Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
When Jacob’s sons Shimon and Levi butchered all the menfolk of Shechem, their father was terribly concerned that the vengeance would endanger him and his nation among the Canaanites. But he need not have worried. As it turned out, the Canaanites did not lift a finger against him. The vengeance had worked. It had cowed the barbarians. It had focused their minds.
I find myself contemplating that as I sit back and enjoy some sangria as part of the celebration of the downfall of Saddam. What a great day to be an American! What a great day to be an Israeli! What a great day to be a Jew!
The most delightful part was trying to project into my own mind what must have been the
thoughts in the heads of the leading barbarians of the Arab and Islamist world, the leaders of Iran, Syria, Libya, and the many terrorist groups. Here we had the man who had defied the United States, who had thumbed his nose at the democratic West, reduced to a Neanderthal lifestyle, the suitcase of dollars nearby notwithstanding.
Sure it was twelve years too late, and sure it proved how foolish George Bush Senior had been to fear carrying the first Gulf War to its natural conclusion. That fear had allowed Saddam to morph into the great hero of the fascist Arab world, resisting all the efforts of the U.S. and the UN for years after George Bush Senior had seen his own political career come to an end.
But those of us who laugh last laugh best. The ultimate purpose of the career of the monster from Baghdad is, we now know, to illustrate for the Middle East’s barbarian hordes and
their leaders what type of fate awaits them. The man who fired missiles into Tel Aviv received
what can only appear as Divine comeuppance. Confined to a hole in the ground with rodents
scurrying about, living for months in conditions far worse than those to which he will now be
confined as a prisoner, his two sons assassinated, left alone by his people. A Haman-like
denouement if ever there was one. Who says the modern world does not resemble the Bible?
You know how everyone who was alive at the time claims to remember exactly where he or she was when the news came that President Kennedy had been shot? In my case, I actually do recall it quite clearly. Though I suspect the capture of Saddam will not be as memorable and as historically marked in people’s minds as the Kennedy assassination, I thought I’d share my own experience of hearing the glad tidings of Saddam’s capture.
I had taken a break from some office work at Haifa University shortly after noontime. I went down to the Arab student cafeteria. No, that is not what it is officially called, just what I call
it. Haifa University has the largest contingent of Arab students in Israel. While they are not a
homogeneous bunch, the bulk of them are ferociously anti-Israel and pro-PLO. Many strut about campus with T-shirts portraying the late Egyptian dictator Nasser — the other Arab tyrant who was planning to fire missiles with weapons of mass destruction at the Jews.
There is one cafeteria where the Arab students tend to congregate in large numbers, and
this cafeteria has a better-than-average shwarma stand (kosher, of course). The fellow who sells shwarma there is himself an Arab — though not pro-Saddam. I know, because I once brought him an Internet photo of Saddam cutting shwarma off a churning rotisserie with the caption, “We have discovered where Saddam is.” He thought it was hilarious and he hung it up, telling me that most of the Arab students who came there to eat were Saddam supporters and would be angered by the photo, much to his delight.
I was waiting in line for the shwarma-in-pita when I started listening to the TV set in the
cafeteria. It was the announcement by the U.S. governor in Iraq that Saddam had been caught. The Arab students in the cafeteria were thrown into deep remorse, anger and shock. Their faces showed their sorrow. I ordered extra sauce to celebrate.
The sorrow of the Arab students at seeing their hero captured was not restricted to Haifa
University. Pity those poor peace demonstrators on Western campuses! You might want to send condolence cards to some antiwar protesters and leftist professors in your town, telling them how sorry you are that the guy who best represents their values and dreams is now behind bars. You might want to slap an antiwar protester with your sandal, or turn a fire hose on the demonstrators for Palestinian ‘liberation.’
And Saddam? In the first photos, he looked ever so much like one of those homeless men
south of Market Street in the Mission District of San Francisco who eat out of garbage bins. The tyrant of Iraq reduced to dressing like a derelict, hiding in the mud, pouring dirt on himself to try to escape capture.
Could there be a better image to focus the minds and deter the Islamofascist leaders of the
Arab world? An image to throw the fear of death and humiliation into them? Could there be any better way to deter their savagery?
And for Israel, could there be any better lesson in how to handle Yasir Arafat, that longtime groupie of Saddam? Arafat is a tyrant and fascist leader who would also make a wonderful poster boy for homelessness and dereliction. I am willing to dig the hole under the farmhouse myself, despite my bad back.
Shimon and Levi were right. The ‘peace movement’ was wrong. The Left is always
Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book ‘The Scout’ is available at
Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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