The "Middle East and Terrorism" Blog was created in order to supply information about the implication of Arab countries and Iran in terrorism all over the world. Most of the articles in the blog are the result of objective scientific research or articles written by senior journalists.
From the Ethics of the Fathers: "He [Rabbi Tarfon] used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it."
Monday, November 11, 2013
Kerry, Stay Home
by Prof. Efraim Inbar
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 219
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: US
Secretary of State John Kerry warned of a return to Palestinian
violence and Israel’s isolation should peace talks fail. This is yet
another reflection of the Obama administration’s inability to properly
understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel has strong
international backing and will not be isolated as Kerry indicates. The
Palestinians know that a return to violence will only be met by a strong
US Secretary of State John Kerry warned of a return to Palestinian
violence and Israel’s isolation if the faltering peace talks between
Israel and the Palestinians ultimately fail. This is a typical leftist
Pavlovian response to the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
that is now over a decade old. Such thinking primarily reflects the
frustration that the optimistic evaluations that the conflict can be
ended quickly remain unfulfilled. Unfortunately, Kerry’s remarks tell
the Palestinians to hold on to their maximalist positions. This reflects
an inability to grasp the intricacies of protracted intractable ethnic
conflict and a misguided American policy.
There is definitely a possibility that the Palestinians, in particular
the radical forces, will recur to violence. In reality these forces try
to kill Israelis all the time, and a dearth of terrorist attacks in
recent years can only be attributed to the work of the Israeli security
forces. Yet the likelihood of massive organized violence by the
Palestinian Authority (PA) is small. Rocking the boat endangers too many
vested interests of the Palestinian ruling class. The PA leadership has
probably registered the heavy price paid by the Palestinians during
their terrorist campaign at the beginning of the twenty-first century,
as a result of Israeli countermeasures.
Moreover, even if the Palestinians miscalculate once again and go for a
“third Intifada,” Israel’s capability to contain terrorism and other
modes of civilian struggle is high. The Israeli army can be trusted to
meet all challenges successfully. Most important, a large majority of
Israelis believe that the Palestinian demands, such as Jerusalem and the
“Right of Return,” are the real obstacles to peace. This large
consensus about Palestinian intransigence allows for significant social
mobilization and resilience in protracted conflict. Israelis will go
once more to war with a feeling of “Ein Breira” (no choice) and are likely to win that engagement as well.
Large parts of the hypocritical world may indeed see Israel as the
culprit for the failure of the negotiations and for a new round of
Israeli-Palestinian violence. But such negative attitudes do not
necessarily lead to international isolation. Public statements and the
voting record of states at the UN – an ineffective, morally bankrupt
organization – are not indicative of the true nature of interstate
National interests dictate state actions, and in most cases bilateral
relations with Israel are hardly affected by the ups and downs in the
peace talks with the Palestinians. For example, the rising powers India
and China have expanded their bilateral ties with Jerusalem because it
is in their interest to engage a successful state such as Israel.
Nowadays, when the Iranian threat dominates the region, Arab Sunni
states such as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, who are exasperated with
American behavior, are in the same strategic boat as Israel. Generally,
the Middle East – especially today, while in the throes of a colossal
political, social, and economic crisis – is hardly paying attention to
the Palestinian issue. In the Caucasus and in Central Asia, Muslim
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are friendly to Israel.
Moreover, isolation of Israel is unlikely because of the large existing
reservoirs of support for Israel in many quarters. Canada and Australia
are ruled by governments most responsive to Israeli concerns. Even in
Western Europe, concerns about Muslim immigration and foreign aid place
the Palestinians in a problematic spot. Above all, two-thirds of
Americans have consistently favored Israel over the past two decades,
which translates into Congressional support. The US is Israel’s most
important ally and even the Obama administration has maintained the
strong support and cooperation in the military sphere.
But the prism of the Obama administration on the Middle East and global
affairs is fundamentally flawed. An American foreign policy that
supports the Muslim Brotherhood, estranges its traditional Arab allies
such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, allows Iran to get closer to the bomb,
sees in Turkey’s Erdoğan a great friend of the West, and insists that
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be ended in nine months is
dangerous and does more damage that good. Similar complaints about poor
US political judgment are abundantly voiced by America’s friends in
Asian and Eastern European capitals.
It is the enemies of the US who rejoice in President Barack Obama’s
foreign policy, and who relish in America’s perceived decline in world
Ironically, at this historic juncture, even an isolationist America
would be a better alternative for those that want the good guys to win.
Therefore, dear President Obama, please do us a favor: save some money
and keep Kerry at home.
Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies,
is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and a fellow
at the Middle East Forum.
BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family