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All the Middle East’s a Stage
by Steven Plaut
28 August 2003Palestinian Flag

It is a theater in which everyone is pretending, posturing, and acting out parts in skits. 

Shakespeare said that “all the world’s a stage,” but in fact it is mainly the Middle East that is a stage. It is a performance theater in which everyone is pretending and posturing and acting out parts in skits, prancing across the stage in costume and ballet tutu.

Abu Abbas pretends he is really concerned about terrorists blowing up Jewish children and is horrified by that, and then he pretends that he is doing all he can to arrest the Hamas terrorists, except Arafat is not letting him, or his militia is not large enough. And so, the whole world needs to strengthen him and help him build up his power base. Yasser Arafat pretends he does not control the Tanzim and al-Aqsa Brigade Nazis and terrorhoids carrying out the atrocities; and the whole world pretends they do not know he directly controls and commands them.

The Western media pretends that they think Israelis are mean and brutal, and that it is motivated by something other than hatred of Jews.

Meanwhile, Ariel Sharon pretends that he is acting to defend Israeli children and Israeli lives. He skirts across the stage in his tutu, on his tiptoes, pretending he is acting with military force against the savages. He conducts empty and meaningless symbolic actions, but refuses to choose military victory as a strategy. His government pretends it is conducting negotiations and dialogue with the PLO that are something other than empty stage theatrics.

The Israeli army pretends it is serious about battling the terrorists. The Israeli government pretends that it really thinks the Palestinian Authority will “crack down” on the terrorists.

The United States government and politicians pretend they are upset when the terrorists blow up Jewish children or that it thinks Israeli security is a matter of interest or importance. The White House and the State Department pretend that they really believe that creating a Palestinian state will reduce the barbarism of Arabs and result in peace, or that such a state will be used by the Arabs for something other than mass murder and genocide.

The Eurotrash pretend that the Palestinian Authority has been reformed.

The Israeli Labor Party pretends that it was not responsible for turning Israel into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The American Jewish establishment pretends that it is interested in things other than promoting political liberalism.

The Israeli school system pretends it is educating children. So does the Israeli university system, although many professors are full-time propagandists for the PLO.

The Israeli army leadership pretends it knows what it is doing. The Israeli intelligence community pretends it discerns new moderation in the Palestinian leadership.

Israeli politicians pretend that Abu Mazen is himself not a Nazi and terrorist. The United States pretends that Middle East ceasefires obligate the Arabs as well, and pretend that they are unaware that the Palestinians violate them every hour.

And everyone pretends there is a Palestinian “people”.

The Israeli Left pretends that it seeks peace, while in reality it seeks a second Holocaust of Jews. Tikkun magazine pretends that Michael Lerner is a Rabbi. (Lerner just sent out one of his long-winded screeds, entitled “When Will Israel Stop Endangering Jewish Lives?,” explaining that Israel is responsible for all of the Arab violations of the hudna.) The Western campus Left pretends it is acting under motives other than anti-Jewish bigotry and anti-Americanism.

The Israeli political establishment pretends that there is a serious distinction between the Likud and Meretz.

Haaretz pretends it is a newspaper.

Israeli politicians pretend they still believe that demonstrations of Israeli goodwill and weakness and niceness will induce Arab niceness. They pretend there is something at the end of the “Road Map” other than a swastika.

And then, in a few more days, after all the bus children are in their graves, they will once again pretend that some new “ceasefire” is in earnest this time and will, at long last, produce reduced violence.

Steven Plaut teaches at the University of Haifa

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