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Monday, July 06, 2009

A convenient silence

As I noted two weeks ago, in the July issue of the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg suggests an alliance between the Jews and Sunni Islam against Iran.
The definitive Middle East cliché is, of course, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Well, it turns out that today, more than at any other time in the ruinous 100-year encounter between Arabs and Jews on the strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the two parties in the dispute have a common enemy: the Shia Persian Islamic Republic of Iran. President Obama’s skills and charisma just might bring Sunni Arabs and Israeli Jews together, but he will be helped inestimably if he considers that the road to peace runs not through Jerusalem but through Karbala. Consider the possibility of a grand, if necessarily implicit, Jewish-Sunni alliance as a gift to Obama from his predecessor.
Goldberg argued that Israel needed to pay for the alliance with hard currency: A 'settlement freeze.' I argued that all Israel needed was tacit silence and that the Egyptians and the Saudis would probably give us that anyway because it is in their own interest.
Any 'alliance' with the Sunni states would be temporary (at best) and the only contribution the Sunnis are likely to make is their silence in response to Israel doing the deed. We can get that much from them without any formal alliance and without making real concessions. In fact, that would probably be their natural reaction to an Israeli strike against Iran (think of Egypt's and Saudi Arabia's tacit silence for most of the time that Israel was bombing the crap out of Hezbullah in Lebanon in the summer of 2006).
In a blog post on Monday, Goldberg argues that yesterday's Times of London report that the Saudis are going to allow Israel to fly over their country on the way to attack Iran proves his point.

This is far from an alliance. It's a convenient silence that is in both parties' best interests. Hopefully, Israel has not and will not pay for it.


At 7:20 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

the next chance the "Sunni allies" get, they will stab us in the back.

I wouldn´t recommend trusting them, and Obama´s eyzes even less

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...


important to publish

At 8:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

A temporary "marriage of convenience" is not friendship. The Sunni Arabs do not love Jews and do not want peace with Israel. Their dealings with Israel are to address a common threat. Its says nothing about the day after. It would behoove Israel to remember it.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger ais cotten19 said...

Risky. Hate to see what happens if an Israeli strike is unsuccessful.


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