Die Welt: in the middle East formed an unexpected Alliance – Israel wants to unite the Arab States against IranUncategorized March 2, 2017
This writes Richard Hertsinger in the article “In the middle East formed an unexpected Alliance”, published on the website of the newspaper Die Welt.
In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as in the political architecture of the Middle East, brewing a radical change. Recently the world public with exasperation, noted that the United States under the management of new President, Donald trump seems to no longer insist on the solution of two States, which would be the easiest way out for the Israelis and the Palestinians. During his visit to Washington two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also did not want to associate themselves with this obligation.
For a long time it was considered inviolable basic consensus of the international community: the end of a successful peace process can only be the coexistence of Jewish and sovereign Palestinian state.
Now Washington has moved away from this, although the new administration can’t even provide an alternative draft peace settlement. Many observers attribute this confusion in the views of trump about foreign policy. Israeli writer Amos Oz and does believe actions trump’s “weird joke”.
The idea of an Alliance similar to NATO
Many are wondering, what you mean trump and Netanyahu, when they talk about the desire to seek “regional solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some observers think the unthinkable to countries such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar, could afford to discuss a peaceful settlement that excludes the coexistence of the two States. In fact, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia a few days ago, reiterated that his country firmly adheres to this position.
However, the relatively favorable seem to be the expectations of the Saudis and the Gulf countries in relation to the new US President. They certainly welcome the fact that trump wants to break up with is too friendly from their point of view, Obama’s policy towards Iran. And after the recent statements of Israeli politicians, we can conclude that the discussion of trump and Netanyahu disappear fairly serious considerations.
So, the defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in an interview with the newspaper “Die Welt” said that “moderate Sunni States” understood “that the greatest danger for them is not Israel, Zionism or Jews, and Iran.” Israel also believes the Iranian regime as its most dangerous enemy in the region. The agreement between the Jewish state and, primarily, Saudi Arabia, Lieberman sees new prospects for resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.
United States are looking for cooperation with “moderate” Sunnis
Over the weekend, intelligence Minister of Israel Yisrael Katz told the newspaper “The Washington Post” that the administration of new U.S. President is already working actively to strengthen relations between Israel and the “moderate” Sunni States in the region – in an attempt to improve the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
No longer a secret that the Saudis and other Sunni Arab States and Israel concluded a secret cooperation for combating Iranian expansion in the middle East and the spread of terrorism of the jihadists. In particular, the defense Alliance of Israel with Egypt against Islamist extremists justified. However, Lieberman believes that now is the time, “openly to enter into a formal Union, a coalition of all the moderate forces in the middle East against terror, regardless of whether there is a speech about Muslims, Jews or Christians.”
Israeli nationalists wishful thinking?
In Washington earlier there were already rumors that the US is working on a “similar to NATO” Alliance with the “moderate” Arab States. Given the characteristic of the Arab States hatred of Jews, Israel is unlikely to become an official member, but will probably be one of the main supporters in military and intelligence matters.
But raises doubts about how real this idea of a United front against Iran-sponsored Shiite extremism, on the one hand, and Sunni jihadism on the other [side]. Some ideas probably occur because right-wing nationalists in Israel wishful thinking.
The idea of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel on the territory of biblical Judea and Samaria would not have caused much interest. Now it has been assumed that protection from arch-enemy Iran can be so important to the Sunni Arab States that they are ready to sacrifice even the Palestinian national idea.
Lieberman prefers ethnic division
While the Israeli religious right is seeking to Annex a significant part of the West Bank of the Jordan river, the secular nationalist Lieberman prefers ethnic division, which provides for the exclusion of Israeli Arabs from the Jewish state. However, both the script of the Palestinian-Arab population can be imposed only by force – and panic fear Iranian hegemony will not be enough for Arab States endorsed it.
However, Prime Minister Netanyahu is under growing pressure from his right nationalist coalition partner. It creates the impression that there are real opportunities in addition to a two-state solution, and thus he manages to avoid making decisions about the radical concepts of right.
The US administration supports the idea of a large Arab-Israeli Alliance is “moderate”. But quite doubtful that this support really is something like a deliberate strategy. So it remains a mystery where this anti-Iranian Alliance place Russia, which insists that trump was her partner in the fight against Islamist terrorism.
Obama’s policies were predictably doomed to failure
But if you close your eyes on zaideologizirovannye illusion, which appeared after the ideas about the relationship between Washington and Jerusalem, the U.S.-Israeli change of course is still a grain of truth when talking about peace in the middle East. After many years of efforts to reach a compromise between Israelis and Palestinians through direct negotiations were unsuccessful.
Obama’s policy was to exert pressure on Israel to unilaterally obtain from him concessions, for example, to disallow the building of settlements. Predictable but such a policy was doomed to failure. It only fueled unrealistic expectations of the Palestinian leadership, and provided him with the opportunity to refuse direct negotiations without prior agreement with the Jewish state. In fact, the main obstacle to real peace talks were not the towns of Israel, and the chronic ineffectiveness of the Palestinian leadership.
Abbas adheres to the role of victim
The decision on the existence of two States provides that the leadership in Ramallah will be ready to forever abandon those areas, which it declared a Palestinian, and that after that will belong to Israel. Even if the Palestinian leaders wanted, they could hardly implement it in their own ranks – they are attacking the radical Islamic group Hamas, which has declared them traitors.
In addition, the Palestinian authority under the control of President Mahmoud Abbas is completely dependent on the international community: it is funded by the US and the EU.
If the current status quo is that the Palestinian leadership will have to take responsibility for economic and social development of their country. But it is absolutely not keen to lose their permanent victim status under the name “Palestine”.
First, the Arab countries need to modernize
Thus, the decision on the existence of the two States more and more distant from reality, until it became a pleasant self-deception. In fact, the Palestinian state will be viable only in a symbiotic relationship with the Israeli economy and society. Dependence on economically weak and unstable neighbours, Jordan and Egypt, will not give the Palestinians any prospects.
So, now really is the time for radical revision of the terms of the Israeli-Palestinian peace solution. There are many indications that this will be possible only when the region will change the situation. Only when the Arab States will truly follow the way of modernization and humanization of our societies and cease to be considered an enemy of Israel (as they always justify their failures), will be possible to change the mentality of the Palestinians.
The dual problem of the Iranian expansion and destructive jihadism can serve as a crucial incentive for the Arab world. But a long-term perspective. A quick solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not. A realistic option at the moment is just an attempt of the gradual improvement of bilateral relations in a pragmatic way.