Photo: Yariv Katz
Guy Bechor
Photo: Yariv Katz

Welcome to new Mideast

Op-ed: As it turns out, Arab-Israeli conflict a marginal issue, not the key to regional stability

A terrible thing happened to the Middle East: The only glue that brought together all the sects, religions, tribes, nationalities and minorities - who all hate each other – was Israel, yet this glue no longer works.


Ever since Israel was established, we got accustomed to hearing global experts and the Arabs themselves claiming that Israel is at fault for the Mideast’s sorry state, that the Arabs are preoccupied with the struggle against Israel to the point of having no time for themselves, and that should Israel’s conflict vis-à-vis the Arab world be resolved, cosmic tranquility will sweep through the region, ushering in progress, prosperity and happiness.


This doctrine allowed Arab world leaders to make a living and also allowed Western states to blame us for all the region’s ills. This is the outdated doctrine that still guides Obama’s close associates. For example: The need to press for the establishment of a Palestinian state, as though that would bring stability to the Middle East.


This doctrine was false to begin with. It was created in order to slam Israel, secure a bogus common denominator for the Arabs, and prevent them from looking in the mirror. However, many people fell in the trap, even here. To this day, Shimon Peres claims that a solution to the Palestinian conflict will serve to stabilize the whole region.


The problem was proving that Israel has little to do with the disaster faced by the Arabs. This was the case until the arrival of the new era; the current age of revolutions and rebellions. Suddenly, it turned out that Israel is a rather marginal element in the Mideast and certainly does not constitute the heart of the conflict.


Israel has nothing to do with the Libyan civil war, Egypt is burning domestically, Syria approaches a violent regime change, Lebanon is being cooked in its own juices, Yemen is reaching boiling point, Saudi Arabia is shaking, Bahrain is battleground between Shiites and Sunnis, and so are Tunisia, Algeria and other states facing uprisings.


West’s only regional ally

The pathetic rulers of these countries attempted to blame us. This is what Yemen’s president, Iran’s shaky president and the murderer of his own people in Libya did – yet nobody in the region buys into these fables anymore. Even if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Israel will clash with the Palestinians, it will merely be yet another regional conflict amid many others, and certainly not the most brutal or lethal one.


Many people are having a tough time coping with the collapse of the “heart of the conflict theory” – for example, the Arabs and some Israeli and global leaders, who relied on this doctrine for many years. Yet one cannot argue with the facts. The United States, France and Britain are bombing and brutalizing the Arabs in Libya much more than Israel does. Perhaps these Western states are now the heart of the conflict?


The implication is that Israel, which until now was perceived as a problem, is turning into a sort of solution. As opposed to the sea of tribes, sects and religions in the Middle East, Israel is a stable, reliable, credible and democratic force. One can work with it and trust it to serve as the stabilizer of Western, democratic and international interests.


Once upon a time, people would say that there are some pro-Western rulers in the Middle East. Yet where are they today? Ranging from Mubarak to Ben Ali and from Gaddafi to the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia, they have all evaporated or greatly weakened. From now on, they shall keep their distance from the vengeful West. Israel is now not only the West’s most reliable regional ally, but its only ally in fact.


With Israel now clearing itself of the “root of all evil” blood libel and the demonization that surrounded it, the Jewish state can look straight ahead, hold its head up high, and resumes its relationship with the world on a new basis. We must repeat this insight everywhere: It has been proven that the old doctrine, whereby the Israeli-Arab or Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to Mideastern stability, is false, and apparently was never true.


For the Arab world, these are days of new self determination; as it turns out, the same is true for Israel as well.



פרסום ראשון: 03.24.11, 11:19
 new comment
This will delete your current comment