President Biden is about to reembrace the Muslim Brotherhood – in the mold of the Obama/Biden Administration – in defiance of all pro-US Arab countries, which consider the Muslim Brotherhood a clear and present, existential terrorist threat.
President Biden may benefit from the following advice, provided by Sir John Jenkins, a top British specialist on the Muslim Brotherhood, political Islamism and the Middle East, and former Executive Director of the British International Institute for Strategic Studies – Middle East branch: “[The West] should resist the temptation to seek to understand the Muslim Brotherhood through our own cultural or epistemological [knowledge] categories…. [Jenkins cautions against] viewing the world through lenses ground by an exclusivist Western modernity, shaped in the distorting crucible of European nationalism….
“Islamism – to which the Muslim Brotherhood is central – like other totalizing, anti-rational and authoritarian ideologies is a profound ideological challenge to the modern Western conception of the rational state and its foundational principles….”
Engaging or Confronting the Muslim Brotherhood?
Will President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team – led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines – heed Sir Jenkins’ counsel?
Moreover, will they recognize the centrality of the Muslim Brotherhood’s track record and its core ideology, which highlight the grand design of establishing a universal, non-corrupt Islamic society; replacing Western global domination and submitting itself to Allah and the Quran, while rejecting/toppling all national (Muslim and non-Muslim) regimes via politics, violence and martyrdom?
Hence, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political and terroristic efforts to topple the regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, etc.
However, the Muslim Brotherhood has been very skillful in obfuscating the West through its two-pronged operation: the political screensaver and the operational (subversive and terroristic) engine. The latter determines the strategic vision and its execution, while the former facilitates diplomacy, politics and fundraising.
Yet, President Biden’s policy-makers contend that Islamic terrorism is generally driven by despair, and that the Muslim Brotherhood and its multitude of Islamic organizations are non-violent, political in nature and seeking justice, human rights and freedom.
This policy is articulated in a document, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which reflects the State Department worldview, and was headed until recently by CIA Director William Burns.
Biden Team’s Track Record
The 2021 policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood is consistent with President Carter’s 1978/79 policy towards the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, who was perceived as a peaceful political dissident, oppressed by the Shah of Iran. This facilitated the Ayatollahs’ rise to power, stabbed the pro-US Shah in the back, and transformed Iran into a global epicenter of anti-Western and anti-Sunni terrorism and a proliferator of non-conventional military technologies.
This worldview has led the Biden team to assume that Iran’s Ayatollahs – irrespective of their consistently ruthless track record – are credible negotiators; potential partners for peaceful-coexistence and influence-sharing with their Sunni Arab neighbors; amenable to ending domestic repression and disavowing their fanatical, megalomaniacal, religious vision. Furthermore, the Biden team assumes that waiving the US military option constitutes a prerequisite to constructive negotiation with the rogue Ayatollahs.
President Biden’s team played a key role in the initiation and formulation of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran (JCPOA). In 2021, it aspires to rejoin the accord with some modifications.
The same team co-led the 2009 embrace of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning the pro-US Mubarak on the grounds of the latter’s poor record in the areas of human rights and democracy. This provided a tailwind to the Muslim Brotherhood’s subversion throughout the region – supported mostly by Turkey’s Erdogan and Qatar – and eroded US credibility and its posture of deterrence among all pro-US Arab regimes. In 2021, the Biden team seems to adhere to the same policy, serving Egyptian President Sisi notice because of human rights violations, while courting the Muslim Brotherhood.
The human rights-driven policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood was at the core of the 2011 US-led military offensive against Libya’s Qadhafi, which was actively supported by the current Biden team. It led to the disintegration of Libya, and dramatically worse violations of human rights, along with the transformation of Libya into a platform of civil wars and global Islamic terrorism.
Middle East Reality Revisited
According to Sir John Jenkins (ibid), “[The Muslim Brotherhood] continues to threaten the constitutive basis of most contemporary Muslim majority states…. Islamists are revolutionary in a fundamental sense of the word. And the history of the modern Middle East tells us that revolutions destroy. Some may still be tempted to hope that when a malign or otherwise unsatisfactory regime is overthrown the subsequent trajectory must be progressive. [Middle East] experience suggests the reverse. As Hannah Arendt said nearly 50 years ago, “The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is to a more violent world.” Authoritarianism is not weakened in such circumstances: it recurs….
“The Muslim Brotherhood, the first and foundational mass movement of mobilized Islamism, launched by Hassan Al Banna in the Egyptian provincial city of Ismailiyya in March 1928…. Al Banna may initially have conceived of Jihad as primarily one of social transformation through preaching and persuasion. But, he soon came to promote ‘fann al mawt’ – ‘the art of death.’
“He urged his followers to scorn life; claimed that ultimate martyrdom could only be attained through death in the service of the divine; articulated a doctrine of armed physical force; contemplated a frontal attack on power; and allowed the creation of a paramilitary force and violent attacks – including assassinations – against the Egyptian government…. On top of this, the writings of Sayyid Qutb – its most significant and protean ideologue – remain central to Brotherhood thinking everywhere and continue to be used to justify multiple forms of Islamist violence.
“More generally, [the Muslim Brotherhood’s] Political Islamism… rejects most existing political systems as un-Islamic. It seeks to replace the secular with a new Islamized order nationally and internationally. The Brotherhood… gives little space to the tolerance, choice and individual freedoms we claim to value. It has no commitment to democratic choice as the fundamental expression of a political community. It rejects what we consider to be the self-evident legal equality of individuals regardless of gender or religion. It is constitutively antisemitic and homophobic; its approach to education and societal cohesion is unlikely to promote inclusivity; it seeks power first….”
Will President Biden and his national security and foreign policy team leverage – or disregard – Sir Jenkins’ unique analysis of the Middle East, in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular?
Will they persist in their attempt to subordinate the intrinsically perfidious, despotic, intolerant, violent and unpredictable Middle East to noble core Western values?
William Burns is one of the leading veterans of the State Department, representing its deeply-rooted worldview :
*Multilateralism and coalition-building over unilateral policy;
*Military restraint and supremacy of diplomacy/coercive-diplomacy;
*International law, human rights and democracy-driven policy;
*Rejection of regime-change initiatives;
*Palestinian prominence in Middle East policy;
*Viewing Islamic terrorism as despair-driven;
*Misperceiving the raging Arab Tsunami as if it were Arab Spring.
William Burns served as Deputy Secretary of State and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Obama Administration. He was part of the State Department establishment, which considered Saddam Hussein a potential ally until his August 1990 invasion of Kuwait; played a key role in the 2009 embrace of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, while abandoning President Mubarak; was a major proponent of the 2011 US-led military offensive which transformed Libya into a global platform of Islamic terrorism; and was one of the early architects of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA), conducting secret talks in Oman.
Since 2015, William Burns has been the President of the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has espoused the aforementioned worldview of the State Department.
Carnegie’s “Middle East analysis” section is replete with documents, which are pro-Palestinian and critical of Israel and the last four years’ US policy in the Middle East, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Also, Carnegie Endowment documents feature criticism of “Israel’s shrinking democracy,” Israel’s treatment of “Palestinian activists” and “Palestinian popular resistance,” “Israel’s responsibility for the Palestinian financial crisis,” and “Gun violence in Israel’s Palestinian community.”
While criticizing pro-US Egypt and Saudi Arabia because of their human rights record, Carnegie’s documents define the Muslim Brotherhood – which has terrorized the Middle East since 1952, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain – as a legitimate political organization.
The designation of William Burns as the next Director of the CIA highlights President-elect Biden’s determination to join a renegotiated nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran’s Ayatollahs, which will be wider in scope and longer in duration.
According to Burns, “We need to find a way back to an updated nuclear deal with Iran. That will not be a miracle cure for all our serious differences with the current regime in Tehran, from its regional aggression to its domestic repression. It will, however, be an essential starting point for countering its threats and eventually reducing them….”
The JCPOA represents a school of thought, which assumes that Iran’s Ayatollahs are credible negotiators, and are amenable to peaceful-coexistence and power-sharing with their Gulf neighbors. Burns assumes that Saudi-Iranian peaceful coexistence is possible due to their mutual interest in stable competition.
“A lot will depend on the prospects for Saudis and Iranians finding some basis for regional co-existence—built not on trust or the end of rivalry, but on the more cold-blooded assumption that they both have a stake in stable competition.”
Burns contends that lifting sanctions – through the JCPOA – “exposed the regime’s vulnerabilities,” since the Ayatollahs could no longer blame the US for their economic woes, stemming from corruption and mismanagement. He compared Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA to the US unilateralism that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “Nixing the nuclear accord was a dangerous dismissiveness of diplomacy.” According to Burns, the abandonment of the nuclear accord was all coercion and no diplomacy.
A major dilemma facing the proponents of a renegotiated JCPOA: Is the Iranian leopard capable of changing spots, not just tactics?
As opined by Burns, “we ought to support them [Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf States] against legitimate external security threats, from Iran or anyone else, and back serious political and economic modernization. [However], they need to stop acting as if they’re entitled to a blank check from us, end the catastrophic war in Yemen, stop meddling in political transitions in places such as Libya and Sudan, and manage their internal rivalries.”
Just like Egypt, Saudi Arabia expects to be targeted for US criticism on account of its human rights and democracy record, including the attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood, which is determined to topple all pro-US Arab regimes, and is the largest Islamic terror organization with a litany of political affiliates throughout the globe, including the US (e.g., CAIR, ISNA, AMC).
In addition, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are reprimanded, by the incoming US Administration, for their military involvement in Libya, Sudan and Yemen, which involves fighting against Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Yemen) and Sunni Islamic terrorists (in Libya and Sudan).
In his memoir, William Burns detailed his efforts to explicitly criticize Israel, when he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the George W. Bush administration. Burns was a proponent for providing a clear vision for a viable Palestinian state. In June 2002, he told an Israel official that “the one thing Palestinians are more fed up with than Arafat is the Israeli occupation.”
“Our commitment to Israel’s security is deep-rooted, and its emergence as a military and economic powerhouse in the region is a remarkable story. And yet it is hard to see how Israel’s long-term security interests, let alone its future as a Jewish democracy, are served by the emergence of a one-state solution, with Arabs in the majority in the land Israel controls from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.”
Like the State Department’s establishment, William Burns is unaware of the demographic reality west of the Jordan River, which features a dramatic Westernization of Arab demography and unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind.
Happy New Year Top Heavy on Good Health!
Worldview and track record
Jake Sullivan’s worldview and track record (e.g., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Dartmouth College, State Department, key advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President-Elect Joe Biden) highlight:
*Attachment to Europe’s culture, history and geo-strategic thinking;
*Multilateralism through expanded national security collaboration with Europe, the UN and international alliances and organizations, rather than unilateralism;
*Democracy and human rights-driven foreign policy [however, in the Middle East, Arab regimes do not lend themselves to human rights and consider democracy an existential threat];
*The reassertion of the State Department worldview [despite its systematic blunders in the Middle East];
*The restructuring of the defense budget by expanding “civilian tools” and reducing “military tools” of national security [in a stormy world, which requires an enhanced, not reduced, US posture of deterrence].
*The shared worldview and track record of Antony Blinken (Secretary of State-designate) and Jake Sullivan may constitute the ideological backbone of President-elect Joe Biden’s foreign and national security policy-making.
Jake Sullivan played a key role in negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA). He opposes a regime-change policy, believing that Iran’s Ayatollahs are amenable to negotiation and peaceful-coexistence. Therefore, he will ditch the current policy of financial and military pressure, attempting to rejoin the accord – while expanding its duration and scope – which he believes would restore trust and cooperation with the international community.
The JCPOA was rejected by all pro-US Arab states as articulated on December 28, 2020 by the Riyadh-based Arab News: “We should focus on the original end of the nuclear deal, which is turning Iran into a normal state that does not pose a threat to the security and safety of the international community. It is impossible to accept a deal that prevents Iran from threatening global security and peace for 15 years [which is the duration of the JCPOA], and then allow it to resume the threat. There are no reformists in Iran, capable of persuading the regime to be more open to the West. The JCPOA was not sufficiently reviewed as far as its impact on Iran’s belligerence, internationally and regionally. The Ayatollahs took immediate advantage of the JCPOA to support their [rogue] proxies and allies in the region, boost their missile program, purchase weapons, and strengthen their vast domestic repressive apparatuses….”
In fact, the JCPOA (a model of multilateralism) has not diverted Iran’s Ayatollahs from their fanatic, megalomaniacal strategic goal to control the Persian Gulf, Middle East, the Muslim World and beyond. The JCPOA has generated a financial and political tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ dominant stature in the region, unchallenged by the US, and posing an existential threat to all US Arab allies. It has bolstered Iran’s systematic subversion, terrorism and wars in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America, aiming to weaken the “Great US Satan,” while emerging as a nuclear power in 10-15 years, or less, following 2015.
Jake Sullivan lumps together the pro-US Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman and Egypt’s General Muhammed Al Sisi with arch rivals of the US, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, China’s Xi Gi Ping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan.
He criticizes Saudi violations of human rights and lack of democracy, while playing down, or avoiding, criticism of Iran’s hate-education and ruthless repression of its population, including hanging and stoning dissidents, gay people and adulterous women, in addition to the oppression of religious and ethnic minorities, such as Arabs, Azerbaijanis Turks, Kurds, Baluchis, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians.
Sullivan flirts with the idea of a potential peaceful coexistence and stature-sharing between the Shite Ayatollahs and the Sunni Arab states.
Sullivan opposes the Saudi-led war against Yemen’s Houthis and the Iranian contingency in Yemen – which use Yemen as a stepping ground to bomb Saudi Arabia – on account of the high civilian Yemenite death toll and denial of human rights.
He sidesteps Middle Eastern Arab reality, which is still dominated by 1,400 year-old Islamic precepts and geo-strategic features, does not lend itself to Western democracy and human rights, and where the choice is between pro-US or anti-US human rights violating Arab regimes.
Sullivan may recommend the suspension of the supply of advanced US military systems to Saudi Arabia, as a means to pressure Riyadh, which may force the Saudis to seek similar systems from Russia, China or Europe.
The pro-US President Sisi is troubled by Sullivan’s human rights criticism of Egypt, while classifying the Muslim Brotherhood – which is the largest Islamic terrorist group with multitude of political branches, some of them in the US – as a largely secular political organization. Sullivan has ignored/under-estimated the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist threat, regionally and globally.
In 2009, he supported President Obama’s decision to court the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood – which has terrorized Egypt since 1952 – during Obama’s visit to Cairo, while turning his back on the pro-US authoritarian President Mubarak. This eroded US reliability among allies, fueled violence in Egypt, which led to the 2011 toppling of Mubarak and the 2012-2013 rule by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Just like Saudi Arabia, a US antagonistic policy toward Egypt may push General Sisi toward Russia, which has maintained commercial and military contacts with Egypt since the 1950s.
Sullivan played a pivotal role in shaping the 2011 US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, which was aimed at stopping Qadhafi’s ruthless war on his domestic opponents. However, the offensive disintegrated Libya and triggered civil wars, which have drawn foreign involvement, such as Turkey, Russia, Qatar, France, Italy, UAE and Greece. Libya became a major platform of Islamic terrorism, haunting North, West and Central Africa, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Europe. Moreover, the US-led offensive terminated the regime of Qadhafi, who was transformed (since 2003) from a ruthless supporter of – to a ruthless warrior against – Islamic terrorism. Until the ill-advised 2011 offensive, Qadhafi provided the US with invaluable intelligence on global terrorism, and transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US.
Sullivan subscribes to the erroneous assumptions that the Palestinian issue is a major issue on the Arab agenda, a core cause of regional turbulence and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. He may undervalue the wider, regional and global features of the US-Israel connection – which are significantly more relevant to the region and the US than the Palestinian issue – such as Israel’s force-multiplier contribution to the US in the form of bolstering pro-US Arab regimes, and in the face of the Ayatollahs’ and Muslim Brotherhood’s proliferation of anti-US Islamic terrorism throughout the globe, the potential threat of Turkey’s Erdogan and the US-Israel joint pursuit of game-changing commercial and defense technologies.
Israel-Arab peace accords
Will Sullivan conclude the proper lessons from the litany of failed Israel-Palestinian peace initiatives, which focused on the Palestinian issue, according the Palestinians a veto power over peace?
Is Sullivan aware of the Arab opposition to the proposed Palestinian state, which all pro-US Arab regimes consider added-fuel to the Middle East fire?
Is Sullivan aware of the intrinsic Palestinian strategic goal, which does not tolerate Jewish sovereignty west of the Jordan River, as reflected by the Palestinian Authority school curriculum and the systematic Palestinian track record?
Will Sullivan adopt the approach of bypassing the Palestinian issue, and focusing on Israel-Arab and US interests, which produced the recent peace and normalization accords between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, thus further expanding the circle of Israel-Arab peace?
Dr. Albert Ellis, one of the world’s top psychologists, suggests that the study of past track records is an essential undertaking for an effective assessment of the future: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”
This suggestion is also applicable to the assessment of policy formulation by the next US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who will be the most influential foreign and national security policy-maker in President-elect Joe Biden’s Administration.
Blinken’s close ties with Biden, dating back to Biden’s chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, make him, potentially, as influential as were Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Jim Baker during the presidency of Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush respectively.
Israel policy. Blinken opposes Israel’s annexation of – and expanded Jewish presence in – any part of Judea and Samaria, as well as in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines. He considers Israeli dramatic land concessions to be a prerequisite for peace. He supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the pre-1967 Jordan-occupied-Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. However, according to Blinken, “US aid to Israel is beyond debate and should never be used as leverage to influence Israel’s policies toward Palestinians…. It’s in the US interest that Israel has the means to secure itself…. Israel’s security is challenged on a daily basis. Israel faces existential threats every single day.”
Palestinian policy. Blinken assumes that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem would serve justice and would spare Israel a demographic calamity. He ignores the well-documented demographic reality, which exposes the myth of the Arab demographic timebomb. He approaches the Palestinian issue from the human rights angle, notwithstanding the Palestinian track record as a role model for anti-Jewish hate-education and incitement, 100-year-old anti-Jewish terrorism and intra-Arab terrorism and treachery. Irrespective of Middle East reality, he believes in the centrality of the Palestinian issue on the Arab agenda and the pursuit of Israel-Arab peace.
Blinken aims to restore annual financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (which was suspended due to the PA’s financial support of families of terrorists and the systematic heralding of terrorists), as well as the annual financial transfer to UNRWA (which was suspended due to its funding of the PA’s hate education). Also, he will reopen the PLO office in Washington, DC and the US Consulate in Jerusalem (in-charge of Palestinian affairs).
Libya policy. Blinken believes that the introduction of human rights and democracy to the Arab World would constitute a most effective foundation of peaceful coexistence. In 2011, as the National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, along with Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, he urged a US/NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, in order to stop “Qadhafi’s human rights violations and slaughter of his own people.” The war on the arch human rights violator, Qadhafi, evolved Libya into a major platform of arch human rights violating Islamic terrorists, which is still haunting Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Europe and Africa. The war on Qadhafi – and his eventual lynching by Islamic terrorists – ignored his transformation (since 2003!) from a ruthless supporter of terrorism into a ruthless warrior against Islamic terrorism in north, central and western Africa, who provided the US with invaluable intelligence on global terrorism, and transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US.
Sadly, contrary to the well-intentioned Blinken worldview, in the real Middle East, the choice is between pro-Western – or anti-Western – non-democratic anti human rights regimes.
“Arab Spring” policy. The Libya policy was reflective of the worldview of key foreign policy and national security players – including Blinken – who formulated the US Middle East policy during the 2010/2011 volcanic eruption of violence, including terrorism, from Morocco in northwest Africa through Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. Blinken assessed the brutal confrontations on the Arab Street – which has been an intrinsic feature of the Arab World since the 7th century – through the prism of human rights. He overlooked the complexity of these confrontations (among non-democratic, violent elements) and underestimated the dominant role of Islamic terrorism and inherent intra-Arab domestic and regional brutal power struggles. Along with most of the Western foreign policy establishment, Blinken referred to this wave of violence, which still haunts the Arab Street, as the “Arab Spring,” “youth revolution” and “march for democracy;” while, in fact, it has been a tectonic Arab Tsunami all along.
Saudi Arabia policy. A reassessment of US policy toward Saudi Arabia, and putting on notice Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman (whom he considers “impulsive and reckless”), are expected due to Blinken’s focus on human rights, while underestimating the impact on the intensified anti-Western Shite and Muslim Brotherhood Sunni terrorism, which aim to topple all pro-US and relatively-moderate Arab regimes, establish a pan-Islamic state, and proliferate Islamic terrorism globally. Blinken may precondition the sale of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia upon improved human rights (which would increase Chinese, Russian and European military sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf). In addition, Blinken opposes the Saudi involvement in the civil war in Yemen, which has become a most active Iranian beachhead against Saudi Arabia aiming to topple the Saudi regime. He, also, objects to the Saudi aggressive policy toward Qatar, which is a strategic ally of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan and a chief financier of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists – three major threats to the House of Saud.
Egypt policy. In 2009, Blinken supported the human rights-centered US policy toward Egypt, courting the Muslim Brotherhood terroristic opposition, which led to its 2012-2013 rise to power, while toppling the pro-US President Mubarak (similar to President Carter’s policy, which betrayed the Shah of Iran, providing a tailwind to the rise of Iran’s Ayatollahs). Blinken’s pledge to renew US emphasis on human rights violations in Egypt was expressed via November 19 and 20, 2020 Tweets, protesting the arrest of three Egyptian human rights activists. However, Middle East reality suggests that, notwithstanding his honorable intentions, Blinken’s only choice is between a pro-US and an anti-US non-democratic Egypt.
Iran policy. Driven by his globalist, multilateralist, joint leadership world view (contrary to unilateral US national security action), Blinken was closely involved in the formulation of the game-changing 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran. Therefore, Blinken will reenter the accord, seeking a stronger and longer-lasting agreement, playing down Iranian human rights violations, lifting as many sanctions as possible, which will yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s economy (as documented by the 2015 precedent), bolstering Iran’s efforts to topple all pro-Western Arab regimes and expand its terror network in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, South and Central America.
Will Antony Blinken learn from past errors by repeating – or avoiding them?
Will Blinken adjust his policy recommendations to Middle East reality, or is he determined to export “cancel-culture” to the Middle East, with the well-intentioned aim to introduce human rights, democracy and peaceful-coexistence into the ruthlessly entrenched Middle East culture?
Will the next US Administration sustain the realization that the clear and present threat of the transnational Muslim Brotherhood to every moderate Arab regime in the Middle East and North Africa (second only to the threat posed by Iran’s Ayatollahs) has been a key incentive for the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to conclude the US-backed peace accords with Israel?
Will the next US Administration acknowledge the role played by Muslim Brotherhood subversion and terrorism in Saudi Arabia’s decision to expand security and commercial cooperation with Israel?
According to Prof. Albert Hourani, a leading Middle East historian, Oxford University’s St. Anthony’s College (A History of the Arab Peoples, pp. 445-446), the following are the tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood: “A total rejection of all forms of society except the wholly Islamic one…. The true Islamic society…was the one which accepted the sovereign authority of God [Allah]…which regarded the Quran as the source of all guidance for human life…. All other societies were societies of jahiliyya (ignorance of religious truth), whether they were communist, capitalist, nationalist, [followers of] false religions, or claimed to be Muslim but did not obey the Sharia…. The leadership of Western man in the human world is coming to an end…because the Western order has played its part, and no longer possesses that stock of values which gave it its predominance…. The turn of Islam has come….”
The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamic terror organization in the world – supported mostly by Turkey’s Erdogan, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Qatar – with political branches throughout the globe (including in the USA), aiming to rid the Arab world of Western “infidel” influence (which drew the current map of the Middle East), topple existing Arab regimes in a subversive and revolutionary manner, Islamize Arab societies, establish a “divinely-ordained” pan-Islamic regime and spread Islam through violence/terrorism, as well as via political and organizational involvement (e.g., the Freedom and Justice Party in Libya, the ruling Ennahdha Party in Tunisia, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco, the recently dissolved Islamic Action Front in Jordan, the Islamic Constitutional Movement in Kuwait, Jamaat-e-Islami in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and the Welfare Party of India).
The Muslim Brotherhood maintains that the only legitimate rule is Islam-based rule. Moreover, Arab regimes, which are not based on the Sharia (the precepts of Islam) are apostates and therefore, targets for Jihad (martyrdom for Islam).
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 in Egypt by Hassan Al-Banna, and participated in the offensive against the British-backed monarchy. However, since the toppling of the monarchy in 1952, the Muslim Brotherhood – assisted by Palestinian leaders – has been engaged in domestic, regional and global Jihad (terrorism) against all secular Arab regimes (e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain), as prescribed by the teachings of Sayyid Qutb (who was hanged in Egypt in 1966), inspiring a multitude of Islamic terror organizations such as Al Qaeda and Hamas, while condemning Arab corruption and inequality and providing social and charity services.
In 1949, the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud Nuqrashi; in 1954, the Muslim Brotherhood failed in its attempt to murder Egyptian President Nasser; but, in 1981, its offshoot, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, murdered Egyptian President Sadat. The Islamic Jihad merged with Al Qaeda (the perpetrators of September 11, 2001!), terrorized US and Israeli targets, and formed a political party (the Freedom and Justice Party) during the 2011-2013 Muslim Brotherhood rule of Egypt, which was supported by the US Administration. In 2020, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist and political branches – bearing innocent titles – seek to subvert, terrorize and topple every moderate, pro-US Arab regime, proliferating all over the globe, including South, Central and North America.
According to Professor Fouad Ajami, one of the leading experts on Arab politics and Director of Middle East Studies, Johns Hopkins University (The Arab Predicament, Cambridge University Press, 1992), the Muslim Brotherhood espouses: “The struggle of the Prophet [Muhammed], the integrity of Islam, the need for sacrifice, the clash between the world of Islam and the Jews, who will never abandon their belief that they are God’s chosen people (p. 134).”
Professor Albert Hourani (ibid., pp. 445-446) adds: “Those who accepted [the Muslim Brotherhood] program would form a vanguard of dedicated fighters, using every means, including Jihad… to destroy all worship of false gods and remove all the obstacles which prevented men from accepting Islam. The struggle should aim at creating a universal Muslim society in which there were no distinctions of race, and one which was worldwide. The Western age is finished…. Only Islam offered hope to the world…. [The Muslim Brotherhood] were prepared for violence and martyrdom.”
Will the next US Administration demonstrate realism and recognize the threat of Islamic terrorism to global stability, including US homeland security?
Will the next US Administration sustain the current US support of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and additional Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa in their battle against the lethal threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood?
Will the next US Administration persist in the financial and military pressure of Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have been a critical epicenter of global proliferation of Islamic terrorism (including to South and Central America) and a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood?
Will the next US Administration codify the repudiation of Islamic terrorism by outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood and its political and social offshoots such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Society of North America?
Western misreading yields devastating consequences
The Libyan turmoil is, mostly, the outcome of the 2011 reckless toppling of the Qaddafi regime by a US-led NATO offensive. The offensive was launched despite the fact that the ruthless Qaddafi had become a fervent warrior against Islamic terrorism in Libya, North and Central Africa. Moreover, the offensive was initiated in spite of Qaddafi’s dismantling of the Libyan nuclear, chemical, biological and long-range ballistic missile infrastructures.
The stated goal of the US-led NATO onslaught was to stop the Libyan civil war, minimize the loss of civilian lives and promote democracy and peace, as was stated during the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein…. However, the authority vacuum created by the demise of the Qaddafi regime has intensified the intrinsic fragmentation and disintegration of Libya, tribally, geographically, ideologically and religiously.
The demise of Qaddafi yielded systematic eruptions of volcanic civil wars in Libya, intensified by a heightened presence of Islamic terror organizations, which operate globally, from Central Asia, through the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America, with sleeper cells in the US.
In defiance of the architects of the assault on Qaddafi, Libya has joined Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen as a leading epicenter of international Islamic terrorism. The Libyan pandemonium has stimulated Islamic terrorism in Europe, as well as in neighboring Egypt, the Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia, in addition to Morocco, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.
Contrary to the expectations by the US and NATO national security establishments, there has been substantial military and financial intervention by foreign countries, which conduct proxy wars in post-Qaddafi Libya. Thus, Turkey, Qatar, Italy and the UN support Prime Minister al-Sarraj’s Tripoli-centered Government of National Accord (which controls some parts of Western Libya), while Russia, France, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan back General Haftar’s Benghazi and Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (which controls most of Libya, especially the eastern and southern areas and most of the oil and natural gas fields and refineries).
Foreign involvement in Libya
The mounting foreign involvement reflects the geo-strategic potential of Libya, economically and militarily. For instance, Libya is a 680,000 square-mile-country (2.6 times the area of Texas!), located between the Mediterranean and Central Africa, possessing a 1,000 mile-long-coast along the Mediterranean, between Egypt and Tunisia and across from Turkey, Crete, Greece, Malta, Italy and Sicily. Libya’s oil and natural gas reserves rank 8th and 21st respectively in the world, which has attracted major energy companies, such as Italy’s ENI (since 1959) and France’s Total (since 1954).
Turkey’s Erdogan considers Libya an effective springboard to assert his national security independence; to defy the US, NATO, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the international community; to bolster his military and energy footprint in the Mediterranean basin; to gain natural gas, oil and construction opportunities; and to advance his grand vision: the reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire.
Russia seeks to expand its air and ground military presence in the Mediterranean region and Africa; it sends a determined message to the US, NATO and allies of the US in the Middle East and Africa; it aims to neutralize Erdogan’s megalomaniacal ambitions; it pursues oil deals; and it wishes to enhance its position during future international negotiations on the fate of Libya.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia consider Libya – and Turkey’s and Qatar’s involvement in Libya – a threatening tailwind for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Islamic terrorist organization, and a clear and present lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime. Their wish to neutralize Erdogan, whom they consider a top lethal threat to the Arab World, along with Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egypt and Libya have always shared adversarial relations: economically poor, demographically large (100 million people) and militarily strong Egypt versus economically endowed, demographically meagre (7 million people) and militarily weak Libya. Therefore, an Egyptian military intervention in eastern Libya – leveraging tribal ties – has always been a viable option, in order to secure the western border of Egypt, resume suspended oil projects in Libya, and enhance Egypt’s geo-strategic stature. Also, Egypt is concerned about the adverse effect of the Libyan chaos on its war against Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, which has been a domestic fixture since the 1928 establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Cairo is increasingly concerned about Turkey’s deepening engagement in Libya – on top of its military presence in Qatar, Somali and the Sudan – due to Erdogan’s close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, while demonstrating hostility toward the Sisi regime, which toppled an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood regime.
The real Middle East vs. Western conventional wisdom
The Libya mayhem, which erupted during the initial stage of the “Arab Spring,” has exposed a major Western misperception of the Middle East. Hence, the West has sacrificed the reality of “the Arab Tsunami” on the altar of an imagined “Arab Spring” – touting “From Lawlessness to Democracy and Peace” – while the Arab countries have rejected civic liberties and intra-Arab peaceful-coexistence.
The Libyan turmoil, which has raged since February 2011, encapsulates many of the 1,400-year-old explosive features of the Middle East, which have impacted the entire world.
*Rarity of national identity/loyalty (e.g., Tripolitania western Libya vs. Cyrenaica in the east vs. Fezzan in the southwest);
*Fragmented societies underline local-over-national allegiance (e.g., a 9-tribe-coalition in the Benghazi region, fighting other tribes, while fighting among themselves);
*Violent intolerance religiously, geographically, ideologically, culturally, economically;
*Absence of intra-Arab and intra-Muslim peaceful-coexistence, domestically and regionally, including pan-Arabism vs. pan-Islamism;
*Minority, repressive, tenuous regimes, policies and accords (e.g., Libya’s King Idris deposed in 1969, Qaddafi executed in 2011, succeeded by two warring non-democratic regimes);
*One-bullet-regimes seizing power via the military;
*Centrality of subversion and terrorism, domestically and regionally;
*Shifty allegiance, alliances and policies;
*Intense complexity, instability and unpredictability;
*Domination of fundamental Islamic precepts (e.g., the subservient “infidel”);
Has the Western debacle in Libya awaken the Western national security establishment to Middle East reality?
Will the costly Libyan lesson free the West from submission to the utopian “Arab Spring” state of mind, when confronting the litany of tectonic eruptions, which will be triggered by the Arab Tsunami, with regional and global ripple effects?
Will the Libyan chaos advance Western comprehension of the need for extra geographic-topographic security, required by the sole and small “infidel” democracy in the Middle East?
The suggestion that the application of the Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria would severely undermine Israeli interests, jeopardize Israel’s peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and Israel’s overall ties with Arab countries, is divorced from the Israeli track record and Middle East reality.
Israel’s track record
The resurgence of the Jewish State from the ashes of WW2 to global prominence, technologically, scientifically, medically, agriculturally, economically, diplomatically and militarily – despite systematic adverse global pressure and Arab wars and terrorism – has demonstrated that there are no free lunches for independent nations, especially in the Middle East.
For example, in 1948, Prime Minister Ben Gurion, Israel’s Founding Father, did not wait for a green light from the White House, in order to declare independence. He was aware that a declaration of independence would trigger a costly Arab military invasion. The CIA estimated that it could amount to “a second Holocaust.” However, Ben Gurion concluded that achieving a supreme goal was preconditioned upon the willingness to pay a supreme cost. Indeed, the war against the Arab invasion consumed 1% (6,000) of the Jewish population (600,000). Fending off the Arab invasion, Israel expanded its borders by 30%, and would not retreat to the suicidal 1947 lines, despite brutal global (including US) pressure. The pressure on Israel dissipated, but Israel’s buttressed borders were preserved.
In June 1967, Prime Minister Eshkol preempted a planned Egypt-Syria-Jordan joint offensive, in defiance of a strong red light from the White House (“Israel will not be alone unless it decides to go alone”), and despite prominent Israelis who preferred the venue of negotiation and mediation, and predicted a resounding Israeli defeat on the battlefield. Eshkol was aware that Israel’s existence, in the violently intolerant and unpredictable Middle East, required a firm posture of deterrence, which could entail heavy cost. In the aftermath of the war, Eshkol reunited Jerusalem and renewed Jewish presence beyond the 1949/1967 indefensible Green Line, in spite of a very heavy US and global pressure. While the pressure on Israel has subsided, the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem has surged to 700,000.
In June 1981, Prime Minister Begin ordered the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, notwithstanding the menacing red light from the White House and the opposition by the Mossad, the IDF Intelligence and additional Israeli defense authorities. The naysayers were certain that an Israeli attack had a very slim chance of success. They feared that this would trigger a global Islamic assault on Israel; it would produce a European boycott of Israel, would create an irreparable rift with the USA and would doom Israel, economically and diplomatically. Begin decided that sparing Israel a traumatic nuclear assault justified even a traumatic cost. While the pessimistic assessments crashed on the rocks of reality, the Iraqi nuclear threat was terminated.
In December 1981, Begin applied Israeli law to the Golan Heights, disregarding the brutal US opposition, which included the suspension of a US-Israel strategic accord and the supply of advanced military systems. While the heavy US sanctions were replaced by an unprecedented US-Israel strategic cooperation, the Golan Heights have become an integral part of the Jewish State.
The aforementioned Israeli Prime Ministers defied international pressure, and therefore were burdened with a short-term loss of global popularity. However, they earned long-term respect for their willingness to defy the odds at severe cost. Thus, they bolstered Israel’s posture of deterrence, which has played a key role in enhancing Israel’s national security and Israel’s regional/global standing, including its unprecedented military and commercial cooperation with all pro-US Arab countries.
Middle East reality (Israel-Arab relations)
Conventional wisdom is that an Israeli application of its law to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria would threaten the Israel-Jordan and Israel-Egypt peace treaties, and could abort the burgeoning relations between Israel and all Arab Gulf States. Such a school of thought underestimates key Arab national security priorities, which have always transcended the Palestinian issue. It ignores the significant role played by Israel’s posture of deterrence in the national security strategy of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.
For example, the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty reflects Jordanian national security priorities, rather than a Jordanian reconciliation with the existence of an “infidel” Jewish State in the “abode of Islam.”
Just like all Arab regimes – and especially since the eruption of the still raging Arab Tsunami in 2010 – the pro-US regime in Amman is highly vulnerable, domestically and regionally.
Irrespective of its pro-Palestinian rhetoric, Jordan’s actions – since 1949 when it occupied Judea and Samaria, while prohibiting Palestinian political activity – have represented the overall Arab view of the Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion and terrorism.
Jordan’s Hashemite regime considers the proposed Palestinian state a clear and present lethal threat. At the same time, it considers Israel’s posture of deterrence as its most effective line of defense against lethal threats, domestically (subversion by Palestinians, Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and hostile southern Bedouin) and externally (Iran’s Ayatollahs, Iraq and Syria).
King Abdullah II is aware of the key role played by Israel’s posture of deterrence in forcing a retreat of the 1970 Syrian invasion of Jordan, when the US was unable to extend military help.
Jordan considers Israel a unique source of intelligence and counter-terrorism assistance. Israel supplies water to the 1.5 million refugees from Syria, provides Jordan with commercial access to the port of Haifa and price-discounted offshore natural gas. Moreover, Israel is the most effective lobby for Jordan in Washington, DC. In addition, Israel has accorded Jordan a prominent inter-Islamic plum: the custodian of Jerusalem’s Moslem and Christian holy sites.
Is King Abdullah II expected to cut off his nose to spite his face?!
Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf States, as well as Egypt, regard Israel as a most reliable and effective ally in the face of mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Turkey’s Erdogan and potential tectonic spillovers from Iraq and Syria.
This Saudi-Israel congruence of national security interests eclipses the role played by the Palestinian issue in Riyadh’s order of national priorities. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia appreciates the Israeli technological and potential scientific contribution to its effort to diversify their oil-dependent economy.
In fact, Riyadh considers the proposed Palestinian state a potential rogue regime, siding with its arch enemies. Hence, the effective Saudi opposition (contrary to its rhetoric) to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Thus, the national security concerns of the pro-US Arab countries is advanced by a reinforced Israeli posture of deterrence. On the other hand, a hesitant, appeasing and retreating Israel, which sacrifices its independence of national security action on the altar of overseas green lights, whets the appetite of terrorists and rogue regimes, which threatens the national security of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and all other pro-US Arab countries; thus, undermining vital US interests.
In 2019, the inherently unpredictable and violent Middle East has driven all pro-US Arab regimes – which face domestic and external lethal threats – to expand their strategic cooperation with Israel.
The substantial US-Israel strategic common denominator, the growing role of Israel as a unique geo-strategic ally of the US, and the enhanced mutually-beneficial nature of US-Israel and Israel-Arab cooperation, have been a by-product of the following critical developments:
*The recent Iranian offensive as demonstrated by the June 2019 attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and the May 2019 assaults on vessels in the Persian Gulf port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates;
*The mushrooming anti-US, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, imperialistic Turkish military buildup in Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Somalia (the largest since the 1922 demise of the Ottoman Empire);
*The proliferation of Shiite (Iran-related) and Sunni (Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) terrorism and subversion;
*The Iranian military, terroristic and subversive entrenchment in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, the Al-Hasa oil region in Saudi Arabia, etc.
*The intensified regional, military profile of Erdogan’s anti-US Turkey, which pursues imperialistic aspirations, while charging the batteries of Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.
*The transformation of the “Arab Spring” illusion of democracy into the “Arab Tsunami” reality of despotic regimes, as evidenced by the intensification of intra-Arab/Muslim and inter-Arab/Muslim conflicts, which threaten every pro-US Arab regime.
*Israel’s systematic track record of democracy, unconditional alliance with the US, military and commercial effectiveness, game-changing technological innovation and second-to-none optimism, patriotism and attachment to roots.
The precarious state of the Middle East, and the top challenges facing pro-US Arab regimes – all of whom resoundingly opposed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, in particular, and President Obama’s Middle East policy, in general – were articulated on June 18, 2019 by the Arab League Secretary General and former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit: “The crisis with Iran and Turkey has aggravated to the point that holding a dialogue with them has become futile…. We see today the threats Iran and its wings are posing to Arab and global security as regards safety of global navigation and commercial routs…. Iran considers the Arab region an open ‘terra nullius’ [‘nobody’s land’ available for occupation] for its own expansion, and gives itself the right to interfere [via subversion and terrorism] in the crises of some Arab countries [e.g., Iraq, Syria, Yemen]…. Turkey seeks to promote its own ideologies and political Islam, giving itself the right to [invade/access] neighboring countries [Iraq, Syria, Qatar and Somalia] on the pretext of protecting its own national security, without any consideration to other countries’ sovereignty. Both Turkey and Iran see ongoing crises in the region as a chance for more expansion….”
According to the June 18, 2019 Saudi daily, A-Sharq al-Awsat, which reflects the worldview of the House of Saud, the US has approved Israel’s systematic bombings of Iranian military sites in Syria – in defiance of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile operated by Syria – considering the Israeli raids an effective tool to constrain the Ayatollahs’ regional expansion. Attesting to Israel’s rising geo-strategic role, Iran’s military presence in Syria will be featured during next week’s unprecedented meeting, in Jerusalem, between the national security advisors of the US, Russia and Israel.
Contrary to conventional Western wisdom, the growing concern about Iran’s Ayatollahs and other critical regional challenges, increasingly overshadow the Palestinian issue, as was evidenced in the February 2019 Warsaw-hosted 60 country summit on Iran with no Palestinian presence. Furthermore, Israel’s relations with all pro-US Arab countries have improved substantially, irrespective of the paralysis on the Palestinian front.
According to the Atlantic Magazine, the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, “like many Arab leaders, has tired of the Palestinians,” while considering Israel a key member in the regional alliance against the “triangle of evil,” which consists of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni terrorist organizations.
In the words of Jamal al-Suwaidi, the founder of the United Arab Emirates Center for Strategic Studies: “The Palestinian cause is no longer at the forefront of Arab interests…. It has sharply lost priority in light of the challenges, threats and problems that face countries of the region.”
In fact, the Arab attitude toward the Palestinians has been consistent since 1949 – when Jordan and Egypt occupied Judea & Samaria and Gaza and did not transfer the regions to the Palestinians; during 1982/83 – no Arab support when Israel devastated PLO terror headquarters in Lebanon, expelling the PLO leadership from Beirut; and 1991 – no Arab outcry when Kuwait expelled some 300,000 PLO-affiliated Palestinians in response to Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwait; through 2008, 2012 and 2014 – no Arab support during Israel’s wars against Palestinian terrorism in Gaza.
According to The Guardian, intelligence, counter-terrorism, military and commercial cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain has been routine since the mid-1990s, switching to a higher gear in recent years – a reflection of intensified lethal threats, on the one hand, and Israel’s posture of deterrence and reliable capabilities, on the other hand.
Hence, Israel’s existence in the Middle East has extended the strategic hand of the US, bolstering the national and homeland security of US’ Arab allies in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East, producing an effective headwind to Iran’s megalomaniacal aspirations, and enhancing the war on Islamic terrorism. This has spared the need to expand US military bases in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean and the Middle East at-large, and the necessity to dispatch additional US military divisions and aircraft carriers to the region, which would cost the US taxpayer mega-billion dollars annually.
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.
A realistic evaluation of the key elements which have shaped US-Israel relations, should not focus on the relatively secondary role – regionally and globally – played by the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian issue and domestic US politics.
The substantial amplification of the mutually-beneficial US-Israel cooperation – militarily, intelligence-wise, technologically and commercially – has been driven by Israel’s operational, innovative and industrial capabilities, regional (Middle East) and global American interests as well as the rising threat of Islamic terrorism to the US homeland security.
US-Israel relations have been transformed dramatically since 1948, when the State Department, Pentagon and CIA opposed the founding of the Jewish State and prevented the delivery of military supplies to the newly-born state. They claimed that a Jewish state would join the Soviet Bloc, would be wrecked demographically by an eventual Arab majority, would be decimated by the surrounding Arab armies, and would undermine vital US interests in the Middle East. These claims have been demolished by Middle East reality.
US-Israel relations have been reshaped substantially since 1956, in the aftermath of the Sinai Campaign – which was triggered by the sustained campaign of Arab terrorism from Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula – when the US Administration brutally pressured Israel, forcing the full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Sinai.
US-Israel cooperation has been revolutionized since 1967 – before the preemptive Six Day War – when the US Administration threatened Israel, which was besieged by a newly-established Egypt-Syria-Jordan unified military command, trumpeting the mission to destroy Israel. The US warning to Israel was: “Israel will not be alone, unless it decides to go alone [preempt]….”
The 1967 Six Day War was a game-changer, leading the US to recognize Israel’s enhanced military posture of deterrence in the face of Arab threats, in general, and the Soviet Union and its Arab proxies (Egypt and Syria), in particular. For example, Israel’s 1967 victory destroyed the regional military posture of the pro-Soviet Syrian President Hafiz Assad, who constituted a clear and present threat to then pro-US Turkey as well as to Jordan’s Hashemite regime. Moreover, Israel devastated the military base of Egyptian President Nasser, whose ground forces were fighting in Yemen, attempting to surge into Saudi Arabia. Israel intercepted Nasser’s attempt to assume Pan Arab leadership from Egypt, Syria and Jordan to the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf; to topple all pro-US Arab regimes; to threaten the pro-US regime of the Shah of Iran; to ravage US interests throughout the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean; and, to accord the USSR a rare geo-strategic bonus.
Post-1967 Israel – controlling the Golan Heights and the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria, which are the “Golan Heights” of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport – has emerged as a unique strategic asset, producing significant dividends to the US, contrary to the pre-1967 Israel, which was deemed a strategic burden/liability.
The 1970 Syrian invasion of Jordan – while the US was preoccupied with Southeast Asia – underlined the convergence of US and Israeli strategic interests. Thus, Israel extended the strategic hand of the US in the strategically significant Middle East, by deploying its own military force to the joint Israel-Syria-Jordan frontier (on the Golan Heights), triggering a Syrian retreat without firing a single bullet, and with no US troops involved.
The 1976 Entebbe Operation exposed Israel’s unique capabilities in the areas of intelligence and counter-terrorism, which has emerged as the top threat to the homeland security of the Western World.
The 1981 Israeli bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor has reinforced Israel’s regional and global posture of deterrence, sparing the US and the Free World a confrontation with a nuclearized Saddam Hussein following his 1990 occupation of Kuwait.
In 1982, the US deployed troops to Lebanon, aiming to block Israel’s campaign against PLO terrorists in Lebanon. In spite of the anti-Israel US deployment, Islamic car bombs hit the US Embassy (April 1983) and the US military barracks (October 1983) in Beirut, murdering 260 Americans, which led to the establishment of the US-Israel Joint Political Military Group in November 1983. In 1987, Israel was granted the status of A Major Non-NATO Ally.
Contrary to the superficial assumption that US-Israel strategic cooperation was relevant as long as there was a Soviet threat, the US-Israel strategic compatibility has been reinforced since the 1991 demise of the USSR. Hence, the collapse of the Soviet empire transformed the bipolar globe (the USA vs. the USSR) into a much more fractured, unpredictable, explosive, violent and dramatically uncontrollable, intolerant and unstable multipolar world, which has confronted the US with the wrath of megalomaniacal non-super power rogue regimes such as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Iran’s Ayatollahs. While Israel had a limited role in confronting the USSR, it has become the US’s most effective ally in the face of such regional threats.
The 2010 eruption of the Arab Tsunami, which is still raging, has further exposed the similarity of US-Israel strategic challenges and threats, leveraging Israel’s 70-year old do-or-die military and intelligence experience. The Arab Tsunami threatens the existence of all pro-US Arab regimes from North Africa (e.g., Morocco), through Egypt and Jordan to the Persian Gulf (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and down to the Indian Ocean (e.g., Oman).
In 2019, the US and Israel share identical national and homeland security concerns in the Middle East and beyond: the megalomaniacal vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs (who consider the US as the major hurdle on the road to domination of the Persian Gulf), the clear and present threat of Sunni and Shiite Islamic terrorism, and the critical security requirements of all highly vulnerable pro-US Arab regimes.
Contrary to the State Department establishment’s traditional claim that the US must choose between strategic cooperation with Israel or Saudi Arabia – as long as the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issues remain unsolved – Israel’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf states has surged unprecedentedly, irrespective of the Palestinian issue. In fact, US-Israel and US-Arab relations complement – not contradict – one another.
The pro-US Arab countries have realized that when smothered by lethal sandstorms (e.g., the Ayatollahs, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood), drivers must not be sidetracked by the tumbleweeds on the road (the Palestinian issue).
The January 10, 2019 Cairo, Egypt speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – which was cleared by the White House – was a course-setting presentation of the US role in the Middle East.
Pompeo’s ideological and operational speech was aimed at bolstering the US’ posture of deterrence and reassuring pro-US Arab regimes. It was diametrically opposed to President Obama’s vision of the Middle East, which was presented in Cairo, Egypt on June 4, 2009.
In 2009, in Cairo, President Obama introduced his own vision of rejuvenated US relations with Islam and Muslims, highlighting the following guidelines:
“Islam has always been a part of America’s story…. Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights….
“Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace….
“America and Islam are not exclusive… they overlap and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings…. The interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart…. Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality….
“More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a cold war in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam….
“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance….”
In 2019, in Cairo, Secretary of State, Pompeo, introduced his own assessments of Middle East reality and bluntly recommended policy guidelines:
“When America retreats, chaos often follows. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. When we partner with enemies, they advance….
“America has confronted the ugly reality of radical Islamism…. America will not retreat until the terror fight is over…. We remain committed to the complete dismantling of ISIS…. defeating Islamist extremism wherever we find it…. We grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism, a debauched strain of the faith that seeks to upend every other form of worship or governance.…
“We must confront the Ayatollahs, not coddle them…. We withdrew from the failed  nuclear deal…. re-imposing sanctions that should have never been lifted…. The nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security…if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course…. America’s economic sanctions against [Iran]… will keep getting tougher until Iran starts behaving like a normal country…. Iran may think it owns Lebanon; Iran is wrong….
“[The Middle East] witnessed convulsions [not an ‘Arab Spring’] from Tunis to Tehran as old systems crumbled and new ones struggled to emerge…. In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times – and our partners – demanded it….
“Our reluctance to wield our influence kept us silent as the people of Iran rose up [in 2009] against the mullahs in Tehran in the Green Revolution…. Emboldened, the regime spread its cancerous influence to Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon….
“American’s penchant for wishful thinking led us to look the other way as Hezbollah, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian regime, accumulated a massive arsenal of approximately 130,000 rockets and missiles… aimed squarely at our ally, Israel…. The US fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against the Iranian regimes’ aggressive adventurism. We will continue to ensure that Israel has the military capacity to do so decisively…. We strongly support Israel’s efforts to stop Tehran from turning Syria into the next Lebanon…. President Trump campaigned on the promise to recognize Jerusalem – the seat of Israel’s government – as the national capital. In May, we moved our embassy there….”
Reviewing both Cairo speeches, one may pose the following questions:
*Is the US war on the 14 century-old relentless Islamic terrorism advanced/undermined by the assumption that Middle East and Western regimes and peoples share similar goals and values?
*Is the long term US counter-terrorism effort well-served by soothing – or militarily combatting – terrorists?
*Is the US better off combatting Islamic terrorists in Middle East trenches or trenches in the US?
*While the US military deterrence in the Middle East would be enhanced by a coalition of pro-US Arab regimes, could it be replaced by such a coalition of regimes, which are inherently tenuous as are their policies and alliances?
*Is the US better off reacting to – or preempting – Islamic terrorism?
*Is the long-term US national security, in general, and counter-terrorism, in particular, well-served by Israel’s operational, intelligence and technological experience and capabilities, in addition to Israel’s reliability as an ally of the US?
Official Palestinian demographic numbers are highly-inflated, as documented by a study, which has audited the Palestinian data since 2004:
*500,000 overseas residents, who have been away for over a year, are included in the Palestinian census, contrary to international regulations. 325,000 were included in the 1997 census, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and 400,000 in 2005, according to the Palestinian Election Commission. The number grows steadily due to births.
*350,000 East Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted – by Israel and by the Palestinian Authority. The number grows daily due to births.
*Over 150,000 Arabs, who married Israeli Arabs are similarly doubly-counted. The number expands daily due to births.
*A 390,000 Arab net-emigration from Judea & Samaria is excluded from the Palestinian census, notwithstanding the annual net-emigration since 1950. For example, 15,466 in 2022, 26,357 – 2019, 15,173 – 2017 and 24,244 – 2014, as documented by Israel’s Population and Migration Authority (exits and entries) in all the land, air and sea international passages.
*A 32% artificial inflation of Palestinian births was documented by the World Bank (page 8, item 6) in a 2006 audit.
*The Judea & Samaria Arab fertility rate has been westernized: from 9 births per woman in the 1960s to 3.02 births in 2021, as documented by the CIA World Factbook. It reflects the sweeping urbanization, growing enrollment of women in higher education, rising marriage age and the use of contraceptives.
*The number of Arab deaths in Judea & Samaria has been under-reported (since the days of the British Mandate) for political and financial reasons.
*The aforementioned data documents 1.4 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when deducting the aforementioned documented-data from the official Palestinian number (3 million).
In 2023: a 69% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel. In 1947 and 1897: a 39% and 9% Jewish minority. In 2023, a 69% Jewish majority benefiting from fertility tailwind and net-immigration. Arab fertility is Westernized, and Arab net-emigration from Judea and Samaria. No Arab demographic time bomb. A Jewish demographic momentum.
More data in this article and this short video.
Jewish Policy Center’s inFOCUS, Spring, 2023
Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations
*Riyadh does not allow the resumption of the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties to befog the reality of the tenuous and shifty Middle East regimes, policies and agreements, and the inherently subversive, terroristic, anti-Sunni and imperialistic track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs.
*Saudi Arabia is cognizant of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious vision of the Ayatollahs, including their most critical strategic goal – since their February 1979 violent ascension to power – of exporting the Shiite Revolution and toppling all “apostate” Sunni Arab regimes, especially the House of Saud. They are aware that neither diplomatic, nor financial, short term benefits transcend the deeply-rooted, long term Ayatollahs’ anti-Sunni vision.
*Irrespective of its recent agreement with Iran – and the accompanying moderate diplomatic rhetoric – Saudi Arabia does not subscribe to the “New Middle East” and “end of interstate wars” Pollyannaish state of mind. The Saudis adhere to the 1,400-year-old reality of the unpredictably intolerant and violent inter-Arab/Muslim reality (as well as the Russia-Ukraine reality).
*This is not the first resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic ties, which were previously severed in 1988 and 2016 and followed by the Ayatollahs-induced domestic and regional violence.
*The China-brokered March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security interests, and its growing frustration with the US’ eroded posture as a reliable diplomatic and military protector against lethal threats.
*The resumption of Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relations constitute a major geo-strategic gain for China and a major setback for the US in a region which, until recently, was perceived as a US domain.
*The US posture of deterrence has been severely undermined by the 2015 nuclear accord (the JCPOA), the 2021 withdrawal/flight from Afghanistan, the systematic courting of three real, clear and lethal threats to the Saudi regime – Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and Yemen’s Houthi terrorists –- while exerting diplomatic and military pressure on the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.
*US policy has driven Saudi Arabia (as well as the UAE and Egypt) closer to China and Russia, commercially and militarily, including the potential Chinese construction of civilian nuclear power plants and a hard rock uranium mill in Saudi Arabia, which would advance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030.”
Saudi “Vision 2030”
*Effective Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation is a derivative of Saudi Arabia’s national security and economic interests, most notably “Vision 2030.”
*The unprecedented Saudi-Israeli security, technological and commercial cooperation, and the central role played by Saudi Arabia in inducing the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan to conclude peace treaties with Israel, are driven by the Saudi assessment that Israel is an essential ally in the face of real, clear, lethal security threats, as well as a vital partner in the pursuit of economic, technological and diplomatic goals.
*The Saudi-Israel cooperation constitutes a win-win proposition.
*The Saudi-Israel cooperation is driven by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’ (MBS’) “Vision 2030.” He aspires to catapult the kingdom to a regional and global powerhouse of trade and investment, leveraging its geo-strategic position along crucial naval routes between the Far East and Europe (the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Arab Sea and the Red Sea).
*”Vision 2030″ has introduced ground-breaking cultural, social, economic, diplomatic and national security reforms and upgrades, leveraging the unique added-value of Israel’s technological and military capabilities.
*Saudi Arabia, just like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy. They consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.
*”Vision 2030″ defies traditional Saudi religious, cultural and social norms. Its future, as well as the future of Saudi-Israel cooperation, depend on Saudi domestic stability and the legitimacy of MBS. The latter is determined to overcome and de-sanctify the fundamentalist Wahhabis in central and southwestern Saudi Arabia, who were perceived until recently as the Islamic authority in Saudi Arabia, and an essential ally of the House of Saud since 1744.
“Vision 2030”, the Middle East and Israel’s added-value
*MBS’ ambitious strategy is preconditioned upon reducing regional instability and minimizing domestic and regional threats. These threats include the Ayatollahs regime of Iran, “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists, Iran-supported domestic Shiite subversion (in the oil-rich Eastern Province), Iran-based Al Qaeda, Iran-supported Houthis in Yemen, Iran-supported Hezbollah, the proposed Palestinian state (which features a rogue intra-Arab track record), and Erdogan’ aspirations to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, which controlled large parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Currently, Erdogan maintains close security and political ties with the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the pro-Iran and pro-“Muslim Brotherhood” Qatar, while confronting Saudi Arabia in Libya, where they are both involved in a series of civil wars.
*Notwithstanding the March 2023 resumption of diplomatic ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia is aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which frequently releases explosive lava – domestically and regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010 and is still raging on the Arab Street.
*The survival of the Saudi regime, and the implementation of “Vision 2030,” depend upon Riyadh’s ability to form an effective coalition against rogue regimes. However, Saudi Arabia is frustrated by the recent erosion of the US’ posture of deterrence, as demonstrated by the 43-year-old US addiction to the diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs; the US’ limited reaction to Iranian aggression against US and Saudi targets; the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood; and the US’ appeasement of the Ayatollahs-backed Houthi terrorists. In addition, the Saudis are alarmed by the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), European vacillation in the face of Islamic terrorism, and the vulnerability of the Arab regimes. This geo-strategic reality has driven the Saudis (reluctantly) closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.
*Against this regional and global backdrop, Israel stands out as the most reliable “life insurance agent” and an essential strategic ally, irrespective of past conflicts and the Palestinian issue. The latter is considered by the Saudi Crown Prince as a secondary or tertiary issue.
*In addition, the Saudis face economic and diplomatic challenges – which could benefit from Israel’s cooperation and can-do mentality – such as economic diversification, innovative technology, agriculture, irrigation and enhanced access to advanced US military systems, which may be advanced via Israel’s stature on Capitol Hill.
*The Saudi interest in expanding military, training, intelligence, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel has been a byproduct of its high regard for Israel’s posture of deterrence and muscle-flexing in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs (in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself); and Israel’s systematic war on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism. Furthermore, the Saudis respect Israel’s occasional defiance of US pressure, including Israel’s high-profiled opposition to the 2015 JCPOA and Israel’s 1981 and 2007 bombing of Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear reactors, which spared the Saudis (and the US) the devastating wrath of a nuclear Saddam Hussein and a nuclear Assad.
*A deterring and defiant Israel is a cardinal force-multiplier for Saudi Arabia (as it is for the US). On the other hand, an appeasing and retreating Israel would be irrelevant to Saudi Arabia’s national security (as it would be for the US).
*On a rainy day, MBS (just like the US) prefers a deterring and defiant Israel on his side.
Saudi interests and the Palestinian issue
*As documented by the aforementioned data, Saudi Arabia’s top national security priorities transcend – and are independent of – the Palestinian issue.
*The expanding Saudi-Israel cooperation, and the key role played by Riyadh in accomplishing the Abraham Accords, have contradicted the Western conventional wisdom. The latter assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy makers, and that the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict is preconditioned upon substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, MBS is aware that the Palestinian issue is not the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict, neither a crown-jewel of Arab policy-making, nor a core cause of regional turbulence.
*Independent of the pro-Palestinian Saudi talk, Riyadh (just like the Arabs in general) has demonstrated an indifferent-to-negative walk toward the Palestinians. Arabs know that – in the Middle East – one does not pay custom on words. Therefore, the Arabs have never flexed a military (and barely financial and diplomatic) muscle on behalf of the Palestinians. They have acted in accordance with their own – not Palestinian – interests, and certainly not in accordance with Western misperceptions of the Middle East.
*Unlike the Western establishment, MBS accords critical weight to the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which is top heavy on subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude. For instance, the Saudis don’t forget and don’t forgive the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host for Palestinians. The Saudis are also cognizant of the deeply-rooted Palestinian collaboration with Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, including “Muslim Brotherhood” terrorists and Iran’s Ayatollahs (whose machetes are at the throat of the House of Saud), North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The Saudis are convinced that the proposed Palestinian state cannot be different than the Palestinian rogue track record, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire, threatening the relatively-moderate Arab regimes.
Saudi Arabia and the Abraham Accords
*Saudi Arabia has served as the primary engine behind Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, and has forged unprecedented defense and commercial cooperation with Israel, consistent with the Saudi order of national priorities.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, the Saudis do not sacrifice Middle East reality and their national security interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue.
*The success of the Saudi-supported Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by Western policy makers, which produced a litany of failed Israeli-Arab peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue. Learning from prior mistakes, the Abraham accords focused on Arab interests, bypassing the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto.
*Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.
*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries which signed the Abraham Accords. Their stability is threatened by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East.
*The tenuous nature of most Arab/Muslim regimes in the Middle East yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969) and Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.
*Bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record, regional instability, the national security of Saudi Arabia, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be severely undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transform Jordan into a chaotic state in the vein of the uncontrollable Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and produce another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, which would be leveraged by Iran’s Ayatollahs, in order to tighten their encirclement of Saudi Arabia. This would trigger a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula, jeopardizing the supply of Persian Gulf oil; threaten global trade; and yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US and its Arab Sunni allies, headed by Saudi Arabia.
*Why would Saudi Arabia and the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Why would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Why would they cut off their noses to spite their faces?
The well-documented fact that Arabs have never flexed a military muscle (and hardly a significant financial and diplomatic muscles) on behalf of the Palestinians, provides a resounding answer!
Israel-Saudi cooperation and Israel’s national security interests
*Notwithstanding the importance of Israel’s cooperation with Saudi Arabia, it takes a back seat to Israel’s critical need to safeguard/control the geographic cradle of its history, religion and culture, which coincides with its minimal security requirements in the volcanic Middle East: the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank), which dominate the 8-15-mile-sliver of pre-1967 Israel.
*The tenuously unpredictable Middle East reality defines peace accords as variable components of national security, unlike topography and geography (e.g., the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights) which are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the non-Western-like Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.
*An Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty would be rendered impractical if it required Israel to concede the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would relegate Israel from a terror and war-deterring force multiplier for the US to a terror and war-inducing burden upon the US.
*Contrary to the Western (mis)perception of Israel-Arab peace treaties as pillars of national security, the unpredictably-violent Middle East features a 1,400-year-old reality of transient (non-democratic, one-bullet, not one-ballot) Arab regimes, policies and accords. Thus, as desirable as Israel-Arab peace treaties are, they must not entail the sacrifice of Israel’s most critical national security feature: the permanent topography of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure.
*In June and December of 1981, Israel bombed Iraq’s nuclear reactor and applied its law to the Golan Heights, in defiance of the Western foreign policy establishment. The latter warned that such actions would force Egypt to abandon its 1979 peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt adhered to its national security priorities, sustaining the peace treaty. Routinely, Western policy makers warn that construction in Jerusalem (beyond the “Green Line”) and in Judea and Samaria would trigger a terroristic volcano and push the Arabs away from their peace treaties with Israel.
*None of the warnings materialized, since Arabs act in accordance with their own interests; not in accordance with Western misperceptions and the rogue Palestinian agenda.
US departure from the recognition of a United Jerusalem as the exclusive capital of the Jewish State, and the site of the US Embassy to Israel, would be consistent with the track record of the State Department, which has been systematically wrong on Middle East issues, such as its opposition to the establishment of the Jewish State; stabbing the back of the pro-US Shah of Iran and Mubarak of Egypt, and pressuring the pro-US Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while courting the anti-US Ayatollahs of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Arafat, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Houthis of Yemen; transforming Libya into a platform of global Islamic terrorism and civil wars; etc..
However, such departure would violate US law, defy a 3,000 year old reality – documented by a litany of archeological sites and a multitude of documents from Biblical time until today – spurn US history and geography, and undermine US national and homeland security.
United Jerusalem and the US law
Establishing a US Consulate General in Jerusalem – which would be a de facto US Embassy to the Palestinian Authority – would violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which became US law on November 8, 1995 with substantially more than a veto-override majority on Capitol Hill.
According to the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which enjoys massive support among the US population and, therefore, in both chambers of Congress:
“Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected….
“Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the state of Israel; and the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem….
“In 1990, Congress unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 106, which declares that Congress ‘strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected….’
“In 1992, the United States Senate and House of Representatives unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 113… to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, and reaffirming Congressional sentiment that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city….
“In 1996, the state of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry….
“The term ‘United States Embassy’ means the offices of the United States diplomatic mission and the residence of the United States chief of mission.”
United Jerusalem and the legacy of the Founding Fathers
The US Early Pilgrims and Founding Fathers were inspired – in their unification of the 13 colonies – by King David’s unification of the 12 Jewish tribes into a united political entity, and establishing Jerusalem as the capital city, which did not belong to any of the tribes (hence, Washington, DC does not belong to any state). King David entered Jerusalem 3,000 years before modern day US presidents entered the White House and 2,755 years before the US gained its independence.
The impact of Jerusalem on the US founders of the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist system and overall civic life is reflected by the existence, in the US, of 18 Jerusalems (4 in Maryland; 2 in Vermont, Georgia and New York; and 1 in Ohio, Michigan, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Utah, Rhode Island and Tennessee), 32 Salems (the original Biblical name of Jerusalem) and many Zions (a Biblical synonym for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel). Moreover, in the US there are thousands of cities, towns, mountains, cliffs, deserts, national parks and streets bearing Biblical names.
The Jerusalem reality and US interests
Recognizing the Jerusalem reality and adherence to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act – and the subsequent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the site of the US Embassy to Israel – bolstered the US posture of deterrence in defiance of Arab/Islamic pressure and threats.
Contrary to the doomsday assessments by the State Department and the “elite” US media – which have been wrong on most Middle East issues – the May 2018 implementation of the 1995 law did not intensify Palestinian, Arab and Islamic terrorism. State Department “wise men” were equally wrong when they warned that Israel’s 1967 reunification of Jerusalem would ignite a worldwide anti-Israel and anti-US Islamic volcanic eruption.
Adherence to the 1995 law distinguishes the US President, Congress and most Americans from the state of mind of rogue regimes and terror organizations, the anti-US UN, the vacillating Europe, and the cosmopolitan worldview of the State Department, which has systematically played-down the US’ unilateral, independent and (sometimes) defiant national security action.
On the other hand, US procrastination on the implementation of the 1995 law – by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama – eroded the US posture of deterrence, since it was rightly perceived by the world as appeasement in the face of pressure and threats from Arab/Muslim regimes and terrorists. As expected, it radicalized Arab expectations and demands, failed to advance the cause of Israel-Arab peace, fueled Islamic terrorism, and severely undermined US national and homeland security. For example, blowing up the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and murdering 224 persons in August 1998; blowing up the USS Cole destroyer in the port of Aden and murdering 17 US sailors in October 2000; the 9/11 Twin Towers massacre, etc.
Jerusalem and Israel’s defiance of US pressure
In 1949, President Truman followed Secretary of State Marshall’s policy, pressuring Israel to refrain from annexing West Jerusalem and to accept the internationalization of the ancient capital of the Jewish people.
in 1950, in defiance of brutal US and global pressure to internationalize Jerusalem, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion reacted constructively by proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish State, relocating government agencies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and settling tens of thousands of Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel) in Jerusalem. He upgraded the transportation infrastructure to Jerusalem, erected new Jewish neighborhoods along the 1949 cease fire lines in Jerusalem, and provided the city land reserves for long-term growth.
In 1953, Ben Gurion rebuffed President Eisenhower’s pressure – inspired by Secretary of State Dulles – to refrain from relocating Israel’s Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In 1967, President Johnson followed the advice of Secretary of State Rusk – who opposed Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence – highlighting the international status of Jerusalem, and warned Israel against the reunification of Jerusalem and construction in its eastern section. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol adopted Ben Gurion’s statesmanship, fended off the US pressure, reunited Jerusalem, built the first Jerusalem neighborhood beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines, Ramat Eshkol, in addition to the first wave of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.
In 1970, President Nixon collaborated with Secretary of State Rogers, attempting to repartition Jerusalem, pressuring Israel to relinquish control of Jerusalem’s Holy Basin, and to stop Israel’s plans to construct additional neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. However, Prime Minister Golda Meir refused to rescind the reunification of Jerusalem, and proceeded to lay the foundation for additional Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines: Gilo, Ramot Alon, French Hill and Neve’ Yaakov, currently home to 150,000 people.
In 1977-1992, Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir defied US and global pressure, expanding construction in Jerusalem, sending a clear message: “Jerusalem is the exclusive and non-negotiable capital of Israel!”
“[In 1978], at the very end of [Prime Minister Begin’s] successful Camp David talks with President Jimmy Carter and President Anwar Sadat, literally minutes before the signing ceremony, the American president had approached [Begin] with ‘Just one final formal item.’ Sadat, said the president, was asking that Begin put his signature to a simple letter committing him to place Jerusalem on the negotiating table of the final peace accord. ‘I refused to accept the letter, let alone sign it,’ rumbled Begin. ‘If I forgot thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning,’ said [Begin] to the president of the United States of America, ‘and may my tongue cleave to my mouth’ (The Prime Ministers – An Intimate Portrait of Leaders of Israel, 2010)”
In 2021, Prime Minister Bennett should follow in the footsteps of Israel’s Founding Father, Ben Gurion, who stated: “Jerusalem is equal to the whole of the Land of Israel. Jerusalem is not just a central Jewish settlement. Jerusalem is an invaluable global historical symbol. The Jewish People and the entire world shall judge us in accordance with our steadfastness on Jerusalem (“We and Our Neighbors,” p. 175. 1929).”
More in Amazon, Smashwords
The goal of Passover’s liberty was not the subjugation of the Egyptian people, but the defeat of the tyrannical Pharaoh and the veneration of liberty throughout the globe, including in Egypt.
Moses received the Torah – which includes 50 gates of wisdom – 50 days following the Exodus, as celebrated by the Shavou’ot/Pentecost Holiday, 50 days following Passover. Moreover, there are 50 States in the United States, whose Hebrew name is “The States of the Covenant” (Artzot Habreet -ארצות הברית).
Passover aims at coalescing the fabrics of the Jewish family and the Jewish people, commemorating and strengthening Jewish roots, and refreshing and enhancing core values such as faith, humility, education, optimism, defiance of odds and can-do mentality, which are prerequisites to a free and vibrant society.
Passover is an annual reminder that liberty must not be taken for granted.
Jerusalem has been the exclusive capital of the Jewish people since King David established it as his capital, 3,000 years ago.
More: Jewish Holidays Guide for the Perplexed – Amazon, Smashwords
A new 8-minute-video: YouTube, Facebook
*Israel’s control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel’s posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.
*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.
*Israel’s control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.
*Israel’s posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.
*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.
*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.
Israel’s and the US’ counter-terrorism
*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism consider Israel as a critical beachhead – and a proxy – of the US in the Middle East and a significant collaborator with the pro-US Arab regimes. They perceive the war on “the infidel Jewish State” as a preview of their more significant war on “the infidel West” and their attempts to topple all pro-US Sunni Arab regimes. Therefore, Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has been engaged in intra-Arab subversion, while systematically collaborating with enemies and rivals of the US and the West (e.g., Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Ayatollah Khomeini, Latin American, European, African and Asian terror organizations, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba). The more robust is Israel’s war on terrorism, the more deterred are the terrorists in their attempts to bring the “infidel” West to submission.
*Islamic and Palestinian terrorism has terrorized Jewish communities in the Land of Israel since the late 19th century, adhering to an annihilationist vision as detailed by the Fatah and PLO charters of 1959 and 1964 (eight and three years before 1967), as well as by the hate-education system, which was installed by Mahmoud Abbas in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accord.
*Israel battles Palestinian terrorism (Hamas and the Palestinian Authority) and Islamic terrorism (Iran and Hezbollah), which are not preoccupied with the size – but with the eradication – of the “infidel” Jewish State from “the abode of Islam.”
*Israel and the West fight against deeply-rooted and institutional Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, that is inspired by 1,400-year-old rogue values, which are perpetrated by K-12 hate-education, mosque incitement and official and public idolization of terrorists.
*Israel and the West combat terrorism, that has astutely employed 1,400-year-old Islamic values such the “Taqiya’ ” – which promotes double-speak and dissimulation, as a means to mislead and defeat enemies – and the “Hudna’,” which misrepresents a temporary non-binding ceasefire with “infidels” as if it were a peace treaty.
*Israel and the West confront Islamic and Palestinian terrorism, which is politically, religiously and ideologically led by despotic and rogue regimes, rejecting Western values, such as peaceful-coexistence, democracy, human rights and good-faith negotiation.
*Israel and the West face off against Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, which does not allow lavish financial and diplomatic temptations to transcend intrinsic, fanatic, rogue and annihilationist vision. Moreover, terrorists bite the hands that feed them.
*Israel and the West are not assaulted by despair-driven terrorism, but by hope-driven terrorism – the hope to bring the “infidel” to submission. The aspiration of these terrorists contradicts peaceful-coexistence.
*Israel and the West clash with terrorists, who view gestures, concessions and hesitancy as weakness, which inflames terrorism.
*Israel and the West struggle against terrorism, which is not driven by a particular Israeli or US policy, but by a fanatic vision. Thus, Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Clinton and Obama Democratic Administrations, as well as during the Bush and Trump Republican Administrations.
*The US State Department has embraced a “moral equivalence” between Palestinian terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, while sometimes hitting soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately hit terrorists, while sometimes, unintentionally, hitting civilians. It emboldens terrorism, which threatens all pro-US Arab regimes, undermining regional stability, benefiting US’ rivals and enemies, while damaging the US.
War on terrorism
*The bolstering of posture of deterrence – rather than hesitancy, restraint, containment and gestures, which inflame terrorism – is a prerequisite for defeating terrorism and advancing the peace process.
*The most effective long-term war on terrorism – operationally, diplomatically, economically and morally – is not a surgical or comprehensive reaction, but a comprehensive and disproportional preemption, targeting the gamut of terroristic infrastructures and capabilities, draining the swamp of terrorism, rather than chasing the mosquitos.
*Containment produces a short-term, false sense of security, followed by a long-term security setback. It is the terrorists’ wet dream, which does not moderate terrorism, but adrenalizes its veins, providing time to bolster its capabilities – a tailwind to terror and a headwind to counter-terrorism. It shakes the confidence in the capability to crush terrorism. Defeating terrorism mandates obliteration of capabilities, not co-existence or containment.
*Containment aims to avoid a multi-front war (Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah and Iran), but it erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence, which brings Israel closer to a multi-front war under much worse conditions.
*Containment erodes Israel’s posture of deterrence in the eyes of the relatively-moderate Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, the Sudan, Jordan and Egypt), which have dramatically enhanced cooperation with Israel due to Israel’s posture of deterrence against mutual threats, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs, the “Muslim Brotherhood” and ISIS terrorists).
*Containment is also a derivative of White House’s and the State Department’s pressure, subordinating national security to diplomatic priorities. It undermines Israel’s posture of deterrence, which plays into the hand of anti-Israel and anti-US rogue regimes. Precedents prove that Israeli defiance of US pressure yields short-term tension, but long-term strategic respect, resulting in expanded strategic cooperation. On a rainy day, the US prefers a defiant, rather than appeasing, strategic ally.
*The 2002 comprehensive counter-terrorism Israeli offensive, and the return of Israel’s Defense Forces to the headquarters of Palestinian terrorism in the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – and not defensive containment and surgical operations – resurrected Israel’s effective war on Palestinian terrorism, which substantially curtailed terrorists’ capabilities to proliferate terrorism in Israel, Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula.
*The containment option intensifies terrorists’ daring, feeds vacillation and the self-destructive “don’t rock the boat” mentality. It erodes steadfastness and confidence in the capabilities to withstand the cost of terrorism, and feeds the suicidal perpetual retreat mentality.
*The addiction to containment is one of the lethal by-products of the 1993 Oslo Accord, which has produced a uniquely effective hot house of terrorism, highlighted by the importation, arming and funding of some 100,000 Palestinian terrorists from Tunisia, the Sudan, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria to Gaza, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, who have unprecedentedly radicalized the Arab population of pre-1967 Israel, established a K-12 hate education system, launched an unparalleled wave of terrorism, and systematically violated agreements.
The bottom line
*The 30 years since the Oslo Accord have featured unprecedented Palestinian hate-education and wave of terrorism. It has demonstrated that a retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria has boosted terrorism; that the Palestinian Authority is not committed to a peace process, but to the destruction of the Jewish State; and that terrorism requires a military, not political, solution. A successful war on terrorism behooves a preemptive offense, not defense, containment and reaction; and that fighting in the terrorists’ own trenches is preferable to fighting in one’s own trenches. No Israeli concessions could satisfy international pressure; and diplomatic popularity is inferior to strategic respect. Avoiding a repeat of the critical post-Oslo errors requires a comprehensive, disproportional, decisive military campaign to uproot – not to coexist with – terroristic infrastructures.
*The historic and national security indispensability of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria – which dominate the 8-15-mile sliver of pre-1967 Israel – and the necessity to frustrate Palestinian terrorism, behooves Israel to eliminate any sign of hesitancy and vacillation by expanding the Jewish presence in this most critical area. It will intensify US and global pressure, but as documented by all Prime Ministers from Ben Gurion, through Eshkol, Golda Meir, Begin and Shamir, defiance of pressure results in the enhancement of strategic respect and cooperation.
*The Palestinian track record during the 30 years since the 1993 Oslo Accord has highlighted the violent, unpredictable and anti-US rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would force the toppling of the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River. It would transform Jordan into an uncontrollable, chaotic state in the vein of Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, triggering a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula (south of Jordan), which could topple the pro-US, oil-producing Arab regimes. This would reward Iran’s Ayatollahs, China and Russia, while severely undermining regional and global stability and US economic and national security interests.