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Israel and the Arab world Israel and the Arab world
by Joseph Gatt
2019-12-28 10:39:41
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One thing we Israelis should know is that the average Arab tends not to believe in friendship and any “friendship" often involves financial variables.

isr00000001_400When I encounter Arabs (or Berbers or Kurds) here's what often happens. They will brag to me about going to all the fancy restaurants, pubs, night clubs and hotels. If I'm not impressed (books are what impress me) they go on about their “million dollar salaries.” If I'm still not impressed (I'd rather discuss Tolstoy's War and Peace) they go on about having travelled the entire world, from Hong Kong to Dubai to Rio on a “Schengen visa.” I'm still not impressed, so they will go on about their connections in Hollywood, Washington DC and will claim to know the entire jet-set crew. Still not impressed, so they'll discuss their mansions here, condos there, owning land here, owning land there. Still not impressed, so they'll go on about owning several multi-million dollar businesses.

Then, after bragging about all that, they'll ask me for 50 cents so they can get themselves a cup of coffee.

Why all these fantasy stories? What they often hope is that I start getting jealous, and that I start bragging about all the money and wealth and connections I have. That's when they start asking me for loans and start asking to meet my connections, hoping those connections can get them access to business (often business that they know nothing about, but they will take the project for the money and improvise their way to the business project.)

So back to my question. What are the relations between Arabs and Israel? How are current relations between Israel and the Arab world? Here are three things to keep in mind.

First, Muslims believe in two life paths: either you fight a war, and you get all the praise, a veteran's pension for three generations (that's right, the children and grandchildren of veterans also get pensions) and you never have to work a day in your life again. Or, if you can't fight a war, you'll be stuck with having to work for a living. So the Palestinians would rather fight wars than go to work each morning, as their veteran's pension will prevent them and the next two generations from working to make bread. Former soldiers and current soldiers are thus very much coveted for marriage, and often marry the best women, while getting all the respect.

Second, Muslims tend to believe that Jews have sided with the Christians and formed a coalition with the Christians for convenience purposes. That is Muslims tend to believe that the Jews are weak, but that they hide behind the Christians for protection, using the Holocaust and other “blackmail tactics” to get the Christians to protect them. So what the Muslims are doing right now, and this is a scoop, is they are trying to lure “the Christians” away from Israel and the Jews so the Jews can lose “Christian protection.”

Third point in the Arab tactic is because in this day and age hate speech can cause business deals to be blown and financial aid to be withdrawn, Arab nations tends to be careful with hate speech. Also, because Arabs have long believed that Israel was a “secretive” state of sorts and that the “Mossad” possessed powerful “secrets” (remember that Arabs believe in witchcraft and fortune telling and other supernatural events) a lot of Arab states have given up hate speech and tried to come closer to Israel, hoping to “discover” what some of the secrets are. And with Iran funding terrorist groups around the Arab world and Israel possessing intelligence on that, Arab states have naturally come closer to Israel, because Israel helps them with direct threats towards Arab nations in the form of Iran-funded terrorist groups.

So on the one hand Arabs would give fighting Israel a chance, as that would guarantee a pension for themselves and the next two generations. What Arab and Muslim groups are also doing is going around Christian groups, in perfect English or French or German, and trying to get those groups to support the “Palestinian cause” and believe the “Israel is evil” rhetoric. But, at this point in time, Arabs do need Israel's help as Iran is funding terrorists in their homelands, so they cajole Israel into giving them intelligence to prevent such Iran-backed terrorist groups from thriving. 

Another problem is the Israeli domestic politics divide. My mother's generation tends to believe that the Labor party has clumsy economic policies and that the right-wing parties use provocative tactics toward Arabs that cause wrath and violence from the Arab world. So my mother and her consorts tend to side with the Centrist Israeli parties who will hopefully put forward sound economic policy while refraining from using provocative policy towards to Palestinians and Arab states that will lead to wars with the Arabs.

My generation and those younger than me have had access to the internet, have travelled around, and have attempted dialogue with the Arabs either online or at hostels around the world. What came out of the dialogue was often frustration and confusion, thus my generation tending to side with the right-wing party. My generation often believes that right-wing parties can counter the Palestinian threat, because my generation often dealt with the hate and blunt “in your face” anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism first hand.

In sum, while for the time being relations between Israel and the Arab world seem to be warming up, Palestinians and other Arabs will never miss an opportunity to put on a soldier's uniform and fight the Israelis, may it be for their soldier's pension that spans three generations.

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