Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Usual Suspects

You thought it was Al Qaeda that was responsible for the suicide bombings in Jordan? Sure, they claimed responsibility, but why blame fellow Muslims when you've got your old standby to blame:
...people agreed that whoever committed such an act could not be a Muslim. But many meant this literally, that the attack must have been carried out by outsiders, namely Israeli agents.
Is it paranoia? Is it a cultural bias towards conspiracy theories?

"People don't blame Israel out of a vacuum," said Rami Khoury, a Jordanian political commentator and writer based in Lebanon. "There is a very strong historical reason, because Israel has caused a lot of grief for Arab people one way or another."
"You have to understand, Baghdad was the capital for Arabs and Muslims for 1,000 years," Mr. Masri said. "It is occupied by Americans now. Jerusalem and Baghdad are both occupied. It is too much for ordinary people to bear.
When Muslim residents of Alexandria in Egypt tried to attack a Coptic church last month after word spread that a play held in the church two years earlier denigrated Islam - and that the play was being distributed on videodisc - one local member of Parliament charged publicly that Israel was behind the strife. "Israel is the only country in the region that does not want Egypt to be stable," said Muhammad al-Badrasheni, the member of Parliament. "It wants to cause sectarian strife that would result in international intervention like what is happening in Iraq now."
The second factor routinely pointed to as proof of Israel's involvement is the idea that Egyptians, Syrians or other Arabs are not clever enough to have carried out such an effective attack.
However, interspersed with all of this are bits of truth:
...this became an easy way not to deal with our problems that are based in our own society."
The [Egyptian] official also blamed Arab leaders who have deflected criticism of domestic issues by focusing public anger on Israel.
So, what else is new? It's really a lot more simple than Arab leaders playing on any legitimate suspicions of Israel. It's called anti-Semitism. If you need a scapegoat, blame the Jews. There's no need to intellectualize it any more than that.