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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘kedar’

Mordechai Kedar: An Open Letter to President Assad

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The Druze writer, Salman Masalha, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, addresses President Assad personally and reproves him for the failure of the hollow pan-Arab slogans of brotherhood and equality that his party uses in order to justify the oppression of his people and the murderous brutality of recent decades.

The article was originally published on the Internet site Elaph about six months ago, was translated to Hebrew by Arie Goos and now appears on the Internet site Megafon [The comments of Dr. Kedar are in parentheses].

Dear Mr. President,

It is difficult for me to address you with this title, but because at least officially, as of now, you carry this title and fulfill this role, politeness and protocol oblige me to address you in this way. And so, I will begin:

Dear Mr. President,

Ever since the flames licked the body of Bouazizi in Tunisia [in December 2010, the start of the "domino effect" of the "Arab Spring"] and their sparks then flew to various locations of the Arab world, you haven’t understood – nor have any of those who raised you to power by means of a constitutional farce explained to you – that the Arab coals hidden under the Arab dust and sand for so many long generations of tyranny will set your house aflame as well.

You have declared many times, to the Western media, of course, that Syria is different from Tunisia, different from Libya and different from Egypt. Indeed, in the process of aggressive investigative reporting, the truth did rise to the surface, proving the emptiness of the whole false Ba’ath ideology which claims “one Arab nation with an eternal mission.”

Even so, with the kindling of the flames in the Arab states, the power of this slogan quickly collapsed. Its thunderous fall, as you expressed it in your own words, exposed to all, the nationalist lie that the Ba’ath has been spreading for many generations. These glittering slogans have aroused us for such a long time, and unfortunately still excite the feelings even of those who have outgrown Arab nationalism.

The false ideology behind the Ba’ath slogans, in Iraq as well as in Syria – where it still rules officially – hides the darkness of the prisons into which all of the seekers of freedom among the Arab citizens – the cultural as well as the political – are thrown.

Indeed, this Ba’ath party was never anything but a racist Arab ideology, and because of this it became, essentially, a tribal ideology. Yes, this was the situation in the land of Aram Naharaim, Iraq of Saddam Hussein, and this is the current situation in Syria. When you became president, there were those who hoped, naively, that because you studied in the West and you became acquainted with Western culture, and because you know how to use the Internet, Facebook and other modern media, perhaps some wisps of the aroma of freedom and openness of the Western world would have clung to you.

Oh! What naivety! Indeed, they were all naive because they didn’t know that you yourself were never free. All the years that passed in the West were carried away in the wind. What is depressing is the speed with which the glittering slogans disappeared with the first wind of freedom. There is another son, recently captured, who was said to have received Western education, and that he was open, in contrast to his father. However, the moment that the intifada broke out in Libya, we saw how Saif al-Islam Qadhafi returned to his nature, which overcame everything that he had acquired in the West. Overnight, those who were involved in the intifada became rats.

And the same goes for you too, Mr. President. Yes, you were not a free man, not even for one day. Why, you are the son of your father. And therefore, if you had really been free you would have refused to allow your father to pass down the rule to you by a constitutional farce. If you had been really free you would have insisted on continuing your work as an ophthalmologist. You would have continued to support people to see the light with your assistance. But you were not that sort. Your studies in the cultured West did not avail you, and none of its culture of freedom clung to you.

Mordechai Kedar: Radical Islam in Africa

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Before Islam appeared on the scene, the Arab tribes would contend with each other in endless wars that continued for hundreds of years and cost many lives. When Islam appeared in the first quarter of the seventh century CE, it was meant to be a new, religious basis for the definition of the individual and the group; a unifying focus of ideological identification that would substitute for the divisive tribal identification from which the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula suffered. The tragedy of Islam is that it failed in this important task, so the Islamic peoples and the tribes remained divided and fragmented, bickering with each other and quarreling with each other as if they had forgotten the explicit saying in the Qur’an, (Chapter 3, verse 103): “Cleave, all of you, to the religion of Allah and do not part from each other”. The worst thing is that throughout history, Islam has been used as fuel for the fires of internal conflicts, and many times in the course of the history of Islam, both sides of an internal conflict justified the conflict in terms of Islam, and each declared jihad against the other.

European colonialism left behind it in Africa heterogeneous states, each of which is an aggregation of tribes that differ from each other. Therefore, for many years, most of the African states have been afflicted with violent conflicts that leave in their wake many thousands of dead and wounded. Cases of genocide, in Biafra in the late sixties and in Rwanda in 1994, are the direct result of the conflicts between tribes within African states. In cases where one side of a conflict is Muslim and the other side is Christian or Animist (pagan), the religious element becomes part of the reason for the war, fueling the conflict and turning it into a holy jihad, thus justifying acts of mass slaughter.

When conflicts between the tribes are colored with a religious hue, situations are created in which Muslim dictators behave with total brutality: Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda between 1971 and 1979 eliminated about a half million Ugandans in cold blood. Some of them he threw into Lake Victoria, teeming with crocodiles, to be food for the predators. These days a film is circulating on the nternet of a different case: a mass murderer in Uganda, Joseph Kony, who forcefully enlisted children, armed them, and turned them into mass murderers totally lacking in compassion or conscience.

For about fifty years, in the second half of the twentieth century, a terrible and destructive war was carried out in Sudan, between the Arab-Muslim North and the Christian-Animist South. Over the years, this war has caused about two million fatalities, and it ended in an agreement in July 2011 that brought about  the division of Sudan into two states, a northern state which is Arab and Muslim, and a southern state with a Christian and Animist population.

In the Darfur region of Sudan, genocide has been taking place since 2003, in which Arab Muslim militias, aligned with the Sudanese government, have been methodically eliminating African Muslim tribes, burning their villages, slaughtering the men and making abused slaves of their wives. As of today, about half a million people have been killed as a result of the battles, arson, and starvation that have afflicted the population of Darfur, and millions of its people were forced to flee to Libya, Chad or Nigeria. At the crux of this conflict is the popular belief that prevails among Arab Muslims, that Muslims who are not Arab are not true Muslims, but rather second class Muslims only pretending to be Muslims, and therefore it is permissible to shed their blood.

It is important to note that in Arabic, a person with black skin is called “abd”, “slave”, and Arabs were the biggest slave merchants, selling Africans to work in America. This view of the people of Africa turns them into easy and legitimate prey. In the countries south of the Sahara – Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania – there is a Muslim majority, because most of their inhabitants converted to Islam during the course of history in order not to be considered as slaves. Therefore Arab Muslims consider them not to be true Muslims.

In the battles over Darfur there are organizations with an Islamic character such as “Jamaat Ansar al-Sunnah” or “Group of the Followers of Sunnah”; “Jamayat al-Kitab wal-Sunnah Alh’irih” – “Charity Association of Koran and the Tradition”; and the “Salafion” – “The Glorious Past”. And the texts that these organizations distribute are reminiscent of the texts of Usama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, past and present leader of Al-Qaeda respectively. It is important to note that during the 1990s, Al Qaeda had bases in Sudan. In 1988 the terrorists who struck the American embassy in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and Dar-es-Salam, the capital of Tanzania emanated from these bases; those attacks resulted in more than two hundred fatalities.

Mordechai Kedar: What’s Really Going on in Gaza?

Friday, March 16th, 2012

A week of missiles was supposed to change the focus of interest in the Middle East from Homs to Gaza, from Syria to Israel, from Assad to Netanyahu. This was the plan of Iran and its few followers in Gaza. But it didn’t succeed, and for the usual reason – the sociological factors of the Middle East.

I have emphasized again and again the dominance of tribalism within Middle Eastern culture, and the important role played by traditional frameworks of relationship – such as ethnic, tribal, religious, sectarian – in private as well as in communal life. I downplay the influence of foreign ideologies that have been imported from Europe, from communism to democracy, and from nationalism to liberalism, which have all failed in the effort to formulate a culture of public domain in the Middle East. Dictatorship is the practical expression of the failure of these ideologies.

What remains is only the person, together with his family, extended family, clan, and tribe. This is the only thing which is real, alive and kicking, that functions as it always has, and the only framework that is capable of bestowing on an individual identity, a sense of belonging, a livelihood, and physical defense and security.

One of the foundation stones of tribal culture is the antagonism between the tribe and the modern state, a state which was imposed upon the tribe by foreign colonialism and its local derivatives. States have always tried to impose themselves upon the individual and upon the tribe; including their symbols, values, laws and leaders, and have tried to substitute these in the hearts of the people instead of those of the tribe, and its symbols, values, leaders, and laws. In Arab societies that have undergone dissolution and turned into more individualistic societies – Egypt and Tunisia for example – the state has succeeded in settling in the hearts of the people, and uproot the loyalty to the tribe. In the tribal societies of most of the other Arab states, the state is forced to yield part of its sovereignty and to accept the existence and limited authority of the tribe. In order not to confront the tribe, the state compromises and comes to an understanding with the tribe, in an effort to placate its members.

The Gaza Strip is no different from the rest of the Arab world, so tribal culture is alive and kicking in the Gaza Strip too. Ever since the Hamas movement took control of Gaza trip in 2007, it has transformed itself from a gang of jihadists into a ruling organization which has a state, government, advisory council, legal system, police, military and economic bodies. Thus, Hamas has turned into a standard Arab state, which is attempting to impose its agenda upon the tribes and the clans that live in the Strip. The State of Hamas serves the interests of the group that leads it, and therefore it is in constant conflict with the tribes and the clans and must reach agreements with them.

The minor movements – Islamic Jihad, the PRC (Popular Resistance Committees), the Salah-a-Din Division, the Army of the Nation, the Army of Islam and others – function like tribes, challenging the authority of the state, which is in the hands of Hamas. Today, these groups are doing to Hamas what Hamas did to the PLO twenty years ago when the PLO was in power. The widespread corruption among the top echelons of Hamas strengthen the influence of the small organizations that oppose Hamas. What encourages these organizations is the fact that Hamas has “hung up the gloves” and is trying to reach a calm with Israel. Hamas has not become a Zionist organization, and has not changed its covenant or its sole goal: to eliminate Israel and bring an end to the “occupation” of Jaffa and Acre, not only Hebron and Nablus. However, in the present historic phase it is suspending its battle against Israel in order to establish a state which, when the time comes, will be the basis from which the war of the destruction of Israel will be waged. The small organizations do not accept this suspension of jihad and call Hamas derogatory names such as “The Israeli Border Guard” and the “South Lebanese Army”.

From a practical point of view, Hamas is capable of eliminating the organizations, just as it dealt with the Army of Islam, of the Dughmush clan in August of 2008, and as it eliminated Sheikh Abd Al-Latif Moussa’s Islamic Emirate of Jerusalem in cold blood in August of 2009 in a mosque in Rafah, murdering him, his wives and children and 24 followers. As of today, in the year 2012, Hamas refrains from imposing itself on the small organizations by force of arms so that it will not become the “Israeli Border Guard”in the eyes of Gazans, and prefers to come to an agreement with them; to compromise with them and to calm them down.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/dr-mordechai-kedar/mordechai-kedar-whats-really-going-on-in-gaza/2012/03/16/

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