AJAMI ON THE CRISIS – AT 9:39 A.M. ET: There is probably no better writer on the Mideast today than Fouad Ajami, currently of Stanford's Hoover Institution. Although I'm sure the Middle East Studies crowd in our colleges is horrified by him, as he doesn't toe the party line, he gives us insights rarely available elsewhere.
Ajami has been examining the current Mideast conflict. The conventional wisdom is that Hamas has been strengthened by recent developments in the so-called "Arab spring." But Ajami argues that this might not be so in the end, that the Arab spring is about the internal problems of individual Arab countries, not the routine support of the "Palestinian cause." From The Wall Street Journal:
On Sunday in Egypt's leading official daily, Al-Ahram, I came upon a daring column by one of that paper's writers, Hazem Abdul Rahman. The solution lies in the development of Egypt, not in Gaza, he observed. He minced no words: President Morsi wasn't elected to serve the cause of Palestine—his mandate was the "pursuit of bread, freedom, and social justice." The popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood has eroded, but it cannot find salvation in foreign policy: "That road is blocked, the other players are ill-intentioned, including Hamas, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, even the United States."
Mr. Abdul Rahman didn't think much of Mr. Morsi's decision to withdraw the Egyptian ambassador to Israel after its counterattack against Hamas began last week. Egypt needed its ambassador there to conduct its own diplomacy, the columnist said, and this was nothing more than grandstanding.
The Palestinians ignore a fundamental truth about the Arab Awakenings at their peril. These rebellions were distinctly national affairs, emphasizing the primacy of home and its needs. Indeed, the Palestinians themselves have bristled in indignation that the pan-Arab media have zealously covered Syria while all but ignoring Palestine, which was the obsession of the 1960s and 1970s.
History has moved on, and Arab populations have gone their separate ways. They caught on to the sobering conclusion that the cause of Palestine had been hijacked by military regimes and tyrants for their own ends. As they watched the Syrian fighter jets reduce so much of the fabled city of Aleppo to rubble, they understood that their wounds are self-inflicted, that their political maladies have nothing to do with Israel. Hamas better not press its luck. Palestinian deliverance lies in realism, and in an accommodation with Israel. Six decades of futility ought to have driven home so self-evident a lesson.
COMMENT: Well said. Read the entire column. It's worth it. The self-inflicted wound, inflicted by societies, nations, cultures, races, is one of the great stories of our time, but often ignored by a politically correct press.
Just look at the Arab world. Some 30,000 have been murdered in Syria in the last year. Where is the sense of outrage among Arabs, and in the Western, leftist media?
Just look at black America. It should be vigorous and improving. But it too often acts as a service center for black "leaders," kept in power by dragging constituents to the polls on election day, but who later deliver nothing to those same constituents.
Eventually, people do find out where their real interests lie. If they don't, they fade into history.
November 21, 2012