Monday, 3 April 2017

Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger: Connecting the Middle East dots








1. According to the Saudi Arabian-based newspaper, Arab News, "the Arab Spring is not about seeking democracy, it is about Arabs killing Arabs… about hate and sectarian violence…. The Arab Spring is an accumulation of years of political corruption, human rights violations, sectarianism and poor education systems…. The Arabs were never united and are now divided beyond anybody’s imagination. Arabs hate each other more than they hate the outside enemy.  Syrians are hurting Syrians and the Israelis are the ones who treat the Syrian wounds [in an Israeli field hospital built on the Golan Height]."

2. Connecting the dots of the increasingly boiling Arab Street highlights the 1,400 year reality of intense intra-Arab violent intolerance, hate education, transient (one-bullet) regimes, tenuous policies, non-compliance with intra-Arab agreements, explosive unpredictability and the absence of intra-Arab peaceful coexistence. 

3. Since the 7th century appearance of Islam, the Arab street has never experienced freedom of religion, speech, press, association or movement, which are prerequisites for free elections and peaceful coexistence. Arab societies are ruled by – and the will of the majority is subjugated by - non-democratic, minority rogue regimes.

4. The Arab Street is dominated by domestic, regional, national and intra-Arab subversion and terrorism. Ethnic cleansing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, the Sudan and Libya reflects the lack of national cohesion on the Arab street and the merciless intra-Arab/Muslim fragmentation along ethnic, tribal, cultural, geographic, ideological and religious lines. The misperception of the national cohesion of two of the most powerful Arab countries throughout the 20th century - Iraq and Syria - has collapsed, setting them on a chaotic course of disintegration. Studying the fate of minorities in Arab countries, reveals the devastating Arab/Muslim attitude towards the "infidel" Christians, Jews, Hindus or Buddhists.    

5. The current increasingly, turbulent Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2010, has intensified anxiety and panic among the pro-US regimes of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain, which are inherently susceptible to domestic upheaval. They are aware that Egypt's Mubarak, Libya's Kaddafi, Tunisia's Ben Ali and Yemen's Salah (possibly joined by Syria's Assad) were perceived to be Rock of Gibraltar-like regimes, but were overthrown by Islamic mobs. They are cognizant of the clear, present and lethal threat posed by Iran and Iran's adversary, ISIS (the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria"). They are concerned about the lava erupting from the endemic civil war in an intractably fragmented Yemen, which controls the route of oil tankers from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.

6. The December 2010 Tunisian upheaval fueled the February 2011 Libyan and Egyptian eruptions, which fed the February 2011 turmoil in Yemen and Bahrain, providing a tailwind for the March 2011 surge of the civil war in Syria.  The intensification of terrorism and disintegration in Iraq poses an imminent deadly threat to the Hashemite regime in Jordan, which could be transformed into another haven for Islamic terrorism, threatening to sweep through Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Gulf states.

7. The increasingly boiling Arab Street accentuates Israel's unique role as the only stable, reliable, effective, democratic and unconditional national-security-producing-ally of the US, whose posture of deterrence – in the face of Islamic terrorism and Iran - is a life insurance policy for pro-US Arab regimes in the Middle East.

8. Connecting the dots of the increasingly boiling Arab Street underscores the recklessness of past pressure on Israel to retreat from the Golan Heights, as well as the current pressure on Israel to withdraw from the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which dominate the border with Jordan (the Jordan Valley) and over-tower Jerusalem, Israel's only International Airport and 80% of Israel's infrastructure and population, which is concentrated in the 9-15 mile narrow sliver along the Mediterranean (the pre-1967 Israel). An Israel without the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria would be transformed from a strategic asset to a strategic burden on the USA.

9. Connecting the dots of the increasingly boiling Arab Street exposes the gullibility of well-intentioned peace negotiators, who still consider the Arab Tsunami an Arab Spring, transitioning itself to democracy, embracing Western norms of peaceful coexistence, compliance with agreements and civil liberties. They believe that a signed agreement can over-ride a 14 century old shifty and devious political culture.  They ignore the fact that intra-Arab conflicts – not the Arab-Israeli conflict - have been and are "the Middle East conflicts." The Arab Tsunami has exposed the Palestinian issue as a marginal issue in Middle Eastern politics, not a crown-jewel of Arab policy making, nor the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

10. Against the backdrop of the real Middle East, Israel cannot afford to lower its security threshold and rely on peace-driven-security. As long as the Arab Street is dominated by an unpredictable, violently intolerant 14-century-old political culture, Israel must pursue security and deterrence-driven peace.

11. The next video will shed light on the Middle East labyrinth.


See the following video:
video


Attention / Nota bene
Diplomatic road map legend Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger will be in the US in May, 
August and November, 2017, available for speaking 
engagements.