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Op-Ed: Israel and Her Future

The future of the Middle East.
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2002 11:18 PM


In light of the events of the past two years both in Israel and the world it is necessary in my opinion to reevaluate completely the entire geopolitical situation in the Middle East and the long-term Israeli policies in the region.

In Daniel Pipes article ?There is an Alternative? published in the Jerusalem Post on November 8, 2000, he wrote that there is an alternative ? called the policy of deterrence?. However, he also pointed out that exactly this policy brought eventually Oslo as the result of wearing down Israel?s will to fight.

The question then should be what will prevent wearing down Israel?s will to sustain the deterrence for many decades more, since it is pretty clear now that there is no indication that in the foreseeable future the Arabs will come to terms with Israel?s existence.

Furthermore, two years of Palestinian Arab violence have shown that Israel cannot rely on peace treaties with Jordan and especially Egypt since there are open discussions within these countries as well about the possibility of war against Israel. Any peace agreement with any Arab party in the present circumstances is an exchange of strategic assets for worthless pieces of paper. Additionally the protracted confrontation with the Arab World on current terms may play against Israel?s interests, considering demographic tendencies in the Middle East. Arab cultural irrationality and incompatibility with Western Civilization also will prevent their acceptance of Israel in the Middle East for many more decades to come.

All this points to the need for Israel to adopt a totally new, active and well thought out policy of significant strategic changes in the whole geopolitical landscape of the Middle East that will undermine the genocidal Arab policy toward the Jewish State.

While this thought may seem wild and out of touch with reality, it pays to remember that Zionism was considered by many at the end of the 19th century or even beginning of the 20th century to be a far from realistic idea. And nobody thought in 1985 that the mighty Soviet Union would disappear from the political map of the world in just 5 years.

In my opinion Israel can only survive long-term if it will create new centers of power in the Middle East that will attract Arab animosity and dissipate their (Arabs) efforts to wipe out the Jewish State.
The logic of their struggle with Arabs will probably force these new centers of power to become Israel?s allies and the allies of the West.

First of all, the ?reorganization? of the Middle East should include the establishment of an independent Kurdish State in Iraq. It is difficult to underestimate the benefits that the existence of such a state will bring to Israel. The relations between Turkey and Israel may suffer as a result but those relations are far less important than the political and military gains that the existence of an independent Kurdish state will bring to Israel.

This event could produce favorable changes for Israel not only in that part of the Arab world but also in Iran, where local Kurds could once again become active in their fight for independence. It may also increase the national aspirations of Azerbaijanis in Iran that could possibly undermine the Islamic Republic and plunge the whole country into chaos for many years, neutralizing to some extent the threat it poses to Israel.

The possibility of establishing a Christian state in Lebanon certainly should be explored again. Lebanese Christians are most likely the descendants of a pre-Arab population of Lebanon and if a concentrated effort is made, it is possible to disenfranchise them from the Arab identity. The proliferation of French names in the past among Maronite Christians certainly points in that direction. Christians should be allowed to take care of Hizbullah and other hostile Muslim groups in Lebanon.

It is no secret that Alawaites in Syria hated by other Syrian Muslims. It is fair to suggest that Christians and Druse are not on friendly terms with them, as well as each other. Even Steve Forbes noted in Forbes magazine that ?Syria is a heterogeneous, unstable state held together only by brute force.? (Forbes, March 6, 2000). What it implies is that Syria may fall apart in the future. Why should Israel not undertake the real effort to implement such an idea? Obviously the partition of Syria would be of paramount importance for Israel. An independent Druse state established in part of this country may actually become a strong ally of Israel. Alawaites will probably carve out the state of their own. The northwestern part of the country populated by Kurds could join Kurdistan.

As we know now, it would be irresponsible to rely on peace with Egypt should a major military conflict erupt between Israel and another Arab country. Several million Coptic Christians in Egypt certainly represent the field we can attempt to work with in order to create national aspirations on part of this minority. They are not Arabs, after all, and here too effort can be made to awaken their national identity. It is impossible to predict what may come out of it, but some weakening of Egypt and as a result the danger it poses to Israel is almost certain.

As far as the eastern front is concerned it appears that the days of Hashemite rule in Jordan are numbered. The day will come sooner rather than later when Palestinian Arabs will attempt to take over this country. There is little reason to believe they will fail. The peace treaty with Jordan will then become worthless. When it happens, Israel should make sure that these events will create the atmosphere of utmost instability that will bog down conflicting forces for long periods of time and may result in the breakdown of the country in the future.

Attention also could be paid to reawakening of national aspirations of Berber people in North Africa.

Israel certainly should play more active role in civil war in Sudan helping Christians and Animists against the Islamic regime there.

The described above future of the Middle East is not particularly attractive, but when Israel?s very existence is at stake there may be no other viable path to take for Israel to survive. Establishment of several essentially non-Arab states will change the Middle East forever as well as the balance of power between Arab and Jew. It will establish the front against Arabs outside of Israel?s perimeter, as a first line of defense for the Jewish State. Arabs should be forced to deal with problems evolving from inside their countries that will attract their resources and manpower for generations to come. The Arab-Israeli conflict could then be put on the back burner in their national psyche.

I believe Israel and pro-Israel forces in the West have resources for implementation some or even all ideas described above. Realization of even one of them could bring immense benefits for Israel.
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G.Rodban@att.net