You will forgive me, I hope, for not jubilantly swinging my misbaha over my head in celebration of the Arab Spring.
After months of endless “Allahu akbars” (can’t they come up with anything new?) and the exaggerated, mindless firing into the air of automatic weapons, I – unlike many others it would seem, especially the depressingly naive correspondents of the western news media and the ever-Muslim-fawning BBC – am filled not with hope, but with concern . . .
Concern that liberty, democracy and equality, as well as respect for human life, won’t come to these people in a thousand springs.
And the best judges of this are not Ashkenazi, Haaretz-reading liberals – who believe that inventing, dreaming about, and intellectually masturbating over, a false reality makes them, somehow, more worthy human beings – but Jews who grew up in, and subsequently were forced to flee, one of the countries now ‘enjoying’ its Spring.
One such, an Egyptian-born relative, would always remark, whenever having to hear Hanan Ashrawi – the Palestinian Christian sexpot – twist and deceive on British television: “If they get their own state, they will cut her hands off.” (And I must confess to having rather enjoyed the image.)
Concern, too, that these people are motivated not by love, or even the longing for a better future, but by hate and the desire to settle old scores.
The ‘new’ (liberated from the yoke of the tyrant Mubarak) Egyptians, outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo last Friday (photograph above), were calling not only for the abolition of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty and the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador: “Jews, remember the Battle of Khaybar, the Army of Muhammad is already here . . . Oh Zionists, please be patient, there’s an Egyptian digging your grave.” Nice.
I was raised in an environment in which the worst intolerance ever encountered was the occasional less than flattering name for “the other,” usually by an elderly relative, in Yiddish.
Another people, on the other hand, raises many of its young to believe that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs, in a conspiracy to control the world (funny that, I have never known a pig to aspire to anything beyond estate agency), and must be destroyed.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at Palestinian and Arab schoolbooks and newspapers (the cartoon on the right appeared in the widest-circulating Egyptian daily), listen to some of their delightful clerics (here and here), or enjoy their enchanting version of Sesame Street (and I haven’t even touched upon the latest filth spewing forth from Tehran).
So please excuse me if I am not filled with optimism and joy about the fall of Mubarak, Gaddafi, or even, imminently, of that vile weasel Assad.
Mark my words (though I do hope they prove to be wrong): this is not good.
[Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/mike-isaacson/ . . . only £500 to go!]