Friday, November 16, 2012
Arab Spring for Gaza and End Game for Israel
As we write this, heavy fighting is under way and
preparing to invade Gaza. I am curious just what their war aims will be
The reason we must ask this question is that conditions on the ground are utterly changed. All potential threats to an Israeli coup de main have been neutralized totally.
militarily hors de combat. Hezbollah has
lost its sponsor in Iran and
and is penned in with hostile borders. Jordan
continues to work at maintaining the Status Quo. And Egypt is clearly signaling business
as usual even if they say otherwise. In
fact they are themselves hostile to Gaza.
The remarkable fact is that there is no political incentive in supporting any form of adventurism against
Israel and none
of these folks are suicidal. Hamas of
course is suicidal. What is more Israeli
military power continues to wax while that of the rest is looking ugly.
My point is that forcing a settlement arrangement today is possible and it may even be pulled off without serious pressure from even the
to turn back the clock. Off course, that
would make Obama the most hate US
president ever among the Islamicists, if that is possible.
More likely we will have an incursion and a negotiated withdrawal leaving a heap of rubble behind as we did before. Yet removing women and children to the
West Bank for their protection would
send them all a powerful message.
Regardless, an incursion will destroy all weapons available and likely establish a semi occupation and sealed borders, even if it allows a slow simmer.
What is emerging in the Middle East is a fire wall of representative governments around
Israel who lead
a population who has totally grown up with an Israeli presence and actually
wants more of what they have and can trade for.
There is no better formula for peace and we are now seeing the last
kicks of a dying resistance.
It would be a mercy to find a short cut to ending it all.
Israel’s Arab Spring
Started by Anchorman, Yesterday, 05:01 AM
Gary C. Gambill:
As the greatest outbreak of Israel-Palestinian hostilities in years unfolds in
many Israelis are bracing for reaction from the surrounding Arab world.
Theories abound, but no one has been entirely sure how the weakening and
collapse of Arab autocracies over the past two years will impact the Jewish
The answer is likely to underwhelm.
For over six decades,
stood alone as the most vilified antagonist in Arab public life. Governments,
media and civic groups singled out the Jewish state as a standing crime against
humanity, while glorifying or ignoring mass murderers such as Saddam Hussein
and Muammar Qaddafi. Outside observers assumed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
to be such a visceral affront to Arabs everywhere as to account almost
single-handedly for their collective political dysfunction. Arab anger toward Israel Israel “weakens the legitimacy of moderate
CENTCOM commander David H. Petraeus in 2010. Take away those “moderate” regimes
— such as Hosni Mubarak’s government in U.S. Egypt
would presumably be in a world of trouble. Israel
In fact, while the Arab Spring has invigorated nearly every other revanchist political cause under the sun, thus far it hasn’t unleashed a surge of anti-Zionist fervour.
Anti-Israeli slogans were relatively few and far between in the mass demonstrations that brought down
’s Mubarak and Tunisian
president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Insurgents battling Syrian President Bashar
Assad have ignored Israel altogether, while the Libyan revolutionaries who
vanquished Gaddafi are said to have secretly communicated well wishes to
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Egypt
Today’s newly elected Arab statesmen have proven surprisingly willing to check their anti-Zionist baggage at the door. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, formerly a leading official of the Muslim Brotherhood, has avoided direct public mention of Israel, while sending a private letter (subsequently leaked and reluctantly acknowledged by his office) to Israeli President Shimon Peres, calling the latter a “great friend” and vowing to “strengthen the cordial relations, which so happily exist between our two countries.”[Just in case anyone had any doubts regarding the stability of the Israeli Egyptian Peace Treaty - arclein]
While there is little evidence that popular anti-Israeli sentiment in the Arab world has waned, the erosion of authoritarian controls gives political actors less incentive to tap into it. [Popular Nazi Support slowly waned also – it is hard to escape a belief system]
In the old
anti-Zionism was central to the Brotherhood’s public profile, partly for
ideological reasons, but partly also because “justice” for the Palestinians
was the only revolutionary political cause that its cadres could emphatically
embrace without risking government reprisals. In the new Egypt , where the public square is
unsanitized and control of the state is up for grabs, challenging a distant
enemy readily conflicts with the pursuit of other goals. Morsi and others may
be soft-peddling their hatred of Israel purely to curry favour with the West,
but this underscores how ancillary the “Zionist entity” has become to their
political ambitions for the time being. Egypt
The Arab Spring also has put the brakes on anti-Zionism by accelerating the progressive discrediting of the Iran-led rejectionist axis over the past six years.
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s willingness to kill and maim fellow Arabs in ostensible pursuit of the cause, first in Lebanon after 2005 and then in Syria, steadily eroded what was once a substantial reserve of regional goodwill toward
and its proxies. Iran
According to Pew polling, the percentage of Egyptians holding a favourable view of
dropped from 59% in 2006 to 22% in 2012, while that of the Lebanese Shiite
Hezbollah movement declined from 56% to 20%. Iran
Even radical Sunni Islamists have reevaluated their priorities. The preeminent Egyptian writer Fahmi Huweidi, who for years staunchly supported the Alawite-dominated Assad regime because of its anti-Zionist credentials, now concedes that it “oppresses the Syrian people worse than the Israelis oppress the Palestinians.” Jordanian salafi leader Abu Muhammad Tahawi contends that it “is currently the biggest threat to Sunnis, even more than the Israelis.” When Morsi condemned the victimization of a people dear to “the hearts” of his countrymen and denounced an oppressor that “kills … day and night” in his Sept. 26 address to the UN General Assembly, he wasn’t talking about Netanyahu.
To be sure, many other radical ideologues — including the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood — continue to demonize
as loudly as ever. However,
such appeals have generated little mass enthusiasm from Arab youth, who ranked
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict behind civil unrest and lack of democracy as
the “biggest obstacle” facing the region in a May 2012 survey. Efforts to
harness their support for a failed campaign to win UN recognition of
Palestinian statehood, an unprecedented hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in
Israel and a “Global March on Jerusalem” all fizzled. Israel
The Israeli assault on
is sure to elicit a stronger reaction from the Arab street. Anti-Zionism will
continue as always to be the refuge of extremists who otherwise have little to
lose (or gain), and political instability in the region will afford them
greater opportunities to evade authorities. Gaza
So long as the Arab world continues to develop more representative and accountable governments, however, the vast majority of its inhabitants will find that they have better things to do with their time.
Gary C. Gambill is an Associate Fellow at the