Yoram Ettinger
Yoram Ettinger Courtesy

The US State Department has assumed that generous diplomatic and financial gestures could induce the violently volatile Middle East to abandon anti-Western fanatic ideologies and adopt Western values, such as peaceful coexistence, good faith negotiation, democracy and human rights.

However, the State Department's well-intentioned policy has fueled Middle East violence, generating tailwinds to rogue entities and headwinds to the US and its Arab allies.

For example:

*The State Department welcomed the turbulence on the Arab Street – which erupted in 2010 and is still raging from the Persian Gulf to northwest Africa –as "the Arab Spring," "Facebook and youth revolution" and a "March for peace and democracy." However, as evidenced by Middle East reality, it has been another tectonic Arab Tsunami, not an Arab Spring.

*The State Department's policy on Iran has featured – since 1979 – the diplomatic option, assuming that a financial and diplomatic bonanza could entice the Ayatollahs to be good-faith negotiators, amenable to peaceful-coexistence with their Arab Sunni neighbors, desist from their anti-US regional and global proliferation of terrorism and drug trafficking, and abandon their repressive, fanatical and megalomaniacal 1,400-year-old ideology. However, the well-intentioned policy has bolstered the Ayatollahs' anti-US rogue strategy, reinforcing their collaboration with anti-US governments, terror organizations and drug traffickers in Latin America, posing a lethal threat to every pro-US Arab regime, and letting down most Iranians, who aspire for a regime-change in Tehran.

*The State Department was a key engine behind the US-led NATO military offensive, which toppled Libya’s Qaddafi in 2011, notwithstanding his dismantling of Libya’s nuclear and chemical warfare infrastructure and fervent war on Islamic terrorism. However, the toppling of Qaddafi transformed Libya into an uncontrollable platform of civil wars and anti-US global Islamic terrorism.

*Until the eruption of the civil war in Syria, the State Department considered the ruthless anti-US Bashar Assad a potential reformer due to his background as an ophthalmologist in London, a President of the Syrian Internet Association and married to a British-born woman. However, the civil war has claimed a toll of over 500,000 casualties, 7 million refugees and a similar number of domestically displace people.

*The State Department has embraced the anti-US Muslim Brotherhood - the largest Sunni Islamic terror organization with welfare, political and religious branches – while pressuring the pro-US Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt because of their war on Muslim Brotherhood terrorism. However, the pro-US Arab regimes are aware that the Muslim Brotherhood aims to topple all national Islamic governments, establish a universal despotic Islamic society, promote martyrdom in the service of Allah, and bring the Western "infidel" – and especially the US – to submission. This State Department policy is pushing pro-US Arab regimes closer to China and Russia.

*From 1993-2000, the State Department extended the red carpet treatment to the anti-US Arafat as a messenger of peace, worthy of the Nobel Prize for Peace and annual US foreign aid, ignoring his intra-Arab terroristic and treacherous track record, and annihilationist vision, as reflected by his hate-education and 1959 and 1964 Fatah and PLO charters. Meanwhile, all pro-US Arab regimes extended to Arafat the shabby doormat treatment.

*From 1980-1990, the US collaborated with the anti-US Saddam Hussein, assuming that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." However, this policy was perceived by Saddam as a green light for the invasion of Kuwait, which led to the First and Second Gulf wars, an ongoing civil war in Iraq with 9 million refugees and domestically-displaced people. It transformed Iraq into a major Iranian platform of anti-US regional and global terrorism.

*In 1978/79, the State Department embraced the anti-US, fanatic Ayatollah Khomeini, suggesting that he was anti-Communist, surrounded by moderate advisors, preoccupied with bringing liberty to Iran – a Gandhi-like Iranian.

*During the 1950s, the State Department courted the pro-Soviet, anti-US Egyptian President Nasser, who strove to topple pro-US oil-producing Arab regimes at a time when the US was heavily dependent upon Persian Gulf oil.

*All of the US State Department’s Israel-Arab peace proposals were Palestinian Arab-centered, and therefore were frustrated by Middle Eastern reality, which has never perceived the Palestinian Arab issue to be of a primary concern, considering Palestinian Arabs as a role-model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and ingratitude.

*In 1948, the State Department led the opposition to the establishment of Israel, contending that it would be pro-Soviet, overrun by the expected Arab military invasion, destabilize the Middle East and threaten the supply of Arab oil.

*In 2022, exposing the State Department's detachment from Middle East reality, Israel constitutes the largest US aircraft carrier with no need for US servicemen, sparing the US the need to deploy to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean a few more real aircraft carriers and additional ground divisions.

*Vital US interests require the State Department to base its policy on Middle East reality, as complex and frustrating as it may be, and learn from its own track record by avoiding – rather than repeating – critical past mistakes.

Here is a video showing how the State Department should view the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria


Synopsis:

*Israel's control of the topographically-dominant mountain ridges of the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria has enhanced Israel's posture of deterrence, constraining regional violence, transforming Israel into a unique force-multiplier for the US.

*Top Jordanian military officers warned that a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River, transforming Jordan into a non-controllable terrorist heaven, generating an anti-US domino scenario in the Arabian Peninsula.

*Israel's control of Judea and Samaria has eliminated much of the threat (to Jordan) of Judea and Samaria-based Palestinian terrorism.

*Israel's posture of deterrence emboldens Jordan in the face of domestic and regional threats, sparing the US the need to deploy its own troops, in order to avoid an economic and national security setback.

*The proposed Palestinian state would become the Palestinian straw that would break the pro-US Hashemite back.

*The Palestinian track record of the last 100 years suggests that the proposed Palestinian state would be a rogue entity, adding fuel to the Middle East fire, undermining US interests.

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, is author of "Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative" and can be found at https://bit.ly/3NYDBkr