JOSHUAPUNDIT has a translation of an interview (by Pierre Heumann of the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche) of al-Jazeerah's chief editor, Ahmed Sheikh. Go there for the full thing, but this bit (even without the rest) reveals the mindboggling fallacy of regarding this organ as a purveyor of objective unbiased reporting.
...Do you mean to say that if Israel did not exist, there would suddenly be democracy in Egypt, that the schools in Morocco would be better, that the public clinics in Jordan would function better?So. There you have it. In a nutshell. According to the most influential opinion former in the Arab world. The Palestinian problem is that 350 million Arabs can't defeat 7 million Israelis. Forget the refugees. Forget the land. Forget everything except the fact that the Arabs can't defeat the Israelis. This is the explanation for the whole sorry mess. `If we can't beat them we mope and cry and achieve nothing'. 350 million seven year olds. Would that someone could gently but firmly explain to them that their culture is at fault.
I think so.
Can you please explain to me what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to do with these problems?
The Palestinian cause is central for Arab thinking.
In the end, is it a matter of feelings of self-esteem?
Exactly. It's because we always lose to Israel. It gnaws at the people in the Middle East that such a small country as Israel, with only about 7 million inhabitants, can defeat the Arab nation with its 350 million. That hurts our collective ego. The Palestinian problem is in the genes of every Arab. The West's problem is that it does not understand this.
I have only one suggestion for them, an old prescription from Western culture: if you can't beat them, join them.