by Gerald A. Honigman


     I can't get the image out of my head.

     There she was, Ashleigh Banfield, MSNBC's  rising star, standing before a statue of the great Muslim warrior, Salah al Din, in Syria, glorifying the Arab claim that they were his modern descendants in the fight against Jews and other allegedly new crusaders in the region.

     Arab tyrants love to make such claims. Syria's twin butchers to the east are famous for this as well. Saddam still loves to present himself as Saladdin reincarnate. He needs to be hung quickly...better yet, gassed.

     And poor Saladdin is rolling in his grave.

     A Kurd from northern Iraq (where Arabs later gassed and massacred Kurds by the tens of thousands), he indeed led the fight for the Dar ul-Islam against the crusaders in the Holy Land. But those were the early centuries, and despite the Abbasid Revolution (largely supported by the Mawali) which toppled the Damascus-based Arabist Umayyads over such issues, non-Arab converts to Islam still sought to win equality in Arab eyes (and escape special taxes) by toeing, especially well, the Islamic line.

      Listening recently to the Muslim but non-Arab Iranian President's renewed remarks about Israel's destruction, some things change...and some things never change.

      The way for non-Arab Muslims to pass the ultimate litmus test is to out Arab the Arabs in Jew hatred.

     Some of the worst hate-mongers on campus that I encountered were from Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and so forth. That was the ticket to stand tall along side Arabs in the Muslim Student Organization, etc.

     So, while Iranians are now busy slaughtering Muslim Arabs in oil-rich Khuzistan, Muslim Kurds, Muslim Baluchis, Muslim Azeris, and others as well in the name of their own national interests, their religious credentials remain impeccable. Supporting Hizbullah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad in the struggle to exterminate the Jew of the Nations (whose population includes tens of thousands of Iranian Jews who fled for their lives), insures this as well.

     Back to Saladdin...

     In 1968, the Kurdish nationalist, Ismet Cherif Vanly, wrote The Syrian 'Mein Kampf' Against The Kurds (Amsterdam). So I couldn't help but feel sickened by seeing that MSNBC reporter endorsing the Arab line while standing in front of a mounted statue of Saladdin. If he only new what the Arabs would be doing to his own people centuries later...long after their conversion to Islam, and still going on as I write this article: Kurdish children being forced to sing songs praising their Arab identity in schools; Kurds slaughtered for nothing more than seeking to be able to retain their own cultural identity while obtaining some semblance of equality; and so forth. A visit to such websites as will be instructive indeed.

     Keep all of this in mind when you consider that the above murderous, despotic junk heap leads the pack in attacking those allegedly "racist Zionists" who have made Arabic the second official language of their state, have Arabs who side with Hamas as representatives in the Knesset and leading demonstrations at Hebrew University, and have, as citizens, the freest Arabs living anywhere in the Middle East. And this despite the fact that many of the latter do indeed compose a potentially dangerous fifth column.

     But now we come to the real reason for this article...

     Despite Syria's deadly hegemonic attitudes and actions towards what it sees as its Lebanese "provinces;" despite its appalling treatment of Kurds, native Jews, and others as well; despite its support for terrorists undermining Iraq's attempt at democracy; despite the great likelihood that many of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction found a home in Syria; despite Damascus' support of major terrorist organizations whose aim is the destruction of the Jew of the Nations and giving safe haven to those organizations within its own borders; despite its record as mass slaughterer of any and all who decent, author of the infamous "Hama Solution;" etc., etc., etc....America would be squeezing the Jews right now--not Syrian Arabs-- if circumstances were just a bit different.

     Sad but all too true.

     Had Syria not opposed America in Iraq, the Foggy Folks would be pressing forward with former Secretary of State James Baker's pledge to Assad the First, butcher of Damascus, of a total Israeli retreat from the Golan Heights. Dubya has made Baker, the Bush's close family friend (whose law firm represents the Saudis), his Special Middle East Envoy. I've written much about Baker's Jew problem elsewehere, so we'll drop it for now.

     Recall that the Heights were part of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine until Britain and France did some imperial trading, and that the territory changed hands often throughout the centuries. It was not exclusively Arab, and Jews too had a long history there.

     Recall also how Syria used the Heights to rain terror on Israelis below prior to the 1967 War--which it also largely instigated.

     And, lastly, also remember that Israel offered to return all of the territories right after that war in return for peace treaties and was offered the "3 Nos of Khartoum" in response. It got attacked on Yom Kippur from those Heights again in 1973--Arab tanks rolling towards Israel proper. The Jew of the Nations came close to being destroyed that year. Syria has now built up its own massive arsenal of missiles, chemical weapons, and such.

     Not long ago, an Israeli Prime Minister offered, again, an almost complete return of the Heights. The exception would cover a tiny stretch of land protecting Israel's water sources. But that was, of course, too much to ask of Arabs who--after all--are so understanding of their own national competitors' needs. I'm sure, for example, that if the situation was reversed, and it was Israel who repeatedly attacked Syria and lost territory as a result of its aggression, that Syria would make a similar offer to the Jews.

     Of course...and I'm also the Passover Bunny.

     Right now Israel controls the passes Syrian tanks would use to roll down hill to kill Jews. Right now Israeli artillery can send Baby Assad and friends a calling card right from the Heights. Right now Syrian artillery and gunners can't do this anymore to Jews. Right now Israelis are assured that an enemy sworn to its death will not be in control of its water supply.

     And, also right now, America must finally rid itself of the Arabist State Department practice of constantly twisting the arm of its beleaguered friend to make suicidal concessions to such deadly and obnoxious adversaries, all of whom refuse to recognize the rights of anyone but themselves in the region. Like the Arabs, the Foggy Folks joined in the rejection of the right of Israel to even exist in 1948...for a number of reasons, blatant anti-Semitism included.

     As with the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, a territorial compromise--which meets the needs of both parties to the conflict--must be reached on the Golan as well. And if the Syrians don't like it, let them understand that there is a price to be paid for their repeated deadly aggression.

     Think of all the territories that have exchanged hands because of wars. America holds many territories itself because of this...not to mention Europe and other places as well.

     The national security requirements of the tiny sliver that is Israel on the world map need to be taken no less seriously...especially since, unlike the super power, three thousand mile-wide America ( largely protected by vast oceans and with fairly reasonable neighbors) and others whose demands often extend hundreds--if not thousands--of miles away from home, those of the Jew of the Nations involve what's going on right on its very own doorstep and in its backyard.


Gerald A. Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral studies in Middle Eastern Affairs. He has created and conducted counter-propaganda programs for college youth, has lectured on numerous university campuses and other platforms, and has publicly debated many anti-Israel spokesmen. His articles and op-eds have been published in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, academic journals and websites around the world. His official website is:

Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article. A. G. S.