There is a curious piece at Australian leftist blog New Matilda by Joseph Wakim OAM about the civil war in Syria prompted by a comment the Australian FM apparently made on radio about how quick it is for events to turn in that part of the world. One assassination will do it. They all know this. That is why the average Arab dictator traditionally spends half his country's GDP on personal security.
Mr Wakim takes exception to this observation on the state of the political culture in Syria and beyond. .
In doing so he makes this extraordinary claim. It drops from his lips like unmelted butter. It is no big deal. An article of faith which it likely is.
"Our foreign minister represents a liberal democracy where murder is a crime and the death sentence has long been outlawed. Assassination should not be part of Australia’s strategy to end the proxy war between Iran and Israel that is fought on Syrian soil."
His source for the Israeli proxy war slur is is this article which appears a reasonable if dated account of what is going on and indeed does talk about a "proxy" war. But the piece is about Sunnis, Shiites, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Al Qaeda, Turkey ,,. There is barely a mention of Israel and no suggestion that Israel is a combatant in the war or that the war is being fought in Israel's interests.
In other words this is entirely a creature of Mr Wakim's mind.
To portray this bundle of insurgencies and brutal civil war as a proxy war between Iran and Israel is quite deluded. It sums up the sick political cultures dominant in the Muslim East and insurgent in the prissy Western left that can not even look at the Middle East or indeed the world without seeing Israel at the centre of it.
The truth is this is just more proof that Israel not only has nothing whatsoever to do with Syria but also with any of the grinding bloody turmoil that the peoples of Arab and Muslims lands have been put through for the last sixty or indeed hundred years.
To think that Israel has any connection with Assad or any of the rebel groups or their backers and has any interest or influence is insane. Hopefully the Israelis have a reasonable idea of what is going on but hopefully so does the rest of the West.
The Israelis have a declared interest in the location and movement of Assad's chemical weapons. So does everyone else. Especially Turkey but the insurgency likely includes sworn enemies of pretty much everybody by now. There is no scope or need for IDF intervention. Others are better placed.
Beyond that Israel and Israelis can just wait and watch like us.
The kind of thinking that as a reflex puts Israel at the very centre of things really is quite disgraceful. Israel is without question the border state, and beyond, with the least influence over the course of events in Syria.
To think otherwise is a delusion. To imagine this is a war between Israel and anyone is a delusion. This is a war that has come from within the Muslim and Arab world just like all the others. Israel has nothing to do with Syria just as it had nothing to do with Tunisia, Egypt, Libya or for that matter Iran or all the other violent revolutions in the past and yet to come and the violent oppressive regimes that come and go in between.
Israel is not waging this war. That is a delusion.
A moment of clear thinking is all it needs to dispel a delusion.
Like most delusions this one is dangerous.
In this case it betrays the Syrian people and belittles their suffering. It disregards the horrors of living under a police state ruled by an elite and the human need to be free of it.
It also avoids honestly discussing the horrors that are ahead for these sadly oppressed people as the insurgency is likely hijacked by some of the most vile and hateful ideologues since the Nazis.
That would be bad news for Israel and the other liberal secular democracies but nothing has changed. It is terrible news for the Syrians. It seems that is not to change either. Those who care about the Syrian people, indeed care about any people, should care about that.
Unfortunately that is not anywhere near how dangerous this delusion gets; this delusion that puts Israel not only where it could not possibly be but as the malign force at the very heart of the terrible bleeding in Syria apparently waging the war against both the regime and the people simultaneously.
I think we know where this is heading.
In the Muslim East they say it out loud and clear and since the Islamic Revolution louder and clearer than ever.. They cannot look at the Middle East and the world without seeing Israel and the Jews. They say it again and again.
That is the most dangerous delusion of all.
They see no difference between Israel and the Jews. This ideology does not make that distinction. Only in the West do anti-Israel zealots feverishly insist on the distinction. This must bemuse anti-Israel fanatics in the Muslim East. This is reason #137 why in 2012 antizionism is the new antisemitism.
Mr Wakim and his colleagues need to undergo a quiet revolution in their thinking if they mean to help these people. They need to stop seeing Israel where Israel is not. They need to stop blaming Israel for these horrible upheavals and Nakbas, one after the other, that monster the Arab world.
They need to start to pay some attention to the real sources of the problems in the Muslim world and stop blaming Israel and the outside world for these especially when it amounts to blind dumb bigotry and can lead only to war.
Geoffff's Joint Bar and Grill