By Rachel Avraham
Op-Ed: Which Middle Eastern Nations Sacrifice Their Own People?
By Rachel Avraham
Throughout history, numerous nations were known to sacrifice their own people in cruel and barbaric manners. Ken Abramowitz, Founder of Save the West and author of “The Multifront War,” noted in a recent article that the ancient Egyptian, Canaanite, and Chinese tribes used to sacrifice their children in order to appease various idols. Additionally, it should be added that these ancient societies not only sacrificed their children, but also their women, as many of the ancient tribes in the Middle East engaged in honor killings and even used to bury their baby daughters alive.
The Code of Hammurabi of the ancient Babylonian civilization sanctioned domestic violence against women. It also explicitly stated that the punishment for a woman who committed adultery is capital punishment, while there was no similar punishment for a man who committed adultery. The Code of Nesilim of the ancient Hittite civilization imposed harsh restrictions on sexual interactions between non-slave women and men, who could be either slave or free. Like the Code of Hammurabi, the Code of Nesilim also gave men the right to kill their wives who committed adultery.
The Code of the Assura of the ancient Assyrian civilization, in addition to stating that there was no punishment for raping unmarried women, also sanctioned the right of men to kill their wives if they committed adultery. In sum, most ancient civilizations in the Middle East sanctioned the right of men to kill their wives if they committed adultery.
Sadly, not much has changed in the region since then. From Erdogan’s Turkey to the Islamic Republic of Iran, from Hezbollah to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, various despots and terror organizations are continuing to sacrifice their women and children, just as the ancient Middle Eastern tribes did in antiquity.
Sirwan Mansouri, a Kurdish journalist based in the Middle East, noted that Iran is one of the most repressive dictatorships out there: “The mullah’s have committed numerous crimes against their own people, from forced hijab wearing to discrimination against women, stoning, whipping, the amputation of limbs, and executions by hangings. The government has not refrained from any crime. The Islamic Revolution that promised paradise has been transformed into a hell, where people desire death every day.
“The ethnic minorities like the Kurds, Baloch, and Ahwaz suffer the more than the rest of the population,” he added, noting that they lack the right to form political parties, to study and teach in their mother language and many other basic human rights. He stressed that the unemployment rate is the highest in these regions: “If they protest this situation, they will be imprisoned and tortured. Half of the people executed last year were Kurds. The Islamic Republic of Iran not only keeps their own people in poverty and imposes tyranny, but puts the entire Middle East in danger by spreading the regime’s false ideology. The Iranian people are held hostage and are the regime’s slaves.”
Behrouz Arabzedeh, an Iranian writer, concurred: “The Iranian regime violates the human rights of its own people systematically. They murder their intellectuals and dissidents, imprison their writers and journalists, and shut down any newspaper that engages in critical thinking. In 2019 alone, they killed more than 1,500 protesters just because they were against the increase in petrol prices. They are a medieval-style dictatorship, which arrested and tortured Sufi dervishes for practicing a different form of Islam, forced Jews and Christians to leave the country due to religious restrictions and repressed the Bahais, depriving them of the right to study and do business. Many of their properties have been confiscated.”
The situation is not too different in Lebanon, which is dominated by Hezbollah, a proxy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzhak Ben Gad noted in an exclusive interview: “Hezbollah is a burden upon the back of Lebanon. They are Shia, while most of Lebanon are Sunni or Christian. The Prime Minister is a Sunni and the President is a Christian. Hezbollah is supported by Shia Iran and in Iran, 80 percent of them are Shia.
“Many Lebanese people including Sunni Muslims blame Hezbollah in general and Nasrallah in particular. They blame him for supporting Iran and not the Lebanese people. They claim he is Lebanese, yet is a proxy of Iran. They would like to get rid of him, but he has the power and weapons. To do that, they would have to fight a civil war in Lebanon between the Druze, Christians, and Sunnis and on the other side, Hezbollah and Shias in Southern Lebanon.
“Aside all of that, Lebanon is in big trouble,” he added. “They suffer from economic depression, high unemployment, and beside the employment, people are losing their confidence in the banks. People are losing their money. Furthermore, there is a lot of corruption and people aren’t safe. The government steals the money from the people. There is no hope for this country. Lebanon 50 years ago was the Switzerland of the Middle East. People came from all over the world to enjoy the resorts and the Arabic dancing. Today, nobody comes to a country like Lebanon. On top of that, they had the pandemic. Every day, people die from corona there.”
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a prominent Middle East scholar, claims that Lebanon itself is a sane country, but Hezbollah is not and the people are starving, thus depriving them of the power to fight against Hezbollah: “There is no fuel for the power station. The foreign currency is non-existent in the country. The country is so exhausted that if Hezbollah takes over, everyone will kiss Hezbollah’s hands. They have reached such despair that even Hezbollah rule looks better than the current chaos. People are so desperate in Lebanon that they will accept anything that provides for food and necessities. This is the dire situation of Lebanon and this is what happens when people are losing their commitment to the state, when the politicians are losing their commitment to the state and prefer personal issues and factional issues and bounty issues.”
A Palestinian source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claims that the situation is not much better in the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip: “There is an absence of human rights. This is causing people to lose their faith in any political faction and it is dividing the Palestinian people with their different affiliations. It highlights the competing factions within families. This is causing daily family feuds. There are victims already. We saw it already. In one feud, an innocent girl age 21 was killed from sporadic shooting. This is just one incident of many that are going on. There are also daily family and tribal feuds in the West Best. There are victims and causalities. It is not the Ramadan that is causing it. It is the tension between the different factions. The PA is disconnected from the people, especially during the pandemic and in dealing with it.”
“Corruption decides everything,” the source added. “The billions that the PLO received since the Oslo Agreements could have built a modern, educated, high ranking state. The money disappeared. You can see it on the ground. The PA and Hamas-controlled villages have poor infrastructure. You won’t even find it this bad in third world countries. Roads, water supplies, electricity, and telephones are deficient. Why did the PA not start with the infrastructure and establish something? It was established only for the wealthy and those that could afford it. The education system is flawed. They need more facilities and utilities. They got the money. It is just not being used as it should. Furthermore, ‘Ali Baba Arafat’ died, but left us without peace. The violence is the result of them facing a wall in their lives. Suicides has also risen in the PA. Domestic violence is on the rise. Crime rate in the Palestinian areas is shocking.”
A Turkish source, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Erdogan is not much better: “Erdogan’s regime prevents freedom of expression and tolerates massive corruption. He pays salaries for many institutions that are close to him. He manipulates religious and national emotions using his anonymous trolls on social media. Erdogan says that despite the high inflation, we got a great economy, which is a lie.”
The source claimed that only military investments are successful in Turkey and nothing in the private sector is functioning: “There is terrible pandemic management. We hit the European record with over 62,000 new coronavirus cases. There is a one-man regime from sports to religion to politics to the military.”
Turkish Jewish journalist Rafael Sadi concurred, stressing that a group of admirals declared that it was wrong to discuss the Montreux Agreement and then found themselves on trial, accused of orchestrating a coup: “If this agreement will be changed, a third world war cannot be stopped between Russia and the USA.”
Therefore, he argued that the admirals had a legitimate argument, yet were persecuted for their position. He noted that the repression of the admirals is just the latest tyrannous act committed by Sultan Erdogan: “Oda TV has now been shut down for over 14 months and was forced to operate from a different website.”
Pakistani dissident Malala Yousafzai once stated: “The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women.” For this reason, we should continue to raise our voices and to speak out against tyrannical regimes and terror organizations, who sacrifice their own women and children in their lust for power and dominance.
Khan, Tahire S. Beyond Honour: A Historical Materialist Explanation of Honour Related Violence. Oxford: Oxford University press, 2006.
Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working for the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, a former Likud Candidate for the Knesset and a former chief of staff of former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara. Since 2012, she has been working as an Israel-based journalist and writer, covering Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other developments in the greater Islamic world.
Her articles have appeared in the Washington Times, the Hill, Front Page Magazine, the Daily Wire, the Christian Post, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, Ahval and many other publications across the globe. She received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She got her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.