Photo: AP
'Saddam's hanging may become a moment of truth in history of Middle East'
Photo: AP
Eitan Haber

Oy, what a 'new Middle East'

Regional developments likely to make 2007 very uncomfortable for Israel

It will take quite some time, months or even years, until we actually see Saddam Hussein's body swinging from a rope in a Baghdad square.


It will be a day of joy for millions of Iraqis who would break out in dance in celebration of their freedom. It would also present an opportunity for millions of other Iraqis to get their revenge.


One way or another, we'll wake to a new Middle East on that particular morning, and it won't be the one envisioned by Shimon Peres. Either way, 2007 is approaching and it will probably be a critical year for the State of Israel. The moment Saddam's neck snaps in the grip of the noose,  would be cause enough, even now, for great concern in Jerusalem.


Ehud Olmert is set to leave for Washington Sunday evening, and "the day after" must be a primary topic for discussion between him and the "lame" Bush - everything else is irrelevant.


If the current state of affairs in the Middle East continues, Saddam's hanging will become a defining moment, a moment of truth in the history of the Middle East: The US will end its hegemony in this part of the world and although Russia is still not a potential heir, a successor has been found in the form of radical Islam and Iran. Perhaps even Syria would tag along and with it hundreds of millions of extremists throughout the Arab world.


Sooner or later, Saddam's hanging will serve as a turning point as America folds in Iraq. The recent mid-term elections have clearly indicated that this is the will of the American people. In effect, the US is fleeing Iraq, and the obvious conclusion reached from such a move is that the US has lost its military capability in the Middle East.


On top of the world

The Arabs, in broad general terms, no longer fear the US and view themselves as the victors in the war against the "great Satan" represented by Bush, Rumsfeld and "Condi."


In their view this image is a reflection of what transpired even before the Americans' flight from Iraq: Israel's defeat – as they see it – in the second Lebanon war.


In other words, there is no longer anyone to fear, and they, the extreme Muslims, are on the path to global success. They are on top of the world.


If such a situation, heaven forbid, presents itself, it would have immediate ramifications on everything around us: Neighboring Arab states deemed "moderate" would join forces to protect their regimes and their leaderships against the radical tsunami.


Turkey, our strategic neighbor, would fear aspirations for independence by millions of Kurds who live amongst them and by the Shiites close to their borders, and will ask us politely to keep our distance. The Americans would make every effort to appease rising Islam and we'll end up waking "to the dawn of a new day," further away than ever from Washington's eyes and heart.


The next US president, whoever he or she may be, would have to maintain America's friendship with Israel but would also seek a close relationship with the Arabs.


Of course, this grim state of affairs could be totally reversed as a result of an unforeseen incident – however, if the world doesn't turn upside down, 2007 is likely to be a very uncomfortable year for us.


And if this is what's to be expected, the Israeli government's only conclusion must be to make every effort to calm the flames in the region, to hold the hands of the moderate Arab states, and to rack its brains in an attempt to find a solution vis-à-vis the Palestinians, the Syrians and the Lebanese people. It must do everything in its power to create a defensive shield against the militant Islam that is devouring the world in flames.


In such an event, the inhabitants of the West Bank and the Golan Heights would have to pay dearly, as hinted by Ehud Olmert last week. "Abu Mazen (PA leader Mahmoud Abbas) will be surprised to find out how far I would be willing to go."


Of course, on the other end we still have the ancient recipe of putting our trust in God, but bitter experience has taught us that recently God needs some reinforcements.


פרסום ראשון: 11.12.06, 11:41
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