Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Region Reeling Out of Control - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Saudi Arabia is also adding to the air of instability in the area. Not by the use of weapons, not with warfare but by means of the price of oil. Saudi Arabia has recently increased the supply of oil in order to flood the markets and bring down the price.

The atmosphere taking over the Middle East these days is that things are going out of control, in several ways that are seemingly independent of each other: The Palestinian Authority is rushing ahead toward recognition as a state by the UN General Assembly, the European Parliament, the International Criminal Court and many other international institutions, in a step that represents a clear and flagrant violation of the Oslo Accords, according to which the PA was established. Until now, Israel has not responded harshly to these Palestinian actions, and it is now clear that the minister who, for the past two years, was in charge of negotiating with the Palestinians, occupies the same ideological and political space as the Oslo architects. Someone in Israel has fallen asleep while guarding over the national Jewish lands that the League of Nations awarded to the Jewish People back in the days of the San Remo Conference in 1920.

As a result of the Palestinian course of action, an additional Arab state might be established in the territories of Judea and Samaria, a state that will, undoubtedly, become a Hamas state, by means of elections as already has happened in January 2006, or by means of a violent takeover, as happened in Gaza in June, 2007. Opinion polls that have been carried out among the Arabs of Judea and Samaria showed that the Hamas movement is much more popular than the Fatah movement. Therefore, every Israeli or non-Israeli who calls for establishing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria is actually calling for another terror state, just like that which arose in Gaza. The great, bloody war between this state and Israel is only a matter of time, and not a long time.

In Fallujah, Iraq, the Islamic State organization has executed a hundred and fifty women who refused to submit to the humiliating dictates of the organization. In Peshawar, Pakistan, 141 students and teachers in a school were killed by the murderous Taliban’s fire. In South Sudan a tribal war is raging and thousands of people have been killed in this young state recently. Libya continues to be a bloodbath engaged in unrestrained war between tribal militias, and in Yemen the Iranian-backed Shi’ite organization has taken over half of the country, including the capital, Sana’a.

The war that Egypt is waging against the jihadists in Sinai continues to cost many casualties on both sides, and these days the government is broadening the security zone on the border of Gaza to a kilometer, while destroying hundreds of inhabited houses in Egyptian Rafah. Where are the “human rights” organizations? Where are Rachel Corrie’s friends? Why don’t we hear them or see them stop the Egyptian bulldozers with their bodies as they did when Israel did much less than this in the Philadelphi Corridor? Why doesn’t any church call for the boycott of the Caterpillar Company, whose bulldozers are destroying these houses and the peaceful lives of the thousands of people who lived in them?

The economic crisis in Russia is also influencing the situation in the Middle East: the collapse of the ruble and the question marks over the Russian economy are causing a decline in Russian military support for the Asad regime, and this is expressed in the abject defeats that this regime has suffered in the northwestern part of the country in recent days. Two large military bases in the area of Idlib have fallen into the hands of Jabhat al Nusra, which is close to al-Qaeda; approximately one hundred soldiers and officers from the regimes’ army were killed and about 120 fell into the rebels’ captivity. These captives will serve the organization as trading cards in negotiations for freeing jihadists who are held by the regime, so that those who are freed can be placed back into the battle and turn up the fire that has been burning the Syrian regime for almost the past four bloody years.

The Islamist fighters are intensifying their efforts especially in the area of Idlib for two main reasons: One is their hope to reach the nearby Alawite area, to physically destroy the members of the Alawite minority, who are considered by the Islamists to be infidels and idol worshipers, and to take revenge on them for the many murderous deeds that Presidents Hafez and Bashar Asad have carried out on the members of the Sunni Muslim majority, beginning with Hafez Asad’s rise to power at the end of 1970, by means of the massacre in Hama in February 1982 and ending with the slaughter that has been taking place since March, 2011.

The second reason for Jabhat al-Nusra’s effort in Idlib is the Islamists desire to reach the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Controlling the coast will allow them the possibility to take to the sea in order to attack the regimes’ strongholds located in coastal cities, to attack supply ships bringing weapons and ammunition to the army, and later to export their people, fighters and jihad to Europe more easily.

Saudi Arabia is also adding to the air of instability in the area. Not by the use of weapons, not with warfare but by means of the price of oil. Saudi Arabia has recently increased the supply of oil in order to flood the markets and bring down the price. The immediate reason for the Saudi step was apparently the Saudi desire to cause shale oil production (fractionation) – which is being developed quickly in the United States – to be unprofitable, thus eliminating the potential competition represented by fractionation of shale into liquid oil. But the Saudi step has caused many ripples that are causing great harm on other shores: Iran is very concerned about the fall of oil prices, because it needs the money as if it were air to breathe, and the economic crisis in Russia also stems in part from the reduction of the price that Russia receives for oil and gas, which it produces. Will countries such as Iran sit with their arms folded when Saudi Arabia causes so much harm to its economy? We all know that one Iranian missile on a Saudi oil facility will not necessarily lead to war, but it would certainly cause a spike in oil prices. And the Iranian decision makers, the Saudis’ sworn enemies, would be very tempted to do this.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia itself is harmed by the steps it has taken, by the decline in its income from the export of oil, but the kingdom’s enormous cash reserves grant it almost unlimited economic breathing space, and actually, for a year it could give away the oil that it produces for free, and no serious damage will have been done to the Saudi economy.

Israel, an island of stability in the unstable Middle East, has entered into an election season, and naturally, it too has a component of uncertainty relative to the future: will the coalition that is formed after the elections be center-right or center-left? Will the next coalition submit to the dreams of those both inside Israel and outside, who live in the two-state delusion, or will it introduce an element of rationality into Israeli political thought that will reject out of hand any attempt to impose upon Israel a policy that might result in another terror state in the Middle East, this time in the mountains of Judea and Samaria, the cradle of the Jewish People and its homeland.

During these days of Hanukah we commemorate the miracles that were done for our father in the physical war against the Greek occupiers and the cultural war against their allies, the Hellenists who arose among us. We must remember that the challenges that stood before our fathers are remarkably similar to the challenges that stand before the People of Israel today, and just as the Almighty awarded victory to those who were faithful to him in those days, thus will He do at this time, amen.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Source: Iton Yom leyom

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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