Youssef Ibrahim, former NY Times Middle East Correspondent and Wall Street Journal Energy Editor, has written a piece at Jewish World Review in which he states that the terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah, supported by Syria and by extension Iran, are isolating themselves from the rest of the Arab world. Ibrahim reports that Arabs “through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic-language TV networks” are begging their Arab brothers to move on with their lives, that Hamas’ and Hezbollah’s attempts to defeat Israel are futile. He encapsulates what he calls these “new views” in an open letter to the Palestinians:
Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:
The war with Israel is over.
You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children.
We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the “eternal struggle” with Israel.
Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness.
At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn’t going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.
You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem. You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation. Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins.
Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.
We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.
Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.
Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab.
Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods — more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives — while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.
The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?
The Palestinian leaders have blamed their citizens’ suffering on the Jews, and their people believed their lies because they were and still are too ignorant to know otherwise. They have been told that when the Jews are defeated and run out of Israel that their suffering will end. But, as most of their Arab brothers have already learned, that will never happen.
Now the Lebanese people also suffer as Hezbollah escalates this war of futility, egged on by not only Syria, but Iran, whose leader sacrifices them for his own ambition and ego.
Jeff Goldstein, who pointed me to Mr. Ibrahim’s piece, writes this:
[S]oon, Syria, who has pledged its allegiance with Hezbollah (likely under orders from Iran) may be rendered impotent, as well, and no fleet of suicide drones is likely to stop Israel from destroying the terror group, now that they’ve set their minds to it. If, in fact, they have decided to use the current configuration and momentum in the middle east–specifically, Iran’s inability to protect Syria and the buzz of democratic reform (gee, thanks, George Bush!)–to end the Assad regime and remove Hezbollah’s influence over southern Lebanon.
Update: YNetNews published an article that offers specific examples of the growing Lebanese anger toward Hezbollah:
The Arab world’s criticism of Hizbullah’s leader started with Saudi Arabia, while Egypt and Jordan only provided hints. Nasrallah’s beloved Lebanese street also began criticizing him, although less so.
The Saturday edition of the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic-Language newspaper reported of a growing trend of criticism in Beirut.
“I stayed awake all night long, smoking and watching the news. I can’t understand life here in Lebanon. Hizbullah should be disarmed,” the newspaper’s reporter was told by a restaurant owner named Morris in east Beirut.
And take a look at Nasrallah’s response to a reporter’s unexpected question:
During Nasrallah’s press conference announcing the abduction of the Israeli solders, a reporter asked him: “Did consider the price the Lebanese economy would pay?”
Nasrallah, surprised, squirmed and gave an answer that could be condensed to one sentence: “Yes, but there are more important things.”