The dominant narrative of modern Middle East history emphasizes the depredations visited upon the region by European colonization and accepts as a truism that the former colonial powers prioritized the protection of their material interests—in oil, above all—above the dignity and self-determination of the region’s inhabitants. Thus did botched decolonization result in endless instability. The most intractable of the regional conflicts to which this gave rise, that between the Arabs and Israelis, is attributed in this narrative to Israel’s unwillingness to accede to Palestinian national aspirations. Thus did the region become a breeding ground for radicalism, intensified by Cold War rivalry between the superpowers, who replaced the European colonizers as the region’s meddling overlords. Then came Mikhail Gorbachev—a Westernizing reformer. At last, the Cold War was over. A new world order was at hand.
What if this conventional wisdom is nonsense? Russian exile Pavel Stroilov argues just this in his forthcoming book, Behind the Desert Storm. “Not a word of it is true,” he writes. “It was the Soviet Empire—not the British Empire—that was responsible for the instability in the Middle East.”
Stroilov, a historian now living in London, fled Russia in 2003 after stealing 50,000 top-secret Kremlin documents from the Gorbachev Foundation archives, where he was working as a researcher. He was given access to the archive in 1999, but Gorbachev refused him permission to copy its most significant documents. Having observed the network administrator entering the password into the system, Stroilov reproduced the archive and sent it to secure locations around the world.
Stroilov’s cache includes hundreds of transcripts of discussions between Gorbachev and foreign leaders, politicians, and diplomats. (The originals are still sealed under Kremlin pressure.) There are notes from Politburo and other top decision-making meetings, notes written by Gorbachev’s aides Anatoly Chernyaev and Georgy Shakhnazarov and by Politburo member Vadim Medvedev. None were ever available to independent researchers, although some were published by the Gorbachev Foundation in a heavily censored version. Stroilov also stole the 1972-1986 diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, deputy chief of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union International Department and Gorbachev’s principal aide on international affairs from 1986 to 1991. He stole reports dating from the 1960s by Vadim Zagladin, who was deputy chief of the International Department until 1987 and Gorbachev’s adviser from 1987 to 1991. (Stroilov also draws upon Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky’s vast, stolen collection of documents, as well as the Mitrokhin Archive, a collection of notes taken secretly by the defector Vasili Mitrokhin during his 30 years as a KGB archivist in the foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate.)
Stroilov’s book about these documents, many only now translated into English, challenges the conventional wisdom that Western colonialists are to blame for the chaos in the region. All of its major conflicts, he argues, were caused by Soviet expansionism. Terrorism and the rabid anti-Israeli animus of the Arab world were Soviet inspirations. And the revolutions we are seeing now were inevitable, for the Soviet client states were socialist regimes, and sooner or later socialism exhausts economies and thus the patience of the people who live in them.
One can easily verify that Jewish and Muslim traditional sources are confirming each other: The Temple was built by Solomon and destroyed by a Babylonian king. A Persian king later defeated the Babylonians and ransomed the Jews, permitting them to return to the Land of Israel. The Temple was rebuilt but afterward was destroyed by the Romans. This Temple stood in the area referred to as Beth haMikdash in Hebrew and Bayt al-Maqdis in Arabic. Those political and pseudo-religious Palestinian leaders who claim that “there was never a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem” are surely aware that, in order to support their political claims, they are compelled to lie, hide sources, and contradict the letter of the Quran and the Islamic tradition.
An earlier Quranic exegete and jurist, Imam Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari, who lived from 838 to 923, writes in his Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, or History of Prophets and Kings, that the same sacred area was the place where Jacob had his vision of the Heavenly Ladder:
When Jacob awoke he felt blissful from what he had seen in his trustful dream and vowed, for God’s sake that, if he returned to his family safely, he would build there a Temple for the Almighty. He also vowed to perpetual charity one tenth of his property for the sake of God. He poured oil on the Stone so as to recognize it and called the place Bayt El, which means ‘the House of God.’ It became the location of Jerusalem later.
In Jerusalem on a huge Rock, Solomon son of David built a beautiful Temple to expand the worship of God. Today on the base of that Temple stands the Dome of the Rock.
Historical negation of Jewish and Islamic sources concerning Jerusalem is recent and does not predate the PLO and its political propaganda. In 1932, during the British Mandate period, the Supreme Muslim Council of Jerusalem published a Brief Guide to Haram as-Sharif for Muslim pilgrims, written in English. “This site is one of the oldest in the world,” it says. “Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”
One thing made Osama bin Laden public enemy #1.
One thing made him a target for America’s hit squad.
One thing – and only one thing – made his assassination justified and praised by world leaders.
He didn’t just kill Jews.
Had he limited his terrorism to Jews only, he would not have been targeted.
The same world leaders who today take great pride in his death would have celebrated his life. He would not have been killed by President Obama; he would have dined with him.
He would have been invited to the United Nations.
He would have had a worldwide speaking tour.
He would have won the Nobel peace prize.
Think I’m crazy? Mahmoud Ahmadinijad is the President of Iran.
His resume’ includes a lot more than just politics. It has been alleged that he participated in the attacks against the Jewish community of Argentina where hundreds of Jews were killed. He has stated – time and again – that he wants to destroy Israel. He wants to kill the 6,000,000 Jews (interesting number) who live here and he is feverishly working to build a bomb that will do just that.
Has he been targeted?
Is this animal on any one’s “hit list”?
Actually, just the opposite is true.
He recently spoke in the UN. He was a guest speaker in Columbia University.
Because he is only interested in killing Jews.
Khaled Mashaal is the leader of Hamas.
Hamas is a sworn enemy of Israel.
It has killed and maimed thousands of Jews since the “peace process” came about.
It has fired over 5,000 missiles into Israel, aiming for Jewish homes and hoping to kill Jewish children.
Has he been targeted?
Is this beast on anyone’s “hit list”?
Actually, just the opposite is true. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently invited Mashaal to Moscow.
Former US President Jimmy Carter has embraced Mashaal and considers him a “partner for peace”.
Because he is only interested in killing Jews.
Yasser Arafat was the leader of the PLO for almost four decades.
He has more innocent blood on his hands than bin Laden.
Yet this murderer was a guest at the Clinton White House more than any other world leader!
He spoke in the UN.
He was accepted around the world as a leader and spoke in over 30 countries.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Because he was only interested in killing Jews.
His successor, Abbas is a Jew murderer, as well.
Although I can go on, I will give just one final example: Adolf Hitler.
The world knew about his plans for the Jews as early as 1933.
The world knew about Kristallnacht back in November of 1938, and of the concentration camps shortly thereafter. Yet the entire world called this monster “Herr” Hitler. They gave him respect. They recognized him as a leader. All that changed when Hitler invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. From that point on he became an enemy. Why? Because until that day he was only interested in killing Jews.
Osama bin Laden violated the golden rule: In addition to killing just Jews, he also killed non-Jews. That is why he was targeted and for no other reason!
The message to Jews – and the State of Israel - is very clear.
Learn to defend yourself. Learn to take revenge yourself.
The world will not help you with Iran, Hamas or the PLO/PA.
Ahmadinijad, Abbas & Mashaal will not make the same mistake as Bin Laden. They will continue to be accepted and embraced by the world. Understand this, accept this and deal with this.
“We have no one on whom to rely, other than our Father in Heaven”.
May today’s Jewish leaders – and the brave warriors of the IDF – engrave this on their hearts. And may they – very soon - do to these terrorists exactly what was done to Bin Laden.