On Palestine and Modern Iran: There Is Really No Change in Attitude [Archives:2001/46/Focus]

November 12 2001

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
One is not sure whether the United States or her allies have fully grasped the situation in the area the way it should be understood, or whether the vast agglomeration of information and intelligence instruments at its disposal is not properly informing the policy and decision makers in the West, but for all intents and purposes, it seems that the approach followed by the West in dealing with the issues at stake in the region indicates that there is really no fundamental change in attitude and prejudices.
For one thing, there is the attitude towards the Palestine problem, where the West still continues to deal with the problem as if they had nothing to do with it, and it is just one of those things that happened out of thin air. On the contrary, the attitude of the West still suggests that they are only doing the victims of their blunders and selfish doings for over a century a favor. They fail to realize that the general population of the region and their Moslem brothers everywhere see the problem as it really is – a product of Western imperialism, with evil intents behind every move that led to the creation of Israel and all the headaches that came with it for us and for them!
Furthermore there is still a misconception regarding the developments in the region that we believe needs to be reevaluated with a more open mind and in a manner that reflects a far better understanding of the socio – economic framework of the region. In the first case, we have the attitude towards the Palestine issue and then we have the Islamic Republic of Iran. To this day, there is still a strong bias against the very sophisticated, democratic and rather exemplary regime that the sagacious Ayatollahs of Iran have managed to conjure up in their country. Oftentimes, the Western media tries to convey to the misguided western public that the regime in Iran is a theological dictatorship, etc. Nothing is further than the truth. Iran is a working democracy and apparently has set up the appropriate institutions that guarantee the sustainability of government based on the will of the people. More important, the regime in Iran is fully supported by the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people, and they are the envy of all the other people of the region, because most of the regimes in the region are autocratic and have little regard for such common basics of Government that it should for the people and by the people. Of course, we realize that the United States has lost a lot of interests in Iran and are unable to manipulate and decide the fate of the Iranian people, as they once enjoyed under the dictatorial regime of the Shah, which the Central Intelligence propped up against the will of the Iranian people, and of course any nation that conducts affairs in accordance with the national interest of the people of that nation is anathema to the United States, because it can no longer dictate to it to whom and how much of its oil it should sell, for example, as it does to the other dictatorships who are viewed as “friends” of the United States. Whereas, to the overwhelming population of the region, with “friends like that who needs enemies” is the common feeling.
Yes Iran is following a totally independent course, in keeping with a fairly decent understanding of the Islamic fundamentals of Government and in keeping with what is in the best interest of Iran, whether to the pleasure of the West (and Israel) or not. In fact, Iran has shown a greater understanding of the international global scene and has managed its affairs, without doing anything that would indicate it is out to disrupt the international setting or bring havoc to the world, while maintaining a close check on its dogmatic principles, which require it to promote safeguarding the Islamic religion from any harm, which is probably more to the interest of the world than Israel could ever prove to be, although it continuously proclaims itself to be the “guardian or policeman of the West in the region..
Even though Iran has also been victim of several conspiracies that have never let up, both from its neighbors and the West, thanks to the prodding of Israel, Iran should still be commended for playing a rather genuine peaceful course, not reflecting any aggressive attitude towards anyone and insisting that its policies are not just selfishly motivated by its own aspirations, but also never fail to safeguard the interests and desires of all their fraternal Moslem brothers in the region, without regard to sect or even ideological inclinations. Iran realizes that the stability of the region is just as important to its own security as it is for all the people in the region.
Thus it is really not understandable why the West still has this very strong prejudice against a Government that has proven itself to be a good behaving member of the international community and a government that is based on a modern democratic framework, and what is more important, Iran has the support and satisfaction of the majority of the people in the country and the admiration of the other peoples in the region and the Moslem world at large, notwithstanding the attitude of their governments.
But for sure, Israel sees in Iran its fearless enemy, because Iran knows how to deal with a menace like Israel and because Iran, being a nation that adheres to sound and rational Islamic philosophy cannot be acceptable to the backers of a state that was the creation of a piracy left over from the age of imperialism and more important, because Iran knows its place in the regional power equation and how to serve the interests of its people by this place. Moreover, the last two decades have shown Iran to be the exact opposite of the ugly image, which the Western press, prodded by Zionist propaganda and lies, and perhaps should be recognized for its sound adherence to international law and cohesiveness.
Yes, there is Hizbullah, that unflinching nemesis, which Israel cannot stand, because the former has proven for once and for all that Israel is no more than a farce and a mutation born out of Western arrogance and the disrespect for the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine. Notwithstanding all the talk of terrorism, Hizbullah has proven that it has played the game by the rules and with recognized effectiveness, even the Israelis are quick to recognize that no one – not even all the Arab governments that have claimed to be carrying the banner of Arab honor and all that nationalist rhetoric that in the end is no more than empty words – has had a greater effectiveness in giving the enemy a dose of its own medicine.
Iran and Hizbullah for most Moslems represent the macro and micro manifestation of the continuing course, which modern Islam should be set on. Surely they represent a more enlightened and sophisticated illustration of Islam, then the mullahs of Afghanistan have proven to be, with all their crude representation of what Islam should be, domestically and internationally. For this alone, the West should see if not be appreciative.