Israel and the coming ‘parties of God’

Dr. Naser al-Tamimi

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Observers of Israeli politics can note without a problem that many Jewish leaders believe that the strategic balance of power in the Middle East has changed forever. They can also note that Israel is in a position to get rid of the “burden of peace” with the Palestinians and impose their harsh conditions which will “re-produce” the occupation in one way or another. As Gilead Sher, Head of the Institute for National Security Studies Center for Negotiations in Tel Aviv and former Israeli Chief Peace Negotiator put it politely: “Israel will retain control of the ‘security envelope’ and the external borders of the territories that will be evacuated.”

The logic of those leaders says that with the fall of the Syrian army, the Arab-Israel wars maybe forever ended. This matter is associated with the demise of the power of the Iraqi army, and the possibility that Iraq suffers from lingering instability. Egypt also faces complex economic and political conditions, making the country unable to do anything to help the Palestinians. This is in addition to the involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in the Syrian quagmire.

Under these conditions, the environment has become fertile enough to impose the peace terms on the Palestinians and the Arabs. It seems that there are many decision-making circles in the United States and Europe agreeing with the Israeli logic one way or another.

The failure of colonial logic

This political logic seems understandable in the short term, but it seems that most of the Israeli leaders do not want to learn from the experiences of history. Colonial logic has failed to subjugate other peoples by military force, as the American military machine failed to impose the political agenda in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. We should remember what John F. Kennedy once said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

The Palestinians may be at their weakest moment throughout history, but this does not mean in any way the end of their cause.

Naser Al-Tamimi

From my point of view, the policy of the current Israeli government is planting the seeds of the next conflict, which may be more dangerous and bloody. The fall of the Arab armies would not be the end of the conflict, and will not bring peace to Israel or the region. As the harsh conditions imposed on the Palestinian Authority will not bring stability.

Perhaps the experience of Lebanon may be a useful example in this aspect. The fall of the state contributed in one way or another to the emergence of Hezbollah, which currently represents a force to be reckoned with. Here we can say that in the event of the fall of the Syrian state, this may contribute to creating a new Hezbollah, whether Sunni or Shiite - it doesn’t matter, which is probably stretching its influence to the Golan Heights, as well as Jordan, which has a long border with Palestine.

Also, the instability of the situation in Egypt may enhance the possibility that jihadist elements take control in the Sinai, not to mention the jihadist movements in Gaza, and the presence of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

The Palestinians may be at their weakest moment throughout history, but this does not mean in any way the end of their cause. It is true that the Palestinian issue is no longer tops the agenda of many conferences in the Middle East. The political and economic challenges faced by many Arab countries are enormous and serious, and if political elites fail to solve them, accompanied with the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the settlements, the Palestinian issue may return more strongly than before and sooner than we imagine. However, this time Israel must deal with the “parties of God” scattered all over the region, not with the so-called “moderate Arab camp” which may not exist... It’s a string of events I don’t think the world wishes to come true.

Dr. Naser Al-Tamimi is a UK-based Middle East analyst and the author of the forthcoming book “China-Saudi Arabia Relations, 1990-2012: Marriage of Convenience or Strategic Alliance?” He is also Al Arabiya’s regular contributor with particular research interest in energy politics and political economy of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and Middle East-Asia relations. The writer can be reached at: Twitter: @ nasertamimi and email: nasertamimi@hotmail.co.uk

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