The Larger MidEast Picture

An expert's in depth asessment: gaining perspective on the larger picture in Jerusalem.

David Bedein,

OpEds David Bedein
David Bedein
credit David Michael Cohen

As events in the Middle East unfold, it is hard to gain perspective on the larger  picture of what is developing . After forty years of Israel and twenty five consecutive years of full time media work with the major media, the time has come to provide that perspective.

When you hear a standard report on what is going on in Israel you often hear the following assessment:  “Israel is in the midst of a peace process. All is quiet on the northern and southern fronts of Israel, after two short wars, in the North in the summer of 2006 and in the South in the winter of December 2008- January 2009. Meanwhile, the Palestinian economy is booming. An Arab Spring in the offing . Peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan have lasted for three decades and two decades respectively.” 

A dose of reality produces different results . The Arab League remains in a full state of war to obliterate Israel since 1948. The Palestinian Liberation Organization, fostered in 1964 by the Arab League to mobilize the  Palestinian Arab population against Israel, never ratified the Oslo accords, even if Arafat signed those accords. That means that PLO and its progeny, maintain that state of war to liberate all of Palestine, in stages, in accordance with the PLO Covenant.

All you have to do is to witness the PA war preparations is to review the Palestinian Authority curriculum, established in 2000, which does not mince words in the inculcation of the destruction of Israel as the central theme of Palestinian Authority education. And despite Israel's peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt, both regimes have facilitated official school curricula which promote war with Israel.  

The Israeli Arab population, emulating their Palestinian brethren, is in throes of a quiet insurrection against Israel, following the 2007 Haifa declaration, when the leadership of the mainstream Israeli Arab organizations called for Palestinian Arabs to reclaim their lands lost in 1948, and for a Palestinian Arab state to replace the state of Israel.

However, the PLO has softened Israeli passions. 

PLO operatives have bought their way into the Israeli economy, resulting in $25 billion shekels of Israeli investment in the Palestinian Authority,  giving Israelis the illusion that a prosperous Palestinian Authority economy will buy peace.  Besides, it is a matter of human nature that it is difficult if not impossible to imagine yourself making war on your business partner. 

What most Israelis do not know is that half of the Palestinian population lingers in the squalor of UNRWA camps, under the specious premise of their right to reclaim Arab villages from 1948 that no longer exist. As the PA relegate the grandchildren of Palestinian refugees to the confines of refugee camp life, the Palestinian Authority does not allow UNRWA camps to benefit from any Palestinian economic boom. 

It is not only terrorist groups who plan to 'rush the fences' of Israel to take back lands from 1948. 

The UNRWA “popular committees”  coordinate the efforts to “rush the fences” , to reclaim these villages, even if they no longer exist. 

And despite the illusion that the Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority has been in conflict with the Hamas, the Fatah and Hamas have been working together since 1995, coordinating armed forces agreements, combining a school curriculum and sharing an Islamic constitution, while the PA armed forces are now being trained by the US, Canada and the EU. 

Hamas in Gaza has never ceased its assaults on southern Israel, launching 800 aerial attacks since the cease fire in January 2009, while readying an arsenal of more than 10,000 missiles,stored in schools and mosques throughout the Gaza Strip. 

Hizbullah has acquired more than 15,000 missiles that threaten northern Israel, UN guarantees not withstanding.

At the same time, the Islamic Brotherhood, the entity that allied itself with the Nazi movement a generation ago, is set to take over Egypt, promising to renege on any peace accord with Israel. 

Yet with all of this sobering reality, the Arab League may focus its attention elsewhere. 

Libya is mobilizing towards a counterattack against the West, after massive NATO bombing. 

Libya possesses vast WMD capability that it  acquired from German firms more than 20 years ago. 

If Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi survives, Libya will undoubtedly galvanize a radicalized Islamic Arab League into a war with the west, and a multiple front war against Israel will be sidelined.  

It is hard to predict anything further. Journalism is not the prophecy business. 

Suffice it to say that most Middle East News Analysis which has followed the Oslo Process has been characterized by wishful thinking rather than hands on reporting.

Sent by:

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Center for Near East Policy Research

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