Smash Authority

Blog Aggregators: Lebanese | Palestinian | Syrian | Jordanian | Iraqi | Arab | Israeli


Ajami, again

(In case you did not notice, I have launched an archiving project for interesting articles that I find on the net and elsewhere, for the purpose of giving my readers a better grasp of the realities of the Middle East, and helping dispel the myths that have often gone unachallenged outside the academic sphere)

I have posted an excellent piece on Fouad Ajami at the Article Vault. Do take the time to read it, it is very well worth it. I was asked by a reader about the reception that Fouad Ajami receives here in Lebanon; the article answers that question, although I do not think Ajami is that widely known and talked about here, except maybe in his hometown Arnoun.

I will quote two excerpts, for those who might not have the time to read the whole thing.

Excerpt #1
In 1986, Ajami had praised Musa al-Sadr as a realist for telling the Palestinians to fight Israel in the occupied territories, rather than in Lebanon. But when the Palestinians did exactly that, in the first intifada of 1987-93, it no longer seemed realistic to Ajami, who then advised them to swallow the bitter pill of defeat and pay for their bad choices. While Israeli troops shot down children armed only with stones, Ajami told the Palestinians they should give up on the idea of a sovereign state ("a phantom"), even in the West Bank and Gaza. When the PLO announced its support for a two-state solution at a 1988 conference in Algiers, Ajami called the declaration "hollow," its concessions to Israel inadequate. On the eve of the Madrid talks in the fall of 1991 he wrote, "It is far too late to introduce a new nation between Israel and Jordan." Nor should the American government embark on the "fool's errand" of pressuring Israel to make peace. Under Ajami's direction, the Middle East program of SAIS became a bastion of pro-Israel opinion. An increasing number of Israeli and pro-Israel academics, many of them New Republic contributors, were invited as guest lecturers. "Rabbi Ajami," as many people around SAIS referred to him, was also receiving significant support from a Jewish family foundation in Baltimore, which picked up the tab for the trips his students took to the Middle East every summer. Back in Lebanon, Ajami's growing reputation as an apologist for Israel reportedly placed considerable strains on family members in Arnoun.
Excerpt #2
Ajami also developed close ties during the 1980s to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which made him--as he often and proudly pointed out--the only Arab who traveled both to the Persian Gulf countries and to Israel. In 1985 he became an external examiner in the political science department at Kuwait University; he said "the place seemed vibrant and open to me." His major patrons, however, were Saudi. He has traveled to Riyadh many times to raise money for his program, sometimes taking along friends like Martin Peretz; he has also vacationed in Prince Bandar's home in Aspen. Saudi hospitality--and Saudi Arabia's lavish support for SAIS--bred gratitude. At one meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, Ajami told a group that, as one participant recalls, "the Saudi system was a lot stronger than we thought, that it was a system worth defending, and that it had nothing to apologize for." Throughout the 1980s and '90s, he faithfully echoed the Saudi line. "Rage against the West does not come naturally to the gulf Arabs," he wrote in 1990. "No great tales of betrayal are told by the Arabs of the desert. These are Palestinian, Lebanese and North African tales."
Sorry for ruining your appetite. I will be more careful next time.

By the way, a correction: Ajami does not have two clones, he has three; or, is one of three clonees of one of the three musketeers: Bernard Lewis, Martin Kramer, and Daniel Pipes.

Labels: ,

posted by Angry Anarchist @ 4/09/2007 07:43:00 PM,


At April 10, 2007 at 8:18 AM, Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Very interesting. To you that info is everyday material.

At April 10, 2007 at 8:41 AM, Blogger Bashir said...

hayda haki

At April 12, 2007 at 3:56 PM, Blogger EDB said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home