Eitan Haber
Photo: Shalom Bar Tal
Arab spring
Photo: AP

Pita bread or missiles?

Op-ed: 'Arab Spring' states should focus on the economy, but their logic is different from ours

Even a fool or a minor can see what is going on around us: Right before our eyes, a new history is being created in hostile countries with tens of millions of citizens, and we are watching it all unfold from the stands, eating sunflower seeds and cursing the referee and the players.


But in the very near future this process will begin affecting our lives, and the lives of our children, grandchildren and the next generations.


At this point the West, including Israel, is displaying a deep lack of understanding regarding the developments in the pan-Muslim Brotherhood arena. Some say the State of Israel has not been in a more challenging situation since the Yom Kippur War.


In every country, every arena, something is happening, and we must deal with it, strategically and tactically. At the same time we have to deal with Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank – and the list goes on and on.


The State of Israel, as part of the West, is under attack by Global Jihad. The ideology and tactics were imported by al-Qaeda, which does not have a supreme commander or a hierarchical structure. This idea is winning the hearts of millions.


All the Muslim countries in our region, and those that are more distant, are trembling with fear. In a few of them, such as Egypt, the Islamic takeover has already been completed, while in others, like Syria, the bloody struggle is ongoing. As Bashar Assad slowly drowns in the waters of the ocean of radicalism, we must consider who will succeed him, because these "rebels" will probably pose a bigger threat to Israel. They are divided up into separate, rival groups that have one thing in common: Fanatical religious Islam which aims to take over the world, or at least a big chink of it.


"Muslims butcher Christians and the Jews are blamed for it," Ariel Sharon said after the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon. These days Muslims are being butchered by Muslims, but who will pay the price? We will, and not only us.


The Arab world is falling apart into sub-states and zones. In the short term this should provide us with some calm, until they get organized. History has taught us that eventually, when this process is completed in a few years' time, the entire Muslim world will blame Israel and make it the main target.


Israel cannot, of course, reach out to those who seek its demise, but within the rival groups in the Arab countries there are those who understand that the fight for the lives of millions in the coming years will apparently be economic.


Israel must make it clear to them that it is one of the countries that hold the key to the gates of produce. For instance, in 5-8 years Mr. Morsi from Egypt will need 100 million pitas a day so that every Egyptian will be able to eat just one a day. The Egyptians will only dream about eating Mulukhiyah, a popular dish.


In the current situation, Morsi and the leaders of the rest of the "Arab Spring" countries must decide what is more important to them: Pitas or missiles.


The West, and apparently Israel as well, assume that in the coming years the Arab leaders will choose the Middle Eastern bread and the economy. They will be judged on how they deal with the economic challenges. This is just healthy western logic. But who says our logic is their logic?



פרסום ראשון: 10.11.12, 10:37
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