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Arab political incorrectness on the Palestinian issue

October 4, 2018

While Iraq delivers staunchly pro-Palestinian talk, a 2017 Iraqi law has reversed Saddam Hussein’s pro-Palestinian policy, depriving Palestinians (including those born in Iraq) of free education, healthcare, travel documents and employment in state institutions.

While Jordan calls for sweeping Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and while the Hashemite regime has absorbed over one million Syrian refugees, Amman stopped (since 2012) admitting Palestinian refugees from Syria. Furthermore, the significantly enhanced trilateral Jordan-US-Israel strategic cooperation has become a major artery of the Hashemite regime’s national and homeland security.

While Egypt urges Israel to satisfy Palestinian demands, Egypt-Israel strategic cooperation, especially (but not only) in the area of counter-terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, has surged unprecedentedly.

While there is no progress on the Israel-Palestinian front, Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab Gulf States have substantially expanded military and commercial cooperation with Israel. Riyadh has never considered the Palestinian issue a top geo-strategic priority – except its generous talk, but no walk – as demonstrated from 1979-1989 by its $1BN annual aid to the anti-Soviet Islamic campaign in Afghanistan, compared with $100MN annual aid to the PLO.  Also, while UNRWA highlighted a “$50MN landmark contribution by Saudi Arabia” on behalf of Palestinian refugees, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman put it in realistic perspective by purchasing a 440ft-long yacht for $588MN and a Leonardo da Vinci painting for $450MN.

Once again, Middle East reality defies Western conventional wisdom.

Moreover, contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Palestinians benefit much more from Western support than from the support extended – and usually avoided – by Arabs.

Arab leaders have always showered Palestinians with an abundance of positive talk, but never with positive walk, as highlighted in the aftermath of the 1948-49 Arab-Israel War, when Jordan and Egypt occupied Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza.  Rather than transferring these areas to Palestinian control, Jordan and Egypt aggressively squelched Palestinian political and educational activities there.

Furthermore, Arab regimes have not flexed their military or economic muscles during Palestinian-Israeli conflicts, such as the 1982 Israel-PLO war in Lebanon, the First and Second Intifada (1987-1992 and 2000-2005 respectively) and the three Israel-Hamas wars in Gaza (2009, 2012 and 2014).  In fact, notwithstanding their public rhetoric, most Arab policy-makers consider the Palestinians, in general, and Hamas, in particular, as clear and present threats to regional stability and their own regimes, and wish that Israel would deal with Palestinian terrorism more decisively.

In 2018, the Palestinian issue is relegated further down the scale of Arab priorities, against the backdrop of the intensifying lethal threats – to each pro-US Arab regime – posed by the imperialistic, megalomaniacal Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Sunni terrorist derivatives (e.g., ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas) and Erdogan’s Turkey. These threats, which have placed a sharp machete at the throat of every Arab regime, have been unrelated to the Palestinian issue.

In 2018, there have been hundreds of televised reports from Gaza, top-heavy on Israeli military response to Palestinian terrorists, who fly fire-kites and explosive-balloons into Israeli communities. However, there have been minimal reports on Arab solidarity with the Palestinians.  Arab regimes and the Arab Street have been preoccupied with the domestic and regional tectonic, destabilizing ripple effects of the Arab Tsunami (superficially addressed as the “Arab Spring”), which have been leveraged by Islamic Sunni terrorists, as well as by Iran’s Ayatollahs in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen and the oil-rich and Shiite-populated Al-Hassa and Al-Qatif regions of Saudi Arabia.

The Arab preoccupation with do-or-die threats and challenges – not with the Palestinian issue – has been reflected in the non-realization of Arab financial assistance to the Palestinian cause, announced in bombastic forums, but has subsequently all but evaporated.

Most significantly, while the Palestinian/PLO track record has been replete with anti-Arab terrorism and anti-Arab subversion and the training of international terrorist organizations, Israel has been increasingly perceived – by the pro-US Arab countries – as the most effective life insurance agent in the region.  Hence, the unprecedented enhancement of their geo-strategic and economic cooperation with Israel.

Will Western policy-makers, academia and media learn proper lessons from past critical errors in assessing Middle East developments, or will they persist in repeating – rather than avoiding – past mistakes, which would entail severe financial and national security cost?!








Palestinian Terrorism: Lone Wolf Or Institutional

אשליית המחבלים הבודדים

Is The Palestinian Issue A Core Cause Of Regional Turbulence?

האם ההתנחלויות הן מכשול לשלום

Middle East reality and the Palestinian issue

More articles on the subject: https://bit.ly/2T4stnG

In 2019, the national security policy of all pro-US Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States, Egypt and Jordan – including their burgeoning ties with Israel – is a byproduct of the rapidly intensifying lethal threat posed to them by the still-raging Arab Tsunami, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Sunni Islamic terrorism.

The tectonic reality of the Middle East, in general, and the intensifying lethal threats to every Arab regime, in particular, compelled the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE and Bahrain to convene in Amman, Jordan during January 30-31, 2019.  They discussed the top priorities on their national security agenda: the clear and present threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose subversive/terroristic/military involvement is expanding beyond Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia), the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. No Palestinian representative was invited, nor was there a discussion of the Palestinian issue, which has always ranked at the bottom of inter-Arab priorities.

In fact, these six countries, in addition to Oman, respect Israel’s posture of deterrence (which would be abandoned if Israel were to retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria), and therefore they perceive Israel as the most effective “life insurance agent” in the region.  In addition, they consider Israel a source of essential and advanced irrigation, agricultural, health, medical, telecommunications and cyber technologies and systems.  Consequently, their defense, intelligence and commercial ties with Israel have expanded unprecedentedly.

In 2019, the pro-US Arab countries have realized that the well-documented Palestinian track record (e.g., intra-Arab betrayal, subversion and terrorism, collaboration with international terrorism, Saddam Hussein, the USSR, No. Korea and Nazi Germany) would produce a Palestinian state, which would exacerbate regional instability.  A Palestinian state would provide a tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, ISIS and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, escalating the deadly threats to their own regimes, while advancing the national security interests of Russia, China and Turkey’s Erdogan, at the expense of vital US national security and homeland security interests.

Similarly, in 1977-79 and 1994, Egypt’s President Sadat and Jordan’s King Hussein were well-aware of the disruptive features of the Palestinian issue. Therefore, they did not succumb to the US State Department pressure to subordinate their own national security interest, and their peace treaties with Israel, to the promotion of the Palestinian issue.

Middle East policy, in general, and peace initiatives, in particular, must adhere to Middle East reality, as violently unpredictable, complicated and frustrating as it is. They must overcome the well-intentioned temptation of oversimplification, wishful-thinking, misperceptions and short-term gratification, which doomed to failure all previous US, European and international peace initiatives.

In defiance of Middle East reality, Western policy-makers and public opinion shapers tend to interpret the systematic torrent of philo-Palestinian Arab rhetoric as a reflection of the supposed centrality of the Palestinian issue on the Arab agenda. Therefore, they tend to erroneously conclude that the resolution of the Palestinian issue is a prerequisite to the reduction of Middle East turbulence.

Most Westerners fail to examine Arab rhetoric against Middle Eastern Arab reality, which documents the absence of military and/or substantial Arab financial commitment to the Palestinians (dramatically less than the 1979-1989 Saudi support of the anti-USSR Muslim rebels in Afghanistan).  In fact, the geo-strategic Arab silence on the Palestinian issue has been deafening, as was demonstrated by the Arab inaction during the large-scale Palestinian-Israeli military confrontations in Gaza (2014, 2012 and 2009), in Judea & Samaria (2000-2005 and 1987-1992) and Lebanon (1982).

Furthermore, none of the Arab wars against Israel (1948-49, 1956, 1967 and 1973) evolved around the Palestinian issue. For example, Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence was concluded with Iraqi, Jordanian and Egyptian occupation of Samaria, Judea (West Bank) and Gaza, respectively; but they did not transfer these areas to the Palestinians, and prohibited any Palestinian national activity there.

While the Arab talk has portrayed the Palestinian issue as if it were a pivotal, unifying Arab priority, the inter-Arab crown-jewel, the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a core cause of regional turbulence, the Arab walk has demonstrated deep Arab suspicion of the Palestinian leadership and the marginalization of the Palestinian issue, compared to the top geo-strategic Middle East priorities, including clear and present lethal threats such as the Ayatollahs’ machete at the throat of each pro-US Arab regime.

In 2019, Arab regimes shower Palestinians with supportive talk – because “on words one does not pay custom” – but they do not forget, nor do they forgive the Palestinians’ 1990 betrayal of Kuwait (assisting Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwait, which was their most generous host); triggering civil wars and fueling domestic terrorism in Lebanon during 1970-1982; provoking the 1970 civil war in Jordan in an attempt to topple the Hashemite regime; and subverting and terrorizing Syria in 1966 and Egypt in 1955.

Well-intentioned US Presidents, advisors and other formulators of Middle East policy and peace initiatives should heed the well-documented Middle East reality, not Western-driven impulses and norms.  They should learn from the systematic failure of all past US and international peace initiatives by avoiding – not repeating – the litany of past errors.


Palestinian Terrorism: Lone Wolf Or Institutional

אשליית המחבלים הבודדים

Is The Palestinian Issue A Core Cause Of Regional Turbulence?

האם ההתנחלויות הן מכשול לשלום