by Boris Shusteff
There is a saying in the East that no matter how many times you repeat the word "halva" you will not feel sweetness in your mouth. Similarly, it does not matter how many times the Arabs repeat the word "peace" in English, since they translate it into Arabic as "war." As a matter of fact, sometimes they even say in English what meaning the word "peace" has to them. A good example is Arafat's "translation," stating that "peace for us means the destruction of Israel, and nothing else"(1). And now the Syrian Arabs have also given their interpretation of the word "peace."
Speaking on December 15, 1999 in the White House Rose Garden Syrian Foreign Minister Sharaa said, "Peace for Syria means the return of all its occupied land." He did not say that it means the end of war with the Jewish state. He did not say that it means recognition of the Jewish state. He did not apologize for the aggressive wars led by the Syrian Arabs against Israel. He simply declared that he wants the Golan Heights.
The worshippers of the word "peace," after hearing this magic word emanating from Sharaa's mouth immediately stopped comprehending reality. They completely missed the next sentence in Sharaa's speech. They simply disregarded that he said:
"Those who reject to return
(sic) the occupied territories to their original owners, send a
message to the Arabs that the conflict between Israel and the
Arabs is a conflict of existence in which bloodshed can never
stop and not a conflict about borders."
Sharaa accidentally exposed the truth. He admitted that the conflict between Israel and the Arabs is "a conflict of existence." All he did not say was that the Arabs have absorbed this truth with their mother's milk. This is why Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told a rally held to honor a suicide bomber, who blew himself up near an Israeli patrol in the south Lebanon zone, "There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel"(2)
This is exactly the reason why Jamil Abu Bakr, a spokesman for the Jordanian fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood Movement, said "peace with Israel is inconceivable. How can there be peace? We are Muslims and our holy book says the Jews are our enemies" (3).
Apparently the Jews are not familiar with the Muslims' holy book. Otherwise they would have realized that their desires to become friends with the Arabs and live with them in peace are problematic, since the "Koran" states,
"Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is evident from what they utter with their mouths, but greater is the hatred which their breast conceals" (4).
It is obvious that those Arabs who sacredly believe in everything that is written in the "Koran" will not listen to the Jews who "utter" the word "peace," especially since the Arabs have their own understanding of what the Jews's "breast conceals." Perhaps, this is an explanation as to why the anti-Jewish hatred in the Syrian press is not subsiding even while Barak "talks" to Sharaa about "peace." The following excerpt from a Syrian weekly speaks for itself,
"Zionism hates the Arabs indiscriminately. ?ŠThe Zionist hell burns both those who resist it and those who surrender, establish normalized [relations], and sell [themselves]. The Zionists will attempt more and more to realize the biblical dream of establishing a Zionist Entity from the Euphrates to the Nile, as the size of the Accords' paper grows and as the pictures of the normalization kisses multiply on TV..."(5).
The logic of the Syrians is impeccable. They prefer to establish a "Greater Syria" instead of allowing the Jews to create a "Zionist Entity from the Euphrates to the Nile." Since Syria's "western province," Lebanon, is already under Syria's control, Assad wants to retrieve Golan as a first step in attaching "southern Syria" - Israel - to Syria proper.
One should not be surprised that in this situation Assad agreed to the "peace talks" with Israel. Prof. Shai Feldman, head of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University explained that "the decision-makers in Syria have concluded that there is no better way to get the Golan Heights back than through diplomacy" (6). The Syrians themselves are not hiding this either. Syrian Parliament Speaker Abdel-Kader Kaddourah said at a news conference marking the 29th anniversary of Hafez Assad's ascension to power, "We in Syria, even in the whole Arab world, are unable at present to liberate by force our occupied lands" (7).
So the Syrians found the way to "liberate" the Golan through Israel's worshipping of the word "peace." The scheme is ridiculously easy. It was enough for them to say that they, the Syrians, want peace and the Jews does not, and the mechanism of Israel's surrender was switched on. How quickly we have forgotten a similar episode in our history. Not long ago, another dictator was telling the world that the Jews want the war while he was preaching peace. On January 30, 1939, in his speech to the Reichstag Adolf Hitler said,
"If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!" (8).
While feverishly preparing for war, Hitler constantly used the word "peace," knowing very well that it is the shortest route to the hearts of enlightened democracies. In September 1939, after he and Stalin divided Poland, he declared: "Germany and Russia will eliminate the threat to peace in the most dangerous areas of Europe, and each of them will promote in their respective territories the well-being of the local population, and, owing to this, peace in Europe" (9).
English diplomat Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen gave an account of his first meeting with the future Nazi dictator in Berlin on October 17, 1934,
"Eternal peace was his aim and whilst he was Chancellor he would never think of war except as a protective measure if Germany were invaded. He said that his whole policy was based on peace. Hitler was most emphatic that there never had and never would be any aggressive military conception within or behind the Nazi movement. Hitler particularly desires peace with France and has made great efforts to this end without success. France always stands in his way when he wants peace" (10).
For the Arab leaders it is Israel today which always stands in their way when they want "peace." The Arab press keeps repeating time and again that any and all actions of Israel are acts of war. The existence of Israel is in itself a form of Jewish aggression. Even when Israel signs peace agreements with the Arabs, she conducts war against the Arab countries. On January 1, 2000 a Syrian newspaper put it in this way:
"The events following the notorious Camp David Accords proved that the peace of the Zionists is merely one form of the war they conduct against Arabs and Muslims. It pursues the goals of the Zionist scheme in a new way, different from the traditional warfare of armies and weapons. This kind [of war] wears white gloves [hiding] Satan's claws" (5).
All attempts by the Jews to change the mentality of the Arabs are absolutely futile. Barak only demonstrates that he does not understand the Arabs at all when he says that, "a total withdrawal from the Golan would have a shock-wave effect on Assad, the Syrians, and the Arabs as a whole, transforming the Middle East from a conflict-ridden arena to an area of peace" (11). He would do better listening to Dr. Ali 'Aqleh 'Ursan, chairman of the Syrian Arab Writers Association, who wrote,
"I will be very happy when we regain the Golan by whatever means. Then, at the height of my happiness, I will start crying and adamantly working for the removal of the Zionist occupier from Palestine, for the liberation of the land, and for the liberation from the weakness that delays our revival, our freedom, and our liberation" (12).
For Dr. 'Ursan and for a hundred million other Arabs the return of the Golan will serve only as a catalyst in their struggle against the Israeli Jews, since to them the conflict between Israel and the Arabs is a conflict of existence and not a conflict about borders. As for the word "peace" - why not to use it if it expedites Israel's demise?
1. Oriana Falaci: Interview with History. Hougthon Mifflin Company, Boston, 1976.
2. Reuters news agency, 1/5/00.
3. Associated Press news, 1/3/00.
4. "The Koran: Al-Imran 3:118". Penguin Books, 1997, p.52.
5. Zbeir Sultan: "The Peace of Zion," in the Syrian Arab Writers' Association weekly, Al-'Usbu' Al-Adabi, January 1, 2000. Middle East Media and Research Institute MEMRI, # 67, 1/6/2000.
6. "The Jerusalem Post," 12/22/99.
7. "The Jerusalem Post," 11/19/99.
8. "Witness to the Holocaust"; editor Michael Berenbaum; harper Collins Publisher, 1997.
9. Vitalij Raevskij : "Yasser Arafat: The Biografy of the Terrorist". Article in Russian monthly "Shalom," # 208, November, 1999.
10. Colonel R.Meinertzhagen: "Middle East Diary". London, The Cresset Press, 1959.
11. Radio Arutz 7 news, 12/17/99.
12. MEMRI, # 64, 12/14/99.
Boris Shusteff is an engineer in upstate New York. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.