A world where conspiracy theories become an asset

As the US retreats from the region, Arab misconceptions about America mitigate the harm to Israel.

August 26, 2013 14:57
US President Obama attends the House Democratic Caucus retreat, January 14, 2010.

Obama looking pensive 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)

It’s a sad commentary on the Middle East’s deteriorating condition that the region’s penchant for conspiracy theories actually counts as a plus these days.

There’s still no upside to delusional fantasies like Israel being behind the Egyptian coup, Muammar Gaddafi being a closet Jew, or the Mossad sending sharks to attack Egyptian tourist resorts. They promote anti-Israel (and anti-Jewish) hatred that at best stymies normal relations between Israel and its neighbors and at worst encourages murderous terror attacks. They also impede the Arab world’s own development, as I’ve argued before: blaming problems on an outside party means you consider them beyond your control, which absolves you of responsibility for solving them.


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