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Took the bait. Tahrir Square (archives) Photo: AP
Took the bait. Tahrir Square (archives) Photo: AP
 
 

Arab Spring's side effects

Op-ed: Threats against Israel desperate attempt by Arab leaders to divert attention from ailing economies

Guy Bechor
Published: 01.07.13, 11:09 / Israel Opinion

Some of the side effects of the "Arab Spring" virus are the threats and insults directed at Israel. It's a strange phenomenon: All of the Mideast's leaders - including both the "moderates" and the "extremists" - are threatening or cursing Israel these days. Be it Ahmadinejad or Erdogan, the lovers of Zion; Morsi's adviser and the Muslim Brotherhood; Assad's aides or the Syrian rebels (each side is accusing Israel of assisting the other, while neither side is of any interest to Israel); terror elements such as Hezbollah and Hamas; and even the "moderates," meaning the Palestinian Authority and Jordan; they are all attacking Israel. One threatens that Israel will no longer exist a decade from now, while the other asserts that it has already ceased to exist; one threatens with missiles and demographics, while the another threatens with the UN and his deputy threatens with the Arab League. No one is trying to be politically correct; when Israel is the topic, people are allowed to say anything.

 

The question is why? Why do the regional leaders bother to threaten Israel when their own countries are withering away; when their economies are collapsing; when they themselves are threatened by counter-revolutions and when their promises of reform never materialized? The answer is in the question itself.

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For several decades Arab and Mideast leaders have been trying to conceal the bitter truth from their citizens by diverting their attention to Israel. They built armies with compulsory service which they can no longer fund and conducted a propaganda campaign to blame Israel for everything as a means of survival. The masses took the bait and yelled "long live the president."

 

But over the past two years the truth has been exposed: There is no connection between Israel and the dire economic and social situation in the Arab world; ethnic groups against ethnic groups; tribes against tribes; religions against religions; violence and blood; and those who promised that "Islam is the solution" have no way of making good on their almost mystical promise. In other words, the threats against Israel are part of a desperate, almost ridiculous attempt to get back to the good old days, when the millions believed these lies.

 

Let us not get confused. These threats do not indicate an intent to go to war with Israel. The new Arab leaders are well aware of Israel's military and economic strength. This is just another attempt to use Israel in order to direct the Arab rage outward.

 

These threats and insults do not have much of an effect on Israel, a country of eight million people with the strongest army in the Middle East and the fastest growing market in the West. The stability of the regimes in the Middle East should be measured according to the amount of threats they make against Israel. The weaker the ruler is, the more threats he will make, and vice versa.

 

 

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