14ymedio, Clara Riveros, Bogota, 19 November 2023 — A lot of blood and ink have flowed in the Middle East since the terrorist attack on Israel, on October 7, by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, supported by Iran. Many images that are difficult to process and forget. Hundreds of civilians brutally murdered. Women kidnapped and raped; young people who were at a party surprised and sprayed by bullets; minors sleeping in their homes with their families, taken out of their beds, kidnapped, remain missing, many orphaned children, and parents killed.
All of them were civilians. What came next, with the civilian population in Gaza, at the mercy of all the fireworks, has been no less devastating and painful.
In the meantime, various demonstrations, celebrations and even claims of barbarism have taken place. They consider it another act of Palestinian resistance against Israel. It is naive to expect something different when entire generations have grown up indoctrinated in fanaticism and hatred, daydreaming of the annihilation of Israel. Hence the applause for the actions of the terrorists and the glorification of martyrdom and Islamist barbarism.
Palestinians and their supporters scattered around the world have resisted condemning such an abominable massacre and, instead, have shown themselves ready to give unsolicited lessons from an alleged moral superiority, embedded in religiosity no matter how progressive and atheist they say they are.
Meanwhile, various demonstrations, celebrations and even claims of barbarism have taken place. They consider it another act of Palestinian resistance against Israel
How to define and conceptualize the self-styled progressive left, feminism or LGBT groups that have been supporting, in the name of the Palestinian cause, a terrorist and fundamentalist group? Activists have participated in meetings and waved their flags, banners and symbols accompanied by slogans such as “Allah loves equality.” A pathetic but efficient postcard of reality and the world in which we live and that recalls the cult of Che Guevara by Western progressives.
The staging of Hamas is, without further ado, the crystallization of the thought and doctrine of the Argentine guerrilla leader and revolutionary – who served as a model and inspiration for Arabs, Africans, Asians and Latin Americans – whose ideology reads: “Hate as a factor of struggle, intransigent hatred of the enemy, which pushes beyond the natural limitations of the human being and turns him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine.” Wasn’t the operation of the Hamas Islamists an implementation of that manual combined with their religious extremist mission that induces martyrdom and annihilation?
Everything goes for the cause, a cause that, increasingly, raises questions about its viability. Does the world need a new Islamist dictatorship? Hamas’ mission proves that it is not just a land conflict. It is a bet on all or nothing, via the combination of all forms of struggle. At the bottom is the religious conquest and destruction of Israel. Islamist obscurantism and its proven capacity for devastation are not only out of the question but are already felt all over the planet.
Islamist obscurantism and its proven capacity for devastation are not only out of the question but are already felt all over the planet
Anti-Semitism in the world today is more unveiled, without makeup, without nuances to confuse; on the contrary, it has more verve and power after the October 7 massacre. “Progressives” in Europe and the Americas have filled the streets endorsing the instrumental character of terrorism, naively calling it (or not) “resistance.”
These facts coincided with my reading of The Shipwreck of Civilizations, by the Lebanese writer and prolific thinker Amin Maalouf, who analyzes and explains different events that occurred during the twentieth century, on that side of the world. It’s a remarkable essay for understanding that the facts transcend his homeland, the Levant, and that the repercussions go beyond the Arab Islamic world. As he had already shown a few years ago in Identity Killers, the author is forceful in rejecting the community, identity and/or religious specificities that promote totalitarianism and destroy universal fundamental values that dignify humanity.
“In a world in which an identity hotbed prevails, we are all necessarily traitors to someone, and sometimes to all parties at the same time (…). Homogeneity is an expensive and cruel chimera. You pay a very expensive price to get to it; and in the event that it is ever reached, it is even more expensive (…). I will never stop opposing the idea that populations that have different languages or religions would do better to live apart from each other. I will never decide to admit that ethnicity, religion or race are legitimate foundations for building nations (…). How many regrettable failures, how many butchers and ’purifications’ will we have to witness before that barbaric approach to identity issues ceases to be considered normal, realistic and ’in accordance with human nature’?”
Hopelessness and the Arab option for self-destruction, says Maalouf, became evident in 1967: “It was on Monday, June 5, 1967, when Arab desperation was born
Maalouf recalls that the Arab world was not always what we see today; there was a time when countries such as Lebanon and Egypt were epicenters of cultural effervescence and liberal life. Sadly, these processes were truncated and failed over the years. Also there were heroes with feet of clay in the style of the Peronists and Chavistas, keeping the proportions of time and space. Contingency, personalism, leadership and populism allowed them to take power and a place in History, while other names were forgotten and relegated by their openness, moderation and vision of Western modernity, freedom and democracy.
Hopelessness and the Arab option for self-destruction, says Maalouf, became evident in 1967: “It was on Monday, June 5, 1967 when Arab desperation was born.” The Six-Day War, with the consequent Arab failure, marked the decadence and state of mind of both the victors and the vanquished. If the Arab power was liquidated and struck down in less than a week, the Israeli has not been able to manage and administer its victory properly and magnanimously, says the author. “A peace of the brave can only be agreed between adversaries who respect each other.” Consequently, “the road to peace, which was already narrow and very rugged, is now blocked.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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