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Yoram Ettinger
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Yoram Ettinger
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Middle East reality and the Palestinian issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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Secretary Blinken, Middle East reality and US interests

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 diplomatictalk 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.

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Videos

The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb