Skip to comments.Lying is cultural trait of Arabs, says Barak
Posted on 09/08/2002 12:38:13 PM PDT by Lockbox
Palestinians have no compunction about telling lies and see truth as irrelevant, the former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak has claimed in an interview. "They are products of a culture in which to tell a lie... creates no dissonance," Mr Barak says. "They don't suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judaeo-Christian culture."
"Truth is seen as an irrelevant category," he says."There is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn't. They see themselves as emissaries of a national movement for whom everything is permissible. There is no such thing as 'the truth'."
Interviewed by the Jewish historian Benny Morris for an article in the latest issue of the New York Review of Books, Mr Barak not only relates his comments about lying to Yasser Arafat in particular, but to Arab society in general.
He says: "The deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation once told me that there are societies in which lie detectors don't work, societies in which lies do not create cognitive dissonance [on which the tests are based]."
As an example of Mr Arafat's alleged mendacity, Mr Barak cites an incident in October 2000, shortly after the start of the intifada. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders, together with Madeleine Albright, the US secretary of state at the time, were meeting in Paris to discuss a ceasefire.
Mr Arafat had agreed to call a number of his police commanders to implement a truce.
Mr Barak recalls protesting: "'But these are not the people organising the violence. If you are serious, then call Marwan Bargouti and Hussein al-Sheikh [two West Bank Fatah leaders].'
"Arafat looked at me, with an expression of blank innocence, as if I had mentioned the names of two polar bears, and said, 'Who? Who?'
"So I repeated the names, this time with a pronounced, clear Arabic inflection... and Arafat again said, 'Who? Who?'
"At this, some of his aides couldn't stop themselves and burst out laughing. And Arafat, forced to drop the pretence, agreed to call them later."
When we first invaded Afghanistan, there was a report from one of the FNC guys. He had hired a car and driver to take him to someplace within Afghanistan. Halfway through the trip, and in the middle of nowhere, the price of the ride had changed. What to do, had to pay it. He indicated that the same thing had happened when he thought they had agreed upon a price for "lodging", and that also got hiked once they arrived at the destination.
I have watched Arafat lie too many times in front of a camera to think that this man actually knows what truth is; and, I don't think he is alone in his ability to lie. I have begun to wonder if it is genetic.
Anyway, thinking about this one day it dawned on me that Middle Easterners are actually Ferengi. They seemed to have latched on to one of the Rules of Acquisition which state: Our word is our bond; until we decide to change it.
So is tyranny and hatred. There isn't one democratic Arab country in the Middle East, and their number one export next to oil is terror.
No, Churchill said that was the Krauts. I think some of these Arabs still with working on the throat myself.
Christian Arabs I know are nothing like Muslim Arabs so it has a lot to do with the Islamic Arab culture. I think the Christian Arab culture isn't much different than that of Christian Greece, Italy or others.
Did he? Man, he could turn a phrase!.. Not that it doesen't apply here, though. Of course , at least Hitler made the trains run on time. (Or was that Mussolini ?)
Which President? Being they're usually checked by Congress,; thats a hard one.. Nixon?
Oh, and I think the expression is more apt wrt the Arabs than you might think. It didn't take the Ottoman Turks all that much to keep all of Arabia under their heels for centuries. Plus, the manner in which each dictatorship squashes and subdues it's people with a heavy hand and not much else. Anecdotally, there are many tales of the Arab cut and run during the '67 and '73 Israeli Wars, for example.
The problem with the current Israeli/Pallie conflict is that the Israeli's hands are tied, in different ways. But as the Pallie leverage disappears (post Iraq), watch their negotiating posture "change".
Only one (aspect)??
They see themselves as emissaries of a national movement for whom everything is permissible.
There is no such thing as 'the truth'."
If I didn't know better I would say this article could have been speaking about the attitude of many of the members of the U.S. Congress.
Isn't this amazing?
Yea, I guess you're right. He was a one of a kind suckup when he had to be. And the way he "won" his first seat in Congress was certainly remarkable in its audacity.
for an interesting related discussion. From the thread, we have:
Al-Taqiyah, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy ...Part of the historical origin for this Islamic trait.
According to Al-Taqiyah, Muslims were granted the Shar'iyee right (legitimacy) to infiltrate the Dar el-Harb (war zone), infiltrate the enemy's cities and forums and plant the seeds of discord and sedition. These agents were acting on behalf of the Muslim authority at war, and therefore were not considered as lying against or denouncing the tenants of Islam.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.