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Quotes About Middle East

Quotes tagged as "middle-east" (showing 1-30 of 88)
Dave Barry
“Palestinian and Israeli leaders finally recover the Road Map to Peace, only to discover that, while they were looking for it, the Lug Nuts of Mutual Interest came off the Front Left Wheel of Accommodation, causing the Sport Utility Vehicle of Progress to crash into the Ditch of Despair.”
Dave Barry, Dave Barry's History of the Millennium

إبراهيم فرغلي
“الحديث مع فتاة متحررة بالنسبة لي هنا كان مثل نسمة هواء باردة ومنعشة، أستعيد بها روحي التي كانت تختنق أمام تناقضات وإزدواجية فتيات يردن التحرر، بينما يقررن أن الزواج والجلوس في البيت قد يكون نهاية المطاف، أو حتي بعض الفتيات المتحررات اللائي لا يرين غضاضة في أن ينفق عليهن رجل بالكامل. لم أستطع أن أفهم منطقهن الانتهازي، الحصول على مزايا التحرر، و مزايا النظام الشرقي الأبوي التقليدي معًا.”
إبراهيم فرغلي, جنية في قارورة

Noam Chomsky
“Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region.

The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.”
Noam Chomsky

Tony Horwitz
“The first thing you notice, coming to Israel from the Arab world, is that you have left the most courteous region of the globe and entered the rudest. The difference is so profound that you're left wondering when the mutation in Semitic blood occurred, as though God parted the Red Sea and said: "Okay, you rude ones, keep wandering toward the Promised Land. The rest of you can stay here and rot in the desert, saying 'welcome, most welcome' and drowning each other in tea until the end of time.”
Tony Horwitz, Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia

Edward W. Said
“The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing th orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist’s work.”
Edward W. Said, Orientalism

Christopher Hitchens
“So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Sarah Dessen
“They might have rolled their eyes, but a message sank in with me: that being nice was the ideal, the one place where people didn't get loud or so quiet they could scare you. If you could just be nice, then you wouldn't have to worry about arguments at all. But being nice wasn't as easy as it seemed, especially when the rest of the world could be so mean.”
Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

“Egypt is the next domino to fall and, as they say, so goes Egypt so goes the Middle East.”
Robert Baer

Christopher Hitchens
“As he defended the book one evening in the early 1980s at the Carnegie Endowment in New York, I knew that some of what he said was true enough, just as some of it was arguably less so. (Edward incautiously dismissed 'speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings or sabotage commercial airliners' as the feverish product of 'highly exaggerated stereotypes.') Covering Islam took as its point of departure the Iranian revolution, which by then had been fully counter-revolutionized by the forces of the Ayatollah. Yes, it was true that the Western press—which was one half of the pun about 'covering'—had been naïve if not worse about the Pahlavi regime. Yes, it was true that few Middle East 'analysts' had had any concept of the latent power of Shi'ism to create mass mobilization. Yes, it was true that almost every stage of the Iranian drama had come as a complete surprise to the media. But wasn't it also the case that Iranian society was now disappearing into a void of retrogressive piety that had levied war against Iranian Kurdistan and used medieval weaponry such as stoning and amputation against its internal critics, or even against those like unveiled women whose very existence constituted an offense?”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“Edward genially enough did not disagree with what I said, but he didn't seem to admit my point, either. I wanted to press him harder so I veered close enough to the ad hominem to point out that his life—the life of the mind, the life of the book collector and music lover and indeed of the gallery-goer, appreciator of the feminine and occasional boulevardier—would become simply unlivable and unthinkable in an Islamic republic. Again, he could accede politely to my point but carry on somehow as if nothing had been conceded. I came slowly to realize that with Edward, too, I was keeping two sets of books. We agreed on things like the first Palestinian intifadah, another event that took the Western press completely off guard, and we collaborated on a book of essays that asserted and defended Palestinian rights. This was in the now hard-to-remember time when all official recognition was withheld from the PLO. Together we debated Professor Bernard Lewis and Leon Wieseltier at a once-celebrated conference of the Middle East Studies Association in Cambridge in 1986, tossing and goring them somewhat in a duel over academic 'objectivity' in the wider discipline. But even then I was indistinctly aware that Edward didn't feel himself quite at liberty to say certain things, while at the same time feeling rather too much obliged to say certain other things. A low point was an almost uncritical profile of Yasser Arafat that he contributed to Interview magazine in the late 1980s.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Greg Mortenson
“the people who live in the last places - the people who are most neglected and least valued by the larger world - often represent the best of who we are and the finest standard of what we are meant to become. This is the power that last places hold over me, and why I have found it impossible to resist their pull.”
Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Christopher Hitchens
“Though he never actually joined it, he was close to some civilian elements of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was the most Communist (and in the rather orthodox sense) of the Palestinian formations. I remember Edward once surprising me by saying, and apropos of nothing: 'Do you know something I have never done in my political career? I have never publicly criticized the Soviet Union. It’s not that I terribly sympathize with them or anything—it's just that the Soviets have never done anything to harm me, or us.' At the time I thought this a rather naïve statement, even perhaps a slightly contemptible one, but by then I had been in parts of the Middle East where it could come as a blessed relief to meet a consecrated Moscow-line atheist-dogmatist, if only for the comparatively rational humanism that he evinced amid so much religious barking and mania. It was only later to occur to me that Edward's pronounced dislike of George Orwell was something to which I ought to have paid more attention.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“I was taken to a villa to meet Sabri al-Banna, known as 'Abu Nidal' ('father of struggle'), who was at the time emerging as one of Yasser Arafat's main enemies. The meeting began inauspiciously when Abu Nidal asked me if I would like to be trained in one of his camps. No thanks, I explained. From this awkward beginning there was a further decline. I was then asked if I knew Said Hammami, the envoy of the PLO in London. I did in fact know him. He was a brave and decent man, who in a series of articles in the London Times had floated the first-ever trial balloon for a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine. 'Well tell him he is a traitor,' barked my host. 'And tell him we have only one way with those who betray us.' The rest of the interview passed as so many Middle Eastern interviews do: too many small cups of coffee served with too much fuss; too many unemployed heavies standing about with nothing to do and nobody to do it with; too much ugly furniture, too many too-bright electric lights; and much too much faux bonhomie. The only political fact I could winnow, from Abu Nidal's vainglorious claims to control X number of 'fighters' in Y number of countries, was that he admired the People's Republic of China for not recognizing the State of Israel. I forget how I got out of his office.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Jim Al-Khalili
“By the time of the arrival of Islam in the early seventeenth century CE, what we now call the Middle East was divided between the Persian and Byzantine empires. But with the spread of this new religion from Arabia, a powerful empire emerged, and with it a flourishing civilization and a glorious golden age.

Given how far back it stretches in time, the history of the region -- and even of Iraq itself -- is too big a canvas for me to paint. Instead, what I hope to do in this book is take on the nonetheless ambitious task of sharing with you a remarkable story; one of an age in which great geniuses pushed the frontiers of knowledge to such an extent that their work shaped civilizations to this day.”
Jim Al-Khalili

Tony Horwitz
“Egyptians undergo an odd personality change behind the wheel of a car. In every other setting, aggression and impatience are frowned upon. The unofficial Egyptian anthem "Bokra, Insha'allah, Malesh" (Tomorrow, God Willing, Never Mind) isn't just an excuse for laziness. In a society requiring millennial patience, it is also a social code dictating that no one make too much of a fuss about things. But put an Egyptian in the driver's seat and he shows all the calm and consideration of a hooded swordsman delivering Islamic justice.”
Tony Horwitz, Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia

Christopher Hitchens
“I am not one of those who believes—as Obama is said to believe—that a solution to the Palestinian statehood question would bring an end to Muslim resentment against the United States. (Incidentally, if he really does believe this, his lethargy and impotence in the face of Netanyahu's consistent double-dealing is even more culpable.) The Islamist fanatics have their own agenda, and, as in the case of Hamas and its Iranian backers, they have already demonstrated that nothing but the destruction of Israel and the removal of American influence from the region will possibly satisfy them. No, it is more the case that justice—and a homeland for the Palestinians—is a good and necessary cause in its own right. It is also a special legal and moral responsibility of the United States, which has several times declared a dual-statehood outcome to be its objective.”
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“Control over the production and distribution of oil is the decisive factor in defining who rules whom in the Middle East.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“I respect those who say that the United States should simply withdraw from the Middle East, but I don't respect them for anything but their honesty.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

Linda Grant
“And your neihjbour is sitting next door weeping as she watches her child facing a crowd of Palestiniankids armed with rocks which could take your boy's eye out or give him brain damage if god forbids he took off his helmet one of those dusty stones hit him in the head”
Linda Grant

Christopher Hitchens
“Suppose that we agree that the two atrocities can or may be mentioned in the same breath. Why should we do so? I wrote at the time (The Nation, October 5, 1998) that Osama bin Laden 'hopes to bring a "judgmental" monotheism of his own to bear on these United States.' Chomsky's recent version of this is 'considering the grievances expressed by people of the Middle East region.' In my version, then as now, one confronts an enemy who wishes ill to our society, and also to his own (if impermeable religious despotism is considered an 'ill'). In Chomsky's reading, one must learn to sift through the inevitable propaganda and emotion resulting from the September 11 attacks, and lend an ear to the suppressed and distorted cry for help that comes, not from the victims, but from the perpetrators. I have already said how distasteful I find this attitude. I wonder if even Chomsky would now like to have some of his own words back? Why else should he take such care to quote himself deploring the atrocity? Nobody accused him of not doing so. It's often a bad sign when people defend themselves against charges which haven't been made.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Christopher Hitchens
“The little boats cannot make much difference to the welfare of Gaza either way, since the materials being shipped are in such negligible quantity. The chief significance of the enterprise is therefore symbolic. And the symbolism, when examined even cursorily, doesn't seem too adorable. The intended beneficiary of the stunt is a ruling group with close ties to two of the most retrograde dictatorships in the Middle East, each of which has recently been up to its elbows in the blood of its own civilians. The same group also manages to maintain warm relations with, or at the very least to make cordial remarks about, both Hezbollah and al-Qaida. Meanwhile, a document that was once accurately described as a 'warrant for genocide' forms part of the declared political platform of the aforesaid group. There is something about this that fails to pass a smell test.”
Christopher Hitchens

“Zionist willingness to compromise met by Palestinian rejection and Jew hatred.”
Sol Stern, A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred

“If the Palestinian people really suffered a nakba, it was largely of their own making — and that of their grand mufti.”
Sol Stern, A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred

Alaa Al Aswany
“What led to September 11 is that most decision makers in the White House thought like you. They supported despotic regimes in the Middle East to multiply the profits of oil and arms companies, and armed violence escalated and reached our shores.”
Alaa Al Aswany, شيكاجو

“...the Palestinian Arabs' obsession with the Jews and rejection of all political compromise was inspired by Islamic teachings as well as by European fascism.”
Sol Stern, A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred

“...British appeasement of the Palestinian Arabs led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews [in the Holocaust] who might otherwise have found refuge in Palestine.”
Sol Stern, A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred

Christopher Hitchens
“You might think that the Left could have a regime-change perspective of its own, based on solidarity with its comrades abroad. After all, Saddam's ruling Ba'ath Party consolidated its power by first destroying the Iraqi communist and labor movements, and then turning on the Kurds (whose cause, historically, has been one of the main priorities of the Left in the Middle East). When I first became a socialist, the imperative of international solidarity was the essential if not the defining thing, whether the cause was popular or risky or not. I haven't seen an anti-war meeting all this year at which you could even guess at the existence of the Iraqi and Kurdish opposition to Saddam, an opposition that was fighting for 'regime change' when both Republicans and Democrats were fawning over Baghdad as a profitable client and geopolitical ally. Not only does the 'peace' movement ignore the anti-Saddam civilian opposition, it sends missions to console the Ba'athists in their isolation, and speaks of the invader of Kuwait and Iran and the butcher of Kurdistan as if he were the victim and George W. Bush the aggressor.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

“Israelis are a mix of North African, Levantine, and Eastern European, which inflames the politics but does amazing things for the women.”
Kenneth Cain, Emergency Sex (And Other Desperate Measures): True Stories from a War Zone

Tahir Shah
“It is almost impossible to overemphasize the importance with which ancestry is held in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

“The Zionists accepted the partition plan. The AHC and the Arab states rejected any proposal to share the land and vowed to drown the fledging Jewish state in rivers of blood.”
Sol Stern, A Century of Palestinian Rejectionism and Jew Hatred

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