July 26, 2007 Special Dispatch No. 1666

Harsh Criticism of Arab Countries in Syrian Press

July 26, 2007
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 1666

Recently, the Syrian government press has been directing harsh criticism against some Arab countries, claiming that they are helping the U.S. implement its plans at the expense of the Arabs. The columnists have also condemned the Arabs for rejecting the policy of resistance – which they said had proven its effectiveness in Lebanon – and for normalizing relations with Israel. The writers used harsh terms to describe certain elements within the Arab countries, calling them "Judas Iscariot," Arab "neo-cons," "forces of evil," and "Jews within [the Arab world]."

The following are excerpts from the columns:

Some Arabs Are Acting Like "Judas Iscariot," Instigating Internecine Wars Among Arabs

Editor of the Syrian daily Teshreen 'Issam Dari wrote: "The Arab citizen does not see the connection between the overwhelming chaos that is spreading throughout the Arab world and the long-term plans and projects proposed [by the West]. [When] he hears of [plans such as] 'The New Middle East,' 'Constructive Chaos,' or 'Preventive War'... he places the responsibility on the Great Superpower, since he cannot conceive that some of his own [brothers] are involved in the past, present and future plans directed against the Arab nation. He [therefore] suppresses this thought out of wishful thinking [and blames the West alone].

"Indeed, we had hoped that those who take part in formulating these conspiracies would not be from among our own [nation]. But [the fact is that] 'Judas Iscariot' is in our midst, fully involved in conspiracies directed against [our] nation. He can be found wherever there is rift, tension, explosion, or chaos. At times he acts openly, and at other times surreptitiously – but [either way] he often works against supreme Arab interests, instigating internecine wars and resentment, sowing chaos, inciting to anarchy and to conflict among brothers, planting mines and driving wedges in relations among Arab countries, enlisting foreigners to act against his country and against other [Arab] countries, treating a brother as an enemy and Israel as a friend – [all] with the protection of the U.S...

"The Lebanese Judas Iscariot is the individual or group that rejects national unity and attempts to keep [Lebanon as a fragmented] federation of ethnic cantons, based on the advice of the Elders of Zion... The Lebanese Judas Iscariot is the one who accuses Syria of [any] crime, assassination, or bombing seconds after it occurs and prior to any criminal investigation, in violation of both logic and law. [He does this] not out of concern for Lebanese interests, nor in solidarity with the martyrs and victims, nor even out of any narrow interest – but solely because he, like Judas Iscariot, wants to crucify Lebanon and the Arab identity for the sake of the [Lebanese] 'neoconservatives' who brandish the emblem of the cedar, and in order to serve the old-new American-Zionist plan for the region.

"The Palestinian Judas Iscariot is everyone who disregards the national interest and raises a weapon against his Palestinian brother. He is everyone who serves the interest of the enemy, whether he admits to it or not, and who renounces resistance, opting instead for compromise and defeatism [referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas].

"The Iraqi Judas Iscariot is everyone who murders people based on their [ethnic] affiliation [referring to Sunnis who murder Shi'ites]; everyone who perpetrates massacres and despicable acts of terrorism against innocent people; everyone who encourage resentment and internecine wars; and [everyone] who acquiesces to occupation and accepts his fate.

"The Arab Judas Iscariot is everyone who disregards the dangers [that threaten] the nation, striving to save his own skin and cling to his seat; everyone who forgets his people and its interest and adopts... principles and declarations of defeatism in order to justify [his] negligence and impotence."[1]

"The 'Jews' Within [the Arab World] Strive to Destroy the Spirit of Resistance"

Syrian columnist 'Abd Al-Karim Al-Na'em wrote in Teshreen: "This time, the joint plan [formulated by] Washington and Tel Aviv is being implemented by others, who are supposed to be [loyal to] the nation and the motherland. The U.S. has managed to set up a natural experiment and a model for dividing society throughout the entire [Middle East] region. The 'Jews' within [the Arab world] have thus begun to destroy the spirit of resistance. Stubborn rejection of all Arab initiative is a clear sign of what the near future will bring. It is a contemptible act of hate which aims to eradicate all the achievements of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine [and to prevent] the shedding of American or Zionist blood in these countries. Those who believe in opposing the American-Israeli plan have only one remaining option – namely, resistance."[2]

Teshreen columnist Hanan Muhammad wrote: "Some in the Arab world have exploited the desperation permeating [the Arab countries] in order to yield to the statement that 'the enemy is invincible'... They delayed reaping the fruits of victories that had been achieved, starting with the October [1973] war – where the victory was wiped out through a government decision [i.e. the Egypt-Israel peace agreement] – and ending with the victory of July [2006, in the recent Lebanon war], which caused an earthquake within the Zionist entity. The majority of Arab regimes responded to this victory with doubt and criticism. Even when they did concede to regard it as a victory, they sabotaged [every chance] of capitalizing on it so as to change the balance [of power] in the conflict – specifically by rejecting resistance as an option that had proved effective in achieving liberation. Moreover, they remained inactive, arguing that it is impossible to attain a balance of power vis-à-vis Israel...

"The rift between the majority of the governments and their people has widened, and the governments, which started out with the three no's of the [1967] Khartoum summit, ended up signing separate peace and surrender treaties, falling as low as the Arab initiative [i.e. the March 2005 Saudi peace initiative]... This initiative was undertaken in 2002, that is, after southern Lebanon was liberated through the efforts of the resistance, and after the Israeli army was defeated, [leading] to its subsequent withdrawal, without exceptions, conditions or agreements.

"The revival [of the Arab initiative] followed the victory that was dearly won by the resistance... At the same time, the resistance was subjected to pressures, both from within and without, intended to distort its image and blur the distinctions between resistance and terrorism. The members [of the resistance] were portrayed as individuals who seek death and hate life – their own and that of others. The initiators of this program [to distort the image of the resistance] and their followers resorted to lies and deception, sparing no effort to remove the halo of sanctity from the emblems of resistance."[3]

Columnist 'Ali Sawaha, writing in the Syrian daily Al-Thawra, protested against those among the Arabs who questioned the ability of the resistance: "Our nation, at the moment, is experiencing disintegration and a rift of unprecedented proportions, and is [especially] in need of resistance values and culture... We have no choice but to return to the culture of resistance, now that Iraq has been turned into a kind of American state, and Lebanon into a backyard of the White House, and in view of what is being planned for Syria, Sudan, and all Arab countries as part of the American-Zionist plan.

"In our Arab media today, destructive voices can be heard, sowing desperation among the Arab population and officials, so as to dampen the [Arabs'] aspirations and question their ability to resist their enemies."[4]

The Forces of Good Within the Arab Nation are Stronger Than the Forces of Evil

Columnist for the Syrian daily Al-Ba'th Elias Murad wrote: "The American-Israeli plan in the region has now reached its peak, and it is no secret that its success will be at the expense of the Arabs and their existence. Consequently, we must ask some crucial questions: Where is the Arab counter-plan [that is designed] to confront the American-Israeli [plan], which is spreading like cancer? Are we to deal with the American-Israeli plan by silently acquiescing to the siege on the Palestinians? Are we to deal with it by allowing [the Americans and the Israelis] to shape our present and future existence and to draw the borders of our countries? Or by supporting those who believe that redemption lies in foreign occupation and that the foreign forces are our [saviors]? Or by asking for an international peacekeeping force, [as though] we never fought the imperialist [forces] to liberate our countries and are not celebrating our independence? Or by turning our back on active and important elements in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq?

"[On the contrary], we must stand by their side and lend them support... We shall not lose hope, for the forces of good hidden within the nation are far stronger than those of evil."[5]

Arab "Neoconservatives" Are Collaborating With the U.S.

Nasri Al-Sayigh, columnist for the Syrian daily Teshreen, wrote: "The U.S. gave us the gift of 'constructive chaos,' drowned Iraq in a blood-soaked democracy, gave its blessing to the civil war in Palestine, and 'issued a fatwa' permitting the killing of the resistance [fighters]. Furthermore, it provoked the Lebanese people into perpetrating illegal acts, rendering chaos the only permitted option... Arab neoconservatives enthusiastically collaborated to promote an American future in the Arab land... and to renounce [Arab] principles under the pretext of modernization."[6]

Some Arabs Grant Israel a Character Reference, and Believe Iran is More Dangerous Than Israel

Al-Ba'th columnist Dr. Khayr Al-Din 'Abd Al-Rahman wrote: "[Recently], a group emerged from among the Arabs that takes the issue of Israeli nuclear weapons lightly. They have adopted the rationale of the Israelis, who claim that what matters is who actually has the weapons and uses them, and how prudent they are in handling the weapons, rather than the danger inherent in the weapons [themselves]...

"Then there emerged another group, which, adopting the same line of reasoning, purports that Iran and its nuclear weapons are more dangerous than Israel...

"Saudi intellectual 'Eid bin Mas'oud Al-Jahni, head of the Arabian Gulf Center for Energy and Strategic Research, stated: 'Some Arab leaders hastened to normalize relations with Israel, and some intellectual writers announced the advent of a new age – one of peace, brotherhood and unity, of trade, economic and cultural relations, and of intellectual dialogue with Jews.' In spite of the tragedies they suffered at the hands of Israel, some Arabs have failed to learn their lesson and continue to gamble on peace."[7]

[1] Teshreen (Syria), June 16, 2007.

[2] Teshreen (Syria), July 1, 2007.

[3] Teshreen (Syria), June 4, 2007.

[4] Al-Thawra (Syria), June 19, 2007.

[5] Al-Ba'th (Syria), June 24, 2007.

[6] Teshreen (Syria), June 20, 2007.

[7] Al-Ba'th (Syria), June 19, 2007.

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