Given US weakness, IDF serves as strongest guarantee for Mideastern stability.
By Guy Bechor
As the Obama Administration continues to show weakness in the Middle East, the region slips into a state of instability. The recent American flight from Iraq, with the clear knowledge that this miserable state will be facing a maelstrom of ethnic violence, merely weakened the Administration further while boosting the axis comprising Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Erdogan.
Despite the show in Washington, the Israeli-Palestinian track faces a complete impasse and there is no real way of reaching a breakthrough. This time we actually have Israeli desire to progress, as result of Israel’s desire to get rid of the Palestinian problem that weighs it down, yet Abbas and his people do not have a mandate to make any decisions.
The more Iran’s nuclear program advances, the more scared Tehran becomes about being attacked, and this is the reason for the daily missile displays, almost like Nasrallah’s show of speeches – in both cases this is the result of weakness rather than strength. Oddly, they fail to understand that these shows merely serve to undermine their image.
Iran greatly concerns the Persian Gulf states, which continue to ignore Israel even though it’s, potentially, their most important ally. Old hatreds stand in the way of vital interests.
There are other reasons for the growing instability in the region. The international court already knows who murdered late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri (senior Hezbollah men) and Nasrallah is under pressure to dismiss this grave charge. Few in the Middle East buy the “evidence” he presented against Israel. Meanwhile, he resorts to harsh declarations against Israel and the US, while drawing PM Saad al-Hariri to do the same (thereby revealing himself as a man lacking spine.)
Upside down world
Turkey – a state which in the past stabilized the area yet now sweeps it, and itself, to radical directions – also adds spices to the brew of regional instability. Erdogan’s reforms against the army and the court threaten to further deteriorate this country; there is no wonder that Turkish Jews are already packing their bags, and some of them have moved here already.
Two more destabilizing elements are Hamas, which is trapped in the Gaza Strip while seeking an outlet from the diplomatic chokehold it faces, and Syrian President Bashar Assad who continues to make radical statement against Israel.
Nevertheless, none of the sides has an interest in seeing a war. Iran knows that its army is weak and obsolete and would not be able to contend with the US, Western countries, and Israel. Hezbollah and Hamas already sustained IDF blows in recent years and they will not forget them so quickly. Meanwhile, Assad understands that his minority regime may not survive a war with Israel.
The Palestinian too will not be rushing to repeat their intifada experience, which ruined them, their economy, and their chances of getting a state. As always, intifadas are launched against Israel, yet end up harming the Palestinians themselves.
Had we seen an effective, powerful US Administration in the region, as was the case with George W. Bush, many of these destabilizing elements would have been curbed. Yet nonetheless, the existential interests of all Arab sides will prevent them from prompting war.
Above all, the IDF’s power is the most important guarantee for Mideastern stability. The current-day IDF, after an immense build-up process and demonstrated achievements, is the region’s most powerful army and its strength serves as a deterrent. This is even more conspicuous in the face of the American weakness in the region.
And so, the world is upside down: Once upon a time, American power provided stability for Israel, yet today Israeli power grants stability to American interests in the Middle East.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -