass communications operating within the Land of Israel. The big lies could now be spread more effectively than ever before, and not only in Arabic. The radio and TV agitation for mass murder of Jews now came not only from Damascus or Beirut or Baghdad or Cairo, but from Ramallah and Gaza city. The broadcasts reached not only throughout Judea, Samaria, and Gaza but Israeli Arab citizens as well. Curiously, the EU and the USA are not interested in preventing the PLO (and "Palestinian Authority's") mass murder incitement over the PA mass media and press and in the mosques controlled by the PA. Mass murder is what the peacemongers brought us. But PASSIA's main function was not lying on the Arab home front but to the world.
Now, let's get back to Abdul Hadi's third lie. He and Allam agree that there is "occupied territory" held unjustly by Israel. Yet Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are all historic parts of the ancient Jewish homeland, which was called Judea (IUDAEA) by Greeks and Romans. The Romans changed the name of Provincia Iudaea to Provincia Syria Palaestina in 135 CE as part of an attempt to wipe out Jewish nationhood after the Bar Kokhba Revolt [see blog items below]
. After the Arab conquest, Jews in Israel were oppressed as dhimmi
s [see earlier blog items]
.The international community agreed to restore all of the Land of Israel as the Jewish National Home at the San Remo Conference of 1920
and at the League of Nations in 1922. This status was not revoked by the UN General Assembly Partition resolution of 1947
which was merely a recommendation as are all General Assembly resolutions on political matters. The charge of "Israeli occupation" is another big lie.
Finally, how can Israel make peace with liars and hypocrites of the ilk of Abdul Hadi and Arafat or of Abu Mazen or any of the PLO/PA gang? Their psychological warfare, including their big and small lies, is meant to never allow peace nor any reasonable territorial settlement. They mean to finally destroy Israel. Furthermore, since Western powers finance the PLO/PA, then they too share a burden of guilt for the Arabs' actions against peace. Western patronage of the Arab wealthy and leadership class, as represented by PASSIA, goes back to the British mandate period, when the Arab and British elites got together for cozy socializing at the Jerusalem salon of Katy Antonius, widow of George Antonius and mistress of British General Sir Evelyn Barker who delighted in hanging Jews. As long as the West continues to patronize the likes of PASSIA, peace between Arabs and Israel is unlikely.
The eighth and last installment of John Lloyd Stephens' account of his experiences in Hebron while staying with the Jews there in 1836, will follow in a couple of days.
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UPDATING 5-13-2010 The link above about PASSIA funding seems out of service. Here is another [here
]. Journalists working for the British-govt run BBC & the US govt-run NPR advise PASSIA and serve as lecturers for it [here