Shattering Illusions: Israel and the Dramatic Changes in the Middle East

The dramatic changes that have been occurring in the Middle East have exposed many firmly held views to critical scrutiny. Many illusions are being shattered by the emerging reality.  This is based on a talk entitled “Israel and the Dramatic Changes in the Middle East” that I gave at Temple Beth Emek in Livermore, CA, in March.

  1. The Palestinians are important.  The Palestinians have no army, no air force, no navy, and no effective organization as a state.  They are ineffectual and maximally corrupt.  Billions of aid dollars have been stolen by their leadership.  One must feel sorry for their self-induced state. The Palestinians don’t count.  All they can do is use terrorism against Israelis.  The sympathy and actions of BDS will not help them.
  2. The Palestinian problem must be solved before the Arab world can make peace with Israel.  This is the accepted view, but current events tend to support my contention that the reverse is true, namely that the Arab States must make peace with Israel before the Palestinian problem can be resolved.  Thus, the leading Sunni Arab States realize that an alliance with Israel against their common enemy Shia Iran is very much more in their interests than any interest they might have in the Palestinians.  Also, the Palestinians are never likely to consider peace with Israel while they feel that they have the support of the Arab world.  The Arabs are losing patience and interest in the Palestinians, with their constant internal conflicts and extremism.
  3. A Two-State Solution is the only viable solution to the Middle East Conflict.  The only people who really believe in a Two-State solution for the Israel-Palestinian conflict are Western diplomats and liberals.  The Palestinians do not want it, neither Hamas nor Fatah, since to accept this would be to give up their total commitment to destroying Israel in order to gain control of all of what was Palestine.  Israelis don’t want it, because they know that to have a Palestinian mini-State adjacent to the Israeli heartland will result in the influx of all sorts of terrorists (Palestinian, al Qaeda, ISIS, etc.) that would result in constant warfare and death.  Who would be stupid enough to facilitate this?
  4. The Palestinians have many allies in the Arab world.  While the Arabs still give nominal political support for the Palestinian cause, they no longer are prepared (apart from Qatar and Iran, that is not Arab) to support it.  The Arab States fought not for Palestine against Israel, but for themselves.  No Arab State, from 1948 – 1982 had any plan or intention to establish a Palestinian State.  When they attacked in 1948 they each, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, had their own plans for conquest.  But, they were defeated.  They tried again in 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982, but failed miserably.  After that they gave up.  Only Syria and Iraq of the proximal Arab States remained possible threats to Israel, that was until the so-called “Arab Spring,” after which they imploded.
  5. Israel is an isolated country, surrounded by enemies.  No Arab State or combination of States pose any real military threat to Israel now, and they are certainly not going to attack for the Palestinians. Only Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah are any real military threat to Israel.  Israel is no longer isolated in the world, its current friends include the US, Brazil, Bulgaria, Poland, Chad, Rwanda, Greece, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, UK, Canada, Japan, etc. Israel is affluent, the shekel is one of the strongest currencies in the world and Israel has tangible assets with which to deal, including advanced agriculture, scientific innovation, cyber security and military capability.

Notwithstanding the prevalent view among self-deluded liberals and leftists, the Palestinian cause is a lost cause and Israel is becoming a stronger more stable and more powerful country all the time.