Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.
Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?
*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.
*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.
*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.
They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.
*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.
*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region. They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.
*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria). In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.
*Saudi Arabia, 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.
Thus, 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.
*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.” Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.
Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.
Abraham Accords’ durability
*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. 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 the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.
*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).
*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!). These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.
*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which 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), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.
*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.
*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.
*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.
*Would 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? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?
The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.
Secretary Blinken’s January 29-31, 2023 visit to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority was another one of his milestones, well-intentioned – but erroneous – Middle East legacies. It has backfired on vital US interests, in general, and the pursuit of regional stability and peace, in particular.
Secretary Blinken in Egypt
*A major issue raised by President El-Sisi, during his meeting with Secretary Blinken, was the volcanic turbulence in Libya, which has traumatized the region since 2011, fueling Muslim Brotherhood terrorism in Egypt and overall Islamic terrorism in Africa and Europe.
*This turbulence was triggered by a US-led NATO military offensive against the Gaddafi regime, and was masterminded, largely, by key policy-makers in the Obama-Biden Administration. They included Antony Blinken, then National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, and were led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her close advisor and Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Special Assistant to President Obama Samantha Power.
*The offensive was motivated by noble values of human rights, but went astray due to an intrinsic misreading of the Middle East, in general, and Libya, in particular, where Gaddafi was not fighting innocent bystanders, but anti-US Islamic terrorists. In fact, these terrorists murdered the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, following their US-facilitated victory over Gaddafi.
*While the aim of the offensive was to prevent a massive slaughter of non-combatant Libyans by Gaddafi, the outcome of the offensive has doomed Libya to decades of chaos, plagued by an ongoing slaughter house, which has dwarfed the worst casualty assessments made by Clinton and Blinken.
*The ill-advised offensive has transformed Libya – the soft underbelly of Europe – into one of the world’s largest platforms of anti-Western Islamic terrorists, drugs and arms traffickers. It energized a global resurgence of Islamic terrorism, and became a home base for scores of terrorist militias and an arena of civil wars with the participation of Turkey, Qatar, Italy, Russia, Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and France.
*Secretary Blinken’s well-intentioned, but misguided, human rights-driven policy has ignored the only choice facing the US in the Middle East, where human rights have not been complied by Arab regimes: a choice between pro-US human rights violating Arab regimes, or anti-US human rights violating Arab regimes.
*The refusal to accept that reality has also led to US military, financial and diplomatic pressure on the pro-US President Sisi – as well as the pro-US Saudi Crown Prince MBS and the pro-US UAE Crown Prince MBZ – to desist from the rough-handling of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists and the Iran-supported Houthi Yemenite terrorists, which the State Department establishment considers legitimate political, religious and social entities.
*This US policy – highlighted by the eagerness to conclude another accord with Iran’s Ayatollahs, who threaten the survival of every pro-US Arab Sunni regime – has pushed Egypt, Saudi Arabia. the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain closer to China and Russia.
Secretary Blinken in Israel and the Palestinian Authority
*As frustrated as Secretary Blinken is with the rogue conduct of Iran’s Ayatollahs, and notwithstanding the recently expanded US-Israel military drills, Blinken still opposes Israel’s determination that the 43-year-old diplomatic option has dramatically failed, while significantly bolstering the Ayatollahs anti-US global rogue strategy in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
*Blinken rejects the Israeli suggestion (shared by all pro-US Arab regimes) that a credible threat to resort to regime-change and military options is the only way to abort the regional and global terroristic, conventional, ballistic and nuclear Ayatollah threats. He still assumes that the apocalyptic Ayatollahs could be induced – via a generous financial and diplomatic package – into good faith negotiation, peaceful-coexistence and to abandon their 1,400-year-old fanatic, religious and megalomaniacal vision.
*Blinken’s policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood – which pose a lethal threat to all Sunni Arab regimes – has eroded the US strategic credibility in pro-US Arab capitals, and has pushed Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – reluctantly – closer to China and Russia, militarily and commercially.
*According to the State Department spokesperson: “The Secretary will underscore the urgent need for the parties [Israel and the Palestinians] to take steps to deescalate tensions… [and] put an end to the cycle of violence that has claimed too many innocent lives….”
*Once again, Secretary Blinken resorts to the immoral moral-equivalence, failing to distinguish between PA-incited Palestinian terrorists (killed by Israel) and Israeli civilians (murdered by Palestinian terrorists). Inadvertently, moral equivalence energizes Palestinian terrorism, while aiming to constrain Israel’s counter-terrorist efforts.
*Secretary Blinken’s visit to Ramallah enhanced legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority, while the latter has enshrined, since 1993, K-12 hate-education, which has brainwashed Palestinian youth against the existence of the “infidel” Jewish State. This rogue education system has been the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian vision/aspiration – consistent with the 1959 and 1964 charters of Fatah and the PLO, which focus on the annihilation of the pre-1967 “Zionist entity.” The PA education system has become the most effective hot house and production-line of terrorists and suicide-bombers.
*Blinken has accorded more weight to Palestinian diplomatic–talk than to the Palestinian hate-walk and its induced terrorism. He has ignored the fact that a prerequisite to meaningful negotiation and peace is the uprooting of hate-education, mosque incitement, generous monthly allowances to terrorists’ families, and the glorification of terrorists through public monuments, schools and other institutions.
*Secretary Blinken attempts to convince Israel that the establishment of a Palestinian state is a prerequisite for bolstering Middle East stability and concluding an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty. However, such a proposal should be assessed against the backdrop of the systematic failure of all State Department’s proposals to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. They failed because they ignored the Palestinian track record, the non-central role of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East, and due to the preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, which yielded a Palestinian veto power.
*In fact, Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan were successfully concluded by bypassing the Palestinian issue, and focusing on Arab – not Palestinian – interests, which are increasingly served by enhanced defense and commercial cooperation with Israel. Arabs do not cut off their noses to spite their faces.
*Blinken ignores Middle East reality, which highlights the non-centrality of the Palestinian issue (no Arab-Israel war has erupted due to the Palestinian issue) and Arab order of priorities (no Arab country has flexed its military – and hardly its financial – muscle on behalf of the Palestinians), unless one assumes that the Palestinian-embracing Arab talk supersedes the indifferent/negative Arab walk.
*Unlike Secretary Blinken, the pro-US Arab Sunni regimes are aware of the despotic, corrupt and terroristic nature of the Palestinian Authority, and the rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state, as evidenced by the Palestinian intra-Arab track record. Arabs perceive the Palestinians as an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude, who bite the hands that feed them (Egypt – in the 1950s, Syria – 1960s, Jordan – 1968-1970, Lebanon – 1970-1982 and Kuwait – in 1990).
*The Arabs are also aware of the systematic Palestinian collaboration with anti-Western rogue entities, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Latin American and other international terrorist organizations, Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and North Korea.
*The bottom line is that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the river, transforming Jordan into another platform of Islamic terrorism (just like Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen), and triggering a domino scenario into the Arabian Peninsula. It would topple the pro-US Arab oil-producing regimes, undermine regional and global stability and economy and erode the US economy and geo-strategic posture, while advancing the fortunes of Russia, China, Iran’s Ayatollahs and anti-US Islamic Sunni terrorism.
Saudi order of priorities
*The State Department and the Western foreign policy establishment have contended that the Palestinian issue features prominently on the Saudi order of national priorities. Therefore, they have maintained that a substantial enhancement of Israel-Saudi cooperation – and certainly, the attainment of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty – would be preconditioned upon substantial Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.
*However, contrary to the State Department’s worldview, Saudi Arabia’s strong man, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), does not consider the Palestinian issue a top priority.
*Moreover, conversely to State Department assessments, 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.
*Furthermore, unlike the State Department, MBS accords critical weight to the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, which is low on moderation but, top heavy on subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude (especially the Palestinian collaboration with Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait); as well as, the deeply-rooted Palestinian collaboration with international terror organizations, Muslim Brotherhood terrorists and Iran’s Ayatollahs’ regime (which constitute lethal threats to the House of Saud), North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.
*Simultaneously, MBS is absorbed with the strategic goal of evolving Saudi Arabia into a modern regional/global superpower, by reinforcing regional stability, minimizing the threat of existing rogue entities (e.g., Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorists), preventing the rise of additional rogue entities (e.g., the domestic Shiite subversion in the oil region in eastern Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s Houthis, the proposed Palestinian state and Hezbollah), and bolstering investment, infrastructure development and economic diversification (e.g., hightech).
*Irrespective of MBS’ deep Islamic beliefs, and notwithstanding the 280-year-old alliance between the House of Saud and the fundamentalist Wahhabi establishment in central and southwestern Saudi Arabia, MBS has recognized the value of Israel’s military, technological capabilities, and Israel’s special standing among most US voters and Capitol Hill legislators, as well as Israel’s reliability and effectiveness in the pursuit of MBS’ game-changing strategic goal.
*In fact, under the leadership of MBS, Saudi Arabia has forged unprecedented defense and commercial cooperation with Israel, and has served as the most critical engine behind Israel’s peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, independent of the Palestinian issue and in the service of their own order of national priorities.
*Contrary to the State Department’s position, these countries – just like Egypt and Jordan before them – do not sacrifice Middle East reality and their national security interests on the altar of wishful-thinking, oversimplification and the Palestinian issue.
Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty?
*An effective Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty must be a derivative of the national security interests of both countries.
*The Saudi interest in expanding its defense, counter-terrorism and commercial cooperation with Israel – and possibly concluding a peace treaty – has not been a byproduct of the Saudi appreciation of Israel’s peaceful intention and concessions to the Palestinians. It has been a byproduct of the high regard for Israel’s posture of deterrence and muscle-flexing in the face of Iran’s Ayatollahs, Israel’s determined war on Palestinian and Islamic terrorism, and its defiance of US pressure and US policy on Iran.
*On a rainy day, MBS would prefer a deterring and defiant Israel on his side.
*A deterring-Israel is a cardinal national security asset for Saudi Arabia. A retreating Israel would be irrelevant to Saudi Arabia’s national security.
*An Israel-Saudi Arabia peace treaty would be rendered impractical if it required Jerusalem to give up the most critical historic, geographic and topographic high grounds of the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), facilitating the establishment of a Palestinian state. It would transform Israel from a terror and war-deterring force multiplier for the US and Saudi Arabia to a terror and war-inducing burden.
*Israeli retreat from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria to the pre-1967 8 to 15-mile-wide sliver along the Mediterranean would emit short-term congrats from Foggy Bottom. But, it would devastate Israel’s long-term posture of deterrence, eliminate Israel’s value for Saudi Arabia, reduce Israel’s economic and defense boon for the US, and doom Israel to extinction.
*Contrary to the State Department’s view 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, Middle East reality stipulates that as desirable as Israel-Arab peace treaties are, they must not be preconditioned upon a 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 State Department warning that such actions would force Egypt to abandon its peace treaty with Israel. However, Egypt adhered to its national security requirements, sustaining the peace treaty. Routinely, the State Department warned that construction in Jerusalem (beyond the “Green Line”) and in Judea and Samaria would trigger a terroristic volcano and push Egypt away from the peace treaty.
*None of the warnings materialized, since Arabs act in accordance with their own interests; not in accordance with the rogue Palestinian agenda.
*Notwithstanding the State Department’s worldview, and independent of the pro-Palestinian Arab talk, Arabs have demonstrated an indifferent-to-negative walk toward the Palestinians. They have never flexed military (and barely financial and diplomatic) muscles on behalf of the Palestinians. They have acted in accordance with their own – not Palestinian – interests, and certainly not in accordance with the State Department misperceptions of the Middle East.
*Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will conclude a peace treaty with Israel when he deems it beneficial to his game-changing, grand vision of Saudi Arabia, and when it’s possible to overcome domestic Wahhabi opposition, regardless of the Palestinian issue.
Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, reiterates his commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.
*According to Western conventional wisdom, the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would promote the cause of peace, stabilize the Middle East and advance Western interests.
*However – just like its policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs – Western conventional wisdom overlooks the rogue intra-Arab Palestinian track record in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait, the despotic and corrupt nature of the Palestinian Authority and its abhorrent hate-education, and the impact of such a track record upon the rogue nature of the proposed Palestinian state. The West takes lightly the adverse impact of such a rogue state upon the Middle East, the survival of pro-Western Arab regimes (e.g., Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula entities) and vital Western interests.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs are aware of the Palestinian track record – just as they are aware of the Ayatollahs’ track record – and are certain that the proposed Palestinian state would resemble the non-controllable, lawless and terroristic Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya much more than the moderate United Arab Emirates. Therefore, they have limited their support of Palestinians to a very positive talk, while conducting a lukewarm-to-negative walk.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs have never flexed their military muscle (and hardly their financial and diplomatic muscle) on behalf of Palestinians. For example, no Arab-Israel war was ever launched on behalf of Palestinians, and no Palestinian war on Israel was ever assisted by Arab military.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs have experienced the Palestinian trait of brutally-biting the (Arab) hand that feeds them: Egypt in the early 1950s, Syria in the 1960s, Jordan in 1968-1970, Lebanon in 1970-1982, Kuwait in 1990.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, which considers the Palestinian issue as a primary/central concern in the Middle East, the Arab conduct reflects the conviction (notwithstanding the pro-Palestinian Arab rhetoric) 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 Middle East turbulence.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom and expectations, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan did not precondition their peace treaties with Israel upon the establishment of a Palestinian state.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, which assumes that the Palestinian issue is central to Arab policy-making, Israel-Arab peace accords have been based on primary Arab interests – such as the lethal threats of Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism, the need to diversify their economies and Israel’s effective posture of deterrence – which do not include the Palestinian issue.
*Contrary to all Western peace proposals (other than the Abraham Accords), which failed due to their preoccupation with the Palestinian issue, the six successful Israel-Arab peace treaties bypassed the Palestinian issue, denied the Palestinians a veto power, and were preoccupied with primary Arab national security interests, not with the Palestinian issue.
*While Western conventional wisdom assumes that the Palestinians – as well as Iran’s Ayatollahs – are amenable to peaceful-coexistence, democracy and good faith negotiation, Arabs recognize Palestinians as a role-model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism, betrayal and ingratitude.
*Contrary to Western conventional wisdom, Arabs accord much prominence to Palestinian collaboration with rogue, despotic anti-Western entities, such as Nazi Germany, the USSR and the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, Saddam Hussein, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea.
*Western conventional wisdom pressures Israel to sacrifice Middle East reality on the altar of wishful-thinking and oversimplification.
*Western conventional wisdom expects Israel to follow in the footsteps of the pro-Palestinian Arab talk, while taking lightly the Arab walk and Middle East reality.
*Western conventional wisdom urges Israel to ignore the 120-year-long anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorism, hate-education and mosque incitement, notwithstanding dramatic Israeli concessions (e.g., the 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, which were followed – as expected – by waves of terrorism and hate-education). While the West assumes that Palestinians are preoccupied with the size of the Jewish State, the Palestinian track record has documented that they are preoccupied with the uprooting of the Jewish State from “the abode of Islam.”
*While Western governments accord Palestinian leaders Red Carpet receptions, Arabs welcome Palestinian leaders with Shabby Doormat receptions (if at all…).
*Western policy in the Middle East – as reflected by Western policy toward Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Palestinian issue – has been systematically wrong. For example, providing a critical tailwind to the Ayatollahs’ rise to power in Iran; embracing Saddam Hussein until the 1990 invasion of Kuwait; heralding Arafat as a messenger of peace; toppling Gaddafi, which transformed Libya into a platform of anti-Western Islamic terrorism and civil wars; welcoming the volcanic eruption on the Arab Street as an “Arab Spring” and “Facebook Revolution,” etc..
*Will Western conventional wisdom adjust itself to the Middle East and Palestinian reality, or will it persist in its suspension of disbelief? Sustaining the Western suspension of disbelief will add fuel to the Middle East fire, intensify threats to pro-Western Arab regimes, and further undermine commercial and national security Western interests.
US’ underlying assumptions on Iran
Driven by a genuine desire to rid the Middle East and the globe of terrorism and wars – and reflecting a long track record and ingrained worldview – Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Special Emissary Rob Malley and CIA Director William Burns are determined to reach a credible agreement with Iran’s Ayatollahs. They are resolute to induce the Iranian leopard to change spots, not merely tactics.
Convinced that Iran’s rogue conduct is not driven by an inherent, fanatic, megalomaniacal vision, Secretary Blinken is bent on limiting US policy toward Iran to diplomacy, while ruling out the military option and regime-change.
Adhering to multilateral foreign and national security policy – rather than a unilateral, independent US policy – Blinken shapes his policy toward Iran by according a significant role to vacillating Europe and the pro-Iran UN, as well as greater alignment with Russia and China.
Confident that a generous diplomatic and economic package will make the Ayatollahs regime amenable to credible negotiation, peaceful coexistence and departure from their 1,400-year-old religiously fanatic, imperialistic vision, the Biden team is resolved to take lightly the rogue track record of Iran’s Ayatollahs since the 1978/79 revolution, which overthrew the pro-US Shah, catapulted the rogue Ayatollahs to power, and transformed Iran into “The Islamic Republic,” which considers the US “The Great Satan.”
Consumed by his view of the Ayatollahs as credible partners in negotiation, Blinken has decided to accord his assessment of the Ayatollahs’ future conduct more weight than the Ayatollahs’ past conduct.
Trusting that Iran’s Ayatollahs prefer to be preoccupied with “butter” rather than “guns,” Blinken’s policy on Iran is focused on diplomatic negotiation, not military confrontation
Iran threatening the US from Latin America
Notwithstanding the aforementioned assumptions, the regime of the Ayatollahs has been systematically involved in regional and global subversion, terrorism and wars, while brainwashing their population through fanatic, anti-“infidel” (Christians, Jews, Bahais, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, etc.) and anti-“apostate” (Sunni Muslims) school curriculum, religious sermons and massive public events.
For example, Iran’s Ayatollahs closely collaborate with Hezbollah, the proxy of Iran’s Quds Force, which is the arm of the Revolutionary Guard, responsible for the exportation of the Islamic revolution. They have intensified their surge into South and Central America, from Chile (especially with the December 2021 election of President Boric) to Mexico. They consider Latin America to be the soft underbelly of the US.
Iran and Hezbollah have established an elaborate regional and global infrastructure of terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, counterfeiting, fundraising, training, conversion to Islam, recruitment and media centers, as well as testing advanced military systems. They forged strategic alliances with anti-US regimes (e.g., Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia), breaking their international isolation, and collaborating with drug cartels and terror organizations.
Since the November 2009 Ahmadinejad visit to Venezuela, Iran has benefitted from uranium mines in Venezuela and Bolivia.
The entrenchment of Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America has undermined the US regional and global posture; intensified their global war on the US; established an income-generating platform to support terrorism and the development of advanced military and terror capabilities. They have spread the Shiite Islamic revolution and global Jihad (“Holy War”) through a multitude of mosques, seminaries and “Islamic cultural centers;” and installed a support-platform for sleeper-cells in the US.
The US-Mexico border has been targeted by Iran and Hezbollah, with the latter being involved in kidnapping, human smuggling, extortion, as well as drug and arms trafficking. They are expanding the proliferation of drugs from Mexico to the Middle East and Europe, sharing their terroristic experience with Mexican drug cartels (e.g., car bombing, improvised explosive devices, narco-tunnels along the US border).
However, the principal safe haven for Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, have been the lawless, corrupt and explosive tri border areas (TBA) of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil and Chile-Peru (the world’s largest cocaine producer)-Bolivia (the world’s 3rd cocaine producer) with their substantial population of Shiite Lebanese expatriates.
According to the Small Wars Journal, “There are no fewer than 145 Iranian diplomats in Bolivia, as well as a strong Iranian military presence…. Illicit activity like narcotics and human smuggling flows between the two TBAs…. With thousands of converts to Islam and counting, Hezbollah can generate cells in Latin America more rapidly with not only continual financial assistance from Iran, but with a social network operation across the region…. Iranian and Hezbollah operatives travel around the region to fundraise, launder money, train and recruit prospective sympathizers, plot against their enemies [e.g., the US], and conduct other terrorist-related activities…. Chile’s ports are an indispensable resource as Iran is regularly taking advantage by docking its vessels….”
The Canada-based IranWire adds that “In recent years, the TBA of Argentina-Paraguay-Brazil has become the epicenter of world cocaine trafficking and narco-terrorism… with logistic support from Colombian, Mexican and Venezuelan cartels…. Hezbollah earns about $2bn annually through illegal drug trafficking in the TBA…. Hezbollah maintains links with some of the most violent cartels in Latin America, including Mexico’s Los Zetas, Columbia’s FARC [and Oficina de Envigado] and Brazil’s PCC… helping them to obtain weapons and access to international smuggling networks outside Latin America…. the most visible [Iranian media outlet] in Latin America is the 24-hour-news broadcaster HispanTV, a Spanish language arm of Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)… airing in at least 16 countries….”
The bottom line
*Reality has demonstrated that the Iranian leopard will not change spots; only tactics.
*Reality has established that Iran’s Ayatollahs are driven by a fanatic, religious, megalomaniacal vision, and not by despair and eagerness to be accepted internationally. Therefore, they are more concerned with “guns” than “butter,” and are not amenable to credible negotiation, peaceful coexistence, human rights and democracy. They should be dealt militarily rather than diplomatically.
*Reality has determined that waving the military option and regime change, while dealing with a rogue regime, amounts to concession.
*The reality of vacillating Europe and anti-US United Nations suggests that subordinating the US’ unilateral national security action to multilateralism is the best-case-scenario for Iran’s Ayatollahs.
*US policy on Iran should be based on the Ayatollahs’ objective past track record, which should not be sacrificed on the altar of the Ayatollahs’ subjective and speculative future track record.
Western red carpet vs. Arab shabby rug…
The two-state solution
“President Biden underscored his strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington backed a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Would a Palestinian state resolve or exacerbate the Israel-Palestinian conflict?
Would a Palestinian state enhance or erode Middle East stability?
Would a focus on the Palestinian issue bolster or cripple the expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process?
Would a Palestinian state advance or undermine US interests?
The “two-state solution” policy is based on the following assumptions:
*The unresolved Palestinian issue is crucial for the Arab countries and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict;
*The proposed Palestinian state would adhere to peaceful-coexistence with the Jewish State, and would not join the ranks of rogue regimes;
*Land-for-peace is a prerequisite for the resolution of the Palestinian issue, requiring an Israeli retreat from land (the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria), which is the cradle of Jewish history and pivotal to Israel’s national security;
*A dramatic Israeli territorial concession, buttressed by a game-changing international financial package, would entice the Palestinians to abandon the goal to eliminate the Jewish State;
*The Palestinians are amenable to a permanent (not tactical) peaceful-coexistence with the Jewish State;
Are such assumptions consistent, or inconsistent, with the Palestinian track record?
Western red carpet vs. Arab shabby rug
Western governments are preoccupied with contemporary Palestinian diplomacy, according Palestinians red-carpet receptions. They prefer to speculate on future positive Palestinian behavior, rather than be preoccupied with the rogue intra-Arab Palestinian track record. They court the Palestinians, while pressuring Israel.
On the other hand, the history-driven Arabs – who neither forget nor forgive – are mindful of the Palestinian track record, and therefore accord Palestinians shabby rug receptions. The Arabs have concluded that a Palestinian state would add fuel to the Middle East fire, while valuing Israel as a potent force against rogue entities such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, they have expanded commercial and security cooperation with Israel, and refrain from flexing military or substantial financial muscles on behalf of the Palestinians.
In fact, no Arab-Israeli war erupted due to – or on behalf of – the Palestinians, and no Arab countries intervened militarily in Israel’s wars against Palestinian terrorism in Lebanon, Judea and Samaria and Gaza.
The intra-Arab Palestinian track record has been a role-model of subversion, terrorism and ingratitude. In the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, they were involved in terrorism in Egypt and Syria; in 1970, they triggered a civil war in Jordan, attempting to topple the pro-US Hashemite regime; and in the 1970s, they were involved in terrorism and a series of civil wars in Lebanon. In 1990, they collaborated with – and publicly praised – Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, which was the most generous Arab host of 400,000 Palestinians, including Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat and their families. Hence, the expulsion of most Palestinians from Kuwait in the aftermath of the First Gulf War.
Notwithstanding Jordan’s Hashemite regime talk on behalf of Palestinians, Jordan’s military and security forces are aware that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the Hashemite regime east of the River, triggering ripple effects which could topple all pro-US regimes in the Arabian Peninsula, adversely impacting the global oil market and US national security.
In addition, the Palestinian track record features systematic close ties with enemies and adversaries of the US, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, international terrorist organizations, Iran’s Ayatollahs, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, China and Russia.
Land-for-peace or land-for-terror?
The 1993 Oslo Accord showered the Palestinians with unprecedented authority, which was not accorded to them by Jordan or Egypt, when the two countries occupied Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It established a five-year-venue to a Palestinian state. However, instead of land-for-peace, the relocation of the PLO headquarters from Tunisia, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen to Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem introduced the concept of land-for-terror and land-for-hate-education.
Moreover, the 2005 Israeli uprooting of its civilian and military presence from Gaza has triggered four Hamas wars and a systematic wave of unprecedented Hamas terrorism.
Furthermore, in November 1947, the UN recommended the partitioning of the area west of the Jordan River between Jewish and Arab states, in violation of Article 80 of the 1945 UN Charter and the September 1922 League of Nations, which were committed to establishing a Jewish National Home in the entire area. The local Arabs and the surrounding Arab states rejected the 1947 Partition Plan and launched a war to annihilate the Jewish State.
In July 1937, the British Peel Commission recommended the establishment of a Jewish state over 18% – and an Arab state over 75% – of the area west of the Jordan River. The plan was rejected by the Arabs, who escalated terrorism.
Palestinian vision documented by education curriculum
Notwithstanding Palestinian diplomatic and public relations statements, the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian worldview, vision and territorial goal has been Mahmoud Abbas’ K-12 education curriculum, which has become (since 1993) a most effective multiplier of terrorism, suicide bombing and anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-peace fanaticism.
The 2020-2021 school textbooks of the Palestinian Authority highlight antisemitism, repudiation of Jewish history, dehumanization of Jews and the Jewish State, rejection of peaceful-coexistence with Israel, inciting to martyrdom and Jihad (“holy war”) “in the service of Allah,” heralding suicide bombers and terrorism in general, glorification of women-terrorists as role models, and promoting geographic maps with Israel replaced by an Arab Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Peaceful-coexistence with Israel?
On the eve of the September 13, 1993 signing of the Oslo Accord on the White House lawn, Arafat told the Jordanian TV that the accord was an interim agreement, consistent with the PLO’s June 1974 Phased Plan. The latter legitimized the establishment of a Palestinian beachhead on any part of British Mandate Palestine, as a step to eliminate the Jewish State and takeover the whole of Palestine.
Mahmoud Abbas and Arafat reiterated the Palestinian Phased Plan on August 14, 2009, November 16, 1998, January 30, 1996 and May 10, 1994, drawing inspiration from Mohammed’s Hudaybiyya Treaty – a major precept of traditional and contemporary Islam and Arab policy-making.
The Hudaybiyya Treaty was concluded between Mohammed and his Mecca enemies in 628 AD. However, while the treaty was perceived by Mecca as a permanent peace, Mohammed considered it as a truce (not a final peace) and a means (not a goal) to achieve the Islamic imperialistic goal. Thus, Mohammed was able to regroup, breach the treaty and overwhelm the misled and tricked enemy. It has become a tactical role model for Muslim leaders, especially when confronting the “infidel.”
Contemporarily, the Palestinian vision was codified by the charters of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah and PLO in 1959 and 1964 – before Israel regained control of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza – highlighting the goal “to liberate the whole of Palestine.” In other words, the core issue has always been the annihilation – not the size – of the Jewish State, which is deemed illegitimate in “the abode of Islam.”
The Palestinian vision is not driven by despair, but by a pre-1967 commitment “to liberate Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
The Palestinian issue and expanding the Israel-Arab peace process
The “Palestine Firsters” – who believe in the centrality of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East – introduced a litany of peace initiatives, which were crashed against the rocks of Middle East reality.
At the same time, Israel concluded a series of peace accords with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan, which bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoided the trap of a Palestinian veto and focused on Arab – not Palestinian – interests.
A wide gap exists between the Palestinian track record, on the one hand, and Washington’s well-intentioned two-state-policy, on the other hand.
Contrary to the expectations of Washington’s policy-makers, Middle East reality documents that a Palestinian state would add a rogue regime to the stormy region, intensify terrorism and war, inflame regional instability, exacerbate the Israel-Palestinian conflict, undermine the expansion of the Israel-Arab peace process, generate tailwind to rogue entities and cripple US interests.
An Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 8-15-mile sliver along the Mediterranean, dominated by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, would obliterate Israel’s posture of deterrence, and would transform Israel from a unique force-multiplier – to a strategic liability – for the US, depriving the US of “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single American on board.”
Hamas and war on terrorism
Arabs stance on Palestinian terrorism
Since 1948, the Arabs have emanated pro-Palestinian talk – which has captured the attention of Western media and policy makers – while avoiding the pro-Palestinian walk. Thus, no Arab war against Israel was ever launched on behalf of the Palestinians.
In the history-driven Middle East, memory is long: Palestinian intra-Arab treachery is not forgotten, nor forgiven.
Root cause of Palestinian terrorism
Moreover, Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah were established in 1964 and 1959, in order to “liberate” pre-1967 Israel, not “the West Bank” and East Jerusalem, as documented by Mahmoud Abbas’ hate-education curriculum.
Islam divides the world into the “abode of Islam” and those who have yet to accept – or be subordinated to – Islam as the sole legitimate religion, or be eliminated. Thus, Hamas defines Israel as an illegitimate “infidel” sovereignty in the “abode of Islam,” which must be uprooted or brought to submission.
The root cause of Palestinian terrorism is not the size – but the existence – of the Jewish State. Palestinian terrorism is driven by Israel’s existence, irrespective of Israel’s policies. For example, in 1993 (Oslo) and 2005 (disengagement from Gaza), in a self-destruct attempt to create a “new Middle East,” Israel provided the Palestinians with unprecedented self-rule and a venue to independence. However, as expected in the real Middle East, and based on the Arab experience with Palestinians, these critical Israeli policies yielded unprecedented waves of Palestinian hate education, incitement and terrorism.
Yoram’s response to Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s position on the Palestinian issue
The Iran-Turkey threat
The stormy Arab Street has raged since the eruption of the 2011 Arab Tsunami (otherwise known as “the Arab Spring”). It has intensified existential threats – domestically and regionally – to all Arab regimes.
In 2021, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan – two religiously driven imperialistic regimes – pose the main existential threat to every relatively-moderate Arab regime. They incite domestic conflicts and violence, and leverage the inherent intra-Arab fragmentation, rivalries, intolerance, wars and terrorism, which have precluded an effective Arab front in the face of Iran and Turkey.
In 2021, the Shiite Ayatollahs and Sunni Erdogan – with the financial backing of Qatar – support the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, militarily and financially. The Brotherhood is the largest Islamic terrorist organization, which attempts to topple all Arab regimes (e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain) – using political and terroristic tools – as a step toward establishing a universal pan-Islamic society, which would overpower the West.
In 2021, contrary to the assumption that Iran’s Ayatollahs may consider abandoning their megalomaniacal vision, and may peacefully coexist and share power with their Sunni Arab neighbors, Teheran is actively exporting the Islamic revolution to every Arab country – via subversion and terrorism – as they have done in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
In 2021, Iran’s Ayatollahs are taking advantage of their successful cooperation with the Shiite Houthis in the civil war in Yemen, in order to destabilize Saudi Arabia, aiming to topple the Saudi regime and all other Arab Sunni regimes in the Arabian Peninsula.
While Iran and Turkey pursue two conflicting long-term visions – an imperialistic Shiite empire and the reestablishment of the Sunni Ottoman Empire – they are collaborating in the quest of their joint short-term goal to topple every pro-US Arab regime. Advancing this goal would further exacerbate the turbulence in the critical area between Europe, Asia and Africa and between the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, with grave military and economic global consequences, including the proliferation of anti-US Islamic terrorism.
Islamic terrorism targets the US
The US has been systematically targeted by Islamic terrorism, which has been an intrinsic feature of the Middle East since the seventh century, driven by fanatical anti-“infidel” and anti-Western ideology.
Islamic terrorism has focused on the US since the Tripoli Barbary Muslim pirates in the 18th century, independent of US policy, in general, and US policy towards Israel, in particular.
Islamic terrorism has zeroed-in on the US irrespective of the Arab-Israeli conflict, well-intentioned US peace initiatives, frequent pressure on Israel by US Presidents, generous US foreign aid to Arab (including Palestinian) regimes, and occasional US gestures toward the Palestinians, as demonstrated by the following recent examples:
*In March 1973, Palestinian terrorists murdered the US Ambassador to the Sudan, Cleo Noel, and Charge’ d’Affaires, Curtis Moore, notwithstanding President Nixon’s and Secretary of State Rogers’ pressure for Israeli concessions to the Arabs.
*In June 1976, Palestinian terrorists murdered US Ambassador to Lebanon, Francis Meloy, and Economic Counselor, Robert Waring, despite President Ford’s and Secretary of State Kissinger’s pressure on Israel for concessions to the Arabs.
*In November 1979, Iran’s revolutionaries seized the US Embassy and took 63 Americans hostage for 444 days, in spite of President Carter’s support of Ayatollah Khomeini and betrayal of the Shah during the initial stage of the Islamic revolution.
*In April and October, 1983, the Iran-supported Islamic Jihad – in cooperation with Palestinian terrorists – car-bombed the US Embassy and the US Marine Corps Headquarters in Beirut, murdering 36 and 242 Americans respectively, regardless of the on-going US-PLO dialogue (from 1981 through the December 1988, US recognition of the PLO) and President Reagan’s brutal pressure on Israel to refrain from retaliating against PLO strongholds in Lebanon).
*In December 1988, PanAm-103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland by a Libyan-placed bomb, murdering 259 people, seven days after US recognition of the PLO on December 14.
*In February 1993, al-Qaeda car-bombed the NY World Trade Center, murdering six people and causing $500mn in damage.
*In June 1996, Iran-supported Hezbollah car-bombed the US military housing compound of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, murdering 19 US GIs, while President Clinton embraced Yasser Arafat.
*In August 1998, two al-Qaeda bombs blasted the US Embassy in Kenya and Tanzania, murdering some 300 people (12 Americans), while President Clinton was brutally pressuring Israel for concessions to the Palestinians.
*In October 2000, al Qaeda terrorists bombed the USS Cole destroyer in the port of Aden, Yemen, murdering 17 sailors, while the US and Israel offered unprecedented Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.
*On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists crashed two airliners into the Twin Towers and an additional plane into the Pentagon, murdering 3,025 (mostly) Americans.
*In October 2003, Palestinian terrorists attacked a US diplomatic convoy in Gaza, on their way to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships to study in the US. Three security guards were murdered.
*In November 2009, al-Qaeda-connected US Army Major, Nidal Hasan, murdered 13 US soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.
*In May 2010, an Islamic terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, tried and failed to ignite a bomb in Times Square.
*In September 2012, Islamic terrorists – who were assisted by the US in their successful attempt to topple the Qadhafi regime in 2011 – assaulted the US Consulate and the CIA compound in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four Americans.
*In December 2015, two Islamic terrorists murdered 14 Americans at the San Bernardino, California Inland Regional Center.
*In June 2016, an Islamic terrorist murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
*In October 2017, an Islamic terrorist drove a pickup truck into cyclists and runners in Lower Manhattan, murdering eight people.
*In December 2019, an Islamic terrorist murdered three US Navy sailors on the Navy Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
The bottom line
*Underestimating the inherent anti-“infidel” and anti-Western nature of Islamic terrorism, and disregarding the central role played by the imperialistic and anti-Western vision of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan – as well as the pan-Islamic and anti-Western strategic goal of the Muslim Brotherhood – would severely undermine the existence of all pro-US Arab regimes, while crippling the national security and economy of the US.
*The close operational, research and industrial US-Israel cooperation has leveraged Israel’s daily experience in the battle against Islamic terrorism. It has provided the US with a unique cost-effective, battle-tested counter-terrorism laboratory, generating critical intelligence, battle tactics, cutting-edge technologies and advanced equipment – a unique force multiplier, sparing American lives and mega billion dollars.
US policy in the Middle East
Since the 7th century, the Middle East has been one of the most tempestuous epicenters of domestic, regional and global wars and terrorism. The Middle East has frustrated US policy-makers, whose genuine attempts to promote peaceful-coexistence, human rights, democracy and international law have – too often – fueled social and political disintegration, repression, domestic and regional wars and global terrorism.
For example, in 1978/79, the US intent to advance the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran, led to the embrace of Ayatollah Khomeini (an old religious leader in exile….) and betrayal of the Shah, providing the tailwind for the transformation of Iran from the American Policeman of the Gulf to the worst enemy of the US and all its Arab allies, a major proliferator of terrorism, wars and ballistic capabilities.
In 1990, the US considered Saddam Hussein an ally (the enemy of my enemy is my friend….), unintentionally providing a “green light” to his invasion of Kuwait (during Saddam’s meeting with US Ambassador April Glaspie).
In 2003, the US toppled Saddam Hussein, crushed Iraq’s Sunni dominance of Iraq and empowered the Iran-backed Shiites, which unleashed a ferocious civil war and intensified Islamic terrorism.
In 2009, the US spurned the pro-US President Mubarak and courted Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – aiming to advance the cause of human rights and democracy – which catapulted the Brotherhood to power in 2012/13, and energized their attempts to terrorize and topple every pro-US Arab regimes.
In 2011, the US-led NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, which was intended to halt severe violations of human rights, transformed Libya into a blustery platform of civil wars, Islamic terrorism and egregious violation of human rights.
In 2011, the US welcomed the fiery eruption of violence on the Arab street as if it were an “Arab Spring,” March of Democracy and Facebook and Youth Revolution. Thus, the failure to identify the de facto “Arab Tsunami” spurred rogue Arab elements towards domestic upheaval in pro-US Arab countries.
The 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) was intended to pacify Iran’s Ayatollahs and promote peaceful coexistence and influence-sharing between Shiite Iran and the Sunni Arab Gulf states. Instead, it accorded legitimacy and $150bn to the Ayatollahs’ domestic repression, regional wars (in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon), global terrorism, ballistic capabilities, and the promotion of the Ayatollas’ fanatical-megalomaniacal vision of dominating the Gulf, the Middle East, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Horn of Africa and the rest of the globe, posing a clear and present threat to all pro-US Arab countries and the global order. For Iran’s Ayatollahs, the US is “The Great Satan,” which must be humiliated and defeated, in order to realize the megalomaniacal vision. Hence, the routine Ayatollahs-controlled mob chanting: “Death to America.”
In 2021, the US is putting Saudi Arabia on notice – including the suspension of arms sales – because of human rights violations and the lack of democracy, and due to the Saudi military involvement in Yemen’s civil war and its impact on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. However, US pressure on Saudi Arabia, concurrently with revoking the designation of the Iran-backed Yemenite Shiite Houthis as terrorists, and the warming up to Iran’s Ayatollahs (who were not put on notice….), have emboldened the Houthis. Thus, the Houthis have stepped up their deliberate and systematic launching of missiles and “suicide drones” at Saudi civilian centers and oil facilities. Moreover, it has bolstered Iran’s attempts to topple the Sunni Saudi regime through Iran’s military involvement in the Yemen civil war, which erupted in 2015, following a long series of civil wars: 2009-2015, 1979, 1962-1970, etc.
For Shiite Iran it is another battle in the 1,400-year-old Sunni-Shia war.
Middle East reality
The aforementioned milestones of US policy in the Middle East, have highlighted the significant gap between Western conventional wisdom and Middle East reality, while exposing the following 1,400-year-old features of the stormy, unpredictable, highly-fragmented, violently intolerant Middle East:
*Middle East reality, on the one hand, and political stability and peaceful coexistence, on the other hand, constitute an oxymoron.
*The relatively-ancient local clan/tribal, ethnic, religious, cultural, geographic, ideological identities/loyalties supersede the relatively-new national identity and the rule of national law (e.g., Tripolitania in western Libya vs. Cyrenaica in the east vs. Fezzan in the southwest; a 9-tribe coalition in Benghazi, Libya is fighting other tribes, while fighting among themselves).
*Despotic regimes with limited legitimacy (representing a minority of the population), ascend to – and lose – power through violence.
*Relatively-transient regimes – highly susceptible to coups – yield tenuous policies, shifty fleeting alliances and ephemeral agreements (e.g., Libya until and since 1969, Libya until and since 2003, Iran until and since 1979, Turkey until and since 2003, Egypt until and since 2012 and then since 2013).
*Western democratic institutions (e.g., free elections, one man one vote, civil liberties, the rule of law, religious tolerance) are foreign to Middle East reality and its inherent political disorder.
*Against the backdrop of the repeated collapse of political order in Arab societies (e.g., Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen), and in view of the systematic failure of US and international peace initiatives, the expectation of peaceful-coexistence among all/most Arab/Muslim communities, which have been fighting each other for centuries through war and terrorism, is unrealistic in the short and medium run, if at all attainable in the explosive Middle East.
*A humongous gap exists between the well-meaning US desire for a peaceful and just Middle East, on the one hand, and that which the turbulent Middle East system can deliver. Contrary to Western policy makers, Arab leaders have a long historical memory. They don’t forget and don’t forgive….
According to Prof. Elie Kedourie (London School of Economics, the iconic game-changing Middle East historian): “Any such project as bringing democracy to the Arab Middle East was trying to make water run uphill.”
President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team reflects a resurgence of the State Department’s worldview. An examination of this worldview and its track record is required, in order to avoid past mistakes.
This track record consists of such critical issues as:
*In 1948, the State Department led Washington’s opposition to the recognition of the newly established Jewish State, contending that the Jewish State would be helpless against the expected Arab military assault, would be pro-Soviet, would undermine US-Arab relations, destabilize the Middle East, threaten the US supply of oil and cause severe long-term damage to US interests. Deputy Secretary of State, Robert Lovett, claimed: “recognizing the Jewish State prematurely would be buying a pig in a poke.”
*During the 1950s, the US courted Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, considering him a potential ally and extending non-military aid, while Egypt evolved as a key ally of the USSR, supporting anti-Western elements in Africa, intensifying anti-US sentiments among Arabs, and attempting to topple every single pro-US Arab regime.
*In 1978/79, the US betrayed the pro-US Shah of Iran, while embracing Ayatollah Khomeini – including intelligence sharing during the initial months of the Khomeini regime – under the assumption that he was controllable and seeking freedom, democracy and positive ties with the US.
*In 1980-1990, the US collaborated with Saddam Hussein, including intelligence-sharing, supply of dual use systems and extending $5bn loan guarantees. The assumption was that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This US policy was perceived by Saddam as a green light for Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, as documented by the meeting between Saddam and the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, 8 days before the invasion, when she asserted (reflecting the position of the State Department) that an invasion of Kuwait was an inter-Arab issue.
*During 1993-2000, the US Administration hailed Arafat as a messenger of peace, worthy of the Nobel Prize for Peace and annual US foreign aid, ignoring his annihilationist vision, as reflected by his 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO charters, hate-education system and intensified terrorism.
*In 2009, the US embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood, ignoring its terroristic nature, and defining it as a political, secular entity. Thus, the US turned a cold shoulder toward the pro-US Mubarak, paving the road for the Muslim Brotherhood ascension to power in 2012/13, a blow to all pro-US Arab countries, which have been afflicted by Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.
*Until the eruption of the 2011 civil war in Syria, the State Department considered Bashar Assad a reformer and a potential moderate due to his background as an ophthalmologist in London, married to a British woman and President of the Syrian Internet Association. Similarly, Hafiz Assad (“the butcher from Damascus”) was regarded as a man of his word, a credible negotiator, justifying Israel’s giveaway of the strategically overpowering Golan Heights.
*In 2011, the State Department was a key engine behind the US-led NATO military offensive, which toppled Libya’s Qaddafi, notwithstanding his dismantling of Libya’s nuclear infrastructure, fervent war on Islamic terrorism, and providing the US unique counter-terror intelligence. The toppling of Qaddafi transformed Libya into a platform of civil wars and global Islamic terrorism.
*In 2011, the Washington, DC foreign policy and national security establishment welcomed the tectonic eruption of violence on the Arab Street as a march toward democracy, progress toward peaceful-coexistence, Facebook and youth revolutions – an Arab Spring.
However, a reality check demonstrates that it has been a ruthless Arab Tsunami, exposing endemic intra-Arab and intra-Muslim terrorism, subversion and violent power struggles, tribally, ethnically, religiously, ideologically, locally and regionally.
*In 2015, irrespective of Iran’s core fanatical, repressive and megalomaniacal ideology and systematic perpetration of war and terrorism, the architects of the Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) provided Iran’s Ayatollahs with a $150bn bonanza to bolster their ballistic, terroristic regional and global expansionist machine. They were guided by the assumption that the Ayatollahs were credible partners for negotiation, amenable to peaceful-coexistence and influence-sharing with their Arab Sunni neighbors. Moreover, the US disappointed most Iranians, by renouncing a military (regime-change) option against the ruthless and lawless regime in Tehran.
Middle East reality
In view of the aforementioned track record – which highlights a systematic gap between Middle East reality and State Department policy – President Biden’s Middle East team may benefit from the studies of the late Prof. Elie Kedourie (London School of Economics and Political Science), an iconic Middle East historian, whose politically-incorrect books and articles have been vindicated by Middle East reality.
According to Prof. Kedourie (The Chatham House Version): “The sober assumption that Middle East instability is endemic has found little favor either in Britain or in America….
“One of the simplest and yet most effective means known to mankind of keeping in touch with reality is to contrast what people say with what they do…. Alien conventions and unfamiliar speech add to the confusion…. All too often assumptions are not tested on the pulse of experience, they remain mere abstract doctrines, and men are taken up and praised for what they say rather than for what they are….
“The language of modern English and American politics is now adopted by the whole world and – divorced from the tradition in which it has value and dignity – becomes a debased, inflated jargon, a showman’s patter by which [Middle East] tyranny is made to seem constitutional, and crookedness to look straight….
“What may one properly mean by a settlement of the Palestine problem….? This dispute has become secondary…. The dispute now lies between Israel and the Arab states…. In the wider dispute, Israel is the immediate but not the most important factor. This lies in the rivalries of the Arab states…. A solution of the Palestine problem will accomplish little even if all the Israelis were exterminated and their state destroyed. For then would perhaps come a quarrel about the spoils and issues even more intractable, but certainly not peace….
“Tidy doctrines will not help, and simple answers will deceive. The disorder of the Middle East is deep and endemic, and the disappearance of Israel… will neither cure or even mitigate it. The very attempts to modernize Middle Eastern society, to make it Western or ‘democratic’ must bring about evils, which may be greater than the benefits….
“[In the Middle East], political power is traditionally capricious in the transmissions, acquired by violence and established by repression…. Political stability is chancy and precarious…. Habits of stability are unknown, and the subject has more reason to fear the displeasure of his masters…. Sedition, treason and civil war are common enough in Middle Eastern history….
“The Muslim theory of international relations recognizes two possible situations only: war on the ‘infidel’ or his subjugation to the ‘faithful.’ Peace with him de jure is hostility until he recognizes the authority of the Muslim ruler…. The comity of nations, or the sanctity of treaties, the rules of natural justice, or decent respect for the opinions of mankind, are quite alien and largely unintelligible to the Middle East…. (ibid, pp 1-12)”.
In 2021, ten years following the eruption of the Arab Tsunami – and contrary to the expectations of the State Department – the Arab Street is still dominated by its intrinsic 1,400-year-old instability, unpredictability, violent intolerance, human rights squashing, despotism, intra-Arab and intra-Muslim wars and terrorism, and the tenuous nature of all regimes, policies and accords, while the Arab Tsunami has yet to reach its peak.
Such a policy failure is attributed – if one employs Prof. Elie Kedourie’s studies – to “successive and cumulative manifestations of illusion, misjudgment, maladroitness and failure (ibid, p. ix).”
Will President Biden’s foreign policy and national security team, dealing with Iran’s Ayatollahs and the Middle East at-large – which are epicenters of global proliferation of ballistic and nuclear technologies, as well as Islamic terrorism – learn from past critical errors by avoiding, or repeating, them?
At stake is regional and global stability, including the national security and homeland security of the USA.
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).”
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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.