The narrative of the West will not survive the test of time; it will be thrown out by later historians as a distortion and as a propagandistic misrepresentation of reality
Read Part I: War on Gaza: Unveiling Insanity of Western Power
Read Part II: War on Gaza: How the West is Losing
Read Part IV: Why does The “Free World” Condone Israel’s Occupation, Apartheid, and Genocide?
In an article 1https://thesaker.is/islam-and-the-west-what-went-wrong-and-why/ I wrote in 2018, I said the following:
“Winston Churchill once famously said: “Truth is the first casualty of war [and] history is written by the victors”. Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code”, didn’t think otherwise when he wrote
“History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books – books which glorify their cause and disparage the conquered foe”.
Napoleon Bonaparte also said: “What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”. Going a step further, Malek Bennabi2Malek Bennabi (1905-1973) was an Algerian writer and philosopher who devoted most of his life to observe and analyse history to understand the general laws behind the rise and fall of civilizations. He is mostly known for having coined the concepts of “colonisability” (the inner aptitude to be colonized) and “Globalism”. – arguably one of the greatest Muslim thinkers of the 20th century – observed that “The real history of the modern world has yet to be written, because only its apparent history has been reported [and] it takes a certain sense of esotericism to actually penetrate the secrets and arcane of history (…) and to leave to the generation to come sound and reliable information about the heredity of its own world.”
In another piece3https://thesaker.is/9-11-and-the-green-scare-its-high-time-for-a-paradigm-shift/ I mentioned that until recently, historians have looked at the past essentially through Eurocentric or Western-centric lens. Their worldview has therefore been heavily centered on and biased towards Western civilization, chiefly in the form of apologetic stances and narratives with regard to colonialism and imperialism.
However, globalization has considerably altered scholars’ approach to history, and it’s no longer possible to study nations in isolation or to understand global history as emanating exclusively from the West.
That’s why a new discipline called “Global history” emerged in the 1980’s as a dynamic, innovative and productive field of scholarly inquiry, one that takes the connectedness of the world as its point of departure and the world’s past as an integrated whole. Obviously, such an evolution poses a fundamental challenge to the premises and methods of the henceforth outmoded and often truncated or insular Western-centric perspective.
More recently, another Muslim scholar4Shahid King Bolsen, “Unveiling the Victorious Narrative”, The Middle Nation, 16 November 2023. pointed out that:
“History is written by the Victors. That’s what they say. That means that whatever history you have been reading, that’s by the West or by Westerners, Western historians. The entire Western narrative of history is a rough draft of history that will not proceed to publication in the end (…) The narrative of the West will not survive the test of time; it will be thrown out by later historians as a distortion and as a propagandistic misrepresentation of reality”.
A case in point in this respect is the story of 9/11 in relation to the so-called “Islamist” or even “Islamic” terrorism. In the words of Mark LeVine5Mark LeVine, “Why They Don’t Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil”, One-worlder, Oxford, 2005., on September 11, 2001, a clash of civilizations that had been brewing for decades finally erupted, splitting the world in two. On one side, the forces of Good, a coalition of the willing committed to promoting liberty and combating terror wherever it appears.
On the other, the Axis of Evil, an unholy alliance of religious extremists who hate freedom and are prepared to go to any lengths to suppress it. United only by their mutual hatred and incomprehension, the West and the Muslim world can never be reconciled with one another. The end of history has come, and it is time to choose sides. You’re either with us, or you’re against us. This is, LeVine explains, at least what “they want us to think”.
These words resonate loudly with today’s ubiquitous and unremitting pro-Zionist discourse on the so-called Palestinian terrorist aims and means, and are a stark reminder of an infamous utterance that fundamentally changed the course of world politics and public perceptions throughout the globe in the 21st century. No wonder then that the October 7 Palestinian military operation is often being likened to the Al-Qaida’s September 11 attacks.
Let’s remember. On 20 September 2001, nine-days after the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history, President George W. Bush stood before a joint session of the U.S. Congress and vowed to use every resource available to defeat “global terrorism” in an historic speech6Read full text as published by the U.S. Department of State: https://2001-2009.state.gov/coalition/cr/rm/2001/5025.htm. He said:
“Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done (…) The Taleban must act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate (…) Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
According to recent research, a reasonable and conservative estimate suggests that at least 4.5 million people have died in the major post-9/11 war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia. These countries have experienced the most violent wars in which the U.S. government has been involved in the name of counterterrorism since 2001.7Brown University’s Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs, The Costs of War project, “How Death Outlives War: The Reverberating Impact of The Post-9/11 Wars on Human Health”, 15 May 2023.
Lastly, in his excellent article8Nick Turse, “The Pentagon Proclaims Failure in its War on Terror in Africa”, Counterpunch, 16 November, 2023, Nick Turse notes that during its 20-year-long “Global War on Terror”, the U.S. has seen its share of stalemates, disasters, and outright defeats from Iraq in 2014 to Afghanistan in 2021. The greatest failure of its “Forever Wars” however, he writes, may not be in the Middle East, but in Africa. In this respect, he reminded that in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks President George W. Bush told the American people that
“Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated”, noting specifically that such militants had designs on “vast regions” of Africa.
And so, whereas in 2002 and 2003, the State Department counted a total of just nine terrorist attacks in Africa, today militant Islamist groups on that continent have, according to the Pentagon, already conducted 6,756 attacks. In other words, “since the United States ramped up its counterterrorism operations in Africa, terrorism has spiked 75,000%”!
In concluding his analysis, the author indicates that
“In country after country on that continent, the U.S. has, indeed, faltered and its failures have been paid for by ordinary Africans killed, wounded, and displaced by the terror groups that Bush pledged to ‘defeat’. Earlier this year, General Michael Langley, the current AFRICOM commander, offered what may be the ultimate verdict on America’s Forever Wars on that continent. ‘Africa’, he declared, ‘is now the epicentre of international terrorism”.
For my part, in my aforementioned 2018 article, I drew the following conclusion whose main points are – to this very day – unfortunately entirely valid:
“This war, like all other unjust wars – to borrow from George Orwell – was not meant to be won; it was meant to be continuous, in order to profit those who pull the strings of conflicts of this kind. And the flames of its fire, ignited in October 2001 with the invasion of Afghanistan, are still fanning. They are even spreading fiercely. Thus, between October 2015 and October 2017, the US “fought terror” in 76 countries, or 39% of the total number of countries in the world, according to data contained in Brown University’s latest “Costs of War” Project. It is already the longest war in American history. And it’s not going to end until the American people stops believing its false narrative and the lies that have given birth to it.
It’s high time for such a salutary paradigm shift. One that – to paraphrase Mark LeVine again – radically challenges the assumptions and prejudices that have long been taken for granted by both liberals and conservatives in the United States; one that would help prevent Western and Muslim fundamentalists alike from exerting a noxious influence on their respective societies; one that calls into question the familiar “Why do Muslims hate US?” and replaces it with the unfamiliar “What if THEY don’t?”, or even “Why do Westerners hate Muslims?”.
In the meantime, this horrendous, unending, and, most importantly, unwinnable war has cost the United States dearly. Not only in terms of needless sacrifice of blood and treasure, as documented by scores of recent reports and studies, but also in geopolitical and moral terms. For the U.S. has lost its primacy in the “New American Century” according to the Pentagon itself, and few in the world continue to give credit to a feckless moralising by an “indispensable nation” whose successive governments preach peace while waging wars to end all peace.”
The Fall of Israeli Hasbara
First and foremost, and contrary to what the mainstream media in general and pro-Israel propaganda in particular has been stressing unremittingly, the “Al-Aqsa Flood” military operation of October 7 targeting the Gaza envelope was neither a “surprise” nor an “unprovoked” attack. Quite the contrary, what was astounding regarding those influential voices is the denial of the simple idea that the ultraviolent repression meted out to the Palestinians for so long, under a Zionist regime founded on occupation and apartheid, would backfire sooner or later.
Every and each lucid observer, whether in Israel or elsewhere, would have seen all this coming. As was put by Zehava Galon in Haaretz newspaper not long before the October 7 attack,
“Israelis have learned to exact a price for every news report about the occupation, every hint that Palestinian blood is as red as theirs. We’re not an occupying country, we’re an occupation with a country. The occupation is our major national project, and it has gone on for so long that we can’t imagine ourselves without it”.
Such an admission objectively describing a despicable everyday reality cannot bode well for the Israelis themselves, let alone for the Palestinians.9Zehava Galon, “Israel Is an Occupation with a Country Attached to It”, Haaretz newspaper, Jun 12, 2023.
Indeed, there have been clear signs of gathering clouds, and surely the writing was on the wall for those monitoring the tense situation engendered both by the Israeli Government’s repressive policies and the settlers’ provocations – mainly around the Muslim holy sites – during the preceding days, weeks and months in the West Bank and Al-Qods (Arabic name for Jerusalem, hence the operation’s name “Al-Aqsa Flood” or “Deluge”).
On 27 April, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 213-page meticulously researched report10Human Rights Watch, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution”. concluding that Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution. The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem. This unprecedented report by HRW further stated that
“The international community has for too long explained away and turned a blind eye to the increasingly transparent reality on the ground. Every day a person is born in Gaza into an open-air prison, in the West Bank without civil rights, in Israel with an inferior status by law, and in neighbouring countries effectively condemned to lifelong refugee status, like their parents and grandparents before them, solely because they are Palestinian and not Jewish. A future rooted in the freedom, equality, and dignity of all people living in Israel and the OPT will remain elusive so long as Israel’s abusive practices against Palestinians persist”.
As for the situation in the Gaza strip, it could not be worse in the aftermath of the May 2023 brutal five-day-long Israeli offensive on the besieged enclave. On June 13, Amnesty International published its investigation on that offensive, stating: “The root cause of this unspeakable violence is Israel’s system of apartheid. This system must be dismantled, the blockade of the Gaza Strip immediately lifted, and those responsible for the crime of apartheid, war crimes and other crimes under international law must be held to account” and called on the international community to address the source of those repeated cycles of violence and to intervene to protect civilians and prevent further suffering as a matter of high urgency. This, the organisation insisted: “requires upholding international law and ending Israel’s 16-year-long illegal blockade on Gaza, and all other aspects of Israel’s system of apartheid imposed on all Palestinians”11Amnesty International, “Israel/OPT: Civilians on both sides paying the price of unprecedented escalation in hostilities between Israel and Gaza as death toll mounts”, 7 October 2023.. Once again unfortunately, that cry of alarm was not heeded and the call for an urgent action fell on deaf ears.
On August 2, far-right minister Amitai Eliyahu – the same warmonger who contemplated the option of dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza – urged the government to annex the West Bank, calling the Green Line that separates Israel from the occupied territories “fictitious”, saying:
“I don’t really think there is a Green Line. It’s a fictitious line. This is our homeland. This is where the Jewish people arose. The attitude of the State of Israel that there are two states here is a mistake. We should impose sovereignty on Judea and Samaria (…) We should advance this as quickly as possible, as smartly as possible. We should begin to say this everywhere, to create international recognition that this place is ours. In Judea and Samaria, everyone understands that our roots and history are there, and therefore, I think that the entire Green Line is just an abnormality. There is a distorted reality that we need to erase”12TOI Staff, “Far-right minister says Green Line ‘fictitious’, urges annexation of West Bank”, The Time of Israel newspaper, 2 August 2023.
On August 25, Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian-born British journalist and editor-in-chief of Arab world digital news and opinion website “Rai al-Youm”, wrote a prescient piece13Abdelbari Atwan, Rai al-Youm, 25 August 2023. which he concluded by saying:
“Finally, we reveal that the escalation of Israeli threats to launch an attack on the Gaza Strip, despite the state of calm it is currently in, comes because the occupation generals know that the Operations Management Office for the West Bank is based in the Gaza Strip. Israel is experiencing its most difficult and most dangerous predicaments these days, because the military and security threat comes from both inside and outside, and its leaders are well aware that the next, and perhaps imminent war will be of a regional nature and will be conducted on several fronts. It seems that the end of the occupying state is much closer than ever before due to the presence of men wishing for martyrdom and praying to obtain it…and time will tell”.
On August 31, Yigal Carmon, a former adviser on counter-terrorism to prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, published a report titled “Signs of Possible War in September–October”. The forecast, published by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a watchdog better known by the acronym MEMRI that Carmon heads focused mainly on the possibility of an escalation from the West Bank or Lebanon. Gaza was mentioned only in the context of Palestinians in the West Bank adopting Gazan fighting methods.14Gianlucca Pacchiani, “The writing was on the wall,’ says counterterror expert who saw war looming”, The Times of Israel, 9 October 2023
On September 6, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief appointed by Netanyahu (2011-2016) told the Associated Press that “There is an apartheid state here. In a territory where two peoples are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state”. He also said that as Mossad chief, he repeatedly warned Netanyahu that he needed to decide what Israel’s borders were, or risk the destruction of a state for the Jews. In reaction, Netanyahu’s Likud party issued a statement, saying:
“We firmly condemn the shameful and false remark by Tamir Pardo (…) Instead of defending Israel and the IDF, Pardo is slandering Israel. Pardo, shame on you”.15AP and TOI Staff, “Former Mossad chief Pardo says Israel enforcing ‘apartheid’ system in West Bank”, The Times of Israel, 6 September 2023.
But perhaps the most dangerous looming storm was the one coming from New York, just two weeks later. In effect, on September 22, addressing the delegates of all member states of the United Nations Organisation during the 78th session of the General assembly, Netanyahu brandished a map of the “New Middle East” that showed the Gaza strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of Israel. In his speech16 To read the full speech: https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-netanyahus-un-address-on-the-cusp-of-historic-saudi-israel-peace/ he declared:
“A few years ago I stood here with a red marker to show the curse, a great curse, the curse of a nuclear Iran. But today, I bring this marker to show a great blessing. The blessing of a new Middle East, between Israel, Saudi Arabia and our other neighbours. We will not only bring down barriers between Israel and our neighbours. We’ll build a new corridor of peace and prosperity that connects Asia through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, to Europe17Officially called “The India-Middle-East-Europe Economic Corridor” (IMEC), this new project was agreed upon during the G20 meeting in New Delhi on 10 September 2023. It is a part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), a G7-led initiative for funding infrastructure projects across the world. It is commonly seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Corridor will include a shipping route connecting Mumbai and Mundra (Gujarat), with the UAE. and a rail network connecting the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan with the Israeli port of Haifa to reach the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Haifa will then be connected by sea to the port of Piraeus in Greece to eventually be connected to Europe. ”. But, he added, “there’s a caveat. It has to be said here forcefully. Peace can only be achieved if it is based on truth. It cannot be based on lies. It cannot be based on endless vilification of the Jewish people”. And, more significantly, he stated that for that peace to prevail “the Palestinians must stop spewing Jew-hatred and finally reconcile themselves to the Jewish state. By that I mean not only to the existence of the Jewish state but to the right of the Jewish people to have a state of their own in their historic homeland, the Land of Israel.”
What that means was explained by Palestinian Ambassador to Germany Laith Arafeh in a tweet:
“No greater insult to every foundational principle of the United Nations than seeing Netanyahu display before the UNGA a ‘map of Israel’ that straddles the entire land from the river to the sea, negating Palestine and its people, then attempting to spin the audience with rhetoric about ‘peace’ in the region, all the while entrenching the longest ongoing belligerent occupation in today’s world”.
What that means was also expressed, albeit more bluntly, by Israel’s UN ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon in a New York Times op-ed on 24 June 2019, in which he essentially urged the Palestinians to surrender their struggle for a homeland in exchange for economic benefits, as the United States prepared to roll out part of a peace plan promising $50 billion in investment for Palestinians and their Arab neighbours. He wrote:
“I ask: What’s wrong with Palestinian surrender? Surrender is the recognition that in a contest, staying the course will prove costlier than submission. The Palestinians have little to lose and everything to gain by putting down the sword and accepting the olive branch.”18AFP, “Israel’s UN envoy: What’s wrong with Palestinian surrender?”, 24 June 2019. In a later tweet he explained that Israel “awaits the emergence of a Palestinian Anwar Sadat, a leader who is willing to do what is best for his people – a leader who recognizes that building a bright future requires surrendering a dark past”.
To correctly put in perspective what Netanyahu and Danon said – in particular with regard to their understanding of Israel’s frontiers – one has to keep in mind that according to the ruling Likud party’s original “platform”: a) The right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is eternal and indisputable and is linked with the right to security and peace; therefore, Judea and Samaria will not be handed to any foreign administration; between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty: and b) A plan which relinquishes parts of western Eretz Israel (Greater Israel), undermines our right to the country, unavoidably leads to the establishment of a “Palestinian State”, jeopardizes the security of the Jewish population, endangers the existence of the State of Israel, and frustrates any prospect of peace.19Jewish Virtual Library, “Israel Political Parties: Likud Party”
The clear message conveyed through such statements is the total denial of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the definitive liquidation of their cause. It is nothing less than the completion of the “Nakba” (catastrophe) initiated in 1948, as was to be confirmed in a later Israeli Intelligence Ministry document recommending the forcible and permanent transfer of Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.20 Yuval Abraham, “Expel all Palestinians from Gaza, recommends Israeli gov’t ministry”, 30 October 2023.
All the while, Israel’s sprawling array of the 40-mile-long state-of-the-art chain of walls and fences at the Gaza border – which cost more than a billion dollars and was completed in 2021– were supposed to have left the country nearly invulnerable to anything Hamas or any other Palestinian faction for that matter was capable of throwing at them. Teemed with sensors and automated weapons, this defence system is supported by an electronic intelligence network that monitors every phone call, text message and email in the territory, in addition to a large, well-trained military standing ready with ultra-modern weaponry to respond rapidly to incoming threats.21David H. Freedman, “Disaster at the Border”, Newsweek Magazine, 24 November 2023. And yet, when the Palestinian combatants attacked what presumed to be a vast technological advantage suddenly seemed deeply flawed. This shocking predicament prompted Yossi Kuperwasser, director of research IDSF – an Israeli defence think tank with close ties to the military – to observe that “No technology can replace the soldier on the battlefield”.22Newsweek Magazine, idem.
Also, in the wake of this monumental “technological collapse”, another no less unexpected crumbling is taking place. Indeed, with each passing day of the ongoing genocidal war on Gaza – already the longest and bloodiest of all – the once powerful Israeli propaganda machine commonly known as “hasbara” seems to be steadily washed away by the flood of the Al-Aqsa military operation. This time around, Dr Frank Luntz’s manual23Dr. Frank Luntz, “The Israel Project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary”, April 2009. To read the document: https://www.transcend.org/tms/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sf-israel-projects-2009-global-language-dictionary.pdf that guides Israel’s supporters on how best to speak to the media seems to be of little assistance.
Patrick Cockburn called the manual
“The secret report that helps Israel hide facts” and said that “On every occasion, the presentation of events by Israeli spokesmen is geared to giving Americans and Europeans the impression that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians and is prepared to compromise to achieve this, when all the evidence is that it does not”24 Patrick Cockburn, “The secret report that helps Israel hide facts”, The Independent, 29 July 2014. According to Cockburn, the report was written in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009, when 1,387 Palestinians and nine Israelis were killed. Every one of the 112 pages in the booklet was marked “not for distribution or publication”, but it was leaked almost immediately to Newsweek Online. It should be required reading for everybody, especially journalists, interested in any aspect of Israeli policy because of its “dos and don’ts” for Israeli spokesmen.
As senior political analyst Marwan Bishara rightfully observed:
“Fortunately, the lies have finally caught up with the liars, as more and more Western journalists, pundits and officials started to doubt the spin and question the Israeli spinners, even ridicule them, for their poor performances, doctored evidence, and vulgar lies. Soon, they will start to question the spinners’ overall deception about the war, its conduct and root causes.”25Marwan Bishara, “Israel, Gaza, and the mass production of myths for mass media”, 20 November 2023.
Amir Nour is an Algerian researcher in international relations, author of the books “L’Orient et l’Occident à l’heure d’un nouveau Sykes-Picot” (The Orient and the Occident in Time of a New Sykes-Picot) Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2014 and “L’Islam et l’ordre du monde” (Islam and the Order of the World), Editions Alem El Afkar, Algiers, 2021.