We are all Arabs
Aviad Kleinberg, YNet News 13-3-2013
A racism allegation evokes a conditioned reflex among Israelis. We automatically reject it. We have been accused of politically-motivated racism so many times; we have been compared – foolishly or maliciously – to Nazi Germany so many times, that our natural inclination is to ignore not only the diagnosis but also the symptoms.
The trouble is that the symptoms have been multiplying recently. There are many expressions of racism in Israeli society. The tendency to shrug them off does not help eliminate them.
The racist ugliness pops up in different contexts. It pops up on a daily basis in verbal attacks against Arabs – in cursing and threats against any Arab, whoever and wherever he may be. It appears in statements made by community heads and council heads, by admission committees which are not ashamed to say that Arabs are unwelcome, that Arabs are inferior, that Arabs are the enemy. …
Admitting that [racism] exists is like joining the haters of Israel and is an expression of anti-patriotism. … Racism is not perceived as a real problem in Israel, even among the camp opposing the government. After all, racism cannot exist in the state of the Jews.
And yet it does exist. … A government which really abhors racism would work to nip this disease in the bud – and declare that racism is a national problem, a red line whose crossing is unforgivable. …
It’s time to say, “We are all Arabs.” Anyone who loathes racism is an Arab, just like he is Jewish and black and Chinese and Indian.
Bashar al-Assad: The strength of Arabism
lies in its diversity – Uruknet, 10-1-2012
The social structure of the Arab world, with its large diversity, is based on two strong and integrated pillars: Arabism and Islam.
Both of them are great, rich and vital. Consequently, we cannot blame them for the wrong human practices. Furthermore, the Muslim and Christian diversity in our country is a major pillar of our Arabism and a foundation of our strength. …
We should always know that Arabism is an identity not a membership. Arabism is an identity given by history not a certificate given by an organization. Arabism is an honor that characterizes Arab peoples not a stigma carried by some pseudo-Arabs on the Arab or world political stage. …
The last thing in Arabism is race.
Arabism is a question of civilization
The last thing in Arabism is race. Arabism is a question of civilization, a question of common interests, common will and common religions. It is about the things which bring about all the different nationalities which live in this place.
The strength of this Arabism lies in its diversity not in its isolation and not in its one colordness. Arabism hasn’t been built by the Arabs. Arabism has been built by all those non-Arabs who contributed to building it and those who belong to this rich society in which we live.
Its strength lies in its diversity. … The strength of our Arabism lies in openness, diversity and in showing this diversity not integrating it to look like one component.
Arabism has been accused for decades of chauvinism. This is not true. If there are chauvinistic individuals, this doesn’t mean that Arabism is chauvinistic. It is a condition of civilization.
Islamist vs. Secularists
The Post-Revolution Struggle for the Arab Soul
By Daniel Steinvorth, Spiegel Online 4-12-2012
In 2011, the world was euphoric over the fight for freedom being waged by protestors in Tahrir Square. But a shadow fell over the revolution when Libyan militias put the bloodied corpse of former dictator Moammar Gadhafi on display. And the daily bloodshed in Syria comes as a terrible climax to a development that has spun out of control.
The Arab world has once again become a greater source of worry than hope to the Western world. Islamists are winning elections and putting together governments, and even ultraconservative Salafists, shady characters who promise to eliminate democracy as soon as they can, are suddenly playing a role. They also want to take away the freedoms Arab women have achieved, ban bikinis on tourist beaches and turn the administration of justice over to Islamic scholars. Is the revolution over? Not quite.
The struggle for the Arab soul hasn’t been decided yet. Wherever movements backed by political Islam begin to gain strength, they encounter broad resistance.
Uncertainty in Syria
What happens to Syria if the regime falls? No one knows exactly how many foreign jihadists currently support the rebellion in Syria, but they do exist.
“The extremists, who are loosely associated with al-Qaida, have their own agenda,” says an intelligence agent. “They don’t want a ceasefire; they want to exterminate the Baath regime and establish an Islamist state.” ….
Sharia or Justice?
“Bread, freedom and Islamic Sharia!” thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters chanted on Alexandria’s central Al-Qaed Ibrahim Square…
“Bread, freedom and social justice!” their opponents, who had turned out in even greater numbers and included secular Egyptians, leftists and liberals, shouted in return.