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What About "Evil" Itself? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Travel and Leisure magazine, one of the most respected in its field, has dedicated a number of pages promoting tourism in Israel. In this advertising campaign the map of Israel was shown as including the West Bank and Gaza, and of course – the Golan Heights. This was not a misprint or inadvertent; it was deliberate and came amidst talks of pressure being put on Israel and its extremist rightwing government to force it to take part in serious peace negotiations, to which the government is absolutely opposed.

The Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was so insolent as to state in the presence of the foreign minister of Germany – the only country which is still paying compensation for the victims of the Jewish holocaust – that Israel will not withdraw from the West Bank and will not remove the settlements. Netanyahu used in this respect the same German expression “Judenrein”, which the Nazis used against the Jews to force them to move out of their homes. It is ironic that the prime minister of [Israel], the only state in the world practicing neo-Nazism is using old Nazi expressions to gain international sympathy.

And as if all this impudence was not enough, Israeli leaders have continued to send unequivocal messages to the world openly stating its position. Uzi Arad, one of Netanyahu’s closest advisers, told Haaretz in so many words that Israel will not withdraw completely from the Golan Heights if a peace treaty is concluded with Syria.

Any impartial observer of the Arab Israeli conflict knows that all UN resolutions and peace treaties with Arab countries demand that Israel withdraw from all the land it occupied in the war of 1967. But Israelis are behaving as if these international instruments are of no concern to it. So how would anybody even theoretically talk about Israeli seriousness in any peace talks?

The government of Netanyahu is a crude reflection of Israeli extremism and a detestable formation of the aggressive Israeli right. The international society is required to isolate this aggressive Israeli government which is refusing to listen to the dictates of justice and the UN legal system to which the whole world belongs.

If ever there was an appropriate time to talk about an axis of evil – a term which former President George Bush used to describe some states – that time is now. The world is required to deal with the ‘evil’ which the present Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu represents. There is no difference between the policies of the present Israeli government and Hitler’s Nazi regime, or the old apartheid regime of South Africa. They all relied on racial discrimination, oppression and genocide, with impunity.

There is a clear picture that Israel is transmitting to the world – a picture that shows in detail that Israel is not serious about peace and is unwilling to have a real peace based on respect for international law, that restores the rights (or at least some of them) to their rightful owners. The Obama administration has taken an important step concerning the issue of Palestine and has demanded that Israel puts an end to its ridiculous behavior. Without a firm stand in this respect, I do not believe that anybody would believe anything that the US administration says about the Palestinian question.

I realize that in calling for boycotting Israel I am demanding the impossible; but it is the only way to put things right.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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