Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Al-Aqsa events: a very predictable misunderstanding

I'm not surprized by the Al-Aqsa events. Not by the stupidity displayed by the Israeli government, not by the Arab hysteria, and not by the dismissal of these riots by most Israelis as "a bunch of fanatics spreading ridiculous antisemitic propaganda".

Many Israeli governmental institutions see themselves as the responsible protectors of civilization and Jewish heritage.

In the eyes of the Arab world, we Israelis are perceived as vicious murderers, who are plotting to destroy Islam. Therefore, anything we do that is even slightly related to Muslim holy sites will immediately cause an hysteria about our intentions. It is only natural for this to cause panic and riots.

In the eyes of the Israeli right wing, Arabs are perceived as terrorists who are plotting to destroy Israel. The Israeli left wing may not agree that ALL Arabs are like this, but they do agree that SOME Arabs are like this. Any Arab violence is immediately attributed to the intention to destroy Israel. Any claims voiced by the worried Arabs that "Israel is plotting to destroy Al-Aqsa" sound so ridiculous to Israelis, that they are immediately discounted as senseless propaganda.

And so, once again, a stupid and inconsiderate action of some office in the Israeli government is perceived by Arabs as warmongering, thereby causing Arab panic and violence, which is in turn interpreted by the Israeli public as proof that Arabs are terrorists.


choclosteve said...

I like your blog and the goals you have for your blog. I have been reading and commenting on another blog belonging to an Iranian woman living in India. Yesterday David, an Isreali made some interesting comments that started a good discussion. Neda then said she would like to have more Isrealis post to her blog. I believe that personal stories are much more powerful than abstract arguments. For example, how did your familly end up in Isreal, and so on? Neda's blog: Also, I think that arguing over who is most wrong is bad, as you seem to realize. Keep up the good work. I'm glad I stopped by, and I am bookmarking your blog

Israeli Blogger said...

@choclosteve - thanks! I am adding Neda's blog to my blogroll ( Hope to meet you there and on your blog as well.

choclosteve said...

Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wild

Yehudit said...

Excuse me, it's our main holy site. It's an example of how far Arab efforts to rewrite history have gotten, that you think of it mainly as "us making them mad by digging near their holy sites." Maybe we should riot because they have been desecrating our holiest site by destroying 2nd Temple artifacts?

Also this is manipulation and threat. "If you do anything we don't like we will riot and blame it on you." Don't let them guilt-trip you like that. The Israeli government has every right to fix a ramp which is nowhere near any of the mosques.

For another thing, the wooden ramp makes the women's side of the Kotel even smaller than it is. That is a personal issue to me.

Israeli Blogger said...

@Yehudit: of course it's our main holy site, and it is in our interest that it remain safe for us. It is also in our interest that the Arab world learn that we are not the vicious criminals they believe we are, so that it can become even safer than the police protection can guarantee.

We should act wisely, and not with complete ignorance of our surroundings.

By the way, Yehudit - you mention that the small women's quarters are a personal issue for you. May I ask why you don't demand that the women's quarters be slightly increased at the expense of the men's quarters? The womens quarters are indeed very small.