Euphoric Americans clung to their video sets over that weekend. Sadat was addressing the Knesset-Egyptians and Israelis were not only talking to one another, but smiling. The "Arabs" were at last willing to give up war. Peace, must be on the way.
If some compelling justification was required for bringing a most controversial book, with a most unorthodox approach, before a world, in which the human psyche has become far more attuned to the pleasant process of being softly lulled by Big Brother, than to the painstaking task of absorbing upsetting, non-consensus material, then the astounding November 19-20, 1977, pilgrimage of Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat to Jerusalem supplied the reason. Sadat was addressing the Knesset, the Egyptians and Israelis were not only talking to one another, but smiling. The "Arabs" were at last willing to give up war. Peace, surely, must be on the way. This wishful thinking of course overlooked the fact that since 1948 there had been two wars going on simultaneously in the Middle East. The one between Israel and the Arab states was only a secondary consequence of what Syrian President Hafez al-Assad has called the "mother question"-the conflict between the Israeli Zionists and the Arab Palestinians. While there was some possibility of a separate agreement ending the Egyptian-Israeli war, a solution for the core of the dangerous Holy Land conflict seemed as distant as ever. The November 10, 1975, U.N. resolution equated Zionism with racism and racial discrimination, and for the first time placed the genesis of the continuing Middle East struggle squarely before a startled American public. But fervent supporters of Israel, Christians as well as Jews, reacted with unprecedented furor to the overwhelming U.N. censure and stirred the media to direct an equally unprecedented onslaught against the U.N., the Arab states, and the Third World bloc. The supporters of the resolution were denigrated with the charge "emulators of Hitler." The pro-Israel American public was led to believe that this was indeed but another attack on Jews and Judaism, a Nazi renaissance. The pertinence of this U.N. action to the continuing Arab rejection of the State of Israel was totally covered over by whipped-up emotionalism.