Israel, An Oasis of Peace and Prosperity

Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2013 10:11 am
The Israeli Spring
Israel's enemies are doing more damage to each other than Israel ever could.

By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, August 29, 2013

Israel could be forgiven for having a siege mentality — given that at any moment, old frontline enemies Syria and Egypt might spill their violence over common borders.

The Arab Spring has thrown Israel's once-predictable adversaries into the chaotic state of a Sudan or Somalia. The old understandings between Jerusalem and the Assad and Mubarak kleptocracies seem in limbo.

Yet these tragic Arab revolutions swirling around Israel are paradoxically aiding it, both strategically and politically — well beyond just the erosion of conventional Arab military strength.

In terms of realpolitik, anti-Israeli authoritarians are fighting to the death against anti-Israeli insurgents and terrorists. Each is doing more damage to the other than Israel ever could — and in an unprecedented, grotesque fashion. Who now is gassing Arab innocents? Shooting Arab civilians in the streets? Rounding up and executing Arab civilians? Blowing up Arab houses? Answer: either Arab dictators or radical Islamists.

The old nexus of radical Islamic terror of the last three decades is unraveling. With a wink and a nod, Arab dictatorships routinely subsidized Islamic terrorists to divert popular anger away from their own failures to the West or Israel. In the deal, terrorists got money and sanctuary. The Arab Street blamed others for their own government-inflicted miseries. And thieving authoritarians posed as Islam's popular champions.

But now, terrorists have turned on their dictator sponsors. And even the most ardent Middle East conspiracy theorists are having troubling blaming the United States and Israel.

Secretary of State John Kerry is still beating last century's dead horse of a "comprehensive Middle East peace." But does Kerry's calcified diplomacy really assume that a peace agreement involving Israel would stop the ethnic cleansing of Egypt's Coptic Christians? Does Israel have anything to do with Assad's alleged gassing of his own people?

There are other losers as well. Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to turn a once-secular Turkish democracy into a neo-Ottoman Islamist sultanate, with grand dreams of eastern-Mediterranean hegemony. His selling point to former Ottoman Arab subjects was often a virulent anti-Semitism. Suddenly, Turkey became one of Israel's worst enemies and the Obama administration's best friends.

Yet if Erdogan has charmed President Obama, he has alienated almost everyone in the Middle East. Islamists such as former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi felt that Erdogan was a fickle and opportunistic conniver. The Gulf monarchies believed that he was a troublemaker who wanted to supplant their influence. Neither the Europeans nor the Russians trust him. The result is that Erdogan's loud anti-Israeli foreign policy is increasingly irrelevant.

The oil-rich sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf once funded terrorists on the West Bank, but they are now fueling the secular military in Egypt. In Syria they are searching to find some third alternative to Assad's Alawite regime and its al-Qaeda enemies. For the moment, oddly, the Middle East foreign policy of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the other oil monarchies dovetails with Israel's: Predictable Sunni-Arab nationalism is preferable to one-vote, one-time Islamist radicals.

Israel no doubt prefers that the Arab world liberalize and embrace constitutional government. Yet the current bloodletting lends credence to Israel's ancient complaints that it never had a constitutional or lawful partner in peace negotiations.

In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak's corrupt dictatorship is gone. His radical Muslim Brotherhood successors were worse and are also gone. The military dictatorship that followed both is no more legitimate than either. In these cycles of revolution, the one common denominator is an absence of constitutional government.

In Syria, there never was a moderate middle. Take your pick between the murderous Shiite-backed Assad dictatorship or radical Sunni Islamists. In Libya, the choice degenerated to Moammar Qaddafi's unhinged dictatorship or the tribal militias that overthrew it. Let us hope that one day westernized moderate democracy might prevail. But that moment seems a long way off.

What do the Egyptian military, the French in Mali, Americans at home, the Russians, the Gulf monarchies, persecuted Middle Eastern Christians, and the reformers of the Arab Spring all have in common? Like Israel, they are all fighting Islamic-inspired fanaticism. And most of them, like Israel, are opposed to the idea of a nuclear Iran.

In comparison with the ruined economies of the Arab Spring — tourism shattered, exports nonexistent, and billions of dollars in infrastructure lost through unending violence — Israel is an atoll of prosperity and stability. Factor in its recent huge gas and oil finds in the eastern Mediterranean, and it may soon become another Kuwait or Qatar, but with a real economy beyond its booming petroleum exports.

Israel had nothing to do with either the Arab Spring or its failure. The irony is that surviving embarrassed Arab regimes now share the same concerns with the Israelis. In short, the more violent and chaotic the Middle East becomes, the more secure and exceptional Israel appears.

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Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2013 12:19 pm
In yet another of Advi's tiresome copy and paste jobs, one Victor Davis Hanson wrote:

In terms of realpolitik. . .

Israel had nothing to do with either the Arab Spring or its failure. The irony is that surviving embarrassed Arab regimes now share the same concerns with the Israelis. In short, the more violent and chaotic the Middle East becomes, the more secure and exceptional Israel appears.

It’s ironic that Hanson mentions realpolitik, which in regard to that Israel serves no geopolitical purpose whatsoever to the US and the world. Its use as a stopgap measure to deal with the Jewish refugees after the second world war has expired and, of course, escalated the conflict between the Zionists and Palestinians in Palestine which has yet to be resolved, and is the issue at hand as concerns any mention of Israel in regard to Middle East politics. Israel is a geopolitical liability.

Hanson is either obtuse or ingenuous when he mentions Israel and the Arab Spring and the inter-religious and ethnic strife entailed in the individual conflicts within the countries in which it is occurring. The Israel/Palestine conflict is about the Zionists’ repression of the Palestinian peoples, something that Hanson completely fails to mention in his hateful little screed.

The only reason Israel stands out from the other repressive regimes is that it has been directly abetted in its repression of the Palestinian peoples by Europe and United States of America.
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2013 03:26 pm
You are such a serial liar. You keep referring to Israel's repression of the Pals. You know damn well that is a really big whopper. Its Pal citizens have all the rights of Jewish citizens. Moreover, Israel has begged the other Pals to sit down and work out a reasonable settlement. The Pals, of course, will only agree with a settlement that effectively spells out the demise of the state.
Reply Wed 4 Sep, 2013 04:00 pm
The Arab citizens of Israel are systematically discriminated against by the Zionist regime therein as reported by that selfsame regime's Or Commission report after the outbreak of the Second Intifada. The Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are treated even worse.

Israel demands a settlement on its own terms which would effectively perpetuate its repression of the Palestinian peoples as regards the latter's rights in all of Mandate Palestine.

The Zionists, in clinging to their ethnocentrically repressive never-never land, prefer conflict to peace and doing what is moral and just as regards the Palestinian peoples.
Reply Thu 5 Sep, 2013 04:32 pm
You are lying. The Arab Israelis have the same right and privileges that other Israeli citizens have, except they don't have to serve in the military. (They can't be trusted.) They don't show much loyalty to their country.
Reply Fri 6 Sep, 2013 12:17 am
Correction: Arab Israelis do serve in the IDF.

If they are by Druze by religion or Circassian - they have to serve

The Druze are actually very successful in the IDF. E.g. division commanders and generals:

If they are Christian or Muslim - they often volunteer

some groups get exemptions from service - mostly the religious ones like ultra-orthodox Jews. Otherwise, all citizens do serve.
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