Malgré la propagande étatsuno-séoudienne, les opinions arabes n’ont pas bougé

Un sondage a récemment été publié par le Brookings institution et plus particulièrement l’universitaire Shibley Telhami, qui n’a rien d’un islamo-gauchiste assoiffé de sang – sa brève étude de ce sondage contient de manière liminaire des remerciements à Martin Indyk, ex-lobbyiste à AIPAC, ancien ambassadeur étatsunien à Tel Aviv, qui fût suspendu par le State Department pour violations des règles de sécurité et de confidentialité alors qu’il était toujours en poste – wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more – et guère soupçonnable d’antisionismeantisémitisme primaire ni de pacifisme bélant

Pour en revenir au sondage (conduit dans six pays arabes – le Maroc, l’Arabie séoudite, l’Egypte, la Jordanie, le Liban et les Emirats arabes unis), Shibley Telhami, qui a été récemment conseiller de l’administration Bush, souligne à quel point la question palestinienne est centrale dans l’opinion des pays arabes couverts par ce sondage (et probablement aussi dans les autres – je doute que les opinions algériennes, libyennes, tunisiennes, syriennes et irakiennes soient post-sionistes):

an analysis of the trends in the past six years, as well as demographic analysis of the 2006 poll, indicates that the Arab-Israeli conflict remains a central issue for most Arabs. Despite Iraq and increasing Sunni-Shiite tensions, the Arab- Israeli issue remains the prism through which most Arabs view the world

Au risque de déprimer les éditorialistes de L’Economiste et Tel Quel, Jamel Debbouze, Sofia Essaïdi, Abderrahim el Bouhmidi et l‘Institut Amadeus du frère et militant Brahim Fassi Fihri, je me dois de vous avouer une terrible réalité: le peuple marocain fait preuve d’un antisémitisme primaire, fanatique et atavique, comme en témoignent les chiffres suivants, à vous glacer le sang – 82% des Marocains interrogés estiment que la question palestinienne est parmi les trois questions les plus importantes pour eux, et 63% estiment qu’un accord imposant le retrait d’Israël des territoires occupés en 1967 contribuerait le plus à améliorer l’image qu’ils se font des Etats-Unis. Un tel déferlement de haine obscurantiste est accablant, et montre le profond besoin de réforme et travail en profondeur sur nous-mêmes, notre mentalité, et notre histoire auquel nous sommes confrontés, n’en déplaise à certains obscurantistes haineux et manipulateurs. Non, le Marock ce n’est pas cela!

Pour le reste, Telhami note les brillants résultats de la diplomatie de l’axe Washington/Tel Aviv/Riyad:

In the 2008 survey, we had a chance to test if the policy of the Bush Administration was paying off especially in the wake of the November, 2007 Annapolis Conference. In particular, one of the stated aims of Administration policy was to demonstrate that militancy does not work, while moderation can pay. Thus, the imposition of sanctions on Hamas and Gaza while negotiating improvement on the ground for the West Bank was a policy intended to weaken support for militancy and empower moderates, both regionally and among Palestinians. The results, as shown below in the 2008 graphs, indicate that the outcome is closer to the opposite of what was intended.

In particular, when asked which Palestinian faction they sympathize with most, 37% of Arabs polled said they sympathize with both to some extent while 18% said they sympathize with Hamas. Only 8% said they sympathize with Fatah. Similarly, when asked which Palestinian government they blamed more for the situation in Gaza, 39% blamed both, 23% blamed the government appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas and 15% blamed Hamas.

La vulgate néo-con veut que l’hostilité au gouvernement étatsunien soit dictée par la haine des valeurs démocratiques libérales qu’on lui prête. C’est raté:

First, the Arab public consistently and overwhelmingly expresses the view that attitudes toward the United States are shaped by American policies, not by American values. When asked to assess the role of the Arab-Israeli issue in forming their opinion of the United States, more than three quarters say it is at least somewhat important, and half or more consistently say it is « extremely important ».

There was some variation across countries in the percentage of people who ranked the issue of policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict as being “extremely important” in developing their views of the United States. In the 2006 survey, for example example, 65% of Moroccans, 76% of Jordanians, and 54% of Saudis ranked it as “extremely” important, whereas only 43% of Egyptians identified it this way.

Sur Israël, la paix, oui, mais une paix juste, et s’il faut des actions militantes pour atteindre la paix dans la justice, soit:

Those who are in principle opposed to an agreement with Israel are a minority in every country, with a majority stating that they would accept a peace agreement based on the 1967 borders. But the other side of the coin is a result that explains how people who support peace can also support militancy: a plurality of Arabs overall support peace, but do not believe that Israelis will ever accept such peace (1)

Même la médiévale guéguerre sectaire que médias séoudiens -voire certains médias « occidentaux » (2) – ont de toutes leurs forces tenté d’activer entre sunnites et chiites ne semble pas prendre:

It is also clear that the Iraqi sectarian conflict, the rise of Hezbollah as a militant Shiite group, and the increasing influence of Iran in the shadow of Iraqi devastation have highlighted the Sunni-Shiite divide. This divide entered the discourse in the Arab world in ways that have not been seen in decades. It is also true that some Arab governments have specifically made reference to this divide, notably in Jordan and Egypt, as a way of garnering Sunni Arab public support for their positions toward Iran and Hezbollah. The ugly way in which Saddam Hussein was executed also fueled more divisiveness, especially in the Jordanian discourse. The Lebanese crisis that followed the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006 had a decidedly sectarian character—although the divisions were not entirely along sectarian lines. But is this divide the new lens through which the Arab public views the world?

The poll results from November/December, 2006, as well as the March 2008 poll, suggest a different story, although this continues to unfold. First, while a number of Arab governments took an anti-Hezbollah position (even publicly) their public had significantly improved its views of Shiite Hezbollah, even as some of the discourse continued to be sectarian. Surprisingly, this was even more so in the 2008 poll. When asked to identify the leader they admire most (in an open-ended question), the number one answer overall, (and especially in predominantly Sunni countries such as Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan) was Hasan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader.

In fact, the leadership question is revealing in other ways. The top four leaders in 2006 (by relatively small margins) were all non-Sunni, with three being non- Arab: Nasrallah, Jacques Chirac, Hugo Chavez, and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinajad. And while the 2008 poll had an Arab leader in the top three (Bashar Assad), none was Sunni Arab. These results indicate that most people are answering this question through the prism of their anger with Israel and the United States—not through the Shiite- Sunni divide or through the lens of Muslim vs. non-Muslim divide. While the public may not know much about these leaders and may not be embracing what they stand for in their own countries, their answers give clues about their sense of what is important to them at the time of the poll.

Choquant, n’est-il pas?

(1) Telhami fait preuve de son très fort tropisme gouvernemental étatsunien en commentant que ceux qui sont pour une paix juste impliquant le retrait de tous les territoires occupés en 1967 mais qui ne croient pas qu’Israël accepterait une telle paix « ne travaillent pas pour la paix » (p. 16). A mon humble avis, c’est ceux qui se refusent à cette paix juste « qui ne travaillent pas pour la paix », sauf à avoir la même conception de la paix que Sofia Essaïdi.

(2) J’utilise ce terme par paresse intellectuelle assumée, pas parce que je crois qu’il existerait une entité politique ou culturelle de ce nom – « Occident » n’est, tout comme « Orient », qu’un terme idéologique.

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