Kuwait Representative Expels Israeli Delegation at Inter-Parliamentary Union Meeting in Russia

Kuwait’s Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem

Kuwait- The head of the Kuwait’s National Assembly, Marzouq Al-Ghanem, lashed out at the Israeli Knesset delegation at the closing session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference held in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, which forced the delegation to leave the hall.

In front of delegations from more than 150 countries, Ghanem described the Israeli mission as “the occupier and the murderer of children”. He asked it to leave the conference room because of Israel’s violation of international law and the continued detention of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

“You should grab your bags and leave this hall as you have witnessed the reaction of every honorable parliament around the world,” he said, addressing the Israeli delegation.

“Leave now if you have one ounce of dignity, you occupier, you murderer of children.” The Israeli delegation left the talks following the remarks by Ghanem and several other parliaments in the midst of applause.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference kicked off its work on October 14 and ended on Wednesday.

Delegates representing 150 countries, including 100 speakers, 70 deputy speakers and 2,300 guests, including 840 parliamentarians, attended the conference under the theme of promoting multiculturalism and peace through interfaith and interreligious dialogue.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union gathers 173 Member Parliaments and 11 Associate Members. It works closely with the United Nations and other partner organizations that share common goals.

Established in 1889 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the Union is primarily financed by its members through public funds.

Four permanent committees operate within the framework of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, including the Permanent Committee on International Peace and Security, the Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, the Committee on United Nations Affairs and the Committee on Sustainable Development, Trade and Finance.

Israel: The Road to Cementing Jewish Fundamentalism

Israel

Cairo – Racing the clock ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit, Israel’s Knesset and government advanced the bill declaring its state once-and-for-all a Jewish nation.

The Knesset, or the Israeli parliament, had on May 10 given the preliminary approval to a bill draft proposed by the Likud party member and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter.

Despite being given the initial green light, it needs to be debated by a parliamentary committee and voted on three more times in the plenum before it becomes part of the country’s so-called “basic laws”, which are similar to a constitution.

In and of itself, the bill calls for stark discrimination against Arab minorities, while paradoxically maintaining Israel’s alleged “democracy.”

Declaring Israel a Jewish state loudly disagrees with principles of holding a democracy and would shift the occupying force’s administration to an Iran-styled theocracy.

The bill aside, Jewish fundamentalism is a reality in Israel and what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government are embarking on is to merely give Jewish fanaticism a legal definition. Shoring up Israel’s presence as a theocracy in the world.

Dichter’s bill not only encroaches on genuine rights of the original landowners, the Palestinians, but also announces Hebrew as the sole official language, devaluing Arabic from a primary language to merely holding “special status.”

The bill also confiscates the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. It stipulates that the right of self-determination is enjoyed only by Jews … A term at which one must stop and ask how can racism be more explicit than this?

This glows beyond the fog of politics– it is a fundamentalist narrative at its finest. Self-declared right to supremacy over others, and self-given right to deprive, isolate and eliminate counterparts cannot better define zealotry. Such a bill promotes legal preference in a push to erase their trace from both geography and history.

Understanding the reality of Israel’s internal politics is directly tethered to ultra-conservative support to Zionism weaved throughout its social fabric.

The nationalist bill is nothing more than an illustrious reflection of the reality of fundamentalism within occupied territories.

Human rights activists and Holocaust survivor Israel Shahak and outspoken anti-Zionist and distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Central Connecticut State University Norton Mezvinsky co-authored a book detailing the world, “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel,” on how swayed Israel truly is.

The book shows how deep rooted religious extremism is and to what consequences it leads. More so, it draws a clearer image on how Zionism is devoted towards aligning the stars and circumstances needed to provoke the emergence of the savior, the messiah.

Shedding light on commitment to a prophesied Israel, the Shahak and Mezvinsky work sets out to explain how the contours of an Israeli state is painted in Jewish ways prevailing across the land, sea and air, mind and soul, even at the cost of drafting Judeo-nationalist laws.

By no means is Jewish fundamentalism fresh news, it can easily be traced down history, but it surely has – hazardously – picked up significant momentum over the past few decades.

Increasingly dangerous, zealotry has flourished after the Six-Day War. Jewish fundamentalism has crystalized as a one-side track on which Israel hardwires its vision to in hopes of reviving a pure sematic linage.

Israeli Knesset Gives Initial Approval to Anti-adhan Bill

Tel Aviv- The Israeli Knesset gave a preliminary approval on Wednesday to a bill that would ban the use of loudspeakers to amplify the Muslim call to prayer (adhan).

The Knesset’s majority voted in favor of two measures because those who have introduced the bill failed to agree on one version.

The bills passed 55-48. The draft legislation aims to stop mosques from using loudspeakers to amplify the Muslim call to prayer from 11pm to 7am.

Two versions of the law will go to committee for further discussion before any final vote in parliament, in what could be a lengthy process.

During the assembly, some lawmakers protested the bill, others tore copies of it while some interrupted the speeches of the lawmakers who have pushed for its adoption.

Some shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ before a number of Arab-dominated Joint List alliance members were expelled of the session.

Joint List lawmakers called for demonstrations to reject the bill, saying the sound of adhan should be raised.

Former Foreign Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni, a leader of the centre-left Zionist Union party, said “proud Israelis” should join together in opposing legislation that would only “spread hate and ignite tensions” between Muslims and Jews.

The new proposed law sets a fine of 10,000 shekel ($2,750) for violations.

In its statement, the Join List denounced the bill, saying Arab citizens would not respect a racist law. For its part, the Higher Follow-Up Committee for Arab Affairs rejected the racist bill, which it said reflects the terrorist mindset of the government.

The adhan will still be heard in the five prayers of the day, it said.

Minister for Waqf Yusuf Ideis also condemned the bill which he considered “a racism that exceeds political dimensions, (touching) on religious aspects and threatening the region with a religious war.”

Trump Administration Warns Israel from Annexing West Bank

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Tel Aviv- At a time when Israeli authorities issued orders to demolish dozens of Palestinian houses in Jerusalem’s suburbs in order to annex these territories to their boundaries, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that Israel has received a direct message from US President Donald Trump’s administration warning of an “immediate crisis” if the government were to annex the West Bank and apply Israeli sovereignty there.

Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Liberman said that he had received calls from all over the world criticizing the idea of annexation, including a candid communique from the new US administration.

“The coalition should make unequivocally clear that there is no intention at the moment to apply Israeli sovereignty,” the Defense Minister said.

Furthermore, “we received a message directly — not indirectly, not a hint — from the US, that Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank means an immediate crisis with the new administration,” he added.

“I’ve been getting phone calls from them asking me, ‘What’s the coalition’s position?’ I want to make it very clear, at least concerning my worldview: We need to separate from the Palestinians and not absorb Palestinians into our territory,” he said.

He also cited the vast financial burden of offering “at least citizenship” to 2.7 million people, saying it would immediately cost Israel NIS 20 billion ($5.4 billion).

In Geneva, a draft of a report due to be published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights blamed Israel for acting to annex the disputed territories in the West Bank and urged companies to end trade and business agreements with Judea and Samaria, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

The report was written by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Jordanian Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein.

It is also said bereft of any mention of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank or in general.

The report noted that 2017 marks 50 years since the Six Day War (the text described this period as 50 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian Land).

It additionally stated that Israel’s activities in the West Bank have brought on a consistent growth of the settler population and a unilateral takeover of widespread areas of land, in opposition to international law.

“With the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory now in its 50th year, the illegal settlement enterprise continues to advance apace. Through unabated expansion of illegal settlements and parallel efforts to consolidate Israel’s control over the West Bank, successive Israeli governments since 1967 have overseen the steady growth of the settler population and the unilateral takeover of large swaths of the west bank’s land reserves, in clear violation of international law.”

The report went on to state that Israel’s actions have dire effects on Palestinian human rights in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Five Projects to Resolve the Palestinian Cause

Palestine

Tal Aviv – Since the U.S. President Donald Trump’s famous statement on the two-state solution or the one-state solution, several political figures in the Israeli right and left wings have been suggesting new solutions as alternatives to the familiar two-state solution – five projects have been discussed.

Trump’s saying “I am looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” had drawn a deadlock, according to those who presented alternative solutions – especially that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is avoiding decisiveness in this topic due to his concerns over the right-wing.

Knesset former leader Abraham Borg aims at reaching a state where citizens receive equal rights or two states where various nationals can act independently. According to him, Israel and Palestine should hold negotiations on federalism in a fair and pressures-free way.

There is a second proposal made by Israel’s Mossad senior officer Amounail Shahef to divide Israel into thirty cantons’ federal. “This grants Israel, for the first time, the legality to reach a solution in the struggle with the Palestinians… The key of this solution is to provide regional independent rule in each strip,” he said.

“The two-states and one nation”, is the third suggestion made by a group of Israeli and Palestinian figures. They propose establishing a confederation between Israel and Palestine based on 1967 border.

A former member of Knesset suggested imposing full sovereignty on Palestinian territory and treating Palestinians as residents but with no political rights to elect for the Knesset. However, another current member suggested adopting a self-ruling program, earlier mentioned by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Imams’ Mosques will not Apply Israeli Bill to Silence Calls to Prayer

Palestine

Tel Aviv and Ramallah – Palestinian leaders and imams’ mosques denounced Israeli draft bill to silence call to prayer, saying it is racist and threatens Muslims’ right to freely practice their faith.

Sheikh Yusuf Baz, Imam of Lodd Mosque, said that this bill is wrong and came upon requests of people who claim they are annoyed by the call for prayers.

“The mosque has been there since before those annoyed citizens came and before Israel was established. Jews lived here before and they weren’t annoyed of the call for prayers,” said the sheikh.

He explained that every 15 minutes a plane flies over Lodd causing noise for everyone. He wondered why they are concentrating on the call for prayers which only last for two minutes.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation debated the bill prohibiting religious institutions from using outdoor amplification before authorizing it for a parliamentary vote. It is likely to be passed, since it has the backing of the country’s ruling coalition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support to the bill, saying that “citizens of all religions” have complained about excessive noise from call to prayers.

Netanyahu said: “I can’t tell you how many times people have approached me, from all walks of Israeli society, crying out about the suffering that is caused by excessive noise reaching them from prayer house announcements.”

“Israel is committed to freedom for all religions, but is also responsible for protecting its citizens from noise,” the Israeli PM added.

Interior Minister and Shas party Chairman, Aryeh Deri, tried to postpone approval of the bill in an attempt to hold talks with Muslim religious leaders, but the right party refused to wait.

Members of the “Joint List” refused this bill unanimously. President of “Joint List” MP Ayman Awda said that bills like this one create hatred against Arabs. He added that there are laws for noise and disturbance which mosques comply with, so it is clear that this bill is targeting mosques by considering them a source of trouble.

Knesset member Haneen Zoabi said that those complaining of mosques are the ones who chose to live next to it, and just as they decided to settle there, they are welcomed to leave if they are suffering that much.

MP of Meretz Party Issawi described the bill as anti-sematic and asked the prime minister to remove it from the agenda. He added that if the noise was really the problem, there is a law for that. But the aim is to target Muslims just as anti-Semitism is targeting Jews in Europe.

Abraham Fund, and organization that works for co-existence between Arabs and Jews, also called on the ministers to reject the bill.

Leaders at the organization issued a statement saying: “Relations between Jews and Arabs in mixed areas and cities require dialogue and an inclusive policy and issues of friction cannot be gotten rid of by legislation that damages the fabric of ties between the groups. There are examples of local arrangements that have been achieved together with regard to the calls of the muezzin, as for example in Jaffa, where for more than a decade the loudspeaker system times and regulates the volume of the call – an arrangement also encouraged by the Arab inhabitants of the city.”

The statement added that the lawmakers behind the bill “are the first to defend the religious rights of Jews in Israel, even when these create hardships for other groups, for example, the lack of public transportation on Shabbat, but they do not hesitate to act in a bullying and destructive manner when it comes to the religious customs of Israel’s Muslim citizens.

“The recent Israeli measures are going to lead to catastrophe in the region,” said Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The Palestinian leadership will turn to the UN Security Council and all other international organizations to stop those Israeli measures,” Abu Rudeina confirmed.

“The bill is pure discrimination against Muslims,” Sheikh Yousef Edais, Minister for Waqf and Religious Affairs, adding that if passed, the entire region could plunge into religious war.

“This [bill] expresses racism that goes beyond politics and delves into religion,” he said.

“The approval of this bill will not change the religious reality, but rather will make us more committed to our holy sites and religious endowments that express our national and political identity,” stressed Sheikh Edais.

‘Joint Arab List’ Proposes Law to Recognize ‘Palestinians of 48’ National Minority in Israel

Joint (Arab) List MK Jamal Zahalka speaks during a plenum session in the assembly

Tel Aviv- In a new precedent, the Joint Arab List bloc in the Knesset submitted a proposal on Wednesday in a bid to recognize the Palestinians of 1948 occupied territories Green Line as a national minority, having collective rights according to the International Law on the basis of full civil equality for them.

National Democratic Alliance in the Joint Arab List MK Jamal Zahalka submitted this proposal, saying: “Law in Israel does not recognize Arabs as national minority, and it does not grant them collective and national rights. They are treated according to their religious groups and are referred to as ‘minorities,’ ‘not Jewish’ or ‘Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bedouins’ without mentioning that they are Arabs or belong to Arab-Palestinian national minority.”

Zahalka added that the bonds of the bid are derived from the international treaty on the rights of minority groups and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among other international treaties.

The proposal raised a wave of rage as Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) vilified in the Knesset plenum this proposal along with the Israeli Knesset, which voted against it.

“The proposed law wishes to innovate a new constitutional hierarchy in which the Arab citizens of Israel will have a collective national veto right over decisions by state institutions,” claimed Shaked in her opening words.

Shaked added: “In the limitation clause which is characteristic of basic laws, the laws’ proponents intentionally seek to make a dramatic change. Whereas regarding the basic law: Human dignity and liberty, the law emphasizes that laws which harm people’s basic rights for a necessary goal would still comply with Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state, the present proposal speaks of democracy and intentionally omits Israel’s status as a Jewish state.”

Shaked turned to the Arab MKs and said “Ben Gurion would turn over in his grave if he knew of this law. My friends who proposed this law: You are confused. This will never happen. The national definition of the State of Israel is the one and only state of the Jewish nation.”

“National rights for Arab minorities can be attained in our neighboring Arab countries. Whoever wishes to realize his national rights as an Arab is invited to leave to these countries. I can’t promise that he will continue to enjoy the conditions he receives in our villa,” she further stated.

For his part, MK Zahalka, responded to Shaked’s words by saying: “I didn’t think that the justice minister would tell me to leave the country as if she is the master and we are her slaves. We are citizens and will fight for full citizenship and for our full rights despite the efforts of racists and fascists like Shaked.”

Member of the Joint Arab List and 18 MKs from the left-wing Meretz Party voted in favor of the bid in the 120-member Knesset while the rest of parliament blocs voted against.

The Palestinians of 1948 Occupied Palestine are the Palestinian citizens who have remained on the land, which was seized by the Israeli occupation forces in 1948.

Constituting around 20 percent of Israeli citizens, the Palestinians of 1948 occupied land have been subjected to racist laws and discriminatory politics pursued by the Israeli occupation government and authorities.

They face systematic discrimination in land rights, housing, welfare, education, political expression and more.

Netanyahu Wishes to Expel Depute Zuabi from Knesset

israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-reuters

Tel Aviv-The right-wing deputies at the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) had assaulted Arab depute Hanin Zuabi, following her statements regarding the Israel and Turkey reconciliation agreement. Consequently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inquired possibility of expelling Zuabi from the Knesset.

In media and on social network websites, Zuabi was also attacked and even received death threats.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli Parliament convened to discuss the Israel-Turkey reconciliation agreement amidst complaints of deputies and some ministers who accused the government of undervaluing the parliament through restricting discussions to the Israeli security cabinet.

Yet, complaints were upstaged by the fight that started between Zuabi and the right-wing deputies as she delivered her speech.

Zuabi said that she was on the deck of Marmara Ship in May 2010 when it was attacked by an Israeli armed unit, hurdling its way along with other six ships that had Gaza as their destination to raise the siege. Zuabi described those Israeli soldiers as killers and demanded an apology and a siege raise.

At the end of the session, President Hamad Ammar asked Zuabi to apologize for describing Israeli soldiers as killers but she refused to.

Depute Michael Aron said that democracy is based on independency which relies on political loyalty. Without loyalty, democracy is not possible, he added. Aron criticized Zuabi who delivered such a speech when she is still getting paid from the Knesset.

Israeli defense minister: Assad has lost control of most of Syria

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad ride in a tank during what they said was a military operation against rebels in al-Mansoura area in Aleppo countryside, June 2, 2013. REUTERS/George Ourfalian
Forces loyal to Syria’s president, Bashar Al-Assad, ride in a tank during what they said was a military operation against rebels in the Al-Mansoura area in the Aleppo countryside, on June 2, 2013. (REUTERS/George Ourfalian)
London, Asharq Al-Awsat—The government of Bashar Al-Assad has lost control of the majority of Syrian territory, Israel’s minister of defense said yesterday.

The minister, Moshe Ya’alon, was testifying before the Israeli parliament’s defense and foreign affairs committee and said that Assad retained control of only 40% of Syria.

Ya’alon told lawmakers that the fighting remained deadlocked between the two sides, despite support from abroad.

He said: “The regime does not know how to defeat the opposition and the opposition does not know how to defeat the regime. The situation at present is that Syria is split—Assad controls 40% of the territory, mostly where Alawites live and parts of Damascus, while some 80% of Aleppo is in the hands of the opposition.”

Ya’alon also told legislators that the delivery of an advanced S-300 air defense system promised to Syria by Russia had not taken place, and was not expected to happen before 2014.

“At this stage, according to Russian chatter, the system has not yet been transferred to Syria,” he said. “If they do take place, it will not be before next year.”

President Assad recently claimed that some elements of the S-300 system were already in place in Syria, though this claim was met with scepticism from experts, who said that the system would take some time to reach Syria, and at least six months would be needed to train the Syrian military to operate it.

Ya’alon also said that Israel would not intervene in the conflict “as long as they don’t harm our interests, or unless there are attempts to transfer precision weapons, mostly to Hezbollah, or an attempt to take control of chemical weapons or heat up the border, or if there are shooting incidents into our territory.”

Israeli jets struck targets in Syria twice at the beginning of May, targeting shipments of weapons bound for Hezbollah according to press reports. Israeli troops destroyed a Syrian army position after coming under attack from within Syria while patrolling the occupied Golan Heights.

Ya’alon added that his comments to the committee had been cleared by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, suggesting that his remarks reflected official policy.

“There have been remarks, coordinated and uncoordinated, and therefore the prime minister instructed ministers to coordinate their words. What I am saying now has been coordinated with the prime minister,” he said.

Within Syria, fighting between the rebels and the Syrian government has continued around the town of Al-Qusayr, close to the Syrian–Lebanese border, as the government continues attempts to re-take the town, reportedly with the assistance of Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon.

On the diplomatic front, the fate of the peace conference proposed by the US and Russia, dubbed “Geneva II,” remains in doubt amid disarray within the main Syrian opposition movement, the Syrian National Coalition and international disagreements over Iran’s attendance.

The Israel We Do Not Know

Being something of an exception in the Middle East, the Israeli elections are often great fun and full of surprises. This time we saw the emergence of politician Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party that has won the admiration even of its political rivals after gaining 19 seats in the Israeli Knesset. Lapid is a TV presenter and a news anchor who decided only a few months ago to enter politics, competing with and even embarrassing senior politicians such as Tzipi Livni and Avigdor Lieberman, and forcing Benjamin Netanyahu to ride on the back of coalitions in order to remain as prime minister. Lapid, a moderate political leader who we will hear more of in the future, is primarily concerned with developing education and achieving social equality. His liberal concepts are completely alien to the Jewish clergy and a source of ridicule among the far right.

Another interesting observation from these elections is that the majority of rival parties’ platforms emphasized improving the internal situation, including living standards, health and education, as well as achieving greater social justice. Political parties were largely indifferent towards foreign policies such as the Iranian nuclear issue and the two-state solution with Palestine; they were more inclined towards internal affairs. We saw this previously with the recent US elections when Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tried to portray the US as a small family home where the owner only wished to support its inhabitants and ensure that they were warm and well fed. It seems Hamas was right when it said that the results of the Israeli elections were a reflection of the recent battle in Gaza. This is true because the existing truce there has achieved a degree of safety that has enabled Israeli political parties to focus on their country’s internal situation.

It is sad to say that Israel—the invasive, oppressive, occupying state—lives amongst us but we still do not know it.

It seems that the Arab street’s awareness of Israel came to a virtual standstill in October 1973. The Arabs may only remember the Camp David agreement because it surfaced recently in Egypt after the ruling regime changed there. What I mean by the Arab street is the youth category-which makes up the backbone of any country-rather than the intellectual or political elite that is engrossed in reading books, issuing condemning statements, and making notes of Israeli aggression over the past sixty years. Young Arab generations lack awareness about Israel; a country that is now totally different to how it was in 1948, 1956, 1967 or 1973. This is not because it has transformed into a friendly state, for it is still considered our bitter enemy that continues to occupy Palestinian soil. What has changed in Israel, like any other state, is that now there is an emerging generation that harbors dreams and expectations different to those cherished by a leader like Netanyahu. Young Israelis have their own vision that is detached from military life and is inclined towards civil interests, a love for life, and decent living standards.

What Arab youths do not know is that in Israel there is a strong sector that opposes the state’s supremacist policies towards the Palestinian people in particular, and the Arabs in general. These youths are not only leftists; there are also centrist civil servants and university graduates who strongly believe that Israel’s stability is conditional upon its coexistence with the Arabs.

However, it is ridiculous to read political analysis comparing these Israeli youths with the Arab youths that revolted in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, in the sense that those Israelis took to streets against Netanyahu last year to demand social justice in the same manner that the Arab Spring revolutionaries also took to streets to demonstrate. This is untrue because the youths in the Arab Spring states were rising up against ruling regimes that were light years away from their citizens. The rulers of these states stayed in their palaces and were unable to hear their people or sense their needs. Here, people became outraged because of their needs and their leader’s negligence or arrogance, and whenever they sought to make their voice heard in the elections, these same leaders would return the next day and declare their victory with an overwhelming majority. In Israel, this situation does not exist; the regime in Tel Aviv is truly democratic and the rungs on the power ladder are fixed. What the demonstrators in Israel are demanding is an improvement in living standards; they are not starting from scratch as in the Arab Spring states. In these states there was no democratic political climate prior to the revolutions, and in fact we are still waiting for such a climate to emerge amidst the security, economic, and political failures that we see every day.

In Israel, politicians are distinguished by their sincerity and devotion to the higher interests of the state, rather than their affiliation to a certain group, and this is something we have yet to see in the Arab Spring.

The Arab youths turned to poets with their cheap words, and to politicians who heap insults upon Israel from their luxurious hotel rooms. However, they are still unaware as to where, why and how these feelings of hatred towards Israel came about.

A simple means of demonstrating our ignorance of Israel can be found in the fact that its neighboring states are ignorant of the Hebrew language. In Lebanon and Syria, people prefer to study French rather than the language of a country that continues to jeopardize their own security every day. In Egypt and Jordan, people do not prioritize of publicize the study of the Hebrew language, while in Israeli educational institutions there is ample opportunity to study the Arabic language. It is for this reason that we find a considerable number of Israeli politicians and media representatives who speak Arabic fluently. I do not know many Arab foreign ministers in Israel’s neighboring states that can speak Hebrew. As for those who say that the Israelis speak Arabic because the language is more common than Hebrew, or because the Israelis have intruded on our region, this justification is irrelevant. The reason why Israel enjoys superiority over the Arabs is because it has sought to understand them through their language; it can gauge the thinking of the young and old. Israel is well aware of the Arabs’ strengths as well as their weaknesses, and it can understand them simply because it has immersed itself in their culture.

Therefore, it is no wonder that we hear youths in Tel Aviv listening to Umm Kulthum songs, eating hummus and considering the television series ‘Rafat El-Haggan’ to be a comedy. The Israelis are not only occupying our soil, but they also highly active in our culture, which is the real cause for their power.