An Arab fable (as distinct from a potentially biased Western narrative) focuses
on Effendi Mustafa’s relaxing afternoon in his idyllic orchard. Suddenly
Mustafa’s pastoral peace is disrupted by a bunch of mischievous boys exuberantly
chasing each other among his trees. Mustafa’s yells and threats go unheeded. He
realizes he must conjure up a clever ruse to get rid of the noisy
He cloyingly summons them and whispers that apples of solid
gold hang heavy off the boughs in their neighbor Ahmed’s garden. If the
youngsters rush over quickly enough, Mustafa counseled, they may avail
themselves of the alluring bounty.
No sooner had he finished spinning his
tale, than the kids disappeared in search of fabulous riches.
the lie! Mustafa reclined with a big satisfied smile. But while he effusively
congratulated himself for having fooled the pesky uninvited visitors, he
suddenly grabbed his head in dreadful dismay and remonstrated bitterly with
himself: “If Ahmed grows golden apples, why did I not first hurry to pick them
myself? Why in Allah’s name did I spill the secret?” Agitated, Mustafa forgot
about his pleasurable nap, sprang to his feet and sprinted over to
Though deliberately deceitful, Mustafa was in no time trapped
by his own fabrication. Thereafter, his actions were triggered by the false
premise that was now accepted as fact. Once the fraudulent origin of said
premise was banished from Mustafa’s mind, his reactions can only be judged as
It’s in the context of Mustafa’s misadventures in the
realm of reason that we must weigh the recent straight-faced contention by the
US’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, who informed the
world that “Iran is a rational actor” in the international arena.
need establish now is whether we measure Iran’s rationality by Mustafa’s
yardstick or by our own. Tehran’s ayatollahs may make exceptional sense on their
wavelength but that wavelength isn’t the one on which our own thoughts
In the closed-circuit of their own brand of circular reasoning
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his cohorts may function with unassailable sagacity of
the Mustafa model. They go round and round because they prop up the validity of
their assertions with pseudo-evidence which assumes the validity of those very
Thus they start off with the premise that “Israel is
evil.” From there they proceed to deduce that “Jews are evil because Israel is
evil,” and to prove the latter assertion they submit that “Israel is evil
because Jews are evil.”
The mantra that “Israel should be wiped off the
map” becomes the pivot for the entire argumentative twist. This vicious cycle
can gyrate interminably, all the while sucking in the masses who find it
This circular reasoning breeds warped notions of
right and wrong, justice and injustice, grievance and vengeance. Such
correlations are self-evident to the Iranians precisely because, as Dempsey
maintained, they operate on a rational basis. It’s just that this basis spawns
rational processes that lead disastrously far from where he assumes they ought
Little change can be expected as long as Arab/Muslim mindsets are
controlled by rotational rationality. Dempsey may be giving voice to the Obama
administration’s wishful thinking, but nothing vaguely resembling our definition
of rationality is likely wherever virtual reality – be it Mustafa’s or
Ahmadinejad’s – can trigger continual complex chains of real
Under such conditions truth can become immaterial, if not
downright undesirable. The Palestinian Authority’s news media, for example,
didn’t reveal that Israeli paramedics risked their lives by venturing into a
still-burning overturned school bus to rescue Arab children outside Jerusalem
last February 16.
For reasons that elude our refined rationale, PA
journalists chose to invent alternative scenarios. The Palestine Times printed
the following banner headline: “Zionist truck hits a bus and kills 10
In fact, the truck which slammed into the bus was driven by an
Arab, but why lose a chance to inflame passions? Even a road accident can be
conscripted to serve the Israel-bashing cause (by, inter alia, inflating the
numbers of juvenile casualties).
More forgiving souls among us may
ascribe the above to excessive newsroom fervor. Nonetheless, the PA’s own health
minister, Fathi Abu-Mughli, gave the mendacity official impetus. At a formal
press conference he upgraded the sham by blaming Israel altogether. “The IDF
didn’t intervene the minute the accident took place. If it did, it could have
saved some lives,” he insisted. “I personally complained to the Israeli side;
the accident took place in Area C [Israeli-controlled], and we have limited
Exploiting the misfortune to the hilt, Abu-Mughli
exhorted the international community to “end the occupation so we can serve our
Therefrom the story mushroomed outrageously.
servicemen were now accused of outright malice and of intentionally foiling
There was no note of the cutting edge resuscitation
and subsequent treatment accorded the wounded at Israeli trauma wards. Not only
weren’t there even grudging hints of gratitude, but there were heaps of
Needless to say, Ramallah’s demonization drive gained
resonance overseas in accordance with hallowed even-handedness, the truth be
damned. In the Arab/Muslim domain the accident became another blame-Israel
Given the rational progression from counterfeit culpability to real
retribution, it’d be no surprise if in time terrorist atrocities are carried out
to avenge the crash casualties.
Can a credible peace momentum materialize
from such callous manipulations of information? When no opportunity is missed to
deepen the deception, it gains a raison d’être of its own. For all the shouting
and shooting, the riots and ruckus, no balanced courses of action can emerge
from a milieu so deficient in democracy, goodwill and certainly in
Those in the PA who smeared Israel for saving injured Arab
children voiced no criticism over the impending trial of 23-year-old Saudi
journalist Hamza Kashgari on the capital offense of blasphemy.
not a murmur of outrage emanated from any instigators of the monumentally
misnamed Arab Spring.
A former columnist for Al Bilad newspaper, Kashgari
had conducted pretend conversations with Islam’s progenitor Muhammad on Twitter.
His most offensive Tweet was: “I have loved things about you and I have hated
things about you and there is a lot I don’t understand about you. I will not
pray for you.”
Thereby, Kashgari committed the most grievous indiscretion
possible in his homeland. Forced to run for his life, he headed to New Zealand.
En route, however, he was arrested in Muslim Malaysia and extradited back to
By no stretch of our imagination can Kashgari be considered
the contemptible arch-criminal that he is throughout Islam. This isn’t a Saudi
It’s underpinned even in such Arab Spring bastions as
Tunisia and Egypt, where Iranian-type theocracies are in the making after what
the West gullibly lauded as popular democratic uprisings.
doesn‘t get it. Muslim masses will never be free so long as they love the lie.
Deposing one despot or another won’t lift the Mideast into the 21st century.
That won’t happen until a groundswell of opinion openly admits that it’s as OK
to dissent from Islamic dogma as to speak one’s mind in the Judeo-Christian
setting; that Islam isn’t inherently entitled to world domination; that
millennia of Jewish history in this land cannot be willfully erased; that the
Israeli-Arab conflict isn’t the heart of all that ails the Arab world; that the
conflict is constructed on Arab lies.
The Arab masses will never be free
until they sincerely comprehend that they have been cheated.
no Arab enlightenment until Arabs acknowledge that they’re harmed by their own
self-produced disasters. There can be no healing until they stop blaming us for
attacks they launched to annihilate us (foremost, the onslaught by seven Arab
states on day-old Israel), and until they assume full responsibility for the
consequences (foremost, the refugees they caused to flee but wouldn’t
Not only aren’t we closer to that epiphany, but we’ve regressed.
The Arab aggression against the Jews keeps being buttressed by lies. As Mustafa
showed, the lie – if believed – becomes reality.
Fraudulent reality then
takes on a life of its own.
But our existence, alas, isn’t as comic as
Mustafa’s circumstances. Here, if nurtured, the lie grows, multiplies and
becomes axiomatic for a searing sense of injustice and inflamed
The lie binds. Spurious grievances confine and scourge those
they ensnare. The Jewish state is blamed for surviving and it fills its thwarted
would-be destroyers with yet more frustration and festering rage. Instead of
abating, genocidal hate intensifies and magnifies.
Throughout the region
the supposed Palestinian plight diverts attentions, mobilizes energies and
generates political clout. Ordinary Arabs/Muslims are unremittingly
indoctrinated to revile Jews/Israelis. We embody all that’s evil. A worthy
leader, therefore, must be maximally anti-Israeli, maximally zealous in waging
sacred war against evil-incarnate.
For their part, the Palestinians are
repeatedly reminded that they’re the injured party, that Israelis are liable for
their suffering and owe them redress.
It’s enticing for Palestinians to
portray themselves as innocents struck by a colossal calamity and continuously
oppressed for no fault of their own. They clamor for another chance, for a
return to Square- One, presumably to recoup the losses of their failed
aggression and to carry on from where they left off.
There’ll be no peace
till an Arab leader dares tell his people that they were brainwashed for more
than a century and victimized by lies rather than Jewish injustice. So long as
the Arabs feel wronged, they won’t rest till they kill the last Jew in this
They won’t rest just as Mustafa couldn’t. After his brilliant
subterfuge succeeded, he fell for his own consciously concocted hoax. The Arabs,
their Muslim confederates and bamboozled Western backers have fatefully fallen
for their unsuccessful consciously concocted perfidy. Unable to get off their
madly swirling mental merry-go-round, they keep concocting ever more scams,
which in Dempsey’s eyes makes them consistent and predictable,
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