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omments on Israel and Israel-Arab relations as expressed in their own speeches and writings.

 


Arab World
[Morocco on the west, across the Middle East, to the borders of Iran and Turkey]

Map of Arab World

Algeria, Bahrain, Djibuti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania,Morocco*, Oman*, Qatar*, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia*,
United Arab Emirates*, Yemen*.

[Arabs are] A people/ethnicity/nation, including a culture, language and religion, that originated in the 7th century western Arabian peninsula, and was spread to almost all the aboriginal semitic peoples of the near east by conquest and forced conversions to Islam. Arabs are Muslims or are descendants of Muslim Arab ancestors (since it has always been illegal for an arab to convert to any other religion, the rare non-Muslim Arab is usually an atheist); Egyptian Coptic Christians and Lebanese Christians (most of whom have fled to America), Jews, Bahais, Druze, Syriacs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Maronites and others who have been living among Muslims may speak Arabic but will tell you with unexpected vigour that they are not Arab. These groups are but tattered survivors of Arab expansionism, they are the true indigenous populations of their respective homelands. Israeli and Palestinian Christians will often call themselves Arabs, although it is thought that this is simply a strategy to try to win Muslim favor if and when an Islamic Palestinian State becomes a reality. Most likely, they will be forced to flee as have most other Christians formerly living in the Arab world. [Editor's Note: Since this article was written, Christians living under the Palestinian Authority have been leaving the region at unprecedented rates, due, in part, to the PLO strategy of using Christian villiages as bases for firing into Israel, hoping that an Israeli retaliation resulting in Christian dead would reduce Christian support for Israel.]

If Arabs are from Arabia, how did lands from west Africa to Iran become occupied almost exclusively by Arabs?

For several centuries after its advent, Islam was an alibi for Arab imperialism. And it was an imperialism of a type which the world had not known so far. The Arabs not only imposed their ruthless rule and totalitarian creed on the countries they conquered; they also populated these countries with a prolific progeny which they procreated on native women. Divorce of a wedded wife had been made very easy by the 'law' of Islam. What was more convenient, there was no restriction on the number of concubines a man could keep. The Arab Conquerors used these male privileges in full measure. And in a matter of a hundred years, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt and North Africa which had been non-Arab countries for countless ages became Arabic-speaking countries.

Arabic did not spread like English, French or other similar languages that spread through commercial and diplomatic excellence of the lending nation and filtered through the top strata of the receiving: countries. Arabic was injected through all strata of the conquered population which did not have much choice in the matter. Thus we have a series of countries that are 'Arabic' in race, culture and language extending from Iraq to Morocco. Conversion was not confined to creed alone, it covered one's ancestry as well.
- from Islam: The Arab National Movement, by Anwar Shaikh


"Arabs used Islam for conquering half the world & for creating an Arab Empire thus making Islam a trade mark of Arabs."
- Anonymous Pakistani Humanist, Left Shoe News

Ruling Elite :

The Arab World is probably the world's most tumultuous and crisis-ridden region yet, only in the Arab World have rulers found ways to win ongoing mass support for dictatorships that do not provide peace, prosperity or freedom. For many decades this system's record was so bad that a debate finally arose in the 1990s over whether the region's states and societies should follow the patterns accepted elsewhere in the world. Yet once it was clear that the proposed remedies endangered the current ruling elites and dominant ideas, key leading groups rejected the necessary compromises that they were unwilling to make. The result has been the region's return to old patterns of conflict and stasis.

Arabs in the Twentieth Century:

In the 20th cent., Arab leaders have attempted to form an Arab nation, which would unite the whole Arabic-speaking world from Morocco on the west, across the Middle East, to the borders of Iran and Turkey. Since 1945 most of the Arab nations have combined to form the Arab League, its purpose being to consider matters of common interest, such as policy regarding Israel and colonialism. With 22 member states in the Arab League by the mid-1990s, attempts to forge a unity among the Arabs have continued. Perhaps the most significant economic factor for the Arabs has been the discovery and development of the petroleum industry. Since World War II a continual problem for the Arab states has been their relations with the Jewish state of Israel; hostility towards Israel has resulted in four Arab-Israeli wars.

Pan-Arabism:

Pan-Arabism is the general term for the modern movement for political unification among the Arab nations of the Middle East. Since the Ottoman Turks rose to power in the 14th cent., there have been stirrings among Arabs for reunification as a means of reestablishing Arab political power. At the start of World War I, France and Great Britain, seeking allies against the German-Turkish alliance, encouraged the cause of Arab nationalism under the leadership of the Hashemite Sherif Husayn ibn Ali, a descendant of Muhammad. As ruler of Mecca and a religious leader of Islam, he had great influence in the Arab world, an influence that continued with his two sons, Abdullah and Faisal (Faisal I of Iraq). From the 1930s, hostility toward Zionist aims in Palestine was a major rallying point for Arab nationalists.

The movement found official expression after World War II in the Arab League and in such unification attempts as the Arab Federation (1958) of Iraq and Jordan, the United Arab Republic, the Arab Union (1958), the United Arab Emirates, and the Arab Maghreb Union (see under Maghreb). The principal instrument of Pan-Arabism in the early 1960s was the Ba'ath party, which was active in most Arab states, notably Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt, who was not a Ba'athist, expressed similar ideals of Arab unity and socialism.

The defeat of the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and the death (1970) of Nasser set back the cause of Pan-Arabism. In the early 1970s, a projected merger between Egypt and Libya came to nought. However, during and following the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the Arab states showed new cohesion in their use of oil as a major economic and political weapon in international affairs. This cohesion was fractured by the signing of the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel and by the Iran-Iraq War. Pan-Arabist rhetoric was used by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in an attempt to stir opposition the UN coalition forces during the Persian Gulf War, but many Arab nations joined the anti-Iraq coalition.

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