Ali Baba Bound, Honor Killing, and Water Deficit Societies


††††††††††† In 1940, Warner Brothers released a Porky Pig cartoon called Ali Baba - Bound.In it, Porky Pig plays a French Legionnaire in the Sahara Desert.Porky is fighting the Arabs, one of who sits on the bench with a huge artillery shell strapped to his head, like a Bishopís hat.The Arab, who canít wait to get into the fight, finally rushes the fort.Porky, opens both the front and the back gates allowing the suicide bomber to run through the fort and into the crowd of Arabs in the back, where he explodes.


††††††††††† Long before the creation of Israel, long before World War II, the western addiction to Middle Eastern oil and the World Trade Center, there were Arab suicide bombers.


††††††††††† There were also, and still are, honor killings in the Arab world.Even today in Iraq, if a woman is raped by a soldier and becomes pregnant, not only might she be killed by her family for dishonor, she might even asked to be killed.


††††††††††† Suicide bombing and honor killings are staples of a society were group identity of the family, clan or tribe is far stronger than individual identity.This is because Arab societies have lived for centuries as water deficit societies.


††††††††††† Water is life in the desert.For Arab societies to have survived, they had to work together to procure and preserve water supplies.In desert societies, the life of the group predominates because water, a communal resource obtained communally, comes first.


††††††††††† Now Israel, and the Israelis, are predominantly western.The Jewish culture, nurtured during centuries of the diaspora, is not based on a water deficit mindset.Even if God gave the Jews the land of Israel 3,000 years ago, He did not give them the cultural norms for living in the desert.That is why the land of Israel expanded toward the greater water supplies on the West Bank.


††††††††††† The obstacle to peace in the Middle East is not a one state solution versus a two state solution, or whether Hamas and the Arab States will recognize Israel; the obstacle to peace is whether Israel will recognize the Palestinians.


††††††††††† Before Israel was founded, the mantra sold by the Zionists in the United States was, ďA land with no people for a people with no land.ĒUnfortunately, there were people already present in the land of Israel, but the Zionists have always pretended either that they were not there, or did not belong there.


††††††††††† This mind set has never really changed, except for the brief flirtation with the Oslo peace accords in the early 1990ís that cost Yitzak Rabin his life.People forget that the Israeli peacemaker was killed, not by Arab suicide bombers, but by right wing Israeli fanatics.


††††††††††† Rabin was ultimately replaced by Ariel Sharon, a war criminal and accessory to mass murder (according to an Israeli inquiry into the massacres of the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982.)


††††††††††† Now, the election of Ehud Olmert is another step down the same road.He is going to unilaterally redraw the borders of Israel to exclude the Palestinians, without negotiating with them.Unfortunately, George W. Bush seems set, not only to support Olmert, but to wage war against Iran in defense of Israelís unilateralist policies.


††††††††††† This is a prescription for either widespread war in the Middle East, or a worldwide economic depression, or both.Iran does not need nuclear weapons.Iran has enough missiles, not only to attack Israel with conventional missiles, but to shoot all the oil tankers in the Persian Gulf out of the water.Iran can also permit the infiltration of men and materiel into Iraq to attack American troops, or their Iraqi supporters.


††††††††††† The American invasion of Iraq was a colossal blunder that has weakened, rather than strengthened the United States.The United States has 135,000 hostages in Iraq dependent on the conduct of Israel.Instead of protecting the American troops in Iraq by pressuring Israel to come to an immediate and permanent agreement with the Palestinians, Bush is abetting the Israelis in their ostrich-like approach to the Palestinians whose land and water they have stolen.


††††††††††† One effect of suicide bombing is that it is difficult to pretend that the suicide bombers do not exist.They exist.See them fly hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.See them drive explosive packed cars into American troops in Humvees in Iraq.There is no way to militarily defeat suicide bombers.What can they be threatened with, the death penalty?


††††††††††† The only way to get American troops out of Iraq and to restore the good named and traditional values of the United States is to pressure Israel to settle with the Palestinians.The current proposals of Bush and Olmert are just a prescription for a wider and longer war.


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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf