Friday, April 23, 2010

Reuters fuels the myth

One of the most pervasive and pernicious myths associated with the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs is that if a "two-state solution" were to be realized, Islamic terrorism around the world would assuredly subside.  In a triad of articles and "Factboxes" containing quotes from analysts, academics, and terrorists, Reuters attempts to make the case that a "solution" to the conflict would "hurt al-Qaeda" and "help drain the pool" of potential Islamic terrorists.

Yet for all the psychological power associated with the appeal to authority and bandwagon logical fallacies, it is stunning how utterly devoid of any material support are these assertions.  For example, Reuters quotes British Security Minister Lord West:
Middle East peace "would make a huge difference to extremism; it would change it fundamentally."
And a former coordinator of Swiss intelligence, Jacques Pitteloud:
[there is] no doubt the dispute and the "perceived double standards of Western foreign policy" [are] significant factors enabling jihadist recruitment... "If the issue were solved peacefully it would go a long way to addressing militancy."
But absolutely no evidence is offered for these contentions.  Indeed, the quotes Reuters draws from Osama bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists serve to refute the views of Western "analysts":
1970s - Bin Laden's teenage friend and neighbor Khaled Batarfi, recalling their Jeddah childhood: "We used to go to his (bin Laden's) house and sing religious chants about Muslim youth and Palestine. (His view was) Unless we, the new generations, change and become stronger and more educated, we will never reclaim Palestine."
1994 - In a letter to Saudi grand mufti Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Bin Baz, bin Laden wrote: "The legal duty regarding Palestine and our brothers there ... is to wage jihad for the sake of God and to motivate our umma to jihad so that Palestine may be completely liberated and returned to Islamic sovereignty."
December 2001 - Al-Zawahri writes: "The one slogan the (Muslim) community has understood well, and to which it has responded for the past 50 years, is the call to jihad against Israel."
2005 - UK suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer says in a video issued posthumously: "The attacks will continue and become stronger until you pull your forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan and until you stop your military support of America and Israel."
Clearly, bin Laden and his acolytes are motivated by much more than the objective of a "two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Indeed, they have told us repeatedly that they will accept nothing less than the complete eradication of a Jewish sovereign in the Middle East and the end to a Western presence in the region.  The global Islamic jihad movement will not be sated with the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel; it is disingenuous or fatuous for Western analysts and the media to suggest otherwise.

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