July 26, 2002

THE FOURTH DIMENSION OF AGGRESSION

by Michael Yaniv

Israel's air strike against Hamas mastermind terrorist Saleh Shehadeh, which also killed 14 others, women and children included, was expectedly condemned by the Arab world as a horrible, inhumane act of terror and as a war crime. Saudi Arabia and Egypt called for the UN to protect the Palestinians against such acts which "have no ethical, moral or even military justification." Obviously, there was no mentioning that Shehadeh and his cronies sent hundreds of Israeli men, women, children and babies to their death and a lot more were maimed and severely injured.

How can one explain this ridiculous farce and mockery of ethics, which is on the borderline of a macabre joke? How can people with minimal common sense accept or understand the frequent reoccurrence of Arabs' systematic distortion of reality and blaming others for the consequences of their own, blood thirsty aggression?

Aggression and cruelty are common human traits. Just as humans can reach high levels of compassion, generosity and kindness, they can also be ferociously cruel to fellow human beings. History has ample examples of aggression and cruelty on a national level, which occur when an entire nation attacks one or more other nations. The Japanese and the Germans in World War II and the ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia are vivid reminders. Yet the aggression of Arabs towards "infidels" in general, and towards Jews and Israel in particular, has another element of hostility unmatched in any other case. As much as vivid and full-fledged (hence, dubbed "three dimensional") the brutality and cruelty of the Nazis and the Japanese were, the Arabs have added an extra "oomph." They have created the "fourth dimension of aggression."

When the Romans, the Huns, the Barbarians, the Japanese, the Nazis, and so on and so forth encountered resistance to their unprovoked attacks, they understood the validity of their enemy's armed resistance. Although they fought this resistance ferociously, they accepted it as a valid form of self-defense by the other side. The hunters understood that the prey didn't want to be eaten. The resistance was legitimate and by itself it did not constitute a casus beli - a cause for war. The resistance of the attacked did not provide another "legitimization" of the attack. The predators didn't need it. The goals of their attack provided all the needed justification of their aggression towards the victim.

When it comes to Muslim Arabs, it's totally different.

When Israel decided to build a "security fence" in order to protect itself against terror attacks emanating from Judea and Samaria, Arabs unanimously condemned it, calling it a "racist act" and a form of hostility against Arabs. When Israel decided to unilaterally pull out of Lebanon, the Arab League unanimously voted against it and condemned it as an act of aggression. How can a person with average intelligence, middle of the road moral standards and minimum integrity not be totally appalled, repelled and bewildered by these outrageous, ridiculous and farfetched allegations? How could the Arabs attach a tag of violence and animosity to these Israeli acts, which bore no shred of violence and whose sole purpose was to protect the Israelis from the murderous violence of the other side?

The answer is embedded in the word "defense" and Islam's historical attitude towards it, since the time of Mohammed. Mohammed and his thugs established the Muslim axiom that the other party's defense efforts against Muslim aggression is itself considered aggression by definition. The attacked side has no "right" to protect itself. When the people of Mecca did not accept Mohammed's new religion and defended themselves against his attacks, staged from Medina, their defensive measures were considered as casus beli. When Medina's Jews refused to convert, their refusal was considered as an act of violence against Islam. Hence, both history and the Koran are infested with vivid acts and attitudes of cruelty and animosity towards Jews. The Jews are the enemies of Islam not because the Jews waged war against Islam, rather because the mere fact of their resistance to yield to Islam was considered an act of war. The war against the Jews has become Muslim "self defense".

Obviously, Mohammed and his warriors had to do some special "moralistic gymnastics" in order to make this absurdity appealing to any conventional standards of common sense. After all, Mohammed portrayed Islam as the compassionate way of the Lord of the Universe, who had supposedly conveyed His Word by other prophets prior to Mohammed. His Word meant justice, peace and compassion. How could these clear dilemmas and clashes of morality and common sense be reconciled? How could Mohammed suppress the innate barbaric qualities of the desert dwellers who had lived by the sword for ages?

Mohammed had a brilliant idea. All laws and standards of morality, compassion, fairness, justice, and integrity were valid and true and should be followed to the tee, provided they are exercised and followed within the world of Islam, within the Followers. However, as far as the non-believers, a.k.a. "infidels", were concerned, it's Total War. It's Jihad. If the infidels are not conquered, subjugated, or converted, any action they take that is not in tandem with the Muslims' goals and aspirations was considered an act of war against Islam and, therefore, legitimized a full-fledged war by Islam against the "perpetrators". The resistance to Islam could even have included passive, non-violent defense.

Today's Muslim Arabs continue this tradition, which has become imbedded in their heritage and national psyche. Anything that the Jews would do, no matter how non-hostile it is, will be considered as an act of aggression against the Arabs if it doesn't serve their goals. Therefore, such an act will justify counter-measures of terrorism and murderous attacks to the best of the Arabs' ability. If the attacked Jews exercise self-defense through force of arms and, moreover, inflict severe punishment on the Arab perpetrators, then the Arabs immediately develop a "selective amnesia", considering themselves innocent victims of the vicious enemy. Therefore, they see future hostile measures as immediately justified.

This is the only way to understand the scope, complexity and most importantly, unrelenting intensity of the Muslim aggression, as it has been unfolding recently both in Israel and in the war of the al-Qaida against the United States. Only when the victims and targets of Muslim aggression understand the true meaning of the "fourth dimension" of Arab hostility will they find the power and means to defeat it.

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The author is a freelance writer who lives in Massachusetts. He can be contacted at myez@rcn.com.
(c) Copyright: Michael Yaniv



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