Foreign Policy

Unraveling the Middle East’s Zero-Sum Cultural Mindset

That was what the Arab/Israeli conflict was about in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. That is what the conflict is about today. If it was a territorial dispute, it would have been resolved 66 years ago and many times since, but it has never been about borders. It is about the conquest of Israel and the annihilation or expulsion of its people unless they convert to Islam or submit to it as dhimmis or “protected Jews” in which case they would be required to pay a jizya poll tax designating their inferior status within Islamic society.

It’s a centuries-long war against the very existence of Jews and especially an independent Jewish state in the Middle East. As such, Israel’s return to the 1949 armistice lines (euphemistically referred to as “borders”) will not end this conflict. Rather, any Palestinian state established on the West Bank and Gaza will be the staging ground for “the final solution to the Jewish problem” in Israel.

The rhetoric and barbarism hurled at Israelis today is part of the long and pathetic history of anti-Semitism and dhimmitude that has permeated Arab culture for centuries. The pathologies of hate, rage, intolerance and jealousy, more than all the other issues combined, have doomed this region to many more years of conflict. An objective review of these facts shows that Arab leadership is uninterested in any remotely plausible agreement with Israel on any of the core issues for the reasons cited. Only when this zero-sum cultural mindset changes, if ever, will peace be possible.

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