Sie haben das Recht zu schweigen. Henryk M. Broders Sparring-Arena

Henryk M. Broder

13.06.2007   18:45   +Feedback

The Arab Defeat

The current situation in the Arab world, or at least in the middle east proper (the Mashreq), is the result of a cultural crisis which we will underestimate if we examine it only from a political standpoint. It is no coincidence, for example, that Arab intellectuals in their broadest terms still reject any normalisation of relations with “the Zionist enemy”. Nor is it insignificant that the fundamentalist movements are getting stronger and stronger. Take Egypt, which despite having signed the Camp David accords with Israel in 1978, has not budged one inch from its so-called “cold peace” with its neighbour. Or Lebanon, which clings to the rhetoric of “resistance” to Israel, despite the fact that Israeli troops withdrew to the international borders seven years ago. As for Syria, it remains highly doubtful whether it really wants to give up its quasi-imperialist role in the region and recover the Golan Heights, or maintain its current stance and thus ensure the opposite outcome.
This willingness of both the general populace and the intelligentsia to tolerate despotic regimes merely because they claim to stand up to “imperialism and Zionism” is extremely indicative. People, all over the region, are more than ready to excuse blatantly backward and fanatical movements on the flimsy basis that they are the product of “the resistance”. Or they refuse to criticise foreign interference in the Arab world - such as Iranian meddling - when they know full well that there is nothing to be gained from such “anti-imperialist” meddling economically or in any other way, and that it can only lead to violent and costly repercussions.

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