Ohne voneinander zu wissen, haben Charles Krauthammer und Tariq Ramadan heute gegensetzliche Einstellungen zum Israels Krieg gegen die Hamas mit allerletzter Deutlichkeit ausformuliert. Krauthammer wird oft als pro-israelischer Falke betrachtet, Ramadan – als ein moderater europäischer Muslim. Erst im Kontrast der beiden Texte sieht man, dass diese Klischees unwahr sind. Krauthammer spricht die manchmal bittere und traurige Wahrheit aus, um für die Gerechtigkeit zu sorgen, Ramadan versteckt dagegen den ideologischen Kampf für die Weltherrschaft des Islam hinter dem scheinheiligen Aufruf zur Gerechtigkeit.
Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. [...] counting on the moral scrupulousness of Israel, Hamas figures civilian proximity might help protect at least part of its arsenal. [...] knowing that Israelis have new precision weapons that may allow them to attack nonetheless, Hamas hopes that inevitable collateral damage — or, if it is really fortunate, an errant Israeli bomb — will kill large numbers of its own people for which, of course, the world will blame Israel.
For Hamas, the only thing more prized than dead Jews are dead Palestinians. [...] there is equal clarity regarding the asymmetry of ends. Israel has but a single objective in Gaza — peace: the calm, open, normal relations it offered Gaza when it withdrew in 2005. Doing something never done by the Turkish, British, Egyptian and Jordanian rulers of Palestine, the Israelis gave the Palestinians their first sovereign territory ever in Gaza.
What ensued? This is not ancient history. Did the Palestinians begin building the state that is supposedly their great national aim? No. No roads, no industry, no courts, no civil society at all. The flourishing greenhouses that Israel left behind for the Palestinians were destroyed and abandoned. Instead, Gaza’s Iranian-sponsored rulers have devoted all their resources to turning it into a terror base — importing weapons, training terrorists, building tunnels with which to kidnap Israelis on the other side. And of course firing rockets unceasingly.
The grievance? It cannot be occupation, military control or settlers. They were all removed in September 2005. There’s only one grievance and Hamas is open about it. Israel’s very existence.
Nor does Hamas conceal its strategy. Provoke conflict. Wait for the inevitable civilian casualties. Bring down the world’s opprobrium on Israel. Force it into an untenable cease-fire — exactly as happened in Lebanon. Then, as in Lebanon, rearm, rebuild and mobilize for the next round. Perpetual war. Since its raison d’etre is the eradication of Israel, there are only two possible outcomes: the defeat of Hamas or the extinction of Israel.
Israel’s only response is to try to do what it failed to do after the Gaza withdrawal. The unpardonable strategic error of its architect, Ariel Sharon, was not the withdrawal itself but the failure to immediately establish a deterrence regime under which no violence would be tolerated after the removal of any and all Israeli presence — the ostensible justification for previous Palestinian attacks. Instead, Israel allowed unceasing rocket fire, implicitly acquiescing to a state of active war and indiscriminate terror.
Hamas’s rejection of an extension of its often-violated six-month cease-fire (during which the rockets never stopped, just were less frequent) gave Israel a rare opportunity to establish the norm it should have insisted upon three years ago: no rockets, no mortar fire, no kidnapping, no acts of war. As the U.S. government has officially stated: a sustainable and enduring cease-fire. If this fighting ends with anything less than that, Israel will have lost yet another war. The question is whether Israel still retains the nerve — and the moral self-assurance — to win.
Listening to the feelings expressed by Muslims around the world one gets a sentiment of anger and revolt mixed with a deep sense of helplessness. The current massacres are but a confirmation of the well-known: the “international community” does not really care about the Palestinians, and it is as if the state of Israel, with the support of the US and some European countries, has imposed a state of intellectual terror. Among the presidents and kings, nobody dares to speak out; nobody is ready to say the truth. All are paralysed by fear.
While the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is sometimes perceived, and experienced, as critical to the relationship between the west and Islam, many Muslims no longer know how to react. Is it a pure political conflict? What does Islam have to do with it? Should we make it an Islamic concern to call upon the ummah?
Muslims around the world are facing three distinctive phenomena. First, in the Muslim-majority countries or in the west, they see they can expect no reaction from governments, especially from the Arab states. Theirs is the guilty silence of the accomplice, the hypocrisy, the contempt for Palestinian lives. Second, western media coverage is alarming, with the majority buying the Israeli story: two equally powerful belligerents, with the victim of aggression (Israel) acting in self-defence. What a distortion! Yet the third phenomenon is interesting: while 73% of Europeans were backing Israel in 1967, more than 67% are supporting the Palestinians today. With time, understanding and sensitivity have moved: populations are not blindly following the games and hypocritical stands of their political elites.
Considering these factors, Muslims around the world, and especially western Muslims, should clarify their position. While refusing to turn the Israeli-Palestinian war into a religious conflict, they should not deny its religious dimension, and thus formulate an explicit stand. From an Islamic viewpoint, it should be clear that their resistance is not against Jews (antisemitism is anti-Islamic); to target innocent civilians must be condemned on both sides; and the objective should be for Jews, Christians and Muslims (with people of other religions or no religion) to live together with equal rights and dignity.
The Palestinians are never going to give up; and Israel, for all its awesome firepower, has not won the conflict. Muslims around the world should be a driving force of remembrance and resistance. Not as Muslims against Israel, the west or the hypocritical Arab states, but more widely, and constructively, for justice with all (religious or not) who refuse to be brainwashed or reduced to powerless spectators. It is time to create broad alliances and synergies around clear political objectives.
If the Middle East is teaching Muslims anything, it is to stop acting in isolation and return to the universal values they share with their fellow citizens. They should realise they are in and with the majority. Demonstrations and articles are crucial but we need to go further. To launch a global movement of non-violent resistance to the violent and extremist policy of the state of Israel has become imperative. The violence inflicted, in front of us, upon a population of one and a half million humans makes our silence, our division and even our limited emotional reaction undignified, insane and inhumane. A true and dignified resistance requires commitment, patience and a long-term strategy of information, alliance and huge, non-violent democratic participation.
Bezeichnend sind hier wie dort die Auslassungen. Krauthammer spricht kaum über das Elend der Palästinenser, er sagt auch kein Wort über das zumindest problematische Verhältnis von Israelis zu ihren eigenen arabischen Mitbürgern, sein Thema ist die Hamas. Ramadan erwähnt weder die Terroristen und ihre Methoden noch die Politik der arabischen Staaten, die Palästinenser in den Flüchtlingslagern jahrzehntelang für den Kampf mit Israel züchten. Der Unterschied ist letzten Endes gravierend – Krauthammer will den Frieden, auch auf Kosten von vielen menschlichen Opfern, Ramadan will die Konsolidierung des Islam, die Rückeroberung des gesamten Nahen Ostens, die Vernichtung Israels. Krauthammer sagt klar, was er will; Ramadan verschleiert seine Gedanken.
Man kann allerdings davon ausgehen, dass Krauthammers Position viel Unterstützung findet und Ramadans Position wenig. Krauthammer unterstützt den Krieg um friedenswillen, Ramadan will den Frieden, um den Krieg vorzubereiten. Für die aggressiven und moderaten Islamisten ist Ramadans Verschleierung nicht akzeptabel. Er bedient hier das lesende Publikum Europas, das bereit ist, durch die “Guardian”-Brille die Welt zu sehen. Es wäre interessant zu erfahren, wie die normalen Muslime das sehen. Mal schauen.