Culture of Slaughter, Killing, and Bloodshed

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The following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian liberal intellectual Kamal Gabriel. Al-Jazeera TV aired this interview on April 5, 2005.

Kamal Gabriel: The Palestinian people suffer from two disasters, two catastrophes - one catastrophe, that I consider smaller, and another which is greater. The smaller catastrophe is global Zionism, which plundered their land and expelled them. The greater catastrophe is Arab fascism that embraced them and adopted their cause, only to bring them down and to destroy them – each [Arab country] according to its interests. The fascism of the Ba'ath – we know what the Ba'ath did. It was the fascism of Nasserism that my [Palestinian colleague] Rashad is proud to be a member of that destroyed him. And today, the fascism of the Pan-Arabist nationalism and fundamentalism, which has entered the theater and is exploiting [the Palestinians]. These fascists are in an eternal battle. They have nothing to do except fight. They are bloodletters and murderers. They are a product of Arab culture - the same Arab culture which produced nothing but slaughter, killing, and bloodshed. Whose blood? It doesn't matter. At times, it could be the blood of those we imagine to be our enemies, or it could be our blood. We can easily find pretexts for this. The important thing is that we shed as much blood as possible. This is the legacy of the Arab culture. The culture of "the sword is more reliable than the books."

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