Wednesday, April 6, 2005

The UN's Blame Game

Via Smooth Stone:

Now, according to a UN-sponsored report released today, the creation of Israel and the US support for its policies in the West Bank are partially to blame for the lack of reform in the Arab world...

The Arab Human Development Report 2004 (AHDR) cited the creation of the Jewish state as one of the roots of authoritarianism in the Middle East, along with the discovery of oil and the support for dictators by the superpowers during the Cold War.

Israel rebuffed the claims. "For too long too many people in the Arab world have used Israel as an excuse to justify behavior that cannot be justified," said Mark Regev, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry. "You can't have democratic elections because of Israel and you can't give equal rights to women in Saudi Arabia because of Israel. This is of course a cop out."...

In the most controversial part titled Towards Freedom in the Arab World, the report stated that the Israeli occupation of the territories and the US occupation of Iraq both created excuses for Arab governments to postpone democratization and they strengthened extremist groups which advocate violence.

A spokesman for the State Department rejected those claims.

"We think it's misguided to blame Israel for the problems and the challenges that the Arab world faces," said Greg Sullivan, spokesman for the Near East Affairs Department.

The report was written by Arab intellectuals ( Ha. That's an oxymoron. - Smooth ) and scholars(?) including MK Azmi Bishara and Palestinian human rights (shyeah, human rights for all as long as you're not a Jew - Smooth ) lawyer Daoud Kuttab.

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The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.