Op-Ed: Leveraging Arab Fear
Beth GoodtreeBeth Goodtree lives in the New York City metro area and has a background in advertising. She writes political commentary and the occasional science and humor pieces.
What are the Middle East as well as other Muslim nations so terrified of? Actually, two things which, when taken together, may well spell the end of the Middle East/Muslim nations as we know them. If you have followed the news recently, you have seen that there is what can only be described as a political meltdown occurring in Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Chechnya, Algeria and Syria. There are also religious wars going on within the Muslim communities, where Shiites murder Sunnis, Sunnis murder Shiites and Salafists murder anyone. Even within the major branches of Islam there are wars. For example, Wahabbists, of which al Qaeda is the most well known representative, have been indiscriminately killing non-Wahabbists. If it weren?t for Israel, there would have already been a meltdown.
Israel has been the whipping boy of every Muslim and/or Arab regime that wanted to maintain power and control. Whether it was a royal family, a ?president-for-life,? a prime minister, a ruling general, a religious council, or an imam, whenever a Muslim or Arab nation sensed internal trouble, they deflected the anger by blaming Israel, the Jews in general, and more recently, America. And it has been a strategy that has worked for nearly 60 years. But right now, Israel has a chance to stop this incitement to terror, murder and war. And it has everything to do with the Arabs occupying Israeli land*.
So who are the Arabs living in Gaza, and what the Arabs call the West Bank - Judea and Samaria? They surely are not ?Palestinians? since there never was a country called Palestine beyond the Hebrew one of thousands of years ago. Up until the 1960s, the only people known as ?Palestinians? were the Jews, who have lived in that region from time immemorial. It was at this time that an Egyptian by the name of Abd al-Rahman abd al-Rauf Arafat al-Qud al-Husseini changed his name to Yasser Arafat, gathered together a ragtag rabble of Arab rejects and expatriates and renamed them ?Palestinians,? thus stealing the Jewish identity to that land. And herein lies Israel?s key towards ending the violence against her - repatriation.
In truth, the Arabs living on Israeli land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are mostly Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese or Egyptian by nationality and/or heritage. In 1967, after Israel was besieged by no less than three Arab countries, she fought back and won, regaining the aforementioned historical homelands. At that time, the citizens of those Arab nations should have gone, returned to their home countries. But they didn?t go back.
Instead, those Arabs have been used as the frontline army in the destruction of the Jewish aboriginal homeland. The land they now occupy has been used by various Arab countries as a dumping ground for their malcontents. Even PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper "Trau" (March 31, 1977) stated
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism."
Now here?s where leveraging Arab fear comes in. Both Jordan and Egypt are terrified of having to deal with the Arabs they erroneously call ?Palestinian.? Recently, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stated his aversion to having control over the southern Gaza border because of his fear of the Arabs living there. He is afraid of having to fight them. And well he should fear them. Many want to return to their homeland of Egypt.
Meanwhile, that self-proclaimed king of Jordan**, King Hussein, is terrified of the Arabs now occupying Israeli lands on the west bank of the Jordan River. Why? Because many of them want to return to their homeland of Jordan and depose this self-crowned monarch. Every time Israel mentions ?disengagement? and ?security barrier,? he panics, fearing that the Arabs now occupying the Israeli lands of Judea and Samaria will try to return to their homeland of Jordan and overthrow this Saudi usurper.
With Jordan and Egypt petrified of having to deal with the Arabs under Arafat?s control, Israel has an opportunity to rid her land of these hostile occupiers and see true justice done. In return for not disengaging with Arafat?s Arabs, and not evacuating Gaza, Israel should demand that Egypt, Jordan, and the other Arab countries repatriate their former Arab citizens and their descendents. It can be done over a clearly defined period of time to help in the re-absorption. And the leverage can be that if this repatriation is slowed down or halted, Israel will immediately isolate these Arabs from herself and let Egypt and Jordan deal with the consequences.
*Israel acquired Gaza, Judea and Samaria when Egypt, Jordan and Syria attacked her. According to international law, Israel is now the legal owner of those lands, having won them in a war that she did not start.
** "The Jordanian monarchy was set up in 1921, with help from the British. The sons of Sherif Hussein ibn Ali were set up as kings of Iraq and Jordan. In Jordan, Abdullah I of Jordan was made the first king of the new Hashemite dynasty. The dynasty originates in the Hejaz (now Saudi Arabia) and is actually alien to Jordan, but it continues to rule Jordan." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_Jordan)