I am disgusted at the anti-Israel vitriol spewed forth by Michael Backman, and strangely hidden away in the business section of The Age (note: the article was subsequently removed by The Age from their web site, but can still be found here). According to his inverted world view, it seems the onus is upon Israel to “transform” the Palestinians from enemies to friends, and their fault if they are unable to. He thinks the entire reason for the Islam’s hatred against Israel and Jews boils down to the treatment of Palestinians.
Between 1948 and 1967, when the Palestinians were governed by Egypt and Jordan, did Malaysia recognize Israel? No! Did Israel’s neighbours accept the formation of the state any more in 1948 when it was formed than after the 1967 war when Israel won the West Bank and Gaza? No!
The fact is that the very existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East is a permanent blight on the Arab world, and they will not rest until it is destroyed. This is why school children in Gaza and the West Bank are taught to hate, and to celebrate death and martyrdom, from a young age. This is why Iran openly proclaims its desire to destroy entirely the state of Israel.
Not content with this already twisted picture of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Backman concludes with the absurd notion that Israelis bring this upon themselves because they are rude and arrogant tourists. These same rude and arrogant Israelis have used the finances provided by the US and others to build a robust democracy, to create industry, and significant contributions to the world of technology, medicine and much more. In contrast, the billions of dollars of aid sent to the Palestinians have been either embezzled by corrupt officials, or used to smuggle arms and continue the fight, rather than to help their own people have a better quality of life. So who is really using their funding better?