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While Egyptian Television Tries to Imagine a World without Israel, It Can’t Answer the Tough Questions

Set a century in the future, the Egyptian miniseries The End imagines a future where Israel has been destroyed, its Jews “have returned to their countries of origin,” and the U.S. has fractured into several smaller states. A characteristic response to the show’s critics, writes Nervana Mahmoud, is “Don’t we have the right to dream?” Indulging them, Mahmoud tries to imagine the realities this dream would entail:

None of [The End’s fans and defenders] will ever address the tough questions about their future beloved Palestine. How will they reconcile their conflicting views on the future Palestinian state? How will post-Israel Palestine avoid the fate of post-Saddam Iraq or post-Arab Spring Syria? Will the allies of the various Palestinian factions leave the Palestinian people to decide their fate, or will they try to impose their vision in exchange for financial and political support?

Will Hamas, Fatah, and the other Palestinian factions that failed to unite under occupation reconcile their differences after “liberation”? Will prominent [figures] of the Palestinian diaspora, including Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and the activist Linda Sarsour, leave their prestigious careers in the U.S. and “return” to campaign relentlessly for the “right to return to Palestine” and to serve their beloved new state?

I once asked a hardcore pro-Palestinian Islamist those questions. He was angrily dismissive. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “What matters is that we destroy the Zionist state first, then think of the day after.”

[A]lthough all the factions within the pro-Palestinian camp are united in their contempt for Israelthe demise of the Zionist state is the last thing they want. Without Israel, . . . Hizballah will have no excuse for maintaining its military empire in Lebanon. . . . And without Israel, the identity-politics chorus in America will run out of slogans and excuses for their emotional outbursts, . . . and [Middle Eastern] drama producers will run out of fancy populist ideas for their fancy movies and soap operas. It may come as a shock to many, but Israel is a golden asset for every faction within the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian camp.

Read more at Nervana

More about: Egypt, Israel-Arab relations, Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib, Television

 

The Summary: 10/7/20

Two extraordinary events demonstrate something important about Israel’s most fervent adversaries. One was a speech given at something called The People’s Forum (funded generously by Goldman Sachs), which stated, “When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism.”

The suggestion that this tiny state is the linchpin of a global, centuries-old phenomenon like capitalism goes well beyond anything resembling rational criticism. Even if Israel were guilty of genocide, apartheid, and oppression—which of course it is not—it would not follow that its destruction would help end capitalism or imperialism.

The other was an anti-Israel protest that took place in front of New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, deemed “complicit” in Israel’s evils. At organizers’ urging, participants shouted their slogans at kids in the cancer ward, who were watching from the windows. Given Hamas’s indifference toward the lives of Gazan children, such callousness toward non-Palestinian children from Hamas’s Western allies shouldn’t be surprising. The protest—like the abovementioned speech—deliberately conveyed the message that Israel is the ultimate evil and its destruction the ultimate good, cancer patients be damned.

The fact that Israel’s adversaries are almost comically perverse does not mean that they can be dismissed. If its allies fail to understand the obsessive and irrational hatred that it faces, they cannot effectively help it defend itself.

Read more at Mosaic