It reveals the psyche of the Arab mindset and why there is no rational way out of this middle eastern mess, why it must lead . . . not only to war, but as one character in the book is quoted “to Armageddon!”
Though this is from another WordPress website (for those who want more and deeper insights and I encourage going there – – – much of what I do for my readers, is I often offer synopsis of other intelligent and compelling sights, which this linked site certainly is!), I’ve consolidated some of it here, giving a glimpse, what I hope is a special insight to the depression, the consequent insanity of hate, . . . . the mindset of the Arabs, here’s the first:
On the life of Arab girls
Nada [Ishmael’s sister] was extremely sure of herself. “You who weep for yourself, now weep for me. I have never been allowed to draw a free breath in my entire life. My mind, my voice, my desires have always been locked inside a prison cell. I cannot walk into the gathering room of our house and speak. I can never, in my entire life, eat a meal there. I cannot walk any farther than the water well alone. I will never be able to read a real book. I am not permitted to sing or laugh when a male is near, not even my own brothers. I cannot touch a boy, even slightly. I am not permitted to argue. I cannot disobey, even when I am right. I must not be allowed to learn. I can only do and say what other people allow me.
“I remember once in Tabah I saw a little Jewish girl waiting for the bus on the highway with her parents. She carried a doll and she showed it to me. It was very pretty, but it could do nothing but open and shut its eyes and cry when it was hit on the back. I am that doll.”
Here’s the 2nd it shows the mindset as well . . .
On the life of young Arab-Arab men
“We do not have leave to love one another and we have long ago lost the ability. It was so written, twelve hundred years earlier. Hate is our overpowering legacy and we have regenerated ourselves by hatred from decade to decade, generation to generation., century to century. (speaking of Israel, in ’48) The return of the Jews had unleashed that hatred, exploding wildly, aimlessly, into a massive force of self-destruction.
In ten, twenty, thirty years the world of Islam will begin to consume itself in madness. We cannot live with ourselves . . . we never have. We cannot live with or accommodate the outside world . . . we never have. We are incapable of change. The devil who makes us crazy is now devouring us. We cannot stop ourselves. And if we are not stopped we will march, with the rest of the world, to the Day of the Burning. What we are now witnessing, Ishmael, now, is the beginning of Armageddon.”
Now, to understand Uris’s writing, I offer two resources: this, below, on the same website, the author’s commentary, but here, is a video that explains the political aspects of the hate and insanity so easily!
Uris’s novel was published in 1984, so he had the benefit of hindsight on many of the events that would come to pass years after the events in his story come to a close. He saw Anwar Sadat cut down after making peace with Israel. He saw the decades of neglect by the Arab nations of the refugees, and the perpetuation of the refugee camps by a bloated UNRWA. He witnessed the mounting hostility toward Israel in the UN. He saw Israel go to war time and time again to defend itself from its hostile Arab neighbors.
Some will no doubt see this examination of the Arab psyche as the work of a rabid, anti-Arab Zionist. Uris was a Zionist, but the words he puts in the mouths of his Arab characters reflect real confusion, paradox, and occasional self-criticism which a handful of Arabs (much better educated than a muktar) have articulated in writing. The ability of tribal culture to overpower reason and necessity and keep the Arab down both in the Arab world and in the world at large is something that has been examined by much greater minds than Uris’s. The envy Arabs have for Israeli society, with its freedom of speech, its rule of law, and the ability of the citizenry to see corrupt leaders subjected to investigation, trial, punishment, and public shame is very real. The story, a portrait of Arabs who chose to trust their Arab brethren and were betrayed, used as a political stick to beat the Jews with, and whose children and grandchildren have grown up in a society which indoctrinates them in obsessive hatred and vengeance, is the story of the Palestinians. It’s the portrait anyone who truly cares about them should see, and recognize that their plight is the work of their own leaders, their culture, their religion, and their ignorance.