I believe that the Arab opposition to the existence of non-Arab, non-Muslim Israel is based on the ideological motivations which led to the persecution of non-Arab minorities. The Assyrians suffered massacre and expulsion by the Arab nationalists of Iraq in the 1920s and 1930s. The Kurds have been persecuted and have suffered terribly for their struggle to establish an independent Kurdistan (at the hands of the Turks and Iranians as well, but that is another story.)
Arab nationalist ideology, and its Islamicist couterpart, cannot and will not tolerate non-Arab and non-Islamic peoples organizing themselves into their own independent nation states. Indeed, I have seen on Islamicist web sites the goal of "regaining" Spain in the name of Islam.
I believe that we need to place Israel's struggle to survive into this context. Any non-Arab/non-Islamic state in the region must rely on strength (political, moral, spiritual and military) if it wants to survive in the Middle East. In this context can we thus place Israel's demand for security. It is not security for the sake of security, not seucirty for the sake of oppressing another people, but security for the sake of survival against two racist and exclusivist ideologies (Arabism and Islamicism) which have succeeded in repressing the just struggles for national self-determination of most non-Arab peoples in the Middle East.
To this end, I highly recommend looking at the following web sites:
Assyrian Democratic Movement
Assyrian International News Agency
The World Lebanese Organization
Maronite Research Council
This article was contributed to J. Katz, and will be expanded in future essays.
Click for Related Articles