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Monday, January 31, 2011

The New Middle East

The New York Times' Ethan Bronner has got it right regarding sentiment here in Israel over the past week.
As the government evacuated the families of envoys from Egypt over the weekend, public affairs broadcasts and newspapers in Israel focused heavily on the unfolding events there. Most of the predictions were dire. Two of three newspapers with the largest circulations, Yediot Aharonot and Maariv, had identical front page headlines: “A New Middle East.”

It was an ironic reference to the phrase used frequently in the 1990s by President Shimon Peres and other advocates of coexistence who argued that if Israel made peace with its neighbors, a more prosperous and enlightened region would bloom. Events of the past five years — the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, the rise of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran’s influence in Iraq and the shift by Turkey toward Iran and Syria — have turned many Israelis rightward, fearing that the more time passes the more the region is against them.

Israelis worry that Jordan is in a precarious state and a successful overthrow in Egypt could spread there. And if the Muslim Brotherhood were to gain power in Egypt that would likely mean not only a stronger Islamist force in Gaza but also in the West Bank, currently run by the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, as well as in Jordan, meaning Israel would feel surrounded in a way it has not in decades.

If Egypt also turned unfriendly that would likely stop in its tracks any further Israeli talk of peace negotiations with the Palestinians, officials and analysts said. A peace treaty with the West Bank would involve yielding territory and military control to a relatively weak Palestinian Authority. Trading land for peace with autocrats like Mr. Mubarak, some analysts say, is not a sound basis for enduring treaties.

There has long been concern that popular sentiment in Egypt is anti-Israel. Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo wrote in Yediot Aharonot newspaper, “The only people in Egypt who are committed to peace are the people in Mubarak’s inner circle and if the next president is not one of them, we are going to be in trouble.”
Bronner is only hinting at a much wider problem. What's true of Egypt is also true of Jordan and of the 'Palestinian Authority.' To the extent that we have peace with any of them, that peace is with the elites, with the leadership, and not with the people. Worse, the elites have never been willing to go to bat to tell their people the truth - that Israel is here to stay. Instead, they - especially the 'Palestinian Authority' - continue to encourage with a wink and a nudge the notion that the Jewish presence in this region is temporary and will eventually be vitiated.

It was a mistake not to insist on re-education of the Egyptian population as part of the Camp David accords. And when negotiators woke up to that fact with the 'road map' in 2003, the 'Palestinians' ignored the responsibility, and continued to allow and encourage their media to incite against the Jews.

Unless and until there is a fundamental change in the way in which Muslim Arabs (and Persians) think, there is no place for 'peace negotiations' here. Israel should announce that kowtowing to the West at the expense of risking our lives is over. If that means withdrawing from the UN, so be it.

Read the whole thing.

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At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was a mistake not to insist on re-education of the Egyptian population as part of the Camp David accords."

Wrong! The Camp David Accords were a mistake - period!

Menachem Begin's folly. When Hashem gives you a great gift, you don't return it.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...


Territory for peace in the new era we're living in is not only crazy, it is downright suicidal. Its not Israel's responsibility to erect a Hamasstan in Yesha - that is not something Israel owes future generations of Jews.

Israel needs to stop being concerned with what the world thinks and start being concerned with its own survival. We're not going to have peace in the Middle East in our lifetime.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Well, I think the leader of the current U.S. administration is the "inside man" for the Sharia advocates - Iran mullahs, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. I would say he is the marxist part of the marxist/Islamist team, but the Islamists killed off the non-Sharia people (marxists, cooperating military leaders) in Iran, so he would have to be impractical to be in this if he were the marxist side. I do think he is (also) a marxist, but in this case, he is running a screen play for the Sharia thugs. He thinks he's on their side and will therefore be safe from their weeding process once they have enough power. Just read about Iran... If I were Israel, I would stop the usual Israeli obsession with apportioning of blame and get focussed. For example, what needs to be done regarding all the U.S. military equipment in Egypt?

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Actually, I'm thinking that the Iranian mullahs and the Muslim Brotherhood and their offshoots are throwing a temper tantrum because*** Stuxnet*** has foxed their trot in their effort to conveniently go after Israel with nukes. So now they are going to have to do it the old fashioned (messy) way: (from Atlas)



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