Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Esteemed guest II: Amir Taheri

Israel must claim victory over Palestine
Sharon's policy will endure because it makes strategic sense
(The Australian, hat tip: Melanie Phillips via Bison)
As Ariel Sharon fights for his life, his sudden removal from centre stage has already had the effect of a political earthquake in the Middle East. It is not only Israel that ponders the post-Sharon era with apprehension. Judging by the coverage of the Arab media in recent days, the broader Middle East is also concerned about the imponderables of a post-Sharon era.

While the al-Jazeera satellite channel was airing the jubilant utterances of radical Arabs over Sharon's stroke, more moderate Arabs appearing on the rival channel al-Arabiyah acknowledged that the Israeli leader had become the Palestinians' "most serious partner for peace".

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak has described Sharon as "a man of peace", echoing his Tunisian counterpart Zin El Abidine Ben Ali's "esteem and admiration" for the Israeli leader. Sharon also has a surprising number of friends in other Arab countries, from Oman to Mauritania, Qatar, Jordan and Morocco. In the wider Muslim world, Sharon has fostered a "working dialogue" with leaders in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, with a view to establishing diplomatic ties.

Things were different even a year ago, as far as Sharon's image in Arab and Islamic countries was concerned. At that time the former general was seen by many as the quintessential "Zionist enemy", as portrayed by years of propaganda.

What changed that was what Israel's interim prime minister Ehud Olmert describes as "the Gaza magic". This was the first time that an Israeli leader had made a unilateral withdrawal from disputed Arab territory without being subjected to internal or external pressures. At the same time, Sharon proceeded with the construction of his "security fence", and insisted there would be no further unilateral withdrawals.

All that gave Sharon a new image, one that resembles a holograph.

Seen from one angle, Sharon appeared as the man of peace that a majority of Israelis have longed for since the 1980s. The fact that he promised that there would be no more withdrawals did not bother the "peace-now" Israelis, who were more convinced by what they saw in Gaza than what they heard from Sharon.

Seen from another angle, the Sharon holograph presented a leader who had given up Gaza in a tactical move to be better able to hang on to the West Bank. That image appealed not only to Likudniks, Sharon's former party colleagues, but also to the more enthusiastic partisans of Greater Israel. They preferred to ignore what they saw in Gaza and focus on what Sharon said about his determination not to make any more unilateral concessions.

The holograph earned Sharon a place that no previous Israeli leader had enjoyed in public opinion. According to most recent polls, almost two-thirds of all Israelis believed that Sharon was the man to lead the country at this moment. That would almost certainly not have been translated into Knesset seats for Kadima, Sharon's new party, in March's election. But enough of that support would have come in the form of votes to give Sharon a lead to reclaim the premiership.

Was the Sharon holograph an illusion or, worse still, a political conjuror's trick to mislead friends and confuse enemies? No. Sharonism, to coin a phrase, reflects the complex realities of the Israel-Palestine solution.

Sharon is an instinctual politician, an increasingly rare breed, in the sense that he can cut through the metapolitical stuff that renders political decision-making difficult or, at times, impossible.

As a professional soldier, Sharon saw that Israel had won all its wars with the Arabs in military terms but failed to translate those victories into lasting political gains. At some point he must have wondered why.

For a war to be won it is not enough for one side to claim victory, although that is essential. It is also necessary for one side to admit defeat. The problem in the case of the Arab-Israeli wars, however, was that the side that had won every time was not allowed to claim victory while the side that had lost was prevented from admitting defeat.

This was a novel situation in history, throughout which the victor and the vanquished had always acknowledged their respective positions and moved beyond it in accordance with a peace imposed by the victor.

In the Israeli-Arab case this had not been done because each time the UN had intervened to put the victor and the vanquished on an equal basis and lock them into a problematic situation in the name of a mythical quest for an impossible peace.

In this novel situation, bizarre new concepts were invented to prevent the normal mechanisms of war and peace from functioning. These include such concepts as land for peace and peace with justice.

There is, however, not a single instance in history in which the winner of a war has given the loser any land in exchange for peace. Nor is there a single instance in which justice and peace have gone together as Siamese twins. In every case the winner wins the land and gives the loser peace. In every case the peace that is imposed is unjust to the loser and just to the winner.

Without going far back into history, it is sufficient to glance at some of the dozens of wars in Europe, Asia and Africa in recent decades to see that they all ended with a peace designed, if not dictated, by the winner. Thus for more than 50 years Israel and the Arabs have been asked to achieve what no other warring parties have ever achieved.

Israel-Palestine became the only conflict to defy a resolution. Successive Israeli governments preferred to wait until there was a Palestinian partner that would accept the kind of peace Israel could offer. This was mirrored by the Palestinians, who were asked by their Arab brothers and others in the UN to wait until Israel offered a peace they would like.

Sharon understood that if such a formula remained in force there would never be peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It was necessary for the victor to claim victory, regardless of what anyone else said. It was also necessary for the victor to take unilateral action by imposing the peace it could live with.

Paradoxically, many Palestinians say, even in public, that they would rather see Sharonist unilateralism at work than a prolongation of the stalemate that has lasted since 1948. It was clear that Sharon, his denials notwithstanding, was planning to claim victory for Israel and impose an Israeli peace.

That Israeli peace would see Gaza and perhaps up to 90 per cent of the West Bank allocated to a putative Palestinian state, while Israel would demarcate its permanent border on the ground, part of which would run along the security fence.

That would not be the kind of land-for-peace deal that UN resolutions have called for since 1968, nor would it satisfy the radical Arabs, who would not see any peace as just without the elimination of Israel.

Sharon may never return to the helm. But Sharonism need not fade away. It is still possible for Israel to create on the ground the kind of peace it can live with and then let the Palestinians decide whether or not they, too, can live with it. My guess is that they will.

Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam. He is a member of Benador Associates.


Bruce786 said...


Even though the below comments don't have much to do with your original article but related to it i would be interested in your views.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES FROM THE BIBLE AS IT HAS IMPLICATIONS ON THE WAR AGAINST TERROR/ISLAM and the claim of Israel that god gave them the land. If the child is an infant than the Judeo-Christian version becomes null and void and we are wasting our time and resources i.e. we could save trillions of dollars and create a more peaceful world rather than fighting against Islam the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all).

The COVENANT with Abraham and his DESCENDANTS is central to islam/chritianity/judaism.

Please note this is not a competition between faiths but an attempt to decipher fact from fiction.

And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ish’mael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ish’mael to Abram.
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

At Genesis 22 Abraham had only 2 sons others came later. The Quran mentions that it was Ishmael that was sacrificed hence the reference in genesis 22:2 your only son can only mean someone has substituted Ishmael names for Isaac!!

NOT ROMAN NUMERALS (I, II, III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X) NB no concept of zero in roman numerals.

100 years old – 86 years old = 14 ADD 3 YEARS FOR ISSAC’S WEANING


Carefully read several times the above passage and then tell me the mental picture you get between the mother child interactions what is the age of the child. If the mental picture is that of a 17 year old child being carried on the shoulder of his mother, being physically placed in the bush, crying like a baby, mother having to give him water to drink, than the Islamic viewpoint is null and void.

I have shown the passage of Genesis 21 to my two elder children of good reading ages now and without influencing them asked them what mental picture they got about the age of Ishmael in that passage and they thought he was about 5 years old. I have also tried the same thing with my work colleagues some of whom are qualified with PhD’s and have the ENGLISH language as their mother tongue and they also said they thought Ishmael was 5 years or younger because some of them stated by themselves that there was no verbal interaction between mother and child. i.e. If Ishmael is not of talking age then he must be less than a year old.

GENESIS:21:14 - 21
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Let me not look upon the death of the child.” And as she sat over against him, the child lifted up his voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not; for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him fast with your hand; for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.


For background info on the future religion of mankind see the following websites:

http://www.al-sunnah.com/muhammad_in_the_bible.htm (MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE)
http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/default.htm (Quran and Science)

HOLY QURAN CHAPTER 37 verses 101 - 122

101. So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah., and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him "O Abraham!

105. "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" - thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

106. For this was obviously a trial-

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of our believing Servants.

112. And We gave him the good news of Isaac - a prophet,- one of the Righteous.

113. We blessed him and Isaac: but of their progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do wrong, to their own souls.

114. Again (of old) We bestowed Our favour on Moses and Aaron,

115. And We delivered them and their people from (their) Great Calamity;

116. And We helped them, so they overcame (their troubles);

117. And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;

118. And We guided them to the Straight Way.

119. And We left (this blessing) for them among generations (to come) in later times:

120. "Peace and salutation to Moses and Aaron!"

121. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

122. For they were two of our believing Servants.


Therefore the claim that god gave the land to Israel is destroyed without the need of any WMD’s.

freedmanslife said...

Hey Bruce

Thanks for popping by and flaming my blog - I note that you have no profile and no return address or website to visit but I hope you and your angry friends pop by again soon.

In answer to your fascinating logic, I have a couple of questions of my own, off the top of my head.

Firstly, are you really suggesting that the Jews (presumably in cahoots with the Christians) shuffled verses in the Bible, I guess in the last 60 years, to justify Israel's modern existence?

Secondly, given the other inconsistencies found in the Koran (ie Moses and Ahasuerus living in the same era?!), is it not possible that in fact it's there that the change in order was made, especially as even the most whacko Zawahirite agrees it was written after the Torah?

Thirdly, even if we agree, without recourse to the Talmud (which predates the modern state of Israel by several centuries and for the most part also the growth of Islam outside Arabia) to find out the rabbis' explanation, that Ishmael was 17 years old, could he have only had the mental capacity of a small child? That would explain Abraham's reasoning in sending him away.

And fourth, let's say hypothetically that Isaac was sent away and Ishmael remained, whose son was Jacob? Because his name was "Israel", and his descendants inherited the land. So the entire Bible is falsified? No, wait - that chain of events led to everything else in history, most of which is accepted in Islam as earlier prophetic eras before Mohammed.

Okay, this is fun. Fifth and final question. If Isaac was sent away, but was promised that he would become a great nation, surely that nation is the Jews? So why is Israel so small, oil-less, and a pariah state?

Also by extension, the rest of the Bible has nothing to do with us - it's Ishmael's family story, so we can jack in Passover etc. Perhaps the Catholics should apologise to the Muslims for the Inquisition, and maybe we can also declare the Holocaust a genocide against Muslims, and UK Holocaust Remembrance Day can be a Muslim day of suffering. Oh wait, you lot are boycotting it. Damn, I am so confused.

Bruce786 said...

Sorry for trespassing on your site I think I will annex it just like the west bank.

Amazing so Hagar in Genesis 21:14 – 21 was carrying a 17 year old retard on her one shoulder for maybe 10 – 100 miles (Mrs. Swarzniggar) who later grew up to become an archer, married into an Arab tribe and learned Arabic and went onto have several children. One of the descendants of this retard with his genetic defects passed on his bad DNA to Muhammad the illiterate whose religion is now violently spreading by the sword and soon to overtake the whole planet.
How could this happen like you I am also confused.

The oil found in recent history belongs to the west its unfortunate it is under lands inhabited by Muslims and not only Arabs.
Having oil and economic success then to die and go to hell is not my idea of a great nation.

By the way SCREW BIN LADEN, AL-QAEDA, SADDAM HUSSAIN and who is this Zackarwee all trained by that humanitarian organization called the CIA.

A brief lesson on Islam.

It is the oldest faith on the planet it starts of with Adam and Eve, and continuous through revelations given to Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus (many others too numerous to mention) until its completion under the messenger ship of Muhammad (pbuta). Islam is not an exclusively an Arab faith as there is no scriptural evidence that Muhammad (pbuh) said that he is the founder of Islam. One cannot quote the Quran as it is not the work of Muhammad as he could not read or write in any language including Arabic. Just as Jesus has himself not ever said that he is the founder of Christianity or Moses has not stated that he is the founder of Judaism.

ISIAH 29 verse 12 "And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned".

Below are verses from the Quran, where GOD/SATAN himself says that the scriptures were changed by the scribes.

Quran Chapter 2 verse 75

75. Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.

Quran Chapter 2 verse 79

79. Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.

Quran Chapter 4 verse 46

46. Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: "What hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

I suppose SATAN said the following about the Israel.

Quran Chapter 2 verse 40 - 83

40. O Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and fulfil your covenant with Me as I fulfil My Covenant with you, and fear none but Me.
41. And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone.
42. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).
43. And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).
44. Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand?
45. Nay, seek ((Allah)'s) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit,-
46. Who bear in mind the certainty that they are to meet their Lord, and that they are to return to Him.
47. Children of Israel! call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other (for My Message).
48. Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside).
49. And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.
50. And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people within your very sight.
51. And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong.
52. Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful.
53. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.
54. And remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker." Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful.
55. And remember ye said: "O Moses! We shall never believe in thee until we see Allah manifestly," but ye were dazed with thunder and lighting even as ye looked on.
56. Then We raised you up after your death: Ye had the chance to be grateful.
57. And We gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you:" (But they rebelled); to us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls.
58. And remember We said: "Enter this town, and eat of the plenty therein as ye wish; but enter the gate with humility, in posture and in words, and We shall forgive you your faults and increase (the portion of) those who do good."
59. But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly.
60. And remember Moses prayed for water for his people; We said: "Strike the rock with thy staff." Then gushed forth therefrom twelve springs. Each group knew its own place for water. So eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do no evil nor mischief on the (face of the) earth.
61. And remember ye said: "O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth, -its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, Its garlic, lentils, and onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!" They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah. This because they went on rejecting the Signs of Allah and slaying His Messengers without just cause. This because they rebelled and went on transgressing.
62. Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
63. And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear Allah."
64. But ye turned back thereafter: Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah to you, ye had surely been among the lost.
65. And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."
66. So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear Allah.
67. And remember Moses said to his people: "(Allah) commands that ye sacrifice a heifer." They said: "Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?" He said: "(Allah) save me from being an ignorant (fool)!"
68. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!" He said; "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!"
69. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour." He said: "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!"
70. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if Allah wills."
71. He said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will.
72. Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But Allah was to bring forth what ye did hide.
73. So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.
74. Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: They became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
75. Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it.
76. Behold! when they meet the men of Faith, they say: "We believe": But when they meet each other in private, they say: "Shall you tell them what Allah hath revealed to you, that they may engage you in argument about it before your Lord?"- Do ye not understand (their aim)?
77. Know they not that Allah knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal?
78. And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.
79. Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:"This is from Allah," to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.
80. And they say: "The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days:" Say: "Have ye taken a promise from Allah, for He never breaks His promise? or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?"
81. Nay, those who seek gain in evil, and are girt round by their sins,- they are companions of the Fire: Therein shall they abide (For ever).
82. But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the Garden: Therein shall they abide (For ever).
83. And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but Allah. treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now).