Israel’s cost to the Arabs

Ghada Karmi in Le Monde Diplomatique:

Screenhunter_07_sep_18_1538In July two Arab League envoys visited Jerusalem to press the Arab case, and plans led by the United States are afoot for an Arab-Israeli peace conference in September. Though Israel may still not respond, this is a giant step for the Arabs, reversing decades of hostility.

The West viewed the plan as no more than a proper Arab response to Israel’s existence, revealing a profound ignorance of what the plan means for Arabs. Westerners regard Israel as a natural part of the Middle Eastern landscape and dismiss what Arabs feel about it. Yet an understanding of Israel’s impact on the Arab world has always been crucial to the search for a resolution to the conflict, and helps explain why none has yet been found.

The damage done to the Arabs by Israel’s creation is an untold story in the West. To understand it, you have to set aside the Israeli narrative and the idea of Arabs as fanatical, backward warmongers irrationally bent on destroying a modern, democratic and peaceable state.

More here.  [Thanks to Elatia Harris.]