Barry Werner – Part 1 – The Far Left’s Obsession with Israel Is Harmful to the Middle East
The Far Left’s Obsession with Israel Is Harmful to the Middle East.
The Middle East is in great turmoil
This 5-part essay explores the political Left’s priorities and its consequences for the Middle East. Part 1 is a survey of the Middle East conflicts, paying special attention to Israel.
After a failed “Arab Spring” in which many in the Middle East rose up against tyranny, corruption and lack of economic opportunities, radical Islamists saw it as an opportunity to break out. Now the Middle East is being torn apart by competing Islamist groups, each with its own version of Islamist rule. Horrendous war crimes by governments and rebels are causing millions of civilians to flee their homes; civilian targets, such as hospitals, are deliberately attacked. Turkey, a NATO member taken over by an Islamist government, is blackmailing Europe over cooperation to stem the flow of refugees. Terrorism is spreading everywhere because the Islamists believe God told them to conquer the world.
Iran, the most powerful radical Islamist actor, wants to overturn Sunni dominance and make Shi’ism the dominant Muslim sect from the Nile to Iran (Shia and Sunnis see each other as practically heretical). The West accepted Iran as a threshold nuclear weapons state, igniting fears of regional nuclear proliferation. Iran can have a nuclear weapons arsenal in 15 years if it holds to its agreements, sooner if it reneges. It is developing long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons to threaten the whole Middle East, parts of Europe and parts of the US. When the West removed the economic sanctions Iran’s military received an immediate $1.7 billion infusion of money.
For a chilling snapshot of US cooperation with Iran in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, consider the battle to retake Falluja, which involves Shia/Sunni sectarian warfare. See, “Iran-Led Push to Retake Falluja From ISIS Worries U.S.”, by Tim Arango, May 28, 2016, the New York Times.
And a follow-up report, “Hundreds feared tortured in advance on Fallujah”, by Louisa Loveluck, Istanbul, 6 June, 2016, The Telegraph (UK). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/06/hundreds-feared-tortured-in-advance-on-falluja/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2AMideast%20Brief
The Arab countries that are still stable (Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and the countries of the Gulf Coast (Saudi Arabia, etc)), are desperately trying to defend themselves against being overthrown by Islamists. They face rapidly increasing populations, poor economic outlook, adverse climatic changes, and radical Islamists who preach that fanatic religion is the answer. Most Arabs still want an end to tyranny, corruption and lack of economic opportunities. They want to be religious as they have been for centuries, not fanatics. But to the West the Arab/Israeli conflict is more important and the West prefers to fund projects on the West Bank and in Gaza rather then help moderate, pragmatic Arabs bring their societies into modernity and prevent Islamic takeover.
The extermination of the Jews of Israel
One of the most bizarre things happening in the Middle East is that, in the 21st century, within living memory of the Holocaust, Iran is organizing and financing a plan to exterminate the Jews of Israel. Iran unabashedly declares it wants to rekindle the Holocaust, while it simultaneously denies the Holocaust occurred. The participants in the plan surround Israel on three sides: Hezbollah in the north with over 130,000 missiles in Lebanon and Syria, Iran in the east with long-range missiles, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the south in Gaza. And, given that the PLO on the West Bank incites its people to the hatred of Jews suggests that it would join in if it could along Israel’s eastern border. Although each participant alone is too weak to destroy Israel, they might mount a coordinated attack from all three sides if they believe they could kill enough Jews and that the Palestinian Arabs could retake what’s left. Given their religious fanaticism and apocalyptic beliefs, and the fact that they all use civilians as human shields, they would be risking the devastation of the people they govern.
See “Report: Hezbollah Has More Rockets Than 27 NATO Countries Combined,” by TheTower.org Staff, 14 June 2016
The West acts as if the threat to annihilate the Jews is not worthy of consideration and that peace everywhere in the Middle East depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank
Even more bizarrely, instead of declaring outrage at the threat to annihilate the Jews of Israel, the West, who you would expect to be hypersensitive to the resumption of the Holocaust, forces the world’s attention away from that threat and towards Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank and the settlements, and acts as if peace everywhere in the Middle East depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state. Even though Israel is the only country in the world that must not lose even one war or it will be utterly destroyed, the West treats Israel as if its will to survive is the source of all that’s wrong in the Middle East. Just as the West once partitioned India to create Pakistan in perpetual war with India, the West now tries to force Israel to accept the equivalent of a Pakistan along its eastern border.
The occupation has gone on for a long time, since 1967. The Palestinian Arabs angrily suffer the indignity and inconvenience of living under occupation, although they are not suffering greatly materially. But the Palestinian Authority, PA (controlled by the PLO), refused all the peace proposals Israeli made (most objective observers consider Israel’s terms to have been generous), holding out for their maximal demands. The PA believes the indignity and inconvenience its people suffer under occupation is minor compared to the dishonor of losing to Jews.
Israel demands that a peace treaty will lead to peace, not to war. Given the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict, Israel requires: that a Palestinian state recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state; the Palestinian state must be demilitarized; and the Israel Defense Force, IDF, must be allowed to control the borders to keep radical infiltrators out. The PA refuses all of these demands and counter-demands: that its new state must include every centimeter of the land conquered by Jordan in 1948, land to which it has no legal claim (land swaps would be acceptable); and the right to allow more than 5.5 million descendents of the refugees who left Israel in the war of 1947-48, people who the PA taught that God wants them to murder Jews, to return to Israel (the total population of Israel is about 8.5 million people, Jews and Arabs combined; the exact number of refugees who left Israel in the war of 1947-48 is unknown, UNWRA estimates it at about 750,000). The PA also wants control of Judaism’s holiest place, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where two Jewish temples stood, which the PA denies ever existed even though that is why Muslims built the Al Aksa Mosque there; they say they don’t want Jews walking on Al Aksa with their “dirty feet”.
The PA obstinately refuses to make concessions to Israel because they believe time is on their side. The West says that if Israel continues to refuse to accept the PA’s demands the West will force Israel to do so anyhow. The PA also knows that if they accept any compromise with the Jews they will be violently overthrown by Hamas as soon as a Palestinian state is formed, as in Gaza. They also believe they are upholding the honor of the whole Arab world and that the major Arab countries will eventually come to their aid if there is a war with Israel. And, if peace is established the lavish financial support from the West will most likely stop.
The political left demonizes and ostracizes Israel, declaring it an Apartheid state subject to a BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).