Thursday, August 10, 2006

Humiliation is key

Often we hear about Muslim offended and humiliated. It is well known now that humiliation is a keyword in the Middle Eastern culture. Many things are driven by sense of humiliation such as Honor Killing, Blood Vendettas and utter defeat being portrayed as a glorious victory. It is not only important to shake off any sense of humiliation but it is also important to inflict supposed humiliation on your enemy. Hezbollah as the micro-cosmos of the Arab mentality shines when Humiliation is discussed. A unilateral withdrawal of Israel is portrayed as a glorious victory which shames the Jews. A demand to disarm is labeled as an attempt to humiliate Muslims. Anything other than a complete surrender to the demands of the terrorist is a humiliating term to a cease fire. Is this not barbaric backwardness? How about a claim to be victorious by having Nasralla not dead while the rest of Lebanon burns?

Looking at recent history one can notice that unless the Arabs are humiliated at war, they do not cease. Cases in point: The second intafada faded away only after a complete destruction of the elder leadership in Hamas and Fatah (Yasin and Arafat). Simply destroying the infrastructure or hurting the population does not constitute humiliating enough for Arabs to stop fighting. In 1948 the Arabs were defeated so badly – that it took them 19 years to attempt the next war to eliminate Israel. They were defeated and humiliated again in 67 – this time it took them 6 years to regroup from humiliation. Only in 77 when Egypt signed a peace treaty was the first acknowledgment from Arab leaders that they cannot win.

The unilateral withdrawals gave Arabs hope. Not for a better future, but for a better outcome of war. This hope has led them to forget how humiliated they have become in previous wars and the results were the second Intifada and the second Lebanon war. Any concessions to end the current situation which do not humiliate the Arabs – apparently will drive the next war. Humiliation is key.

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