Bigotry, plain and simple

Every once in a while you come across some articles written by ordinary Iranians (such as myself), simple in writing yet high in substance. In the course of telling you the story, it touches a nerve or explains an obvious fact… it simply states the simple truth.

Palestine, Palestine, Palestine” by Pullniro is one of those articles. It points out a fact that almost all Iranians are very much aware of it but are either in a complete state of denial or simply ignore it for the sake of being regionally sensitive to the so called Palestinian issue. Iranians after all try to be as politically correct (read polite) in the region as possible. It is a good neighbor policy.

The simple truth as Pullniro points out in his article, is the fact that most Arabs, Palestinians included, do hate Iranians. Why that is, I am not sure, but there are obviously some historical reasons behind it. Is it because Iranians were the only nation who kept their language and cultural identity after the Arab/Islamic conquest of the region and did not turn Arab like others? Is it because Iranians accepted Islam on their own terms by belonging to the Shiai sect of Islam and most Arabs are Sunnis? Is it historical envy? Or is it Arab bigotry plain and simple?

Whatever the reason, the enmity is there and Iranians must be vigilant about the harm may come from their Arab “brothers.” The eight years of war between Iran and Iraq is a prime example of the fact that Arabs, given the chance, will unite against Iranians far better than they ever united against Israel. And it's not only annihilation of Israel they wish for, they wish the same for Iran too.

Saddam called the war “Ghadesieh”, a reference to the decisive 7th century battle between Arabs (brain washed by a powerful ideology and motivated by spoils of war) and the Persian army (weakened by its constant wars with Byzantine Empire) in which Arabs came out victorious and occupied the vast Persian Empire (it is ironic that the region now called Iraq was part of the Persian Empire). This reference was of course nothing but a big fallacy claimed by a mad man. The brave Iranians after all showed the world in general and Arabs in particular that attacking Iran is not such an easy venture, even during a worst chaos caused by a revolution.

But I tend to somewhat agree with Saddam in calling the war another Ghadesieh, only to the point that this was not just a war between Iran and Iraq, it was indeed a war between Iran and the Arabs. We witnessed how almost all Arab countries of the Middle East (with the exception of Syria) stood behind Saddam in his unprovoked and adventurous war against Iran.

The rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Persian Gulf sheikdoms poured billions of dollars into Saddam's war machine and those not so rich Arabs such as Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians (yes, our dear oppressed Palestinians) joined Iraqi army to fight against Iranians. Even Iranian Arabs living in Khuzestan were quick to sell out and join Saddam's forces against Iranians.

Back in the sixties, Jamal Abdul Nasser, the then president of Egypt and one of the creator of the so called Arab Nationalism and the inventor of “Arabian Gulf”, had a famous saying: “We (Arabs) shall have our lunch in Tel Aviv and dinner in Tehran”, a reference to conquering Iran right after Israel. Well, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war put an end to that kind of rhetoric.

Middle East history for the past 1400 years is full of events indicating Arabs hatred towards Iranians. Yet, some Iranians still insist on identifying with Arabs and support their war against Israelis when in fact it is Israel that has kept Arabs at bay. Israel's existence has helped creating less of a chance for Iranians to get into wars with Arabs.

The Iranian regime pours millions of dollars into helping the Palestinian “cause” and Hezbollah in Lebanon. And for what? Is a meager and reluctant mentioning of support for IRI by Palestinian militant groups worth the sacrifice? Hamas's token solidarity with the IRI will fade away fast (as Arafat's did) once they start negotiating with the Israelis. And how far will the Lebanese shiai's go to prove their solidarity with IRI remains to be seen.

“F… Iran… You are no brothers to us and we don't need your God-damned support for our cause.” It's amazing how brutally honest these Palestinians get with Iranians in an Arab environment, as this guy did in Dubai with one of our countrymen. The sad truth is that that way of thinking does not exclusively belong to a Palestinian Arab who is a mechanic or a cab driver. This is a general attitude towards Iranians by Arabs in all walks of life. And let's be honest, what Palestinian “cause” are we talking about here? There is no cause!

Isn't it a historical fact that Arab countries in the Middle East, from Kuwait to Iraq to Syria, from Jordan to Lebanon are all for the most part creation of British Mandate after World War I? So who is to say that Palestinians have more right to that piece of land than Israelis just because Israel was created a few years later? Jews lived in that part of the world just as long, if not longer, than any Arabs.

Don't get me wrong, I still wish for an end to any human suffering in that region and hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict. But I strongly oppose any Iranian sacrifice, be it physical or financial, at the Palestinian or any other Arab alter. Buying Arab support at the price of Iranian blood or dignity is utterly unacceptable.

Now that we are on the subject of Arabs and Israelis and their attitudes towards Iranians, let's do a little comparison here, shall we? The only significant victories Arabs have had against Israelis in decades, took place in May of 2000 when Israeli forces were pushed out of the south Lebanon. This victory was achieved by the direct physical and financial help of the Iranians.

Yet to this date, have we ever seen even slightest acknowledgement from any Arab countries, including the Lebanese themselves, of the Iranians role in this victory? Do they even care how many Iranians lost their lives as the price of this Arab victory? I think not! By contrast, 2500 years ago an Iranian King by the name of Cyrus the Great frees Jews from Babylonian bondage and in the process captures the heart and soul of a grateful group of people for centuries to come. He is mentioned as a savior in the Torah and Jews proudly name their sons after him.

Jews due to historical connections with Persians have never had any animosities towards Iranians, up until maybe recent years when IRI with all its Arab butt kissing and anti-Israeli policies has created a very tense atmosphere between the two countries. This regime single handedly has antagonized Israelis to the point that they are now talking about striking Iran. And guess what? No one is happier about the current Iran-Israeli situation than the Arabs. What a shame!

Yes, it is indeed a shame that the two countries in the Middle East that can be friends and even allies are pointing their guns at each other instead. I hope and pray for a peaceful outcome of this tense situation. Defusing this situation must be on top of IRI agenda, not fanning the fire with anti-Israeli rhetoric. Meanwhile, we Iranians need to think long and hard next time our pro-Palestinian blood starts boiling. We need to think logically and have a clear distinction between our friends and foes.

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