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The one firm truth about the Middle East is that the truth changes with alarming speed and regularity.
It all usually depends on which despot, regime, fanatic or extremist is in the ascendancy at any given moment, and which racist, mass-murderer, dictator or relgious theocracy has been deoposed or alternatively murdered its way to the top most recently.
Read here an up-to-date article by former Israeli ambassador to Egypt Zvi Mazel on the current situation in Israel’s southern neighbour Egypt. The focus is on the Muslim Brotherhood and other unsavoury extremist movements even further off the chart. The Middle East Forum (MEF) also has an excellent analysis of the Muslim Bortherhood. Visit Debka File for more in-depth analysis of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Click here for an short video on what Middle East expert Daniel Pipes has to say about the Muslim Brotherhood, and read here his more in-depth analysis on the same subject in light of what has been termed the “Arab Spring” but which seems to be more of an “Arab Spring, Muslim Winter“.
Writing for Stratfor, a provider of global geopolitical analysis, George Friedman penned a wide-ranging, nuanced and admirably detailed study of the current situation in Israel and the wider Middle East. His article is entitled “Israel’s New Strategic Environment”.
His analysis is interesting, but flawed or at best incomplete in certain respects.
One factor George Friedman overlooks is Israel’s emerging energy independence resulting from recent discoveries of fossil fuel reserves. Its vast natural gas (and possibly even oil) finds offshore will help create a financial and strategic buffer that frees it to some extent from any purported “patron’s” (read: US) apron-strings.
Another related aspect is that Israel has developed industrial-scale solar energy technology for overseas markets, most notably Spain and the USA, and is now moving ahead with construction of its own solar farms in the Negev Desert in the south of the country. This too translates into added energy independence. Israel’s accelerated water desalination programme naturally dovetails with these developments since water desalination is a major energy consumer. The availability of water, probably more than anything else including Iran’s genocidal programme, is likely to be the main cause of armed conflict in the region.
A third aspect not taken into consideration is Israel’s decision to build an intermodal sea-rail transport link from Eilat on its Red Sea coast to Ashdod on its Mediterranean coast. This will neatly bypass the troubled Suez Canal. Egypt, which controls the Suez Canal, is heading towards an uncertain future as Islamist fanatics boost their political clout. Sharia plays an increasingly dominant role in Egyptian society and the country’s economy and youth unemployment are spiralling out of control. Global commerce and industry thrive on stability, and an unstable transport route via the Suez Canal will be abandoned when a viable alternative emerges. Israel’s new intermodal transport system has the double benefit of guaranteeing the Jewish state’s independence of freight movement from the Far East, while at the same time generating massive revenues from other countries using this route instead of the volatile Suez.
A fourth factor overlooked in the Stratfor analysis is double-pronged: money and the Arab Spring – incidentally the longest “spring” in meteorological history, one set to last several years since the Arab and wider Muslim worlds seem to be inherently incapable of embracing an infrastructure for democratic power succession. For a year now all – absolutely ALL – news from the Middle East has been notable for an omission that has otherwise characterised the Middle East for the past four decades: there has been virtually no mention of the Palestinians. Events on the ground have amply demonstrated to Arab, Muslim, European and other Western nations including the US that the real problems in the Middle East have absolutely nothing to do with Palestinians. They have everything to do with endemic Arab/Muslim inability to embrace democracy, plurality, religious freedoms, gender equality, education, employment and so on. Thus far, at any rate.
What this means is that state after state, government after government, has over the past 12 months seen that all the money pumped into feeding what is widely recognised as a parasitic Palestinian blackmail scam has accomplished precisely nothing. In the past 5 years alone the Palestinians have received over 700 billion US dollars in what is euphemistically termed as “aid”. That’s diplomatic-speak for handouts, handouts specifically earmarked for the non-establishment of infrastructure/education/improvement/job creation, but specifically earmarked for maintenance of the status quo. At the same time as the Palestinian leadership continues with its official policies of EU- and US-funded human rights abuses – against the Palestinian population.
When the Arab world was set ablaze for reasons which had nothing to do with the Jewish state, the Palestinian agenda simply evaporated. In a climate of current global recession, perhaps even a threatening global economic meltdown, the last thing Europe/the US et al will want to do is to channel even more of their already scarce funds to fuel a society whose sole reason for existence is to perpetuate their status as permanent aid recipients without letting up on their constant barrage of negativity in the form of terrorism, fanaticism and racist indoctrination, of the sort that most recently fuelled the terrible events in Toulouse, France. All this while queues of unemployed, dispossessed homeowners, school dropouts and the sick and elderly grow in London, Paris, Washington, Stockholm, Madrid.
In other words, the current global economic situation is something the article does not factor in, and that is a major omission. The Palestinian “problem” is transparently the baby of the West – the Arab nations themselves want nothing to do with it, even refusing to fund its perpetuation. This is a realisation that is gradually dawning on the West, although it is regarded as not politically correct to express in words.
Neither does the article underscore just how dedicated the Israeli government and the Israeli people (minus a vociferous but minority fringe Left) are to the survival of the Jewish state; it fails to take account of the Israeli psyche, the single most important tenet of post-1948 policy: Never Again. If Israel is threatened (and Iran is currently the only major contender) and feels it has to go it alone even if this risks sparking a global military conflagration, she will still go through with it. Because there are no other options for Israel’s survival. What Middle East analysts seldom talk about is that Israel’s current (and ongoing) image was set when she reluctantly (and catastrophically) agreed to stay her hand after Saddam Hussein sent his Scud missiles roaring into Israel’s population centres in the first Gulf War. That inaction created the perception that Israel could be manipulated into docility – by her “allies” no less. PM Netanyahu is never, ever, going to allow a repetition of that mistake. It is that strategic mistake that has shaped the rejectionist Islamist world’s perception of Israel’s position ever since.
It is therefore a mistake that will not be repeated. Not by the Likud’s Netanyahu, nor by any possible successor from Labour or Kadima. Yet it is a reality that most analysts do not even recognise, let alone factor in when they review the Middle East.
This autumn will reveal whether Israel becomes embroiled alone in a regional war, or whether the wider world will finally abandon its policy of hypocrisy and acknowledge the true threat to world peace: Iran and its Islamist allies Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas and their thrust for a Middle East ethnically cleansed of all Jews. Thwarting this genocidal Islamist push may escalate into world war. Such a development largely depends on how desperate US President Obama is to get re-elected.
A priest far in the Christian religious periphery, with a mere 50 followers grouped in one single country – the USA – announced his intention to set fire to a couple of copies of the Koran. But he didn’t actually do it.
At the same time – or to be more accurate long, long before and continuing all the way to this very day – an insane Islamist in Iran claims that the Holocaust never took place, that he intends to slaughter all the Jews in the world, erase the state of Israel from the map of the world, launch a war against an octopus, destroy another sovereign UN member state – the USA – and take over the Western world, kill all the world’s Christians, eradicate all homosexuals, indoctrinate children so they have no other aim in life than to become homicide bombers in the name of Islamism, and conduct a war of terror that will last years, decades or centuries until Islam dominates the globe, irrespective of how many people die and how much destruction is cause the world over.
This man with his peculiar penchant for declaring war on the octopus does not have a mere 50 supporters. He and his cohorts are eagerly followed by hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic, bloodthirsty maniacs the world over, they already have a de facto state where the Lebanon once stood and they have another in the making further south on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza, just north of Egypt. In addition they are strengthening their grip and penetrating the minds and politics of countries as far apart as Pakistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Not to mention France, Sweden, Britain and Germany. The global media and political echelon, however, are with some exceptions remarkably silent about the power behind this phenomenon; they simply will not utter the “Islamist” word.
In the case of the 50 sorry US individuals who toyed with the idea of burning the Koran, the media and politicians launched into a cacophonous feeding frenzy – even the USA Secretary of Defence got in on the act to prevent an insult to Islamism. As blogger Michelle Malkin points out, Islamists seem to be remarkably easy to insult. She gives documentary and photographic evidence of mainstream Western media refusing to show burned korans but happily showing burned bibles. So much for religious sensibilities.
In the USA the Constitution allows the burning of the American flag, whatever one might think of such an aggressive and unpatriotic act, and some Americans do so to vent their feelings. The US Defence Secretary drinks his morning coffee without a murmur of protest as the flag he has sworn to protect goes up in flames. But it suddenly becomes a matter of the utmost national and international priority and deserving of his personal attention when someone announces his intention to burn a copy of the koran.
In the case of the global Islamist jihadists both the media and politicians are characterised by a solid, awkward but ultimately self-destructive silence in the name of political correctness.
Political Correctness paves the way for an illegitimate violent political ideology – Islamism – which is making sinister and swift inroads into democratic and civilised society from behind the skirts of a legitimate religion with a similar-sounding name: Islam.
For additional insight into the dangers of Islamism and its insidious invasion of civilised society, read these articles and others by Daniel Pipes: